The Real Housewives of New York City
The most striking thing about the women finishing up their trip to Miami is not the tail end of Bethenny’s sputtering out at dinner at Barton G. It is not Luann admitting that she almost went out with her friend Denio to get drunk. It is not Tinsley hopping up on the center island in their marble kitchen and then flashing her tight ass and turquoise thong. No, the most memorable thing is that Ramona Singer had four shelves’ worth of shoes for a trip that was maybe five days long.
When she is packing up, we see in her closet — that she clearly made the help set up — that there are four full shelves of shoes, and it appears that there are five to six pairs of shoes on each of those shelves. That is about 24 pairs of shoes. Let’s be generous for a moment and say (since Ramona and Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Ban de Soleil Fake Tanner Morgans are sharing a room) that half of those shoes are Sonja’s. (That is probably not true, because if Sonja has a style for unpacking it is probably throwing the clothes into a pile and then moving items in that pile to another pile until she finds the caftan she’s looking for and then abandoning both piles. Later, she moves each of those piles into more new piles while looking for her next outfit ad infinitum, ad nauseam, ad astra per aspera.) That still leaves Ramona with 12 pairs of shoes for about five days. Who needs that many shoes? I know that Ramona has to go to Art Basel after this trip to hang out with her friends (note to everyone: Art Basel is officially over), but that is still too many pairs of shoes. There are footwear stores in Manhattan without that kind of inventory.
This trip will never compare with the Colombia trip because the women didn’t leave behind a house ravaged by poop smears and puddles of diarrhea on the mattresses, but Barbara did leave a room that looked like a mannequin melted all over the furniture. Sonja goes into the room, calls Barbara’s voicemail, and leaves this exact message: “Hey Barb, I’m in your room and I can’t find your rings but there is spray tan all over your stuff. That’s the problem with white houses.” Every single thing about this is perfect. I love that Sonja identifies this as the problem with white houses. First of all, most people don’t get spray tan all over everything within squirting distance, so it shouldn’t be a problem anywhere. Also, the problem with white houses is that they make you want to snort rails off of anything with a flat and shiny surface.
Anyway, this all comes after they wrap up the fight at Barton G with Bethenny hyperventilating into her purse and going out onto the street to cool off. Dorinda approaches her and Bethenny says, “Did I call her a name?” She’s worried that there was a repeat of the trip to the Berkshires, where she called Luann a “whore” and said she fucks everything. “You said she’s intolerable,” Dorinda replied. “Oh, well that’s true,” Bethenny says, taking a sip of water with a shaky hand, something she seems to do on every trip to Florida after fighting with Luann.
What Bethenny realizes, and I should have picked up on last episode, is that she helped Luann get into rehab while she did nothing to help Dennis. Now Dennis is dead of a drug overdose and Luann is treating rehab (and her weird sobriety robot that she has to blow into three times a day) with the sort of contempt that French people reserve for croissants with fruit fillings.
Tinsley is next in line for what seems like an unreasonable outburst. I’m going to preface all of this by saying that losing a pet is an awful experience, sometimes as bad as losing a family member. However, because it’s an animal many people don’t have the same sympathy for when someone loses a family member. Just look at when Ramona goes over to comfort a mourning Tinsley. (Of all the people to call when mourning, Ramona Singer should be at the bottom of the list, below both Jeffrey Dahmer and the ghost of Leona Helmsley.) She’s more hung up on the fact that the dog is going to be frozen and then thawed out and that Tinsley isn’t wearing lashes.
What Tinz is going through does seem a bit outsized, though. Even Sonja, a woman who had a dog funeral, which we got to relive in all of its glory, thinks Tinsley isn’t really mourning the dog. I have a lot of questions about this dog death, though. Bambi, who was a boy, was living in Florida with Tinsley’s mother, Dale, and I assume that is where he died. However, Tinsley recounts finding the dog dead, so it must have happened in Florida. So why does she return to New York? Why not stay in Florida for the “doggy viewing” or what have you? Why did she need to be back in town, especially when she is skipping “work events” to mourn her dog? The whole thing is odd and a little bit inexplicable to me. I know her grief is real, but I would like the details filled in.
Just about everyone points out that her messy grieving process is not just about the dog, but also about everything that is going on in her life. Her ex, Skott the Koupon King, is sending her Gucci sneakers as a gift to make up for Bambi being dead because they’re named the “Bambi sneaker,” which she says is nice but seems not quite right. She’s also still an unmarried woman whose biological clock is ticking and whose mother is at home with a frozen dog corpse and not one grandbaby to her name, so she isn’t happy. Tinsley is crying about everything. She’s crying about it all.
The ladies do at least have one last moment to laugh, and it’s at Dorinda’s ’80s-themed jazzercise class. I was so excited to learn that Dorinda was a popular aerobics instructor back in the ’80s (oh, these women have a long stretch of road behind each of them) and she wants to raise some money for gay charity Live Out Loud. She gets together with one of her old exercise buddies and they throw a class, complete with all of Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons’s favorite moves, that looks like it’s being held at The Max from Saved by the Bell. Do you know how much money I would pay to go to a class led by Dorinda and Lisa Rinna of Body Beautiful fame? More than I would pay to see Luann croak through a few bars of “Feeling Jovani” without Auto-Tune. It was nice to see them all having fun and getting along for a change. Sure, there’s a little argument about whether they will go to Luann’s Christmas Cabaret with the Countess or some totally made-up party that Ramona wants to throw so they won’t have to listen to “Chic C’est La Vie” for the 954th time. But they giggle and do the grapevine. They comment on each other’s ludicrous neon outfits and matching camel toes. They all seem to be having a blast.
But behind them, crouched in the corners of studio, barely even in view, stood a whole group of people. They looked both bright and blurry, like a portrait of Jesus hugging Donald Trump in the Oval Office. There was Dennis, holding a red balloon floating in the air. There was John John Kennedy, fresh from partying with Sonja and Madonna on a yacht. There was Jill Zarin and Aviva Drescher pretending not to know each other but laughing at each other’s jokes. There were all of their old bodies from the ’80s, crystalized in vintage photos and old Cosmo spreads. Right there in the middle was Bambi, jumping and yapping to try to get everyone’s attention but not knowing that people couldn’t hear him anymore. The ladies moved on with their day, moved on with their lives, and in a pack these specters followed behind them, never far away, like a smell wafting in from the apartment next door, or the name of a song they just can’t quite remember.