Dina Manzo thought this season of Real Housewives Of New Jersey would be an opportunity to show off her zen, but yeah, this is reality TV. And since reality TV aims to bring the drama Bravo blindsided Dina by adding the sister-in-law she can’t stand, Jacqueline Laurita, to the cast at the tail-end of filming. Dina managed to avoid Jacqueline until Andy Cohen confronted her about family issues at the reunion.
Dina and Jacqueline have already spent oodles and oodles of time telling us how they feel on twitter, through the haze of wine and cat hair, each of them accuses the other of lying. Unfortunately 140 characters (even when you tweet over and over again!) just isn’t enough. I do wish we could limit wine and delusion in the same manner we limit twitter type-age, although it’s usually user-abuse that causes the issues (i.e. tweeting constantly.).
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“What most of you don’t know is I went in there with the intention of keeping silent on my family issues, as I have for the past four years,” Dina states. “An incident happened at the reunion, and I won’t even give that person the attention they crave, but it set me off to tell my truth. Well some of it at least.”
That incident was Ashlee Holmes, the most desperate grasping straw of RHONJ, worse even than Kim D! Now we’ve heard varying accounts of what happened: one from Ashlee stating Dina had her kicked off the set when innocent, sweet, totally sensible and mature Ashlee was just there trying to do her job. Her job was making Kathy “Wallpaper” Wakile look like she tripped in fell face first into the MAC counter. All the colors.
The other account is that Ashlee was talking about Dina backstage and attempted to start a confrontation when Dina Zenned her out. Ashlee was also, reportedly, trying to get ON STAGE to confront Dina about their family drama but Dina threatened to leave set. I’m gonna go with the truth being somewhere in the middle, a nebulous grey area with a little sparkle. You know, much like Melissa Gorga‘s role on this season of RHONJ!
Whatever – that was zen and this is now, and Dina feisty! Like a self-help Pinterest board! “I felt I was very P.C. this whole time, but now I had enough. Some people will push you because they know deep down inside you won’t push back, but being ‘zen’ is all about setting boundaries, and learning that has been part of my spiritual path.” Personally I think being zen is about leaving reality TV and going home to your shrine of hairless housecats. Where does she store them all in her NYC apartment?!
Another hot topic was Dina’s very odd and rambling answer about Jacqueline’s son Nicholas. Now, I think poor Nicholas does NOT deserve to be a storyline on RHONJ in any capacity, so I agree with Dina there. I think Dina gave an awkward answer, but I do not think it was malicious. She further explains herself:
“I don’t want to go into much other than saying my answer about Nic came out very cold because there was more to it. I wish it were that easy to get to know him, but unfortunately it’s not because of my relationship with his mother, and I’m just being honest. He is not missing me nor does he know what is going on with this family because of NOTHING more than his age. Anyone who is trying to make people think otherwise, especially his mother, should be ashamed of themselves.”
“The Mother Theresa comment was about people comparing how I raise money for children with cancer yet don’t help him. I went on to say how blessed my brother is to live in a county in New Jersey that people actually move to for the autism programs offered. How I see joy in him because of the progress he is making. He is a happy, beautiful child that is on his way to recovery, and although I know it’s a struggle for parents of children on the spectrum, there is NOTHING wrong with seeing joy in them instead of sorrow.”
Dina wasn’t just taking heat on-stage from Andy (or backstage from slouchy Hatlee of the Plastic-Faced Lauritas), she was also being called out by Melissa and Kathy. Now, another thing I agree with Dina on – Melissa and Kathy have absolutely ZERO room to lecture anyone on fambly! Girls… sit down, all the way down, stay there and practice what you preach!
“Kathy and Melissa should not have challenged me about ‘family values’ if they don’t want to hear my side,” Dina asserts. “I kept quiet for the most part for TERESA, not wanting to bring up old wounds when she was dealing with so much around her sentencing. It was a hard position for me to be in.” Ah – Teresa can take it. She’s so dense.
And finally, Dina responds to Caroline Manzo‘s appearance on WWHL where she called Dina immature. Apparently Dina can tawk, but not Caroline. “I have no words for my sister on WWHL. She could have answered the no engagement question and left it at that,” Dina says. “The lies that followed after were extremely hurtful and must have come from the sheer frustration of having to defend her position on the engagement party. All of you have seen I have ONLY ever said positive things about her no matter what I was feeling.”
Allegedly Dina saw Nicholas at a family wedding and walked right by him, ignoring him completely. Dina says she didn’t see him and it was completely accidental.
Hmmm… I don’t necessarily like to judge anyone’s family because well, you know – personal matter – but given that this is a reality TV storyline, despite the fact that Dina and Caroline didn’t want it to be, I feel compelled to give an opinion. If you don’t want to hear it skip this part.
I think Dina and Caroline need to talk, one-to-one, in private, in person, with open-minds and hearts. Put the pretense and the pride down (dang I sound zen – I’m not! I promise! I’m hateful!).
They both need to put Jacqueline aside for the moment, because it’s clear SHE is the issue from both ends, but Caroline doesn’t want to say anything.. We all know how Wacky-Jacky and her wine juice operates: she stirs up trouble, she can never keep her mouth shut, she tells lies, she can’t remember what she told people, she has zero filter, and zero consideration for who she hurts in the process of spilling her “truth” all over her iPhone in a slurry wine-sludged fury. Jacqueline’s “truth” is like Dina’s “zen” both BS convenient excuses to get away with obnoxious behavior.
I think if Caroline and Dina can start on their relationship things could build. Of course, Dina will always have to deal with Jacqueline, to a degree, but she and Caroline clearly love each other and have let miscommunication, defensiveness, and hubris stand in the way of mending things. And that is toxic.
My other advice: stay the f–k of twitter, cause um… nothing will be resolved there!
TELL US – CAN DINA AND CAROLINE PATCH THINGS UP? IS JACQUELINE CAUSING PROBLEMS IN THE FAMILY WITH HER NONSENSE?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]