The Real Housewives of New York City
“Hello, my name is Dame Brian Moylan, president and founder of the Real Housewives Institute, and I am a Sonja Tremont Morgan–aholic.”
“Hello, Dame Brian.”
This is the way I need to start this recap because I would like to just talk about Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Urinal Woolite Morgans for about 19 million years. You can sit and listen for a little while, get up to go use the bathroom, grab yourself a Pamplemousse La Croix, wait for Halley’s Comet to circle the Earth twice and come back, and I will still be talking about Sonja T. Morgan and how the towels in her bathroom have the monogram STAM, because, apparently, she has a whole ’nother initial that has gone previously undiscovered by reality-television science? What is that A? Are we sure that’s her monogram? Maybe it’s like her four-point life philosophy that she teaches the interns. “I tell all my interns,” she says in an instructional YouTube video that is currently playing only in my mind, “to always remember STAM. It stands for Service is The Altimate Measure. Well, that’s what it’s supposed to mean, and I know there is an ‘is’ in there and that ‘ultimate’ is spelled with a U, but I already had the towels so now it’s a fun game we have where we go around saying STAM to remind everyone that serving me is the ultimate measure of what they were put on Earth to do.”
Is Sonja Tremont Morgan always right? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean she is not absolutely perfect. Who other than Sonja would carry all of her lacy thongs into the guest bathroom at her apartment, throw them in a heap on the floor, and then go through each one talking about the merits of each thong to nobody? It’s like she’s addressing the Spirits of Underwear Past or something. There is no other person on this beautiful green marble that we call a planet who would spend the better part of an evening figuring out the right pair of panties to wear to go watch a movie at a guy’s house. I mean, we all have a few pairs of our favorite underwear that we put on to feel sexy (or for public consumption), but to devise a whole elaborate ritual surrounding it? That is Sonja T. Morgan levels of STAM.
Oh, and then the best part: After selecting which thong she is going to wear on her date with Frenchie, her new French boyfriend whose name is as creative as that of all of the animals that live in Carole’s house, she washes her thong in the bidet. (Editor’s note: That final word should be pronounced the same way Sonja says it, which is BEE-day.) Let me just repeat that for you: Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Frederick’s of Hollywood Morgans washes her thongs in her bidet. Let that fact wash over you. Just let that image marinate in your brain and imbue your entire body with its juices. Now let it go and release it with joy into the universe and let it dance into the moonlight and do a pirouette on a cloud.
Sonja handles her confrontation with Dorinda perfectly. She walks into that dinner party and acts like she had no problem with Dorinda, because that is how Sonja handles things. Did she say those things in the press? Probably. But then again, all of these women know that the tabloids and the Housewives press spread lies, innuendo, and rumors, so why they would believe any of this media is beyond me. But as Dorinda rails against Sonja, she keeps her cool and just sits there calmly defending herself and looking like a real lady, while Dorinda comes off like a dragon who got her unwashed thongs stuck in a bidet.
Dorinda really does look bad making all of those jokes about Sonja’s “Holland Tunnel” and cucumbers and bananas. Thank God that Carole tells Dorinda that such juvenile jokes are below her. Even Ramona thinks it is inappropriate. However, no one gives Dorinda a talking-to like Ramona’s friend Glenn, who is sitting at the end of the table. (I feel like every single one of Ramona’s male friends is named Glenn.) Bruce interrupts this whole kerfuffle and Candace Bushnell trying to choke down some pasta while her eyes bulge out of her head to propose a toast to goodwill and happiness in the New Year, and then his wife, Connie (all of Glenn’s wives are always named Connie), is like, “Yeah, what he said. Let’s just be nice.”
Um, do these people not realize that they are at a Housewives dinner? This is just how they roll. It’s like Bruce picked up a copy of Watership Down and then was like, “This is about bunnies?” Yes, Bruce. It is. It’s about boiling all the damn bunnies. It’s just like the next morning over Ecto Cooler and Champagne cocktails, when Candace Bushnell asks Ramona, Luann, and Dorinda, “Do you ever wake up and regret all the things you do?” Um, does a bear feel bad about shitting on a Catholic pope in the woods? Of course they don’t! Who are these muggles who have no idea what sort of alternate universe their souls have been sucked into? They should know this was going to happen when they signed the release form!
There are so many more things we need to say about the party! How about when Ramona walks by one of her guests and is like, “Do you need anything?” and he replies, “Just a water,” so her response is, “Well, help yourself.” That is the most Ramona Singer thing to ever happen. “Oh, you don’t want a wine or a Fireball shot or a piece of my birthday cake? Well, fuck you then. Get it yourself.” She has no interest in helping that dude, she just wants to look like she is helping and then be all, “I provided everything here for you, just go and get it, you lazy ass.” Amazing.
What about when Carole tells our heroine Sonja about Bethenny’s naked video on Cinemax? “Oh, Cinemax is top-shelf!” Sonja says, adding that they have some very fine productions. For some reason, I don’t think that Sonja was talking about The Knick or Quarry (even though they are both excellent and you should watch them). That’s what is so odd about Dorinda making fun of Sonja for being in a dirty play and getting down and dirty with a stripper. It’s not like any of this is secret. These are things that Sonja is proud of and doesn’t care that anyone knows. Just look at what she tells Carole, about how she’s even skankier than Bethenny and her daughter is fine. Then the editors finally get to unleash upon the world a highlight reel of Sonja flashing her vagina on camera, which you know they have been sitting on for years, just waiting for the moment she would give a reason for it to see the light of day. (She often says the same thing about her vagina. ZING!)
Speaking of Bethenny, she doesn’t bother to show up at the party because she’s still mad at Ramona, but she is sitting out in the car listening to all of the screaming and making comments about it. Is there any better metaphor for Bethenny on this season than that? She’s adjacent to the drama, but only wants to be a part of it on her terms — and when she can’t be, she’s just peering in the window, rolling her eyes and saying mean things. I get that she’s sick of forgiving Ramona, but Bethenny knows what she signed up for. Hanging out with people you hate is part of the reason you gets a paycheck for this.
Back to my lover, Sonja, who was also brilliant the next morning at brunch at Luann’s. She leaves the house ready to forgive. “Dorinda doesn’t mean any of those things she said about me. Half of them don’t even make sense,” she says. That’s why I love Sonja. She’s delusionally forgiving. She and Tinz sneak into Luann’s house and then lurk in the hallway, listening to what they have to say about them. Sonja hears Dorinda say she doesn’t like a woman who lives in the past. Then Sonja walks in, she and Dorinda hug, and it’s like, “Yup, we’re over it.“
There is a lot of lurking this episode, like when Tinz is lurking in the hall overhearing Sonja, but thanks to the Eileen Davidson Accord, we have to wait a few more episodes before we can really get into Tinsley. It’s going to be an interesting occasion when we do. What we didn’t see was Sonja and Tinsley walking back to our friend’s house after lunch. As they approached the house, Tinsley heard a “psst!” coming from the tall hedges surrounding a neighbor’s property, but she didn’t let on quite yet. She went into the house with Sonja and told her she was going to take out the trash.
After dumping the bags in the bin, Tinsley hustled down the street a little and said to the bush, “You almost blew my cover!”
“Oh, please, you could hit that twat with an oil tanker and she wouldn’t notice,” the woman said, emerging from the hedge and brushing some stray dead leaves off her fur-trimmed coat. “Did you put the cameras where I told you?”
“Yes,” Tinsley said. “And I plugged them into a power source. Does that mean we’re even?”
“Yes,” the woman said. “I’m going to call the judge now and your record will be expunged. You can return to Palm Beach anytime you like. You can even stay with me. Now that Ali’s gone we have an extra …”
“No, thanks,” Tinsley interrupted. “I think I’ve used up all the guys in New York with fetishes for doing it in a little girl’s room.”
“Ha. Fair enough,” the woman said. They had walked up the street and Tinsley peeled off into the driveway and walked toward the house without even saying good-bye. A black SUV pulled up and the woman picked a twig from the bottom of her platform boots. “Ugh, this place is disgusting,” she said as she climbed into the back seat of the car and pulled out her phone. She pressed a few buttons and there it was. Ramona, Luann, and Candace Bushnell sitting around a table, drinking neon-green cocktails. She clicked her phone off and threw it casually on the seat beside her as a cold smile slowly spread on her face like the solid wax slowly giving way to liquid around a flaming wick.