The Real Housewives of New York City
For a man who has received two total minutes of screen time not only in this entire episode but also in this entire season, there sure is a whole lot of discussion about Tom. The women spend so much time talking about this one man that a show starring six middle-aged women doesn’t even pass the Bechdel Test because every conversation revolves around their relationships with men. No, not men — a man. One single man and his name is Tom. Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom. This episode sounds like taking attendance at a Boy Scout meeting in Dublin.
He is the main topic of conversation because all of the women have to endure the second of Luann’s engagement parties, this one held on the boat No Bada Bees, a name that doesn’t make any sense until you realize that it is owned by a woman named Kimberlie who obviously was never Hooked on Phonics but perhaps several other substances, including injectables. As Ramona, Sonja, and others point out, the crowd at the party is somewhere between a mixer at the third-most expensive senior center in South Florida and a cruise for especially rabid Andrea McArdle fans.
At one point, Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Nipztix Morgans is entertaining a man who looks like the ghost of Dominick Dunne with his white hair, dapper attire, and round glasses. Sonja says that she is ready to stop dating younger men and settle down with such a person but, I have to tell you, Sonja can do way better than this. Say what you will about my favorite floozie, but she is one hell of a catch. She’s attractive, funny, loves to laugh, never skips a party, dresses provocatively, and has millions of amazing stories (whether or not you believe they are true). She is going to make a fun, eligible, successful gentleman a great partner some day. But not this guy. No way.
Her man is not going to be Tom either. No siree, Bob. Of all the people in this episode, I feel the worst for Sonja, because if you get Sonja sober and wistful on the outside, imagine what it must be like on the inside. Sonja’s problem is that she does everything right in this situation and no one gives her any credit for it. She puts her past with Tom behind the both of them, all so she can be happy for her friend Luann in her engagement to her former fuck-buddy. She’s trying to appear normal and cordial with him in public. She doesn’t really bring it up unless other people ask her about it (which is constantly, but whatever). It’s the right way to approach this situation. However, Luann keeps trying to erase Sonja’s past with her fiancé as if it was inconsequential, and Tom is icing her out because he doesn’t want to deal with an uncomfortable situation.
This brings us back to how shockingly narcissistic Luann is being about the whole Tom scenario and the fact that he dated one of her friends and had a long-standing intimate relationship with another. Luann is only concerned about her feelings for Tom, and what they have to say doesn’t impact her happiness. I get it. She’s the one who landed him (as she continuously reminds us), and he’s going to be around for a long time. Okay. Fine. But Luann is only worried about how Sonja’s behavior will affect her. If she were a really good friend, she would also be worried about how her happiness might affect Sonja and try to mitigate that and try to make Sonja feel comfortable when she has to be around Lu and Tom.
It’s even worse that she talks to Ramona, especially during their big fight below deck. Prompted by Dorinda — a shit-stirrer of such a profound (and delightful) degree that the Medley coat of arms has both a pointing finger and a plunger on it amid a bed of primroses that Dorinda pretends to smell as soon as things get uncomfortable — Luann tells Ramona to stop talking about her relationship with Tom. The thing is, Ramona wouldn’t still be discussing her relationship with Tom except that both Tom and Luann call her a liar by trying to lessen the extent of that relationship.
Ramona — who is not a liar and whose brain holds a shocking amount of detailed information considering the amount of grey matter that her bathtub pinot must have killed over the years — can rattle off all the dates she went on with Tom, including locations and activities. I didn’t tally them up, but it seems to be more than the one or two times that Tom claims. He won’t even fess up to drawing a giant heart on her skin and putting the initials TD & RS in the heart either because he doesn’t remember or because that is clearly a trick that he has been using to get some under-the-sweater action since prep school. If he accepted Ramona’s account of the events, things would be settled and we wouldn’t be discussing it like it’s an airplane that disappeared, a kidnapped blonde girl, or this ongoing presidential campaign.
I get why Tom doesn’t want Luann to think his relationship with Ramona was a big thing, since it was ongoing when Tom and Luann met. Not to mention that he already had one relationship with a Housewife. If he had two, that would just seem like some Slade Smiley level of unquenchable reality-heroine thirst. Instead, he tries to make it seem like he just flirted with Ramona once or twice, but we know it’s not true.
It’s also amazing that here at the Real Housewives Institute, we have footage of the first time that Tom and Ramona met at a bar when they were filming in 2007, which is nearly ten years ago. Man, that flashback was cruel, reminding us how young and resplendent we looked ten years ago and just how much time we have wasted staring at these crazy women. It’s as if your Facebook Memories were run by three debt collectors, your sister-in-law, that girl whose parking space you stole once in high school, and Eric Trump.
Let’s take a brief interlude from talking about Tom to talk about Pizza Box, Jules’s awful husband. I have grown increasingly fond of Jules as the season has progressed, and I must say that I am so glad she ditched that dude. He can’t even spend one weekend with his kids, even when they’re desperate to see one of their parents and not the nanny? From everything we’ve learned about him, he seems like he has zero interest in raising his own children, which is fine if he had a spouse who didn’t mind that he didn’t want to participate. Jules, however, is not that person. I’m glad she got him out of the way and saved themselves a lot of arguments and heartbreak.
Speaking of heartbreak, what the hell is going to happen when Bethenny finally tells Luann that Tom was making out with a girl in public and they have photo proof that he did it? Well, we know what happens: She still marries him on New Year’s Eve. (Who wants to go to a wedding on New Year’s Eve?) Does that make this whole argument moot? Does it mean that the Countess is in another open relationship like everyone just accepts she was in with the Count? Does this mean that Bethenny doesn’t regret letting Ramona Singer in on the secret of the evil evidence? I’m going to save the answer to all of those questions for next week, I believe.
But until then, something strange happened at the hotel when all the women checked into their various and sundried rooms that they fought over. Downstairs, walking along the strand between the beach and the hotel was a blonde woman in a sarong, a suspiciously large pair of sunglasses, and a multicolored straw hat that looked like a moldy bowl of limp ramen. She looked up at the structure and passersby heard the noise of whirring, like some mechanical shifting that allowed her to look up into the structure and see just who was there — or who was absent.
The woman bent over and pushed a button above her knee, one that looked more like a freckle than a button, and a few lights pinged to life and the sound of an electric motor starting hummed from her leg. She walked closer to the hotel without drawing suspicion, and when she was sure no one was around, she balanced on her left side and squatted down like she was doing some advanced Pilates routine, and then bounded up in the air seven stories and landed less than delicately on one of the hotel balconies.
From there it was easy, because no one on the seventh floor locks her terrace doors. She slid her way into the suite, surveying the spread of finger sandwiches and petit fours that no one touched and a half-nibbled piece of papaya that apparently someone didn’t like. She whisked her way into the bedroom, her sarong behind her like a cobweb swaying in a door jamb. She opened each drawer longingly, slowly stroking the bikinis and coveralls, the sundresses and espadrilles. There were sunglasses laid out on top of the bureau and she thought about trying them on, but she remembered the business at hand.
She walked over to the bed and sat down, pulling down on the heel of her wedge to reveal a small compartment inside. She took a small device out of it and then walked over and put it, discreetly, over the door, making it almost invisible against the molding. She looked at the clothes and the luxury of this room once more and remembered that she had her own home facing the water not too far away — one that she owned, not one that she had to rent. But it was different. The energy, the attention, the focus: This room had everything she still wanted, that she would have again.
She decided to take the easy way out and walked out the front door and down the hallway toward the elevator. She got out her cellphone and made a call. “We’re in,” Aviva Drescher said to someone on the other line, as she watched her reflection blur by in a mirror flanked by nodding orchids.