From the way Howard described Beth's first contact with Whitney (by Beth asking Whitney to lunch), it sounded like Beth wanted to size up the competition. As I recall, Beth went to finishing school (not sure about that). If she did, I'm sure she learned a few things about how to keep a wealthy husband, like making sure she kept the competition at-bay. Howard used to rant about Whitney's beauty. I'm sure Beth was following the adage, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". Now Beth has Whitney at arms length and can manage her interaction with HS, because they are such close friends. Don't be fooled by Beth - she's no dummy when it comes to protecting her "wiggy bank"! By the way - Whitney sounded close to a break down several times during the interview on HSS. I never realized she was so damaged.