The Real Housewives of New York City
Ramona Singer is an awful hypocrite and she must be stopped. Really, that is all I can say about her appearance on the reunion of the Real Cuckolds of 21-Year-Old Yoga Instructor Junction. Yes, this was the night that Ramona Singer, a woman who takes pride in her unfiltered narcissism, finally shut the hell up, and it is not what anyone wanted.
Now, I don’t usually like to get into all the gossip surrounding what happens with the Housewives offscreen, but it has been widely reported that Ramona caught her husband Mario with his mistress in their own house. Even People magazine reported on it. This isn’t a shoddy source, like RadarOnline, a black hole from which no light or 911 call made by a celebrity is allowed to escape; this is celebrity press-release reprinter People, and if even they’re calling you out, then this has to be pretty much close to gospel.
This is also only salient because Bravo went out of its way to include every scrap of footage of Mario being a dog that it could find on the cutting-room floor to play off of the news, which broke after filming wrapped but before the season started airing. During the reunion they even reaired the best bits, including Mario saying, “The best cheaters are the ones that get away with it.” Oh, look how cute and smug he was back then.
Ramona walked into the reunion knowing that this would come up and knowing that she was going to have to answer questions about it. The performance that she mustered was absolutely dreadful. First of all, she gave away the line that her publicist told her to use last week, she was so eager to drop it on Andy. “Everyone in my family is doing fine,” she repeated last night as she did in part one of this never-ending revisitation. Finally, she got to finish her pre-approved message. “We’re together now, but I have a daughter Avery, who I love dearly, who is 19, and because of that, that’s all I have to say on the matter.”
Alright, this is utter bullshit for about 19 different reasons, and Ramona Singer should be fired for her behavior on the reunion because, as Andy pointed out, it is her job to put her life on display and for her to think that she can pick and choose which parts of her life get aired and which do not is absolutely ludicrous. Speaking of which, using her daughter as some sort of shield for talking about an unsavory situation is, as Maggie Smith would say, poppycock. Where was Ramona’s concern for her daughter’s privacy when she had a film crew in tow for her prom or when she went away to college? Why does Avery need to be protected from idle chatter, but it’s acceptable to put her and her life events into the public sphere for dissection and ridicule? Sorry, Ramona, but that dog not only doesn’t hunt, it’s dead and decaying in the middle of the sidewalk, and Sonja is going to host a funeral for it.
Then there is the way she talked to Andy during their confrontation. It was with a condescending sweetness that she thinks is beyond reproach, but is so purposefully smarmy that it’s even worse than being mean. “Okay, sweetheart,” she says to Andy as if trying to take him down a few pegs with a term of endearment. The execution would have been masterful if it didn’t make me want jump through the television and flick her in the ear and tell her to knock it off like the nuns did to us when we misbehaved back in grammar school.
For what it’s worth, Andy did the best possible job that he could trying to get her to talk. He tried to ask her what she learned from the situation and if her friends were supportive, but Ramona wouldn’t take the bait because she refused to admit that there even is a situation. When Countess Crackerjacks brought up the affair, she was shouting “they are allegations” back at her as if People magazine’s deep investigative reporting couldn’t be believed.
While Andy failed to really hold her feet to the fire (but doesn’t he always), I’m pleased that Crackerjacks really came at Ramona with her “Karma’s a bitch” schtick. Honestly, that is the worst part of this whole scenario. I’m glad they replayed the footage of Ramona talking about how Crackerjacks’s husband (allegedly) cheated on her all the time. Crackerjacks didn’t try to shut that conversation down and yell about allegations; she just had to take the brunt of Ramona’s nonsense, and it was awful. Now when she’s faced with the same scenario, she can’t even take it. The Golden Rule is the simplest, but it’s also the hardest to follow, and if Ramona Singer wants to duck out on people talking about her personal life, then maybe she should remove herself from public life.
The most shocking thing about all this, however, is that Kristen actually had the best response when Andy grilled her about her relationship with her husband Josh, a pair of boxer shorts you wear for the second time inside out and pretend are still clean. She said that she realizes that their relationship looks awful from the outside and that being on the show and seeing it really showed them what they had to work on and they’re really trying to improve. That is real and honest. That is acknowledging the problem, acknowledging the perception that viewers have, and acknowledging that there is something to be done. That is how you ingratiate yourself with the audience, by being honest and open and real, not by trying to shut it down six seasons too late.
The only other thing to really talk about is Hashtag BookGate (as Andy called it, possibly stealing from yours truly). Oh, well, let’s briefly touch on the argument about how everyone wants to live in the Hamptons and how stupid that all is, because the Berkshires are lovely and there are plenty of people who hate the Hamptons and all the traffic jams and driving and drunk PR girls at the Surf Lodge and the overpriced seafood. Nobody wants that, including Andy Cohen, whose house is in Sag Harbor, which snooty people in the Hamptons will say isn’t the Hamptons, which just goes to show you that the snooty will outsnoot anyone if they can.
Alright, Hashtag BookGate. Carole said the sanest thing about this, and it is that not all Real Housewives fights are created equal, and she didn’t get someone’s hair wet or call someone bossy. This is a very serious matter about Carole’s profession and her legacy, and it really needs to be cleared up. I also think we need to excoriate Andy for being all like “Well, you won’t agree, so we need to close the book on this.” No, we cannot. Unlike other fights, this one is one that is based on facts. Carole Radziwill, who has been on Oprah, wrote both of her books. Period. End of story. That Aviva Drescher, the scaly undercarriage of a shrimp that you can’t eat, says differently is just patently false, and she should be sued for saying otherwise.
She should also be sued for propagating the old rumor that Truman Capote wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and Harper Lee did not. This has been proven false numerous times, but the rumor persists because of assholes like Aviva Drescher who go around spouting lies and not being called out for them. And this is why someone on the Bravo network needs to come out and state plainly that she is false, because now that she has said it so loudly and repeatedly in such a public forum, people are going to speculate that Carole did not write her books for the rest of her career.
What Aviva has done is sort of like what the Republicans do with climate change. They make it so every time you talk about the environment you have to bring up some climate-change denier, even though 90 percent of scientists think that is total bullshit. The same thing is going to happen to Carole now. Every time we talk about her, we’re going to have to once again hash through these allegations that Aviva made, even if only to disprove them. Still, there will always be the taint of doubt around Carole. That is dangerous, and that is damaging to a woman’s livelihood. And what does Aviva have to gain in all this? Nothing. She has permanently ruined a woman’s reputation, and she doesn’t care one lick.
Aviva says that Carole protests too much, and somehow that solidifies her argument that Carole used a ghostwriter. If I were Carole (and, considering that I am also a professional writer, albeit one who has never appeared on Oprah, I kinda am), I would protest a hell of a lot too, because she knows the damage that can be done by all these whispers and lies. Aviva even has the audacity to say, “No one cares, it’s not important.” No, it’s very m-er f-ing important. This is Carole’s career. This is her life. This is her memoir about losing her husband to cancer, and Aviva is ripping it up page by page and using it to wipe her privileged, soiled ass. This is as important as it gets. That no one told Aviva to shut the m-er f-er up and retract her statements should be punishable, if not by the law, than at least by Judge Judy.
What Aviva said, that writers work with other people when putting together their books, is true. Ezra Pound and James Joyce had enormous influence on each other’s work and helped each other with drafts of their work. Still, it is clear who wrote Ulysses and who wrote a bunch of stuff that no one reads anymore. Yes, it takes editors and colleagues and trusted confidants to produce any long piece of writing (P.S. My boyfriend writes half of my jokes when we’re screaming on the couch together), but Carole Radziwill wrote her books. Period. End of story. Aviva should feel knots in her stomach for robbing a woman of those accomplishments.
And after Hashtag BookGate had been dispensed with, there was a break in filming for all the women to get up and stretch their legs. Carole just sat there and let her newly blonde hair fall on either side of her face, making a blackout curtain, or at least a set of blinders. Ghostwriters, she thought to herself, wanting to shake her head but not wanting to let Aviva see her sway.
Yeah, she had ghosts, all right. There was her husband Anthony: Whenever she thought of him, she thought of an empty beach chair with a dark blue umbrella next to it. There was John and Carolyn, taken at the same time, but differently, needlessly. And there were her parents and her siblings. There was her ex-boyfriend Ted, whose house she slept in every night her first summer in New York, who would take her out on the fire escape to let the moist air heave around them as they talked about the future that seemed like it would go on and on, like the stream of red lights along Houston Street. There were her mentors and teachers, her girlfriends and editors. There was even Andy, who brought her into this secret garden and made this whole world available to her — at a price. These were all her ghosts, lined up behind her on that couch, touching her, every single one, with a little digit of influence. Yeah, I’ve had ghostwriters, she thought. And I hope they haunt you, every single one.