Possums, what a cringe-inducing episode that was last week (and we’re not even counting Anita Bryant’s shrimp-spitting handmaiden).
We nearly clawed the antimacassars to bits while Alex Eusebio wept as he read Richard Sweeney’s letter (handwritten on lined notebook paper, like a note written in third-period algebra class and folded inside a Pee Chee folder; as Miss XaXa put it, “I bet Richard was the guy in high school who filled the entire page when you gave him your yearbook to sign”).
Good God, not since Arthur Hallam and Tennyson and In Memoriam has there been such a display:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Believe us, possums, we understand Alex’s sorrow. We really do. Indeed, it has taken us fully two weeks to process our grief (or, as Tennyson put it, for our “widowed race [to] be run.”)
Of course, it wasn’t always that way.
On the season’s inaugural episode, Richard had this to say of Tom Colicchio: “I think Tom’s really cute. And he’s got great eyes. He’s a cutie, what can I say? I’d buy him a drink if I saw him in the bar. Hell, I’d buy ‘im three.”
Naturally, our first, rather hotted up, reaction to that was: PAWS OFF, BITCH!!
But then, as we saw and heard more of him, how could we help but be smitten? He radiated likeability, and—at the risk of sounding like Sandra Dee—he was dreamy. Just look at him, possums.
He became our favorite gay ever on Top Chef (for Miss XaXa, he was second only to Season 2’s Carlos Fernandez). We found out from Bravo’s website that he had a boyfriend, and an adorable one at that.
To wit, Richard’s own words: “So, gots me a great guy now. But don’t get me wrong -- still out hunting for trouble, just no strings attached! we sometimes play together -- hey, who says three (or more?) is a crowd?!?!”
Well, if that’s the case, then we can all aspire to be a graham cracker (not the marshmallow) in that particular banana ‘Smore. Huzzah!
Alright, sure, so he’s not the next Alain Ducasse. Still, he’s off the market but not off the table. He’s really cute, and he’s got great eyes. He’s a cutie, what can we say? And furthermore, he quips like dream and is Mr. Nice Gay. Possums, what’s not to love?
So yes, we understood all too well Alex’s sorrow. And still we cringed when we saw him weep and, just like in high school, be comforted by the misfits—the lesbian and the tall, gawky black girl.
We cringed even more when we came across this bit from Alex’s interview with YumSugar:
My wife is the one who forced me to go on the show. I really didn't want to be on the show. I don't like being a public guy. She was like, “you have to do it, I will take care of the wedding.”
(He also told our pals at Grub Street, “My wife, a singer, wants to go back on Broadway, so we might go to New York!”)
But what do you want, Alex?
Miss XaXa urged us to take a gander at the video of Alex’s entrance into the sequester house. “Look how comfortable he looks.”
We had to inquire, “Are you saying marriage isn’t for him?”
Miss XaXa gave voice to her customary Delphic wisdom, “Alex, hon, if you’re gonna be pecked, wouldn’t you prefer a cock to a hen?”
She was referring, it need hardly be said, to poultry and poultry alone.
So there you have it; the wifey made him do it, and he didn’t stand up to her. In symbolism so hackneyed and obvious that we would have scoffed had we found it in a novel, Alex went out the same way he went in: a rose-scented custard that couldn’t be firm.