The Real Housewives of New York City
In nearly a decade as a Grand Maester of the Reality Television Arts, Ramona Singer has never said anything as true, profound, or revealing about herself as, “I don’t think that oral sex is sex. I’m a good Catholic girl.” My mind was blown into so many smithereens that they’ll still be picking bits of it out of the East River when Zendaya’s great-granddaughter is appointed the U.S. ambassador to the Chinese colony on Jupiter. First of all, of course Ramona doesn’t think that oral sex is sex because that means she can go around giving out BJs like Brett Ratner’s butler hands out Valtrex next to the hot tub and not think she’s a slut. That way she can still pretend to be morally superior to people like Luann, who let even the most casual suitor get the whole bait and tackle.
Naturally, this statement is also a great descriptor of the Catholic doctrine about no sex before marriage. Good Catholic girls have to remain virgins but no one says anything about all of their other holes, which is why they offer them up to keep their men happy. Being a good Catholic, like being a good Housewife, is all about finding creative ways around the rules so that you can convince yourself that you’re not sinning. Also, like a good Catholic, Ramona thinks that if she confesses her ills against one of her castmates, she should immediately be forgiven. Ramona seems to forget that the sacrament of confession also includes penance for one’s actions.
It was this comment that led us to learn that Ramona has only had intercourse with three guys since her divorce, but she pleads the fifth on how many private skin flute recitals she has performed. That means she’s probably getting more play than a tennis ball during Wimbledon weekend. This came up during their whole conversation about sex around the dinner table, where we learned a whole bunch of great things from the ladies: Dorinda doesn’t do anal and her boyfriend, John, is hung like a Scotsman on Outlander, Carole thinks that George Clooney is an excellent lover, Sonja will try to make out with anyone (even the obviously gay waiter and chefs who came to gawk and stare at a real live Housewives dinner party), and Tinsley tried anal with her husband and it made her cry because he is hung like Bill Cosby’s jury. #TooSoon.
While that sex talk is by far one of the craziest mealtime conversations we’ve seen since Kelly Bensimon channeled Don King on Scary Island, the conversation they have in the morning is much more interesting and difficult to parse. I’m talking about the one where Sonja Tremont-Morgan of the Chris Christie Island Beach State Park Morgans says that she is “transitioning” in her view of Luann and Tom as husband and wife. People are going to say, “God, Sonja just needs to forget about it,” but I understand it. First of all, Luann and Tom went from zero to married faster than a DeLorean with a flux capacitor, so Sonja needs some time to adjust. Also, because Luann refuses to acknowledge the relationship that Sonja and Tom had, that means that Sonja is still holding onto it and wants her feelings to be acknowledged. She needs closure before she can let go.
SMIFFEE (which stands for “Sonja Morgan is my favorite floozy for ever and ever”) to all of this, but Sonja also does need to let it go. She needs to move on and stop bringing it up. We all know that is true, but I think that her feelings need to be considered. Most people just think that someone who numbs herself with booze and washing her thongs in a bidet doesn’t have feelings, but she does. At least Sonja recognizes and makes public the fact that she is trying to accept the holy union that is Tom and Mrs. D’Agostino Crackerjacks. As she said, she’s trying to be better, so they should accept that.
Now it’s Luann’s part of the conversation that I don’t understand. First she asks, “Does it look like I’ve transitioned?” Now, in a post–Caitlyn Jenner world, everyone knows that “transitioning” is also a term used in the trans community to mean confirming one’s gender. Also, anyone who reads all of her press as much as Luann does knows that some people (including Carole Radziwill) call her LuMan because they think that she seems like a transgender person. If I were Luann, I would not walk into that trap in the slightest because the answer to that question, for a million people watching the show, will be, “No tea no shade, but yeah, sister, you kinda do.”
Then she makes another strange logical jump and says, “What does Sonja think we have to transition to? A partouze?” Thanks to the cunning linguists at Bravo (sorry, I couldn’t resist), we learned partouze is the French word for orgy. This just demonstrates that Luann is totally tone-deaf to Sonja’s problem. Sonja wants to transition from having a sexual friendship with Tom to having a non-sexual friendship with Tom and Luann. Luann still thinks Sonja wants to get it in, but obviously she does not. By failing to recognize that Sonja needs time, Luann is just making things worse.
Speaking of making things worse, in their later conversation, she totally lords over everyone that she is in a relationship. Like Dorinda and everyone else points out, it’s kinda gross. First of all, no one wants to have a smug married person at the table, especially when that woman is over 50 and we all know that her husband is macking on chicks every time he goes to the Regency, which he does with the regularity of Jamie Lee Curtis after four Activias. Secondly, she talks about it all the time, even though she claims she doesn’t.
The rest of the day is occupied by skiing, which is both surprising and unsurprising at the same time. I was surprised at how good everyone was at skiing, especially Bethenny; I was not surprised that she has a SkinnyGirl-branded snowboard. I was surprised that Ramona would hire a ski instructor and then insist on skiing with everyone else while supposedly getting a lesson; I was not surprised that she would then treat poor ski instructor Tim (who is a champion freestyle skier who grew up in Stratton) like he was her cabin boy. I was also not surprised that Ramona would think that she owned the entire mountain, trying to bat Tinsley and Luann away from her. I was completely unsurprised by the fact that Luann almost burned the house down lighting the fire, since this seems to be a skill that escapes all of these women, like humility or thinking that making eggs isn’t like the biggest deal in the world.
The biggest revelation of this episode is that Bethenny’s ex-husband Jason Hoppy was arrested for stalking her, but we all knew about that. (More stalking charges were filed just last month.) There isn’t much to say here other than I really do feel badly that Bethenny and her daughter have to endure this. That is an awful environment to raise a child in, so if Bethenny is venting some of her anger at the women on the show, I understand that. It’s probably not great, but it’s understandable.
The great thing about this episode, especially during the sex talk around the table, is that for the first time in a long time all of the women seem to be enjoying each other. Sure, they have some small squabbles, but all in all, it is a fun time with girlfriends laughing and behaving inappropriately around each other. That is when I enjoy this show the most, when we get to see them really having a good time. The fights can be explosive, but just like Skittles and anal sex, they’re best when enjoyed in moderation and are entirely mutually exclusive. (Just ask my boyfriend.)
The other amazing bits are Ramona doing Sonja’s hair, which looks sort of like a wombat trying to give someone a French braid, and Luann being set upon by all sides, only to look at Bethenny and say, “These are my friends. These are my friends. These are my friends.” It seems less about that actual dinner and more about her looking to her longtime co-worker and saying, “This is what we sold our lives for. You were with me when it started, it wasn’t always great, but you are the only one who understands how this has affected my life. As much as I love it, I also want to beat myself over the head with a melon baller until I am unconscious.”
After dinner all the women retired to their rooms, both expansive and otherwise. As they all ascended, Luann went downstairs into her small bedroom in the basement with the windows in long strips across the top of the ceiling. She crossed her arms and stared up at them with the lights still off, the moon and the stars and their reflection on the snow casting a very clean light into her room. She thought about them all, these “friends” of hers, each in their turn, and all the ways they had harmed her, each in their turn. She was so lost in thought that she didn’t even hear the crunching of the snow as it came toward her window, but she did see the shadow as it blotted out the night sky.
“I’ll be your friend, Luann,” the woman whispered through the window, staring at Luann in the eyes as she bent down at a horribly awkward angle. “I’ll always be here for you.” Luann took one more quick look at her and walked to the edge of the window, pulling the cord to let the blinds down, leaving her in total darkness. Once again, Jill Zarin was left out in the cold with only the glimmer of the heavens to light the way to whatever cold cavern it is where she spends her nights alone.