The Real Housewives of New York City
More and more each day, I regret the Eileen Davidson Accord. It’s very hard not to talk trash about a new Real Housewife until at least her fifth episode, especially when it comes to Jules, her husband Pizza Box, and their parenting style. Since I cannot say anything ill about her just yet, I will focus on the strangest aspect of her personality: her loathing and detesting of egg yolks. She’s like the opposite of Edie the Egg Lady from Pink Flamingos.
I told you last week that I personally witnessed Jules take the yolk part out of a deviled egg with a napkin and dispose of it. This week, on television, she makes her husband eggs, but without the egg yolks. Then she tells him to save her some eggs. Sorry, but those are not eggs. That’s like telling someone to save you a donut, but it was made without yeast or sugar so it’s just a hard crumble of sawdust-y dough. Everyone seems to think that Jules should eat a little bit more, including Carole, who is skinnier than one of those pennies you put through a crank at rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike. Maybe she just needs to get over her irrational fear of egg yolks. According to Section 3, Article 4, Parts A, and Subsection B of the Davidson Accord, this speculation is allowed.
Instead of Jules, most of this episode is about Dorinda and her boyfriend John, a trench coat that a million beetles put on when they want to walk around in the shape of a human. Poor Countess Crackerjacks and Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Sunnyside Farms Morgans, they have barely gotten any screen time yet this season. Sonja just swans around her apartment in a satin gown, talking about exorcising her demons by burning sage. Luann just throws shade at Carole, wearing the corpse of a Muppet that she found somewhere along the LIE while driving back from the Hamptons.
Actually, now that I think about it, most of the episode is Carole and Luann talking separately about their beef and Sonja and Ramona talking separately about their beef and everyone else talking about why the Countess is kind of the worst because she sends other people GIFs of her saying “Don’t be all like uncool.” Bethenny says, “She never misses the opportunity to do the wrong thing,” which is a burn so sick that even Hillary Clinton feels it just a little bit. As a whole, this episode is less about conflict or creating conflict and more about setting up the conflict. It is like stage-managing a production of Little Foxes, but no one wants to see the stage managers, which is why they all wear black and not even in a chic way.
The only real conflict happens at Dorinda’s bra-measuring party, where they finally decide to confront Dorinda about her boyfriend, John, a massive glob of steamed dumplings stuck to each other because they’ve been sitting in a Styrofoam container too long. I’m of two minds about this fight. Obviously, I think that John, seven thumbs connected to one hand, is totally gross and I don’t want him to be around. However, Dorinda is right: She is a grown woman and she loves him for whatever reason, so if she wants to spend time with him, then she will. If the other ladies don’t like it, don’t invite them to their functions. “I choose him,” she says. “Like him or don’t like him. He’s showing up and he’s part of my life.” I can’t disagree with that, even though, given that ultimatum, I would only see Dorinda three times a year for brunch when her boyfriend is out of town at some sort of dry-cleaning conference.
This is also the wrong time to bring up their problems with John. Bethenny just sort of pulls it out of her ass when Ramona and Carole are fighting about whether or not Carole paid enough attention to Ramona over the summer. (As far as Ramona is concerned, not even a malevolent spirit that has taken over her body could be paying her as much attention as she needs.) Then Bethenny chimes in and says, “While we’re talking about being honest, John is gross.”
Yes, Dorinda is making excuses for John and trying to sell him to the ladies, but why doesn’t Bethenny wait for Dorinda to do that and say, “There you go, selling us on John again?” It’s sort of like how you need to train a dog by shoving its nose in its own shit. If you punish it later, the dog has no idea why you’re so angry or what it might have done wrong. To your poor poopy-pants dog, the attack seems completely unmotivated.
I’m sure that’s how it felt to Dorinda, who goes from zero to screaming in two-and-a-half seconds. Ramona doesn’t help things at all. She tells a story about how John, the gunk on your cell-phone screen after you’ve been talking on it for 20 minutes, was at a party and told everyone that he likes to get drunk, take a lot of Viagra, and then have sex with his girlfriend for like six hours. What is there to even get mad about? The big scandal is that he told people that he has great sex with his girlfriend? Doesn’t everyone already know that the two of them are making the beast with two hairy backs?
How is this even a thing? It’s not like he was talking trash about Dorinda, her daughter, her friends, or any of her relatives. It’s not like he was rubbing up against one of her co-workers inappropriately at a work event (like he did to Kristen last year). If anything, what he said was sweet. He was professing desire for his girlfriend.
Next week, it might be a different story when John shows up toasted to the party uninvited, but right now I’ve got Dorinda’s back on this one, mostly due to how the argument went down. I’m not down with the substance of it, because I would get rid of that guy faster than a dermatologist cuts off a skin tag.
Ostensibly, they are all there to try on bras and so Jules tries to get everyone to pay attention to the activity at hand. Alba, the bra-size specialist, goes around the room chastising everyone for what they think their bra sizes are, handing out new prescriptions between righteous cackles. All the ladies are doffing their coats (I tried to steal Bethenny’s amazing biker jacket with my mind) and trying on bras and it’s like a slumber party all over again, especially when Carole and Jules fight over who has the cutest training bra. They rummage through the racks of bras and camisoles, boy shorts and thongs, all looking for something not that will please a man, but will please them, something that will feel safe and slinky next to their skin — that explosive secret that can propel them through the day.
“Do you have any more of these?” Ramona asks, her glass of pinot propped between her arm and her breast while she holds up a hanger with two hands.
“Let me check,” Alba says. She goes off into the next room in the hotel, the one that is filled with their cases and lingerie stock. There is a woman standing in there, adjusting the straps on a bra.
“I told you this is the one she would be looking for, was I right?” the woman asks.
“Like always,” Alba says with a smile as she reaches out for the garment.
“Just one second,” the woman says. She takes a bottle out of her bag that looks like a baby-powder bottle you would find at the local CVS but is totally unlabeled. She sprinkles some in each cup and then blows on it, so that the powder is completely camouflaged into the fabric. “That should do exactly what we need it to,” she says.
Alba takes the bra back into the party and the woman sits on the bed, sending the open suitcase scuttling a little bit toward her rear as the mattress indents. She can hear the laughter and talking in the next room, the peaks and valleys of joy and frustration, agreement and fear, the emotions roiling at that small gathering like the bubbles of a stew pushing ingredients to the side as they struggle to burst through the top of the pot.
How could I make them turn into screams? Jill Zarin thought as she kicked off her heels onto the nubby carpet and found a way to make herself comfortable.