The Real Housewives of New Jersey
We are just days out from Teresa’s bodybuilding competition, and her tiny bedazzled blue bathing suit has arrived in the mail. “It’s going to go up your butt,” Audriana complains, understandably confused about the physics of thongs. It is hard to believe we were all so young once.
The traditional etiquette gift for a friend’s first bodybuilding competition is, of course, a tacky gold-bar necklace that spells out “strong.” in diamonds (the period is a must, although you may drop it for your friend’s second bodybuilding competition gift). Margaret, Melissa, and Jackie do the picking out, but graciously invite Dolores and Jennifer to come in on the gift.
Jennifer and her young daughter Olivia bring Bill lunch at work, because (a) this gives the kids a chance to see him during his busy work week, and (b) Jennifer has historically been unhappy to see patients “all over” her plastic-surgeon husband. (Yikes, Jennifer.) I mention this mostly because it presents an opportunity for me to tell you that I am obsessed with Olivia, who has a natural gift for Theater. She asks her parents, verbatim, “After when you’re done chit-chat, can you get me a new perfume?” Later, as Jennifer leaves for Cabo, she will scream, “You’re not leaving this family!”
Every plot strand you forgot about while Jennifer and Jackie were throwing knives at each other is getting braided up into a friendship bracelet. Margaret is hosting a gala for Hospital Heroes, a project she has been “constantly working on” since Oklahoma, despite us having heard nothing about it since then. At the shrink’s office that is the gym, Frank obliquely acknowledges to Teresa that yes, okay, maybe it’s possible that his close friendship with Dolores is holding both of them back romantically.
Melissa has scheduled a dinner with her mother to broach Concetta the Catholic Medium’s psychic prediction that she has another sibling. But her two well-meaning sisters (the ones who actually, definitely exist) have gotten their mom tipsy to the point that she’s giggly over the very existence of bread. This perhaps isn’t the best mood in which to hear that your dead husband may have had a surprise illegitimate child, but then again, what is?
Melissa presses on. Donna is skeptical, and far from thrilled, but she’s fine with Melissa looking for her hypothetical mystery sibling — it’s not the hypothetical mystery sibling’s fault, anyway. As for the mother, though: “I’ll kill her. That bitch knew he was married. Who is that whore?” The women erupt in peals of laughter, and I hope anyone who may have slept with Melissa’s father immediately enters witness protection as a precaution.
Teresa’s freshly spray-tanned skin is at terror alert level orange. Competition time! Backstage, Frankie respectfully massages additional color onto his ex-wife’s childhood friend’s butt and inner thighs. Frankie, whose abs look like CGI in real life, comes in first in his division; Teresa comes in third.
Let the wild rumpus empieza. When they arrive in Mexico, Teresa takes one for the team and rooms with Danielle. It’s either a kind gesture to a group that is uniformly, justifiably afraid of Danielle, or maybe that’s just an indication of how drunk Tre plans on being. (As a pre-trip precaution, Margaret asked her housekeeper Marleny how to say “bitch” in Spanish. “Beach? Playa,” Marleny answered helpfully.)
After a round of shots at dinner, the women give Teresa her necklace. Despite having been informed by Margaret about this present in advance, Jennifer is suddenly offended that they didn’t come to her jeweler brother. “And you know what?” she add, “It’s fucking ugly. Sorry, Teresa.” I mean, yes, it is fucking ugly indeed, but this is rude. Shades of Oklahoma Jen, or as Dolores suggests, tequila-induced amnesia.
“Baby, I am on point like nobody’s business,” Jennifer informs Margaret, for some reason.
“Really? So’s your fucking lip liner. Why don’t you fix it?” Margaret snaps back.
Jennifer bitchily blows her kisses; Margaret says her mouth looks like a “monkey’s asshole.”
I’d like to take a moment now to pause and savor how ridiculous this very loud, very public argument is, because it’s about to get significantly more ridiculous, and I want to make sure we appreciate all the blessings that have fallen upon us.
Jennifer claps her hands wildly: “Yeah! A monkey’s asshole that you fucking sucked, probably!”
Even Danielle, a professional agent of chaos dispatched to America by the Russian government to sow discord among our reality shows, does a double take. To review, Margaret has told Jennifer her mouth looks like not just an asshole, but a monkey’s asshole, and Jennifer has responded by suggesting that Margaret routinely sucks the assholes of monkeys. How lucky we are to be alive right now.
Danielle, an extremely improbable voice of reason, invites Jennifer to go for a cool-off walk. “This monkey’s asshole’s got to be refreshed,” Jennifer yell-announces to the restaurant. I think I’ve got it: Drunk Jen is basically Olivia with a filthier vocabulary.