The Real Housewives of New York City
I know saying it this early in the season is sort of like deciding that you love a restaurant because of how nice it feels when you first put the napkin in your lap, but I’m enjoying this season of the Real Cradle Robbers of Kumon Algebra Tutoring Services. It just seems loose and easy like the celery stalk in a Bloody Mary. People are interacting in new and exciting combos that create wonderful new dynamics and feeling each other out before settling into the intractable trench warfare that is the inevitable result of every season. But right now the ladies just seem fun and like they’re having a good time. It’s not like I’m waiting for the next moment when Aviva is going to do something awful, sitting tensely on the couch with my sphincter all scrunched up like I’m trying to keep in a shart the size of Lake Mead.
That said, not much happened, but I feel like I was at a really good party and that makes me happier than Ramona with an acre foot of pinot. The big event was Bethenny’s birthday party, which she says she sort of haphazardly planned, but then she has a private room at a restaurant reserved and the right number of chairs (and a constellation of Skinny Girl on the bar with the labels all facing the camera), so how spur of the moment was this, really? But Bethenny put on a ’70s disco jumpsuit that was so amazing that Chic wants to write a song about it and have the ghost of Sylvester sing it.
Bethenny shows up at the restaurant without a date, but Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Hollister Outlet Store Morgans was there with her date Dominik, the young gentleman whom she met at Beautique last episode (which appears to have been taped the night before Bethenny’s birthday party). Dominik, whose name has more K than a candy raver at Palladium in 1997, is painfully handsome. He is not especially bright, it seems, but he is handsome and well dressed and seems smart enough to know to keep his mouth shut, which is exactly how smart a man with his good looks needs to be. He brings his friend Eric to the party so that the two of them can swap the final consonants of their first names if necessary. Also, Eric has a thing for Native American divorcées in statement necklaces, so he’s pining away for Countess Crackerjacks. He is also painfully handsome.
At first, I was kind of like, “Good for Sonja and LuAnn, scoring these gorgeous boys who seem to be into them.” Who hasn’t punched a little bit above their weight class a time or two? But then their roommate Matt shows up, and it is apparent that these three 24-year-olds are all models sharing the same apartment. I have some theories about these three. Possibly they are all living in a handicapped stall of the Port Authority men’s room and are hanging out with women of means for a free meal and, hopefully, a more comfortable place to stay. The other possibility is that they are grifters. These guys are Nigerian Princes and they need me to send them some money so that they can get the inheritance and will gladly cut me in after their assets are unfrozen. That is the only explanation for these illogically hot guys hanging out at a drunken dinner party where women pushing 50 twerk on a dinner table.
Carole’s relationship with Adam seems a bit different. While Sonja and the Countess are happy to spin around the room with some former Abercrombie salesmen and sniff their hair like coifs of cotton candy, that’s one thing. Carole and Adam, on the other hand, seem like they have a real thing going on. I love Carole’s story about getting wasted with Adam on Halloween because she ate a Gummi Bear and started tripping “out of my mind.” First of all, Carole, the scientific measurement for how much one is tripping is “balls.” If you are tripping really hard, you say that you are “tripping balls.” No one is sure why, but it probably has something to do with the LSD craze among debutantes in the later half of the 20th century. Secondly, who hasn’t been at a party where they ate a confection that was laced with some sort of hallucinogen? Just three years ago on Pride Sunday I ate a chocolate filled with magic mushrooms. Everywhere I looked there were rainbows and abdominals and I thought I was hallucinating a twink dressed like a unicorn but there was really a twink dressed like a unicorn, and everything was right in the big gay world.
Anyway, when Carole got all panicked on whatever drug was in that offending Gummi Bear, he knew exactly what to do. Let’s face it, Adam looks like he definitely has bootleg copies of Dave Matthews Band concerts stashed somewhere in his apartment, so he definitely knows what to do when a trip goes south. We don’t get to see that night, though. We only see them together at Spin, a ping-pong establishment that, fittingly, Susan Sarandon opened for her much younger boyfriend. They really seem smitten with each other.
From young love to a completely ridiculous fight in an Italian restaurant, it is now time to talk about Dorinda, the clearance rack at Caché. Each week I just like this woman less and less. First she goes on this whole tirade about how she has to keep her daughter, Hannah, a Teddy Ruxtpin who learned to run on Red Bull and vodkas and Andy Capp’s Hot Fries, and her boyfriend separate because her daughter doesn’t like her boyfriend. That’s a classic problem and it’s a pickle that’s hard to get out of, but one way not to get out is by screaming at your boyfriend in public for no good reason.
I’m still not sure why Dorinda, the empty wrappers you keep in your Whitman Sampler so that the map on the bottom of the lid still makes sense, got mad at John for talking about her daughter. He surely understands that he’s always going to be second string to Hannah, but that doesn’t mean that he needs to be treated like a second-class citizen. Dorinda, fingerprints on a wine glass, says that Hannah has nothing to do with John, but she clearly does. The fact that she can cause him so much pain is certainly something to do with him. Dorinda, the adapter to an appliance you threw out two moves ago, either needs to dump John at her daughter’s insistence or find a way that the two can operate on the same plane because keeping them separate is not working for anyone and is only causing a crazy woman to fly into hysterical rages when she should be focused on a rather creamy burrata.
Speaking of rudeness, it is now time to talk about Bethenny, who once again comes off as extremely unlikable. After Bethenny’s birthday party, Heather calls Kristen (who seems more and more like a will-o-the-wisp that we are collectively imagining) and tells her that all of the Housewives were at Bethenny’s bday but she was not invited. Kristen is a little ticked off, but not that bad. She asks her maid about it and she keeps repeating, “Who cares?” That is exactly the right attitude to have, but little does anyone know that her maid is actually just like Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and the only phrase she is capable of saying is “Who cares?” “Do you think you can pick the kids up at school today?” “Who cares?” “Ouch, I really stubbed my toe!” “Who cares?” “Camus certainly changed the face of French literature forever and his Sisyphus is really the key to understanding the modern condition, certainly when it comes to squaring reality television fame with the deconstruction of Lacan’s mirror stage.” “Who cares?”
Anyway, at dinner Heather brings this up to Bethenny to do her a solid in case Kristen brings it up. When Bethenny hears the news she pretends to fall asleep on her hand and snooze. Okay, ha-ha, but Bethenny doesn’t relent, and she makes a show of holding the pose and keeping her eyes closed while Heather goes on talking, which is incredibly rude. Then, she tells Heather that she doesn’t want to hear it and that if she wants to talk about it, she can tell Dorinda, a pair of headphones where only the right earbud works, because Bethenny doesn’t want to hear it.
This is the same problem we had last week, where Bethenny gets to decide what is talked about when and anyone who doesn’t hold to her agenda gets mocked. It’s not a very good way of going about making new friends or coming across well on national television. To make it even worse, when Heather tries to explain why Kristen’s feelings were hurt, Bethenny says, “That’s ridiculous.” Well, yes, it might be ridiculous, but Bethenny is not the emotion police. She already lords over the conversation like Judge Judy with a leaky pair of Depends; now she wants to regulate how we feel too?
I’m Hashtag Team Heather on this one. As she pointed out, a better way to approach this would be to say to Kristen, “Hey, sorry your feelings were hurt. I sort of threw this thing together last minute and I don’t know you very well yet. It was a simple oversight and you’ll be invited to my next party, I promise.” Done. Problem solved. That’s all it takes. Instead Bethenny has to go on this tear and then insult Heather saying she was only Carole’s plus one. Bethenny doesn’t have to be a liar about it, but you can still tell the truth in a delicate way and not piss absolutely everyone off. Bethenny has mistaken being gruff as a billy goat for being real.
After that flare-up, the women finished their food in relative silence, paid the check, and then walked off in their separate directions after a bevy of air kisses on the sidewalk. While everyone was in their cab or Uber, a woman wearing dark sunglasses and a head wrap walked into the restaurant they just left. “Excuse me,” she said to the hostess, “My friends just left and I think one of them left something on the table. Can you show me where they were sitting?” The hostess walked her over to the now-vacant four top, with the napkins balled up on the table and the Champagne flutes popping their last stray bubbles. The woman looked down at the table and saw the scrap of a fortune cookie sitting on the table. “The past cannot be revisited. The present cannot be resisted. The future can not be remembered.” Jill Zarin smiled as if she just discovered the secret of the universe. She stashed the fortune in the inside pocket of her purse and walked out onto the sidewalk where the first brown leaves of fall skittered across the sidewalk, dragging themselves toward a storm drain.