You have to know that, if you are willing to watch an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians in any of its Calabasas/Miami/New York/wedding/birth iterations, that it will include at least six full minutes of cringing.
The recent episode of the family vacation to Thailand was no exception. Lest you think that the worst of the cringe came from Brody walking in on a DIY photo shoot of stepsister Kim in a see-through white dress or even of sister-in-law Leah pressing him if her bare nips turned him on, you are wrong. No, really. There was worse.
Even worse than the ongoing conversation about Rob's depression and weight and being babbied by Kris and catered to by Khloe, which might explain why he was a no-show for the trip. And past the gasps at seeing Bruce's ever pulled/battered/tweaked/over-tanned facial alterations. It's even a bit of a shock to me to say that the worst cringe didn't come with Kim's incessant selfie taking while a private show of Thai fire dancers was happening a few feet away.
The cringe crown for that episode sits firmly on the heads of King and Queen Jenner, for arguing and arguing on their post-divorce announcement family trip, and for pulling their kids into the middle of their disagreements.
OK, so Bruce and Kris have bickered in every episode. And they were spotted holding hands even after all that arguing in Thailand. Getting divorced may not have changed how they act on camera, with each other or in front of the kids. In this one, though, even separate bedrooms and activities don't help. And it is the reactions on the faces of their youngest, teens-in-adult-lives, Kendall and Kylie.
While the now-split couple do acknowledge that it is important to have all-family trips annually (more than once), I wonder if their current marital status makes all the arguing even more uncomfortable for everyone else. An "oh, that's just mom and dad" attitude doesn't seem to apply as easily if mom and dad have an opportunity to really chill the eff out on vacay -- without the other person harshing that mellow.
I also am curious if the combined family wealth (and television contract, obviously) make combined family vacations more appealing than one parent taking ten kids/stepkids/grandkids/selfie-assisting assistants globe-trekking. Because the Kardenners do not go glamping. Or get those group-rate day trips on a janky sailboat that are a good deal even if dad doesn't come along.
While a $150K-a week resort, like the one Bruce and Kris and kiddos stayed in while in Phuket, Thailand, and all its spa and staff and sumptuous amenities and sea access, would be where many of we divorced would choose to vacation should we have to bring our exes along, I am not sure the old muscle tension would release any quicker than grabbing a pinot grigio in the the Fairfield Inn bar after hashing it out in the hotel parking lot.
If the Kardashian-Jenner family can work this out and go on vacations together -- or if any family can figure out how to have a happy trip anywhere with divorced mom and dad making the plans and covering the bills -- I will be very, very impressed. No arguments? No he said-she said? No getting horrified kids in the middle when they just wish their parents would move on already? No big cringes over minutes-fresh maki served up by a private chef in a paparazzi-gated private resort in Southeast Asia? I tip my airline-overhead-bin crumpled fedora at you for having a far-more functional family than mine. Or than America's ridiculously paid A-list, D-grade reality fam.
The big question for us remains: Despite how Bruce and Kris passed or failed with their divorceication, would you -- yes, YOU -- ever in a gazillion years or Kardashian dollars take a vacation with your ex?
If so, what's your secret for really relaxing and having a great family time together?
If not, do you want to get our kids together and save up for that resort in Thailand together?