The Real Housewives of New York City
There is no scene of greater unfettered joy and unfiltered id than the late- afternoon pool shenanigans that happened on this episode of The Real Bikini Swappers of the Long Island Rail Road. It starts with Ramona wishing that her ass were her face (though only one of them is raw and chapped) and it ends with Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Scaramucci Sunglasses Morgans having a true lesbian moment with Bethenny Frankel, a woman with a processed-meat fortune and a penchant for crying.
The second half of their tequila-tasting day features every stereotype of what it means to be hashtag White Girl Wasted. First, Bethenny shows off her boobs and strips down to go skinny-dipping like the encore to the softcore porn video she once made is an appearance in a new cross promotional direct-to-DVD sensation Skinny Girls Gone Wild.
Then there is Sonja, who joins Bethenny in doffing her swimsuit, but only after she drunkenly tries to suck face with LuAnn and just about everyone one else around the pool. She is flashing her vag like she is a model in a gynecology classroom and trying to shove her tongue down not only Bethenny’s throat, but also LuAnn’s. What do you call it when you’ve had sex with both a man and his wife on separate occasions? Is that like an Eskimo Family Reunion or something? Sonja also has some speech that is slurrier than a toboggan ride in early April. (Just trust me on this one.)
After the titty-flasher drunk girl and the harmless makeouts with girlfriend drunk girl, there is also the den mother, which in this instance is Mrs. D’Agost-Crackerjacks. When Sonja tries to drink her margarita directly from the pitcher, LuAnn swoops by and goes, “Oh, no no no no no,” and removes it from her hand, knowing the harm that will inevitably come not only to Sonja, but also the pitcher and the precious alcoholic beverage inside. This is my role when I’m out with my wasted friends: watching everything and trying to move all the glasses out of the way when someone jumps up on the table for a lip-sync performance of Rihanna’s “Desperado” or, you know, making sure no one decides to try anal for the first time with a member of the support staff.
Finally in this great parade of drunken sorority mishaps is Ramona Singer, who shows us beer tears that are totally on another level. She and Bethenny are having a heartfelt and serious discussion — well, as serious a discussion as one could possibly have when pool noodles are involved — and Bethenny somehow convinces Ramona to admit that she is an awful, horrible person who has been treating Bethenny like she’s the wad of gum on the underside of a desk at vacation Bible school.
At first, it seems like Ramona is being sarcastic when she says, “I’m a miserable person who doesn’t know how to act,” but very quickly she finally acknowledges that when she accused Bethenny of being in porn she was being a jerk and treating her poorly. She even does the closest thing to sincerely apologizing I’ve seen out of Ramona Singer in the decade where we’ve watched her go from a ripe, bitter olive to a tub of moldy tapenade. Well, she actually just says, “I don’t want to be that person” and “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,” like 17 million times each as if it were the recipe for some sort of sadness cocktail that she’d half-forgotten.
The afternoon ends with Sonja Morgan passing out from a day drunk on a piece of outdoor furniture, spilling out of someone else’s bikini. This is really peak form for her. This is what Sonja Morgan’s best life looks like.
Oh wait! We forgot one of our favorite drunk-girl archetypes: the mean drunk. Dorinda Medley, take it away! Even before she sits down with a screeching Bethenny, Dorinda is slurrier than a forgotten sno-cone at a Labor Day barbecue. When she tries to explain something to Bethenny, she just emits a series of yelps and grunts like she is one of the extras in War for the Planet of the Apes. If I were there in person I would find this behavior horrendously annoying, but on my television screen it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen since Megyn Kelly tried to go mainstream.
But things get messy both figuratively and literally when Dorinda somehow manages to stab herself while also stabbing the table. Did her hand slide down the blade and that’s how she cut herself? Anyway, Dorinda was trying to tell Bethenny that she doesn’t need to worry about being perfect all the time and this somehow led to her making fun of “Skinnygirl day,” and cussing, “Do your thing, Bethenny,” while retiring to her room.
Bethenny gets very mad about this and decides that not only has Ramona always secretly hated her, but so does Dorinda. Please, she needs to calm the hell down. Nothing that Dorinda said before she passed out facedown with one false eyelash stuck to the comforter should be taken seriously. You can’t hold someone accountable for what they say when they’re blackout drunk. Sometimes you overstate your feelings in one direction or the other, and for Bethenny to so seriously hold that against her in the morning seemed slightly foolish to me. Luckily, there is a quick apology, everyone gets over it, and their hangovers are allowed to grow and grow, like the sweet hibiscus flower shocking the world with its vicious neon bloom.
This episode is just full of wonderful little nuggets of ridiculous bliss. There is Sonja’s sad and ineffectual ButtTime expedition with Frenchie where she tries to get her long-distance lover aroused by waving her phone around her body like it was a spray can of Off! and she was worried about deer ticks. Ramona comes out ready for dinner dressed as a matador’s widow and the producers do her the disservice of playing some Kill Bill–style music on the soundtrack. Someone also exclaims, “Ramona has a face again!” which is something I never thought I’d hear outside of the context of a horror movie.
Then when Ramona gets into the car, she can’t tell if the man helping her is Pedro or Alex and when he tells her that he is, in fact, Alex, she asks where he has been hiding. As far as possible from Ramona, I am sure, so that she can’t pester him with all of her outsize and abusive requests. Oh God, and how dare we forget Tinsley peppering her dinner with the f-bomb and then reacting to the Countess’ stern reprimand by joking that LuAnn pretends like she doesn’t know the difference between Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. And then, LuAnn lays this bomb on us: “Where do you stay in Palm Beach, Tinsley? At your mother’s house.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is why she’s a pro.
But after dinner all the women went back and started to fill their bags with their bikinis, sandals, straw hats, and Mexican-flavored apparel that they’ll never wear again. Well, all except for Ramona, who made Pedro pack for her while she called him Alex the entire time. The next morning, they filtered into the vans waiting outside and clenched behind sunglasses as they drove them back to the airport. They were all in business class, but Bethenny was the only one with a window seat.
As the plane came closer to JFK, she stared out of her little plastic window and watched the little snowflake around the window’s tiny hole grow and grow like a virus trying to suffocate their newly found tans. Bethenny thought of the agave farm and the warm water of the gulf against her skin and immediately clenched up at the thought of the cold that would greet her as the automatic doors of JFK opened and the cold rush of reality welcomed her. Right now, all she could do was look at the bright grid of the skyline glittering under a setting sun and dream about finally getting to her apartment. She stared out at the city she loved, but felt like there was something sinister hanging over it, like a redheaded woman with her elbows propped on a desk, tapping her manicured nails together, one slightly bent finger at a time.