The Real Housewives of New York City
Ramona Singer fell asleep on television. Right there, in her prized seat at Andrew R. Cohen Jr.’s left hand, she fell asleep, the spirit gum of her fake eyelashes catching on her lids and sticking as they slowly opened up, like two automatic garage doors painted gray and sparkly. I believe it was the correct reaction.
Frequent visitors to the Real Housewives Institute know that I, as your president (but also a member), have about as much use for a reunion special as Vicki Gunvalson has for tact. And really, do these need to be three episodes every season? There wasn’t so much happening here that it needed to be dragged out this long — and on a Thursday night in the summer, when we could be in Central Park watching Kramer vs. Kramer out in the open, or at an ice-cream parlor wiping a swirly combination of drool and melted Moose Tracks from a child’s chin. One reunion is never enough, and three is too many, so based on an instructional porn movie I once watched called Goldicocks, two should be just right. (Two was just right in the movie, too, but it wasn’t reunion episodes.)
There are a lot of things that I hate about the reunions, but the biggest one was on display here. No, it’s not when Heather says, “I’ve protected you plenty, you really want to go there, because I’ll go there,” and then never goes there, and we’re like, WTF is she hiding? No, it was the rehashing of old fights from the season with no resolution whatsoever. It’s just a representation of the facts, the different alliances of women shouting their truths across the couches, and the rest of us shrugging because we know next season will start with these same leftovers fogging up the lids of their Tupperware. Nothing ever gets solved this way. Everyone just sinks further into their wrongness like a stoned teenager trying to crawl out of a McDonald’s playground ball pit.
First it happened with Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Madonna Louise Ciccone Morgans, when everyone called her out on her international heritage lifestyle ready-to-wear brand of apparel, eveningwear, baubles, and vajazzled garter belts. Yes, as Andy said, she did prove that the empress is wearing clothes, but is she? Sonja did make a collection and have a fashion show, but so did She by Sheree. So did Closet Freak. So did Bagz and Bagz by Gretchen Christine Bootie. That doesn’t mean that those are vibrant businesses. At this point, even the Posche boutique is more of an actual professional venture than Sonja Morgan’s made-to-order dress line. Still she’s working at something concrete, so let’s not be supportive of Sonja in the same way that Heather is supportive of Sonja (which is about as supportive as Taylor Swift’s bra on Nicki Minaj). Let’s be really supportive of her and her venture. Go buy something from her collection right now. I believe she takes PayPal.
While you’re doing that, can we all just agree that Madonna certainly was not at Sonja’s fashion show. Yes, her manager might have been there, and he might have been sweet enough to fib to Sonja that Madge was outside but didn’t have the bodyguards to get in. But come on, Madonna doesn’t go to fashion shows, she’s too busy trying to figure out how she can get one of those double hand transplants that she’s been reading so much about.
After we went around and around in the cyclone of Sonja Morgan’s brain, we had to revisit the ladies’ trip to the Turkey Cakeholes. We get to hear Heather (and Carole, but mostly Heather) talk about how unsafe they felt when there was a naked man who woke up in the next room. Then we got to hear how awful it was that the Countess of all Crackerjacks had her privacy invaded when they came into her room in the morning with a camera. Oh, just shut up, all of you, because you are all wrong.
As we have already ascertained, Heather (and Carole, but mostly Heather) is really overreacting about this whole thing. As many of the women pointed out, no one was raped, murdered, or robbed. Yes, they could have been. Yes, Ramona shouldn’t have let the dude stay over (as she admitted), but Heather is really going overboard here. Alternatively, LuAnn is just absolutely super-wrong about her privacy being invaded.
Crackerjacks finally conceded that Heather was correct to feel violated by the naked man’s presence, but everything about her story was cockamamie (which was also the name of one of the bears in Goldicocks). There is no way that she just went for a “walk on the beach” with this guy, unless a “walk on the beach” is the new “over the sweater.” I can believe that the guy was getting divorced, especially because Ramona confirmed it, but she could be making that up to make herself feel better. After all, she didn’t offer up that evidence when told he was married the next morning.
Anyway, the rest of her story is crazy. The worst is when she said she couldn’t believe her girlfriends came into her room with a camera. Hello, she is on a reality show. That’s like complaining that it smells like fish at Sea World, or that there aren’t any hamburgers or good desserts at a vegan potluck. Of course the camera followed Heather in there; that is the point of being in the house. That’s like the stripper getting pissed that there are so many poles around her place of employment.
Yes, everyone is wrong. Everyone is absolutely wrong, and I wish they would shut up about it. Thankfully, Bethenny was there to do her job and call bullshit on everyone in attendance, especially when she told Heather, “It’s a lot, Scarlett O’Hara,” a comment I don’t think she ever would have made if Heather wasn’t wearing a green dress that looked like it was made from the drapes. But, yeah, it’s a lot, all this talk about “security and safety.” I mean, I get it, I really do, but to keep harping about it when everyone knows it was wrong is just getting tedious, especially when each side will give no quarter.
The person who had the entirely wrong reaction was Kristen, who told Ramona and LuAnn that it was “gross and disgusting” to have the guys over. It’s not like this guy was up there committing incest on Adolph Hitler’s bones while wearing a pair of Crocs. That is gross and disgusting. This was just a lapse in judgment that both women have apologized for. There is no use to go moralizing and slut-shaming. And if Kristen thinks that this is “gross and disgusting,” then I can only imagine how she feels about her situation at home. (#TooSoon?)
I was actually kind of into Andy Cohen’s judgment on the situation, too, when he tells LuAnn that she is breaking the “girl code,” that she puts so much stock in sleeping with another woman’s husband. For the first time ever, I unabashedly agreed with Andy Cohen, and every single sock in my drawer feared for its life on this day, lest I become just like him. He took lots of sides last night, which is rare for Andy, who likes to appear above deck, just like he does on a yacht while vacationing with Anderson Cooper while the twinks sleep below deck.
Then the strangest thing that I have ever seen at a Real Housewives reunion, Christmas, or Behind-the-Scenes Secrets Revealed Special happened. The Countess came over and gave Heather a hug. She was a little too enthusiastic, and Heather did not want to forgive, going stiff in Crackerjacks’ arms as she tried to argue about why she was right and LuAnn was wrong and how this intractable trench warfare should never end. Then Bethenny hugged Ramona, and Heather hugged Dorinda, and Sonja hugged Kristen, and it was just a round robin of embraces, an orgy of half-felt apologies all scored by the sounds of sequin crushing sequin.
It was bizarre because it was almost real. Everyone seemed like they really wanted to get along and move on, but it all seemed exaggerated, too. It was like a giant fake orgasm of emotion, just going through the motions so that they could get this over with and go to sleep in their beds, alone and without their makeup on. That is what Ramona dreamed of when she slipped away from consciousness. When her eyes closed right there on the couch, she dreamed of that great blank abyss, the endless reach without shouts or accusations, apologies or acrimony. She dreamed of the end, knowing she would never have it or never want it. Actually, it was a nightmare, and that is what made her open her eyes once again.