The Museum of Sex is full of dildos. It houses countless butt plugs and chodes, pussy flaps and queef machines, in flagrante delicto all over the harshly lit interiors. And I’m not talking about the exhibits; I’m talking about the collection of screech monsters and devil dragons that suck in delusion and breathe out fire. I’m talking about the Real Sex Machines of the Kink.com Armory. Never has there been a collection of corporeal misgivings congregated in once place as at the engagement party at the Museum of Sex that Aviva throws for her father, George, a wiry hair that grows out of a back mole.
Oh, what a party! The occasion is that George, a pinkie toe that is missing a nail, is marrying Cody, a rather attractive and successful black woman who is about 60 years (?) his junior. Now, I only mention her race because it becomes salient later, when George fights with Ramona. It also becomes salient when Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Howard University Morgans invites Aviva and Cody over to her house and says, “My neighbors must think that we’re meeting with our dealer.” Yes, Sonja, that is what they think. They think that when you are hanging out with a black person in your backyard it can only be because she is selling you drugs and not gluing Swarovski crystals on your overly sharpened talons. That is exactly what they think.
Anyway, Cody is the rarest of all breeds on any of these shows — she is a real, actual person. I don’t really know much about Cody (she was introduced last week, when the keys to the Real Housewives Institute were in Danielle Henderson’s very capable hands), but she supposedly owns a chain of nail salons in Miami, and she seems like she knows what she is doing in the manicure department. She seems like a person who is in love with an older man, quite improbably, and is happy making her own money and running her own business and is wise beyond her 24 years. She could also be a grifter and a snake. I don’t know, but whatever she is, she is not interested in making her few moments in front of the cameras count. She is no Amanda Sanders, Image Consultant and for that, she is a goddess among women, at least in my book.
Ramona, on the other hand, is the only flesh-eating bacteria that Purell can’t kill. She’s a Febreze-resistant stench, and she wafts into the party with her husband on one arm and her “best gay” on the other. You know how you can put your ear next to a seashell and supposedly hear the ocean? Well, Ramona coming into that party makes whatever noise you would hear if you put your ear really close to a bidet. Ramona comes into the party and Sonja tells her that Cody’s parents both just recently passed away, so she shouldn’t bring it up, because, well, that is what tact is. But assuming Ramona has tact is sort of like assuming that a Czech communist has religion.
When Ramona begins talking to Cody, she says, and I paraphrase, “Oh, let me see your ring. That’s lovely. [Fake smile.] Did you have it appraised? You must have had it appraised, because you are only marrying George for his money. Oh, you didn’t? Well, fiddle-dee-dee. You should. For the insurance, you know. Oh, and you don’t have any parents, right?” That is what Ramona says. She doesn’t know this woman for more than 30 seconds and she makes her cry.
So Cody, along with Aviva, trots off to the bathroom to compose herself, and Ramona says, “I didn’t know.” Okay, Ramona knew. How else did she even know that Cody didn’t have parents? Someone had to tell her, and it wasn’t in an interesting-fact kind of way. “Cody graduated from Miss Cindy’s School of Nail Art. Oh, and she doesn’t have parents. Isn’t that so cute?” No, Ramona knew, but she pretended like she didn’t, and then when Cody started crying, she literally said, “It’s not my fault!” Oh, so when someone says something hurtful and tactless to another person in a social setting, it’s not their fault when that person has to go cry in the bathroom of the Museum of Sex with a one-legged neurotic hose beast? I see how that works.
Ramona takes off and George, a skin tag in the sweaty pit behind your knee, says something ridiculous about how she is a bitch and dogs will have sex with her or something, and everyone is awful. What I really didn’t understand was how everyone was acting like her engagement party was some sort of solemn event for Cody. This was not an engagement party. This was the Real Snot Shufflers, and their husbands and attendant gays standing around in a place with some weird statues of horses having ménages à trois. I hope with every decent fiber in my heart that a nice, wonderful, sound girl like Cody gets a real party with her friends and family and that someone bakes her a cake from scratch and says they like her ring sincerely.
However, like a tornado that doubles back to respew the rubble, Ramona is not done yet. No, she goes to Aviva’s house to bring her flowers and offer, well, apology would be too strong a word. An explanation, maybe? A redug grave, certainly, but I don’t think that is an actual noun yet. It is a new invention. Along with crappy religious-themed jewelry, it is Ramona’s gift to the world, redug graves. She tells Aviva that she was sorry that she made Cody cry but, well, she has been thinking (emphatic ellipses). Since Cody’s parents have died recently, maybe she’s a vulnerable girl who is being taken advantage of by George. By George, I think she’s got it.
And with that, George, a booger that you just can’t reach, comes into the room, and Ramona first delivers her theory that Cody is parentless and looking for a father figure and that is George. And they sit there, Aviva’s hideous yellow paper staring down at them like a troupe of angry wood nymphs sitting in the trees, and Ramona tells him to please let her go. She tells him to do the decent thing and refuse to marry this woman, because he is somehow ruining her life.
I have some very simple advice for Ramona, something that no one has probably ever told her in her life, but something that she desperately needs to hear. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Period, exclamation point, NeNe Leakes bloop sound. This is none of Ramona’s business. She barely knows George, and says she doesn’t even like him. She certainly doesn’t know Cody. She knows nothing about this situation, and it is not her family or her friends, so she needs to just S the F up. And just because she doesn’t want to marry George or wouldn’t want her daughter to marry George doesn’t mean Cody doesn’t want to marry him in a very real and sincere way. I mean, I don’t know how Mario has stood being married to Ramona for 20-something years (well, we all know how he’s managed that, ifyouknowwhatimsayin’); that doesn’t mean I get to sit here and judge her marriage. (Okay, maybe it kinda does, as a reality-TV-program recap artist, but not as, like, a human.)
What’s so odd is that, in this situation, George, a shart, has the moral high ground, but he chooses to concede it by making some remark about how he’ll touch Ramona’s vagina at her funeral or something. I don’t know, it didn’t make any sense, and my ears have melted off my head and are sitting in a weird pool of loose Play-Doh consistency on my couch.
Thank God we are done talking about this, because now we can talk about Sonja in Saratoga. The women’s preparation for their trip was pretty ridiculous. First they went and bought hats to go to Saratoga. Now, this is a pretty swanky venue, but it’s not like a hats-and-juleps Triple Crown kinda shindig. Getting giant hats to go to Saratoga is sort of like wearing the crown jewels to go to dinner at Medieval Times.
The only thing worth mentioning about Sonja and Countess Crackerjack’s bike ride was that Sonja said, at some point, for some reason, “I feel like Elvis on the toilet.” I don’t know what that means, but I love it. I’m going to use it for every occasion. After eating two hamburgers and fries at Shake Shack, “I feel like Elvis on the toilet.” When bathing-suit shopping, “I feel like Elvis on the toilet.” When wandering around a strange city staring at Google Maps on my phone, “I feel like Elvis on the toilet.” While smoking cigarettes in bed with a French guy named Jacques whom I just picked up in a café in Aix, “I feel like Elvis on the toilet.” While taking a dump at Graceland, “I feel like Elvis on the toilet.” See, so handy!
When the ladies get ready to leave for the races, Sonja starts drinking before the bobby pins are even set in her fascinator. Duh. They’re all a little bit confused by horse racing even though none of them, particularly Sonja and Carole, are confused by comparative geometry and how that translates into little jockeys looking much more like horses in some below-the-belt regards. However, they all bet on Horse Seven to win, and watch their $120 grow into more than $3,340. Well, all except Sonja.
Sonja, instead of betting with the group and focusing on one investment, bet $2 on each and all of the horses so, even if one of her bets worked, she was so scattered that she would never make back her investment. Oh, isn’t this just how Sonja approaches business? Isn’t this just how Sonja approaches life? While the women are counting their money Sonja said wistfully, “I just didn’t believe in Seven.” There we have it. Yet again, Sonja T. Morgan has literally backed the wrong horse. Poor Sonja. Poor, tragic Sonja.
She makes up for it by wandering off from the group and getting hammered. She possibly went off and explored the stables with a jockey or at least another guy with beer breath and a too-ornate outfit like hers, and they got some hay in their hair. What other way to erase that sinking in your gut when your friends are dividing up thousands of dollars and you’re just dividing up blame? What other way?
Anyway, the ladies leave Sonja behind at the track when they can’t find her and, eventually, she comes tottering home. That is going to be Sonja’s epitaph: “Eventually, she came tottering home.” This time she is shouting and justifiably upset that they left her behind so that they could go home and shove Benjamins down their Spanx and laugh about it. Sonja packs her bags and leaves them all there, angry at her for yelling at them for being careless. She takes her bags out into the driveway, waiting for the cab she never called to come pick her up. She puts her suitcase down on the pavement, glistening with an early-evening shower or some water from the sprinkler. She can’t determine which. She can’t determine much. She sits on the case and looks around at the grass and the flowers and the surrounding houses and the invisible screech of the cicadas. Then she sees it glinting in the streetlights, the warm air closing around her, a license plate with three sevens in a row. And then she finally believes. She believes in Seven. Lucky number seven. She lets out a sigh and lights a cigarette that isn’t even there.