I knew it would be hard for Bethenny Frankel to return to The Real Ice-Cream Churners of Talenti Gardens, and this episode made it exactly clear why. Bethenny walked into Countess Crackerjack’s new house with her legs bowed out and a massive set of truck nuts on display. And not just normal truck nuts, either, like American flag truck nuts with glitter on them and a gun rack somehow attached. That was the attitude she had when she approached all of these women. She came on like this was her game, like it was her show, and she had all the answers. But she left it all behind. She is the guest here, literally and figuratively, and that is why she got in a fight with Ramona. This was the world’s first dick-measuring contest with exactly zero dicks (unless you count the one gay guy who is friends with Ramona, and all the pictures Sonja has on her phone).
Now I’m a big fan of Bethenny, and I’m glad she’s back. No one can deliver a zinger like her, and no one thinks on her feet in an unscripted situation as quickly as she does. There is a reason they gave her a talk show. However, she came on very strong at the party at LuAnn’s. She just showed up, tried to take control and shout over everyone, and make it known that she is the richest and most famous one in the room. It was a little bit unsavory.
Not all of the Housewives helped. Heather’s whole thing about how Bethenny needed to buy Crackerjacks a Rolex or a car since she was there when Bethenny named the Skinny Girl Margarita was just cringeworthy, especially when Heather let us know that if she sells her company Yummerz Tummerz, she is going to write a big, fat check to her friend who helped her name it. (Someone should cast a spell on that friend and banish her to a universe where words and sound do not exist as punishment for making us say “Yummerz Tummerz” every time we talk about Heather’s shapewear.) Heather’s declaration just screamed like she wanted people to compare her business to Bethenny’s, like she was trying really hard to fit in.
It has to be hard for Bethenny coming into this group where most of the women know more about her (and her financial and personal situations) than she does about them. It’s the women she already knows who are going to give her the most difficult time. Yes, Ramona getting all worked up about Bethenny inviting Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Tuskaloosa Morgans over for brunch was pretty stupid. It was just wrestling for control. Bethenny was showing up and saying that she had a plan, and she now has the means and clout to make her plans a reality (something she had neither of the first time she was on the show), and that she was taking charge; Ramona was saying that she has been in control of this punch for several years and doesn’t like being supplanted.
Bethenny walking away was the right way to handle the situation, but telling Ramona that she just doesn’t want to hang out with her because she’s having personal problems seemed a little callous. But hey, I get it. I wouldn’t want to have brunch with Ramona, either.
For a minute, though, I thought we were going to get a new Ramona. Not only does she look amazing (she finally changed the brush on her Clarisonic or something) but she actually did apologize to Crackerjacks for talking shit about her divorce. And, as CJ noted, she actually seemed to mean it. Who is this person? It’s like Ramona’s eyes shrunk three sizes that day. She also is rethinking her friendship with Sonja, who doesn’t want to talk about feelings, she just wants to have more Chablis and share sex stories. I love Sonja, but she is a floozy. She is the girl who smuggles beer into a party in her purse and then puts ice in it because it’s too warm. She is not the kind of girl who you sit down with and discuss your existential angst, unless “existential angst” is some kind of new craft cocktail made out of whiskey, apple pucker, and crushed bergamot, served in a mason jar with a cinnamon spring and a taxidermied head of a Rat of Nimh.
But no, Ramona is just the same old Ramona, crazy and manic as ever. It’s sort of like your friend who goes on an insane diet, and at first she’ll only go with you to vegan-health-food restaurants, and then after a few weeks, she’ll be like, “Oh, we were so good at lunch, we deserve to split a cupcake.” Then, after two months, she’s like, “Meet you at Shake Shack. If you get there first, order me a hamburger, two orders of fries, and a concrete. But tell them to hold the cheese on the burger. Dairy is so fattening.” That is Ramona. She’s seen the error of her ways, but once the shock of her current situation wears off, she’ll be back on the saddle like a Pony Express rider with a case of the crabs.
I am sad to report, however, that the Real Housewives Institute did not get invited to Countess Crackerjack’s estate sale in the Hamptons, where she allowed the rabble to root around her costume jewelry, her old knickknacks, all of Victoria’s bad paintings from art school, the Playgirl magazine she was on the cover of, and whatever broken tennis rackets and seashell candle-holders she had knocking around that old Hamptons house of hers. That is very sad, because we found out that the person who bought her property is knocking the house down. We would have bought the whole thing, transported it to the Real Housewives Institute’s permanent location in the parking garage beneath Bravo, and set it up as a site of historical relevance. It would have been a place to do Civil War reenactments, but only for Housewives fights that happened at the beach.
The Countess’s new house is quite darling. My favorite part is that Crackerjack’s 18-year-old son Noel gets his own “cottage” in the back. It’s so funny that they put some carpeting and insulation in the shed that used to house the lawnmower and are calling it Noel’s cottage. It’s very quaint. Other than that, it’s the sort of classic cottage that one finds in Sag Harbor, which is where Andy Cohen also has his house, and it is a very nice community with lots of nice shops and restaurants. It is not, however, technically the Hamptons. Saying that her house in Sag Harbor is in the Hamptons is sort of like living in Yonkers and saying you’re from New York City. They’re very close by, culturally similar, and easy to journey from one place to the other, but they are not quite comparable for a number of reasons.
LuAnn’s new Sag Harbor house does come with Adam, a super-hot chef who is getting Carole simmering on medium heat. I have a feeling that we’re going to be seeing more of him throughout the season, but I will say that Carole is quite lucky to find a man who is not only that attractively attractive (in her words) but can also make a mean meatball. I certainly wouldn’t mind spending some time rolling Adam’s meatballs, washing his zucchini, tasting his eggplant, or roasting his sausage. I’m just going to stop there because we could be here all night.
That was a very eventful night for Adam. He wasn’t used to cooking for a group so large or so, how could he put it tactfully, so lively. Yes, they were lively, with their Pinot and their long, heated discussion about brunch. He thought about Carole and what she would be doing for brunch. As he packed up his knives, he thought about what he would make her. Probably an avocado toast with just a few red-pepper flakes and the kiss of a lemon. Maybe an egg-white omelette with cubes of heirloom tomatoes and whatever kind of cheese she had in her refrigerator. Definitely juice and coffee. He would like that. He would like to make Carole breakfast, he decided right then, as he hoisted up his large Tupperware crate of tools and ingredients that he brought over for the party.
He walked out in front of the cottage, his feet looking for the pavestones set deep into the lawn with the dewy grass growing over them. He always missed them, his Birkenstocks sinking a little too far into the turf. He pushed a button on his key chain and the back door of his SUV opened on command with a flash of the taillights. He slid his box in and closed the door. He could hear the crickets from the backyard chirping rhythmically as he went over the details of his avocado-toast recipe in his head, preparing the meal over and over and over as he got in the car and sparked up the ignition.