The Real Housewives of New Jersey
I’ve been meaning to write about how Joe and Melissa should have gone to Teresa’s wedding all season. Family matters more than anything, and hopefully, all of these matters can be addressed and laid to rest, never to be heard from again, like Jimmy Hoffa. These are the once-in-a-lifetime events you need to be there for, even if things are tense because when they’re better, you will be sad you weren’t there. Presence only takes an afternoon of being uncomfortable. Regret lasts a lifetime, and there is no way to undo it.
That was the speech I had planned for the Gorgas, but you know what, fuck that. They shouldn’t have gone, and there was no way they should have gone. I can’t believe Melissa even finished filming this season. The thing that shocked me the most out of this whole explosive altercation at Dolores and Paulie’s unsanctioned Great Gatsby party with Irish undertones was when Danielle finally sits Melissa down to tell her about the cheating rumor, and Melissa already knew. She wasn’t shocked, she wasn’t caught unaware, she wasn’t indignant, she was just sad. She’s right, this relationship had been over, and it’s time to lay it to rest and never hear about it again, like Jimmy Hoffa.
It all goes down when Danielle decides that she needs to tell Melissa that Marge told her friend Laura that she saw her cheating in the back of the car with some dude. How does Danielle know this? Because Laura DMed Jennifer and Teresa and told them and they told Danielle. Marge, Melissa, and some of the other women insinuate that Teresa knew that Danielle was going to tell her and orchestrated this whole smear campaign against Melissa. Using her “I’m being quiet because I’m lying voice,” Teresa said she didn’t orchestrate it. However, I do believe that she didn’t know. I also don’t think it is possible for her, Jen, and Danielle to run this intricate sting operation so that Danielle brings it up and they all look blameless. It’s the same reason I never believed any conspiracy theories about the Trump White House having these grand plans to give up American secrets to Russia. It’s not that they didn’t want to; it’s just that they’re too stupid to pull it off.
Danielle’s reasoning is that telling Melissa will get her mad at Marge because Marge is going around telling her former bestie that Melissa made out with some dude in the back seat of a car. (Was it Tom Sandoval?) This, on the face of it, makes no sense. Why is Melissa going to think her friend and ally Margaret would spread a rumor about her that she thinks is true? Also, why does Danielle think that Melissa will just go, “Oh, that’s crazy. Glad you told me,” and return to the party? She will want to know who said this, who repeated it, and what the provenance is. Has Danielle never watched a reality television program, especially one with interpersonal dynamics as intractable as these? It’s sort of like Danielle wanted to make a volcano for a science project and she poured the baking soda and vinegar into it and then was shocked that there was an explosion.
Danielle asks in a confessional why Laura would make a story like this. Because she wants to hurt Margaret and get on the show, that’s why. I wouldn’t know this woman from a box of Cheez-Its someone left on the train (and would much rather keep company with that), and I can tell you why she would do that. Danielle is just a little too new to understand what is happening.
We can all tell that she, Jen, and Teresa didn’t pre-plan this ambush (though it is great finale content) because we see Danielle tell Jen she’s going to do that, and Jen says, “Oh, I wouldn’t do that.” She then gets Danielle to say that she’ll blame it all on Laura and not bring up Teresa and Jen. Oh yeah, sure, Jen. That’s how it’s going to go. And now we have cast Jen as Rudy Giuliani with spray-on hair running down his face standing in front of Four Seasons Landscaping, pretending to be a mastermind.
Yeah, Teresa didn’t know this was going down two days before her wedding, but she orchestrated this whole thing. Like Melissa points out, this has been Teresa’s schtick since she was 24 years old. First, she got someone on the show to say that Melissa was a stripper. Then it was that Melissa was doing things with her ex. Then it was Melissa was going to leave Joe for someone richer. And each of those times, Teresa brought someone else on to say something about Melissa so she could say, “Oh no. I had no idea. I didn’t say that. It’s wrong.” Meanwhile, the person saying it is such a sock puppet they might as well be the Pets dot-com mascot. (Holla for Web one point oh!)
I see how what is really angering Melissa and Joe at this point is how relentless Teresa is about their marriage. You would think that after she tried the stripper gambit and it didn’t work or her first ruse about Melissa making out with an ex that she maybe give up and just try to accept her sister-in-law. Barring that, at least you would think she would come up with a new strategy. Nope, here’s Teresa, like Wile E. Coyote with a nail job painting a tunnel on a cliff face with Acme paint and then being shocked when she flattens her face trying to run through it.
Also, last season, Teresa was upset that Melissa didn’t stick up for her and Luis more when Marge was talking about his video. We’ve already addressed that, but sure. But if Teresa wanted this blind allegiance over a video we all saw, where was her allegiance in the face of this rumor? She doesn’t think, even for a second, that Melissa wouldn’t do it; she doesn’t have her back at all. She runs to her brother, trying to break up his marriage. And if what Joe says is true — that both Teresa and Luis tried to get him to break up with her and that Gia wakes up in the morning thinking about so many things about how her uncle could “do better” — well, that’s even worse than any perceived slight against Melissa.
Danielle tells Melissa, and she tells us that she already knew that Teresa and Luis found this out and that Luis called Joe to come over and talk about it. The problem isn’t the rumor itself; it’s that Teresa and Luis believed it. You can say many things about Missy G — that she has no storyline, that she’s had too much plastic surgery, that “On Display” isn’t a certified bop — but you can’t call her a liar or a cheater. She would never ever do this, and for Teresa and Luis to believe that she can shows that they want to envisage the absolute worst of her. And that they think that Joe would believe this boneheaded story from some woman that anyone hardly knows is just ridiculous.
What makes me so mad at them is the hypocrisy of it all. Teresa says that Luis called Joe so that he would know what was going on and get ahead of it. Luis says he didn’t want this to explode in Joe’s face. But wait, that is the exact reason that Marge gave Teresa and Luis last season for bringing up his insane video, and they decided that Margaret wanted to maliciously take him down. They’ve been crucifying her for two seasons now because she wanted them to get ahead of a video that was on the internet that we could all see. Now they want us to believe that they wanted Joe to get out in front of some bullshit rumor that is so fake it came in a Designer Imposter Body Spray’s canister?
Almost everyone behaved badly in this fight, though. I usually agree with Margaret, but she doesn’t fight fair. She sees Melissa and Danielle saying her name on the couch and she goes over there hotter than a pizza bagel just out of the microwave. She’s yelling at Danielle, which makes Danielle yell back at her and turn what could have been a conversation into a brawl. She also tells Danielle, “This is why your brother doesn’t talk to you,” which is not a very nice thing to say. But even after this whole fight, Danielle still thinks that Margaret somehow caused all this rather than Teresa and Jen, who were talking to an entirely unreliable witness.
When Jennifer Aydin gets involved (Jennifer Fessler was nowhere to be found because she was trying to score little Frankie Catania’s phone number), Marge then tells her that the reason her daughter wants to be a “love therapist” is because she knows her father slept with a subordinate. Okay, that blow is so low it would drown in a loogie. However, I think Jennifer’s anger at Marge for Oliva’s comment about being a therapist is misplaced. Maybe she wants to be a love therapist because her mother will tell everyone listening (including her brother) what a shitty husband Bill is? Maybe it’s because she sees her mother constantly trying to get him out of the pool house and he won’t do it. I think this has way more to do with her parents’ unhappy marriage than anything Marge did. But I will give props to Bill, who tells Jen, as he’s escorting her out of the party, that he wishes he didn’t put her in that position and she doesn’t deserve it. I mean, did he learn how to take accountability in his one therapy session? It seems to be working. Maybe go back for more?
Joe is also no saint in the fight but is way more restrained than usual. Compare that to Luis, who showed up at the party trying to start a fight. The more this man with the complexion of the inside of an undercooked meatball does to try to seem normal, the more he looks insane. When he arrives at the party, he blatantly snubs Joe to say “hi” to all the other guys. Then, when everyone is screaming, someone says that Luis called Joe to tell him about the affair rumor. “I’ve called Joe a lot of things,” he says, further taunting him. Then there are his remarks about “winning” because he’s marrying Teresa and his wide-eyed Joker face discussing how he wants to fight.
But the weirdest of all is his shit about Bo Dietl. I have no clue who this person is, so he must be straight culture. The day after the fight, Dolores and Jen go to Teresa’s to discuss things. Luis tells them that Bo Dietl, the best private investigator in the country, has information on everyone on the show. Do and Jen just sit there listening and don’t say anything. I would have asked, “Bitch, why are you sending a PI after me?” These are Teresa’s friends; why is he digging dirt up on them? And, if he really did that, doesn’t that make him even worse than Marge with her “arsenal” of rumors and gossip from around the townships of northern New Jersey?
Teresa is around the same table saying that she knew that Melissa was going to blame her for this like she always does. Well, maybe Melissa is always blaming her because she’s always the one at fault. Maybe if she stopped trying her stupid Keystone Cops trickery to go after Melissa, she wouldn’t have anything to get blamed for. But yet here is Teresa, still saying that family means more to her than anything after failing, for at least the third time, to destroy her only brother’s seemingly happy marriage. Melissa is right, they shouldn’t have gone, and I have a feeling that they’re never going to regret their decision.