Of course we’re all here to talk about Luann. It’s not every day that one of our favorite denizens of Real Housewives-land gets sent to the pokey screaming that she’s going to kill a police officer and slipping out of his handcuffs. Just like the rest of us, all of her co-workers on the show wanted to talk about it too, but there is no way that they all waited two weeks (apparently while production was on hiatus over the Christmas holidays) to talk about it. You know that as soon as that TMZ alert hit Carole Radziwill’s in-box she was on the horn to everyone in the “recent” list in her iPhone going over the ins and outs of the entire story.
Tinsley was right down the road in Palm Beach and she probably drove by a few times looking for footprints in the mud out in front of the Colony Hotel. Ramona was in town as well, and you know when she ran into Tom at some cocktail party she shouted, “This is your fault!” at him and then threw a cocktail onion and laughed until all of the lights shattered. Dorinda was in the emergency room with a life-threatening salt shaker injury and she was still responding to voicemails and texts as soon as she was in a cab home. I’m just saying, these women were gabbing all about this the instant it happened because hello, if one of my friends or co-workers had an altercation in the back of police car, I would be gabbing about it too.
It seemed as if everyone was gloating a little bit during their forced phone calls at the top of the hour. They all felt bad that Luann had to go through this, but they were all glad that her massive drama was going to distract from their petty squabbles long enough for them to get away with some bullshit that is not even going to be brought up at the reunion, because most of it is going to be spent recapping Luann’s time in rehab.
When she finally calls Dorinda to talk about what’s going on, the show’s editors — who have already been awarded the inaugural Emmy in the category of Reality Television Tomfoolery — make sure to put “On the phone: Luann in rehab” in the chyron at the bottom of the screen. Swish swish, bish. None of us really forgot where she was. She gives Dorinda the usual platitudes about how she was really going through more emotions than she anticipated revisiting all of her and Tom’s favorite places in Palm Beach. Totally understandable. Now she’s glad she’s getting the help she needs.
But I’m totally with Tinsley on this one. She tells the other women at Bethenny’s Skinny Girl Jeans launch party that Luann went to Palm Beach to show everyone that she was fine and totally over the divorce, but she wasn’t nearly as fine as she thought she was. Tinsley was also right about the fact that Luann is facing a bunch of felonies and that she hit a cop. That is serious and we probably shouldn’t be joking around about it. Tinsley probably shouldn’t have been inviting Luann over to her mother’s house for cocktails the day after the altercation, but Tinsley can’t be right about everything.
Tinsley was right about how to treat her friend Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Anastasia: The Musical Morgans. My favorite floozie was really on fire this week. At the Skinny Girl party she tells Tinsley and Dorinda that while her apartment is under construction all of her essentials are with her on the mattress of her four-poster bed. Dorinda says, “I wonder what that entails.” Well, Dorinda, we caught a glimpse of Sonja’s falling-apart manse covered in plastic and we can for sure tell you what was in that bed. The inventory consists of an envelope labeled “The Container Store” with some numbers scribbled on it, a bunch of files that apply to absolutely nothing, at least two pairs of soiled panties, a mysterious medicine dropper, some sort of mouth misting spray, not her day pills because she was still looking for those but her night pills were definitely there, about eight pairs of eyeglasses because Sonja has a different prescription depending on which of her personalities is dominant at any given moment, three bottles of Wesson oil from the basement, last night’s Seamless trash, and a remote to a stereo she threw out in 1997.
Sonja was so amazing this episode. What about when she rolls up to the party and demands an olive from the bartender because her house has no food and “I’m only eating vegetables right now”? Sonja, never change. OH! Or what about when she goes to the shellfish platter and says, “I’m vegan now but I eat shellfish because they’re raw”? Isn’t that sort of missing the point entirely? That’s like saying you’re anti-immigration except when it comes to Smurfs because they’re Belgian. Actually, I don’t know if you can even draw a parallel to that behavior because it’s like a one-sentence retelling of a Samuel Beckett play.
Finally Sonja washes up at Tinsley’s hotel room wearing her enormous fur hat with designer handbags slung in the crooks of both elbows. She’s like some distant Russian aristocrat relative who is fleeing the revolution with only the clothes on her back and the jewels she stored in her “prison purse.” Tinsley treats her excessively well, treating her to a Louis Vuitton bag, a robe, slippers, and a night in the penthouse suite of her hotel. I mean, if this and three Ambien doesn’t shut Sonja up about how ungrateful Tinsley was last year, then nothing will.
The other big event of this episode was the altercation between Carole and Bethenny and, well, it was odd. Bethenny says that she texted Carole a picture of them along with the caption. “I miss us. Why are you being so cold.” The way Bethenny tells the story, Carole then said, “Wow. That’s a lot.” The way Carole tells it, Bethenny sent Carole that message and then some rant about Ramona and how she’s a bad person and kept going on and on. Carole responded, “This is too big of a conversation for text, let’s talk when I get back from L.A.” Bethenny didn’t honor that and kept texting anyway.
If I had to choose one side of the story to believe I would take Carole’s because Bethenny totally seems like she would text just like she would talk: with complete and utter disregard for the other person’s perspective or comfort. But this fight was especially strange. Like Bethenny said, Carole was trying to debate her and take her down point by point, but Bethenny was trying to do the same thing to Carole. In fact, that is what Bethenny always does to all of the other women. But when she does that to someone like Ramona, who reacts emotionally, Bethenny looks like the sane person while Ramona channels a howler monkey on too much melatonin and just shouts incomprehensible inanities. Carole is actually beating Bethenny at her own game and Bethenny can’t take it.
However, it’s like the two of them are having a debate with no clear central issue. If I had to guess, it’s that Carole doesn’t want to take Bethenny’s shit anymore. She’s accommodated Bethenny’s screeds and meanness toward other people for too long, and now that she can’t tolerate it anymore, Bethenny thinks she’s being cold. That’s what I would say is the issue, but again I don’t know. There seems something deep-seated and ineffable happening here and I want it to come out and smirk at us like a drunk baby lying in the gutter at Mardi Gras.
No matter what it was, Carole agrees to hug it out, because neither of them would admit to being right or wrong. They could have argued in circles about nothing for eons and at least Carole put a stop to it.
Because the day was cold enough. The wind was whipping down Broadway tossing the crusty bits of snow on the sidewalk and leaflets from free subway newspapers around the sidewalk like missiles of misery. Everyone cowered in their puffy jackets and the back of their Ubers just waiting to go home, to feel some comfort, to have the winter covered over by something that resembled a cloud radiating light.
But not Jill Zarin. This would be a long winter. The longest of her life. One that might not ever thaw.