The Real Housewives of New York City
As a great New Yorker once said, and said again, and said again, until she officially retired it in 2015: “Holla!” I’m Molly Fitzpatrick, visiting adjunct teaching assistant here at the Real Housewives Institute. I’ve floated across the Hudson River on a raft fashioned from the very table Teresa Giudice flipped at Danielle “Prostitution Whore” Staub (normally you’ll find it on public exhibition between the ladies’ room and the Sbarro at the Joyce Kilmer Service Area) to fill in for Brian Moylan, whose cabaret show is currently playing the Borgata.
There are Housewives’ weddings that have been approached with less anticipation than Barbara K.’s yawn of a clambake. Ramona’s outfit is black and sensible from the ankles up, but finished with a pair of lime green, extremely strappy sandals that can only be the result of clicking “randomize” at least ten times when selecting your Sim’s shoes. For Barbara’s “kids,” Ramona has brought along a giant bag of Tate’s baked goods. At this, the hostess rolls her eyes in a confessional: “Let me call my 20-year-old son and see if he wants this pie.” If not Ramona, then I’m sure Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Dollar-Pizza Morgans has a pie she’d love to offer him.
A plot point is sparkling on Bethenny’s finger. She reveals to her friends for the first time that Dennis proposed (she didn’t say yes, exactly, but not no either — their engagement was “on ice”) before he died, not only offering her this enormous ring but one for Bryn, too.
Ramona, Sonja, and Barbara continue to hash out the Luann-Dorinda conflict, which would be not be terribly interesting even if we were breaking it down with the people actually involved and not these third, fourth, and fifth parties. Barbara suggests that Ramona herself has been spreading lies about Lu. “Which lie?” Ramona asks, sweetly.
Ramona semi-coherently concern-trolls about the extent to which Luann has publicly admitted her addiction. “The first thing you say is I’m a shopaholic, I’m an alcoholic, I’m a sex addict,” she argues, pumping her hand overhead to punctuate a spoken-word rhythm that Sonja can’t help but dance to. Put a beat over “I’m a Shopaholic, I’m an Alcoholic, I’m a Sex Addict” and the Singer Stinger Singer could have a music career of her own.
Barbara diplomatically suggests the blonde delegation bring some clams home for Dorinda, which Ramona and Sonja interpret as an open invitation to abscond with approximately 30 pounds of lobster, one for every minute in total they spent at this party. They have to get back to Dorinda! What are they doing here without Dorinda?!
“They get no food. No food,” Lu insists, but ultimately loses her appeal on this matter.
“I’m not leaving the lobsters. That’s who I am. That’s just who I am,” Sonja explains in her confessional, lending those 14 words the kind of unlikely emotional gravity you’d expect to hear in a Lifetime biopic about a marine biologist.
Back within the confines of Hot Flash Manor, Dorinda is disappointed her friends came back so soon, because she was enjoying napping to Law & Order. They debrief about the clambake in the kitchen, where what looks like a whole lime mysteriously appears in Sonja’s mouth between shots and remains there for an unknowable period of time. (I know Dorinda is Not Drinking right now, but is it just me or does her voice have a familiar Cartagena slur to it in this scene? Please feel free to tie me to an inflatable swan filled with gravel and drown me in Barbara’s pool if I’m wrong.)
Through a series of tangents that I rewound to watch again yet still haven’t fully wrapped my brain around, Ramona finds an opportunity to make the wildly unforced error of proclaiming, “How smart can Dennis be? I mean, he was on drugs. Come on.” Yes, that Dennis. Never speak ill of the dead, unless their bereaved sort-of fiancée is your co-worker, and also, all of you are on national television.
Back in the boroughs, Dorinda and Barbara make amends over a very boring lunch that I have already devoted too many words to describing. Bethenny channels her grief into more B Strong relief work, visiting the Carolinas with cash cards, toys, and more in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Sonja hosts a party to celebrate a high-fashion, high-sideboob photo shoot she did for Paper magazine. She’s come so far from the cover of Latino Show magazine, which I’ve had framed and mounted on my bathroom door at exactly the right height so I can lock eyes with Sonja while I poop. For this festive occasion, Ms. Morgan has chosen a pin-straight, long blonde wig that is giving me Donatella, or at least Maya Rudolph as Donatella, or Gina Gershon as Donatella, or maybe Miss Fame as Donatella.
Roberta, Sonja’s psychic (does anybody have eyes on her facialist?), is on hand to report that Tinsley is going to have two children, to Dale’s delight. Of course Dale is there. Like Jesus, Dale lives within all of us; unlike Jesus, she’s not inside our hearts, but our ovaries.
Dorinda announces to Bethenny that she’s going to “break the ice” with Luann — who, having a singular white-linen pantsuit and straw hat moment in a sea of leopard print, appears to have teleported here directly from her Southampton patio — but bristles at self-appointed official group mediator (take a business card!) Barbara’s unsolicited advice on how best to do that.
Bethenny, however, assumes the thankless role of director of the ungainly first-grade Christmas pageant that is this reconciliation, summoning the wise man Balthazar that is Luann (it’s just bronzer!) from the far side of the room and demanding that the mysteriously procured live lamb that is Dorinda approach her. And yet Dorin, who is so nervous I’m surprised her hair isn’t standing on end like she’s groping a Van de Graaff generator, refuses to budge. To be continued!
Brian will return next week, but until then, I’ll leave you all with one of my personal favorite inspirational quotes to text my frenemies:
“When I was a kid I had asthma, so I would have to take cod liver oil all the time. So anything fishy that reminds me of that taste, I can’t eat. I love Chilean sea bass, because I don’t taste it there. But salmon? No, no, no.” —Tyler Perry