The Real Housewives of New York City
Now, I don’t know if Dorinda’s boyfriend, John, the dried yellow crust around the opening of the mustard bottle, does a lot of coke. I don’t know that, and I can’t say that he does. But let me share my experience of what it is like dealing with people on cocaine.
They talk a lot, they make strange accusations, they don’t stop moving around, they repeat themselves, they think grandiose thoughts, they mutter, they tend to get red in the face, and they often look a little bloated. Most notably, they also almost always have a friend named Sam, whom they decide to call out of nowhere to settle some imaginary argument that they have invented with no basis in fact. I’m not going to say that John, the piece of kale stuck in your teeth that you can’t get out even though your friend keeps telling you right where it is, was all coked up when he arrived at Dorinda’s bra party. But he was doing a lot of the things I have witnessed people who are on cocaine do.
Wow, that bra party sure did take a crazy turn, didn’t it? As Bethenny said, it really was a gift for her and everyone else who told Dorinda that her boyfriend was a gross jerk who should not be trusted and is an embarrassment to her. We know Dorinda thinks he’s an embarrassment because she said it about 19 million times while she was trying to throw him out of the room and he just refused to go before he collected “my girl,” like she was his Birkin or something.
I just couldn’t believe that he would walk in there and tell Bethenny that she stole the name Skinnygirl from his friend Sam who invented Skinny Cow (and sold it to Nestlé, as Bethenny pointed out). I couldn’t believe that he would tell her that she doesn’t know what love is really about because she can’t hold down a relationship. I couldn’t believe that he would say that everyone is jealous. I really couldn’t believe the last one. What is up with people always thinking those who are critical of them are “jealous”? I don’t think that Bethenny is jealous of a guy with a dry-cleaning business and too many striped button-downs with floral plackets. I’m sorry, I just don’t.
As Bethenny was standing up for herself and just eviscerating John, the broken heel of a drunk girl teetering home commando because she misunderstood “bottomless brunch,” I was reminded why we loved her all those years ago. She is sharp, clever, and unafraid. She will use her intelligence to cut people down and show them for who they really are. She didn’t really show that last season and often came off as shrill and above-it-all. Then I realized what Bethenny was missing last season: a worthy opponent. Heather and Kristen (RIP) were far too easy for Bethenny to vanquish. They were nothing but pests. When Bethenny was going up against the insanity of Kelly Bensimon or the snobbiness of the Countess, that is when she got everyone to root for her. Now that she’s set her laser focus against John, a balloon animal trapped in a spider web, we have something to root for again.
Poor Countess Crackerjacks and Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Virginia Wine Country Morgans. They’re like the J.V. squad this year, just getting one lousy scene an episode so we don’t forget their faces. In this episode, they look at apartments for Luann to rent, which would be totally stupid if not for Ann Cutbill Lenane, also known as Annie Gets It Done. I don’t know that anyone really calls her that, but she calls herself that, which anyone who has been to the AMC near Lincoln Square knows. When you get to the movies early, Annie always has commercials for herself before the previews roll and I have seen them a million times and I just love her. She’s one of those weird New York characters who you never want to go away but you don’t ever want to meet, like the sadly retired Dr. Zizmor or the Rent Is Too Damn High guy.
In the commercial, Annie wears a very sensible pantsuit in a shade of blue that will be known as Hillary Clinton Blue in 2029, and she holds a dainty little paper bag of popcorn while standing in the lobby of the movie theater. “Hi, I’m Annie Cutbill Lenane,” she says. “Also known as Annie Gets It Done. Let’s take a look at some of my new listings,” and then you watch some pictures like it’s an episode of Million Dollar Listing except you don’t have two gigantic muscle bros yelling at each other about developments. That’s it. That’s the whole commercial. This episode is the first time I’ve seen her speak any other words, and it made me a little sad, to be honest. I want to imagine her doing the same thing over and over again for the rest of her life, like a GIF made of flesh. Now I have to accept that she is a real human.
We quickly move on to the Hamptons, where Bethenny and Ramona take Dorinda out to dinner because they think she’s going to tell them that she has broken up with her boyfriend. No such thing occurs. Bethenny is shocked that she didn’t get an apology for what happened at the party. Of course Dorinda didn’t break up with him; she loves him. She has already decided to stick with this guy even though her friends hate him and her daughter hates him. Why would she ditch him because he was all disorderly at a bra party?
No, Dorinda is in this for the long haul. Now she’s taking the same tack with her friends that she takes with her daughter: separating them from the man she loves. That might not be possible this weekend because John, the kind of guy who brings a comically large bottle of rosé to your house for the weekend, is installed at Jules and Pizza Box’s construction project by the sea, where he brought a comically large bottle of rosé for the weekend.
Jules is lucky that the Eileen Davidson Accord is still in effect for two more episodes and I can’t talk smack about her. Between the Sour Patch Kids, being so skinny, her house, her Shabbat candles, her crazy van that looks like a transport for a paraplegic rugby squad, and her comment about “the elderly,” I would have a lot of things to rip into. But I will not. I will say, though, she gets right up there in the Housewives drama and insinuates herself expertly. She’s going to be a great addition to the cast, even if we want to drag her up to Salem and show her what happened to the witches.
Jules and Pizza Box went upstairs to bathe and bed the children while Dorinda was out at dinner with her best friends Pinot Grigio and NutraSweet Margarita and Giant Bottle of Wine. John left the house very quietly, making sure no one could hear the door close. He went out into the driveway, the gravel poking into his boat shoes at odd angles, making his feet bubble like the crust of a cheap pizza. There was a black Escalade idling by the side of the road. He went up and leaned toward the window as it slowly rolled down.
“Did you do exactly as I told you?” the woman inside asked, placing her Diet Coke in the cup holder in the center console.
“Yeah, I did,” he replied.
“But exactly like I told you, right? You told her what to say and how to treat them? You told her how to handle it? You used the script? Because last time I texted you when I was in the bedroom of that hotel room to tell you what they were saying about you and you called up Dorinda and shouted it when you were on speaker. On speaker. Don’t you know we all have to talk on the phone on speaker. What kind of amateur mistake … ” She was mid-sentence when he cut her off.
“All right, Jesus. Cool your twat. Yes, I did exactly like you said,” he said.
“Good. Then everything will go as planned. Get ready, it’s going to be a rough few months,” she said as she looked ahead. “Home Bobby,” she said as she rolled up the window and the car pulled away.
John just stood there on the street in Watermill, as the fireflies gathered in little clouds like they all knew each other and that their blinkering could be deciphered into some larger message somehow. He took a deep breath as he watched the car pull away and wondered where Jill Zarin slept at night — and how.