The Real Housewives of New York City
Here at the Real Housewives Institute, we proudly love all of our caged little subjects equally, but I’m beginning to think that some of these educated, successful, and otherwise very capable women are complete idiots. No, I’m not talking about the way they behave, but the way they speak. In the first 30 seconds of this episode, Ramona tells the barista at Sur La Table, “I’d like an expresso,” like she’s your Aunt Lolly ordering at Starbucks for the very first time.
Nearly every one of the women has some sort of malapropism or just completely misinformed statement this week. Dorinda gets in early, talking about how Mary Tyler Moore threw her hat in the air in Manhattan and that is what made her want to move to the big city. Um, Dorinda, my dear, dear darling, the last time I checked you didn’t live in Minneapolis.
Bethenny strikes when she asks Carole if her “bouche” was “amused” after sex with Adam, but I truly think that she actually knows that the bouche in French is a mouth, not, you know, a place for vagina dentata. In her usual Bethenny way, she is just trying a little too hard to be funny. Carole, probably the most intelligent and well-informed Housewife, finds herself in an awkward position when she needs to explain her joke about Tinsley’s “wooden tutu.” She says it’s because a person who can drink a lot has a “wooden leg.” Nope, sorry. It’s actually a hollow leg. You know, so the booze has a place to go other than the liver, the hips, and the wrinkles on all of these women’s faces. A “hollow tutu” would have actually been a really clever riposte.
But once again, Ramona takes the cake when she tells Bethenny that they are like “oil and vinegar.” Bethenny, of course, immediately corrects her and says that oil and vinegar go together and she meant they are like “oil and water.” But Ramona insists that she was right, convinced that she and Bethenny are the most disgusting balsamic vinaigrette to be found outside of a Midtown Chop’d during the lunch rush. Seated next to Ramona, Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Fidget Spinner Morgans just raises her fake Cara Delevingne eyebrows that are two shades too dark and allows Ramona to continue to make an ass out of herself.
Given the choice to talk about Bethenny and Ramona’s stupid fight and Sonja’s body-hair situation, which comprises a shockingly large amount of this episode considering how little of it there is, I would rather grow gray in Sonja’s gardens any day. Those eyebrows, well, they are a little bit severe, but I think after she’s shampooed out some of the dye I’ll be able to live with it. However, I could spend about three weeks talking about her visit to a depilatory salon called Romeo and Juliette. What a name for a salon! Is that because anyone who pulls down a woman’s knickers and looks for some hirsute confirmation of maturity will say, “Where for art thou?” or is it because parting with the hair down there is such sweet sorrow? Or maybe it’s because it sucks so bad you would kill yourself just to get out of the situation. Who knows?
Just think of the treasure trove of quotes that my Favorite Floozy gave us. “I don’t want to be the only one who has a Don King down there!” Is that because it’s really fuzzy and there is a streak of uncontrollable gray? No! There is not, we later learn, as she has both the technician and the doctor confirm that she, in fact, does not have a pigment-free bush. I mean, more care is taken into this inquiry than the Senate has given to the new health-care bill. Sonja wants the world to know that the hair is soft and it is a auburn-blonde mix. I would wager a week’s wages that Sonja uses conditioner on her bush hair. (I only make $3.27 for each of these recaps, so either way the joke’s on you.)
She ends this little interlude by saying, “I have the most buffed, puffed pussy there is,” and by explaining to the woman who is currently shaving her nether regions that playing with a man’s balls is like holding a baby hamster. That’s it. I am dead of delight. It’s like I had a heart attack while riding John Cena or suffocated while trying to eat myself out of a ton of Cherry Garcia that was dumped on me. That’s how happy I am right now and I never ever ever want it to end, especially because I know that I now have to go to dinner with Ramona and Bethenny.
Ugh, this fight is taking it all out of me. As I’ve said before and will say again, both Bethenny and Ramona are awful people who have been treating each other like crap for a long time and they both have very specific and appropriate grievances with each other. Bethenny, however, is sick of it and doesn’t want their relationship to continue. I don’t blame her. I couldn’t even tolerate being friends with Ramona as long as it takes to get my eyebrows threaded, nonetheless an entire decade of mutual torture.
What I want to know about this fight is more of a contractual matter about the production of the show. Earlier, when talking to Luann, Ramona asks, “Can she exclude me?” and it is less a question of morality and more a question of whether Andy Cohen and his army of PAs with Syracuse degrees would allow this to happen. Bethenny is ostensibly arranging this trip and doesn’t want Ramona to go because Ramona is mean to her, acts erratically, and could possibly jeopardize Bethenny’s business relationships. I think it is completely fair to not invite her at all because of that.
However (and this is a however as big as Sonja’s merkin collection), when Ramona says, “It’s a group trip and I’m going,” is she defying Bethenny because she’s a jerk or is she defying Bethenny because she knows that production is really paying and, as a cast member, she is required to go on this trip? Seriously, I want to know the answer. As awful as Ramona’s behavior is, this would explain a lot about her reaction and just how resigned Bethenny is about the fact that Ramona essentially invited herself along on a trip.
Can we talk instead about Mrs. D’Agostino Crackerjacks statement necklace drawer? When she opens it, it’s like when Indiana Jones discovered the Holy Grail or when the characters in Pulp Fiction looked inside the briefcase and we just saw a golden glow illuminate their faces. But this time, we actually got to see inside the drawer. We got to see all of that turquoise and agate and plastic and silver in all of its large and chunky glory. It was sort of like an Apple keynote for Housewives fans, except none of those things are for sale and, unlike the iPhone on which you are reading this, it will outlast us all.
Then she packed them and we discovered that the statement necklaces travel in their own cases! Even when my boyfriend is generous enough to spring for a business-class ticket (which, I’ll be honest, is every time I fly with him) I don’t travel in accommodations as deluxe as Luann’s statement necklace collection. I am actually fine with that. That is exactly how things should be.
The only thing we are left with is Tinsley’s somewhat disastrous but amazing date with Carole’s friend Scott. Carole accurately described him as a “bear” and he is very handsome and winning. He seems very down-to-earth and normal in a way that Tinsley, with her too long hair and frilly skirts, can’t quite manage. I feel like they would be a great balance: Tinsley classing him up a bit and making him acceptable on the New York benefit scene, and Scott cuddling her into being a normal person who can unclench enough to have fun and not be worried about what everyone thinks.
The Tinsley who goes on that date is the Tinsley I want to see all the time. She is funny, enthusiastic, outspoken, a little unruly, and completely unafraid to embarrass herself. Oh, and embarrass herself she does. Yes, she talks way too much about her ex, she talks way too much about booze, and she starts necking with this dude on a love seat in the middle of a cocktail lounge with light snacks. Those are all big no-nos. But you know what, those are the kind of mistakes that I think Tinsley needs to make right now. She wants a different life and she wants to find happiness and we all know that isn’t going to happen if she’s got the same haircut, lives in the same zip code, and sees the same people. I hope Scott sticks around for a bit.
Tinsley sure stuck around, returning to Scott’s hotel room at the Ludlow Hotel for a Tito’s and soda at Dirty French before retiring upstairs to get to know one another. He ordered eggs for them and nudged Tinsley slowly awake when they arrived, erasing a bit of her hangover with some caffeine and grease. They continued to joke and lolled around his room in robes in that slightly awkward way of two people of little acquaintance who have spent the evening naked. After it was over, he said he would take a shower to give her some privacy while she put on last night’s tights and the rest of her outfit. It seemed like the gentlemanly thing to do.
While she brushed her teeth, he got ready as well and insisted on walking her down and putting her in an Uber back to Sonja’s house to make the walk of shame as short as possible. As he watched her pull away, he walked south down Ludlow street a few blocks, taking in the color of the ever-so-hip Lower East Side as it slowly awakened, the gutters still wet and sticky with the evidence of the revelry the night before. He continued south and turned right on Delancey and then took a left down Orchard, pockmarked with old garment businesses still owned by observant Jews. A few blocks down, he walked into one and walked up to a clerk who was lounging on a luxuriously outfitted display bed. “Are you Scott?” she asked.
“I sure am,” he said. She got up and left some fabric swatches on the bed, walked into the back room, and emerged with a shopping bag full of money. He nodded a polite thank you and headed back to his hotel, swinging a black shopping bag that said Zarin Fabrics in bright block letters that screamed like a raccoon trapped in a movie theater or the chalk outline of a body on a suburban sidewalk.