The Real Housewives Of New York
The craziest thing about the ladies’ trip to the Mayflower Inn in Connecticut — the home state of Luann, Dorit Kemsley, Kim Zolciak Biermann, and myself — isn’t Luann’s story about getting arrested, Ramona inviting herself to Tom’s party, or even Bethenny Frankel scraping her tongue while wearing a Korean facial mask. No. It was the room selections.
First of all, Dorinda and Luann leave 30 minutes before everyone else so that they can be there early so that Luann, who just got back from prison and rehab (Prishab? Reson?) can get the best room. Dorinda has finally learned that the only way to thwart the room hog that is Ramona Singer is to arrive before her and just install herself in the nicest suite. It should also be noted that Luann thought that she should get the best room last year because she just got married and all of the women swatted her down. This year she got the best room. All she had to do was go to jail.
That wasn’t the only odd thing. Dorinda wanted to wait until all the women arrived to figure out who would be sleeping where, but Bethenny just charged upstairs and took whatever the hell room she wanted because Bethenny thinks that she is the only person who should be allowed to tell everyone how to live their lives. Dorinda’s main concern is that two women would have to share a room, so in order for Bethenny to have her way, she and Sonja, the only other woman there, agreed to share.
This signals a few things to me and it mostly has to do with Ramona and Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Deer Moccasin Morgans. We all know that on these trips Ramonja always share a room. That Sonja didn’t volunteer to share with Ramona and that Dorinda didn’t just assume they would be in the same room telegraphs that there is a much bigger rift between the two women than anyone is letting on.
However, I’m starting to love Sonja and Bethenny as the new frick and frack of this show. It reminds me of the good old days of Jill Zarin and Bethenny being zany best friends. Sonja brings out that side in Bethenny where she can laugh at the ridiculousness of life rather than just being smug in her cutting remarks of other people. For Sonja she gets Bethenny as a defender against people like Dorinda, because Sonja is as bad defending herself against Dorinda as a plate of cold noodles is against an MMA fighter.
The fight between Dorinda and Sonja–slash–Bethenny was totally stupid though. Sonja said she had deer on her slippers because they were inspired by her family crest. By her family crest, she means the Morgan family crest of which she is, technically, no longer a part, even though her last name is still Morgan. Dorinda is not wrong, Sonja probably should move on from thinking that she is part of the family since she’s long been divorced from her husband.
However, why can’t Sonja just put a deer on a shoe? Why does Dorinda need to continue to antagonize her about this? Everyone knows that Sonja is a pretty, pretty princess living in a pink soap bubble of the past. Popping that bubble every time it floats by you is not going to do anything but get you covered in sticky burst of soap-bubble slime. Dorinda just needs to roll her eyes and forget about it, because Sonja isn’t going to go changing. Should she? Yes! Will she? Oh, she’d sooner give up her car that she keeps in the Hamptons for no apparent reason.
Enough about them because this episode really belonged to Luann. We’ve all heard her story about showing up in the wrong room with an older polo player and getting arrested because she was drunk. There were a few highlights though. The best for me was when she said, “I didn’t kick a police officer. I did slam the door on his face because I was trying to not get arrested.” Oh, well, thank you for that distinction, Your Highness.
We also discovered the real culprit in this whole caper. Luann says that she was staying with her friend Julie, but that Julie’s cat was making so much noise she went and got herself a room at the Colony Club (or whatever) which is where she and Tom always used to go in Palm Beach, and that is when all the drinking and craziness started. So we all know who we can blame for all of this: Julie’s dumb cat. Remind me to send that cat a thank-you note and a scratch toy.
I also loved the detail that she had to eat a bologna sandwich and bit down on the mustard packet which was inside the pieces of bread. She wanted Dorinda to be appalled at how she was treated in jail, with no blanket and thrown in a cell. Um, yeah, Luann. That is what happens when you break the law. You go to jail. It’s not the Mayflower Inn and Spa. Were you expecting cucumber water and a selection of organic yogurts?
The absolute worst though was when Dorinda said she could see how people get stuck in the prison system. “I felt what it was like to be stuck in that system,” Luann says. Um, no you do not! Luann got to leave and go straight into a rehab facility with yoga, acupuncture, and meditation. Most people don’t have that. They can’t afford a good lawyer. They don’t have the privilege of being a rich, famous, white lady.
Being stuck in the system is not for people like Luann. Just imagine how stuck in the system a lower-class black person would be for the same crime. Actually they wouldn’t be stuck in the system, because as soon as a poor person of color said they would kill a cop they probably would have been shot dead and no one in the state of Florida would even care a lick. So you need to shut up about how harshly you were treated by the justice system, Luann, and maybe help out some other people who have had it much worse.
Well, I guess I won’t have to go to the gym today after hauling out my soapbox and then putting it back away again. I am on Luann’s side in her fight with Ramona though. Luann discovered that Ramona was trying to get herself invited to Luann’s ex Tom’s party on New Year’s Eve, the same day that would have been their one-year anniversary, and it was held on the same boat that housed their engagement party. That is just gross.
Sonja tells Luann she was invited to the party, but she just ignored the invitation. That is what you do to support your girlfriend. I mean, I defriended someone on Facebook just because he flaked out on a Grindr trick with one of my best friends and here Ramona is trying to rub elbows with the guy who married her friend and longtime co-worker and then cheated on her for seven months before humiliating her with a divorce? That is a blow that is so low only the ants could feel it.
Ramona’s justification was that her friend who wanted to go to the party and she didn’t feel bad asking Tom if they could attend. She tells us that Tom never did anything to her so why should she care. This is the most Ramona Singer thing that she’s ever said. Of course Ramona feels that way. She’s so self-involved that she would talk to her brother’s murderer if he could get her an invitation to the Tory Burch sample sale. When she joked that she was having a party and Tom was invited, all of the women believed her, because of course Ramona would do that. She just would, and that is why she is a monster who should be trapped at the bottom of a well until her heart can know true love.
What makes it even worse, however, is that Ramona is so damn sanctimonious about everything. She goes into Luann’s room before being confronted about Tom’s party at dinner and basically thanks Luann for going to prison so that they could all get a spa trip. Then she says, “Life is about our girlfriends and our friendship and that is what sustains us. With this, it makes my life more full.” Luann hears this knowing that Ramona would sacrifice all of that just so that she could go to Tom’s party for New Year’s Eve. That made me sicker than that time I ate dusty baklava that I found in a drawer at an ex-boyfriend’s house.
We’ll wait until next episode to litigate the Instagram photo that Ramona posted of the group, including Luann, because it seems like that issue will follow us as this trip continues. It’s going to be a long, cold winter with these women, their recriminations and acrimony twisting up toward the sky like the bare branches of Connecticut elms in the wintertime. God knows where this will take us, and God knows where the cold will end. It’s funny that there’s one woman who doesn’t know where the Real Housewives are, like she usually does. She can always hear the whir of the cameras, feel the blessed sting of their red recording lights. But she’s not at her best right now. She hasn’t left her bed in a week, just crying into her pillow and blankly staring at NY1 while drinking Diet Cokes in her bed. Jill Zarin doesn’t know anything anymore. She knows nothing but the hollow ache of absence.