After the traumatizing Real Housewives Of Orange County reunion, it was nice to see a little love on Manzo’d With Children by watching Lauren and Vito Scalia tie the knot in front of 400 of their closet friends.
While Lauren has resolved to legally (and religiously) yoke herself to one Vicotta, of the saltiest and savoriest salamis, Albie Manzo remains adrift in the wind, spraying his pot fertilizer up at the sun and watching it disappear. Albie went from being the prodigal son, to being mommy’s biggest flop – even Lauren mocks him for failing out of law school. It was all that
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Albie had big plans to market his miracle growth spray to pot growers and meets with his attorney to go over the legalities. The attorney warns Albie that because pot isn’t legal in New Jersey, and that’s where his company is based, he could “potentially” be putting himself at risk. Just like that Albie throws in the trowel on that business – on to the next. At least he doesn’t have to pay rent!
Albie informs Caroline she’ll no longer have to put aside money for his bail, and she’s relieved (and barely keeping the ‘I Told You So’s…’ on simmer). Now if only Albie would rid himself of that other unsavory business: Brittany.
To deal with that, Albie meets with his
therapist life coach who advises him to man-up about his feelings for Brittany. Easier said than done! Why does Albie need a life coach – isn’t that what Caroline is for? #MommyDearestKnowsBest
In preparation for Lauren’s big day, Caroline has been crafting up a storm until we can’t see her for all the glitter and glue fumes. Lauren, meanwhile, is in training for an extreme eating competition.
Gay non-grata Greggy Bennett takes Lauren out for a pre-pre-wedding brunch. Lauren confesses her post-marital plans are to get so fat by blowing all the money they should be saving to move out of Caroline and Al’s house on snacks. While Lauren wants lots and lots of cheeseburgers in her belly, she definitely doesn’t want a baby in there!
Greggy reveals that Albie is thinking of dumping Brittany – again. According to Lauren, Albie was only dating Brittany to infuriate her, and Albie loves being the victim when Lauren yells at him about how horrible his choices of women are. Yes, I’m sure Brittany’s hotness had absolutely NOTHING to do with Albie’s desire to date her – it was all about making Lauren cry into her cheesy eggs.
Vito hasn’t practiced his vows but is not worried – even though the priest is 500-years-old, was stolen from an ancient Italian church, smuggled into the Us in the well of Al’s depression (which also housed the key to Lauren’s Cartier Love bracelet), and was resurrected with the blasphemy of a Fabulicious meatball recipe. Needless to say, you can’t understand the good Father.
Denise and Vito Sr. have a more realistic view of their child is getting married. I guess after Vicotta dashed their hopes by abandoning the deli, he was dead to them. Vamanos! Lauren only gets custody of Vicotta for 12 hours a day – the nighttime when grandchild making should be happening – and Denise gets him the remainder of the time to press his shirts, grease his hair, and fill him with the goodness of a mother’s love. “I’m not losing him,” she warns.
Similarly Caroline ain’t losin’ nobody! Al may have finally accepted that Lauren is getting betrothed, but she’ll always be tethered to his AmEx and in his heart she’ll always be a meatball slurping Manzo! Also Caroline has eternal claim on Christmas Eve.
Chris has big news: he just got the proof for his children’s book cover. Didn’t he just write that thing approximately 4 minutes ago? And it’s already published? Something’s fishy! Albie sulks that he’s not doing as well as his siblings, then he skulks up to his childhood bedroom and sobs into his Star Wars sheets, now vintage, and I wonder: WHAT BECAME OF THE TWO RESTAURANTS HE OWNS?
Over at Ma & Pa Smothers Casa de MicroManzoing with Greggy in tow Lauren’s bridal party is doing last-minute preparations, including blowing up balloons. For a 400 person wedding they didn’t have a wedding planner?
Jacqueline Laurita bails out because she has pink eye in both eyes from tossing Chris Laurita‘s salad – or something.
Greggy and Chrissofart choose this moment to grill Albie about whether or not Brittany is his date for the wedding. Albie is still undecided – even though the wedding is TOMORROW. Therein lies Albie’s problem, he was probably just hoping Mommmy would take control and break up with Brittany’s boobies.
Chris nags Albie to text Brittany but Caroline races over to fight Albie’s battle, demanding Chris leave her blessed boy alone. “Where’s your date?!” she snaps at Chris. Everyone cringes with embarrassment at Caroline’s outrage. Lauren sucks some helium and waves a seating chart covered in hot glue gun marks in Caroline’s face, claiming Al needs it immediately. Caroline threatens to smack Lauren. Welcome to Lauren’s existence.
Lauren ushers Caroline upstairs, past Lauren’s enormous bridal gown suspended from the balcony. Seriously – the skirt on that thing was pouffy enough to house Vito, Vito Sr, and Chris after an All You Can Eat Buffet.
There’s a reason for the largess of dress: Lauren is officially OFF her diet – and has consumed approximately 5000 calories that day. Listening to her recite everything she ate was like reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar. After eating burritos and pizza and onion rings and cake and lobster bisque, Laruen crawled into the cocoon of her massive wedding gown, wrapped in her veil, and emerged a beautiful butterfly. Caroline cried into a monogrammed hanky Lauren bought in Italy, and then read the letter Lauren wrote about being thankful for Daddy’s never-ending credit limit.
Finally it’s WEDDING DAY! The wedding starts at 4 PM, which means Lauren begins hair and makeup at 10 AM. All this takes place in Al and Caroline’s bedroom beneath cheesy-crafty “C” + “A” signs. Caroline is wearing white – because she is the blessed Holy Mother of these spawn – and Lauren asked her too. Unfortunately Caroline is NOT wearing a bra, so her boobs are unsupported. Lady, pick up your tits.
Caroline’s father is so distracted by the site of pretty maids all in a row, he forgot to put his shirt and wanders around with his suspender straps over his moobs. He asks Albie about Brittany of the Bergen, NJ Boobs. Albie admits he dumped Brittany that morning, thus rescinding her wedding invite (was anyone else hoping she’d crash while wearing a string bikini?!). Brittany just isn’t ‘The One’ for Albie and on such a special romantical day all about true love, he didn’t want to a meaningless date.
Caroline gloats. I didn’t even have to say a word,” she smirks, tossing that pot fertilizer into the garbage alongside Lauren’s leftover pizza boxes.
At Vito’s everything is more relaxed. Vito Sr. pops a bottle of Cristal he’s been saving and Denise declares that it tastes
as bad as the Brownstone’s cooking awful!
Lauren finally stuffs herself into a Rolls Royce, the groomsman pile into a clown car of a very dated white stretch limo. I was waiting for Kim G’s driver to turn around and rasp, “Where to…” with a menacing glean. But the most menacing thing was Lauren insisting they stop at White Castle for Fish Nibblers. She would not be deterred. After eating them she kept touching her dress – she probably got greasy fingerprints all over the corset!
Then of course they are stuck in traffic and the bride is late. Finally the Rolls pulls up to the church, where paparazzi were stationed to fake like Lauren was important.
Jacqueline mills around with her face more frozen and lopsided than ever, her lips clownishly approaching Janice Dickinson territory, and her dress bizarrely see-thru. Melissa and Kathy also appeared. And so did long-lost Aunt Dina!
As Lauren and Al prepare to walk down the aisle, Lauren is suddenly nervous (probably the Fish Nibblers!) Al clutches her hand and escorts her to the alter and Vito. Subconsciously warring for Lauren’s love, both Al and Vito confess to noticing nothing and no one but Lauren, not even each other. It was sweet in a vaguely creepy way.
Albie and Chris cry through the ceremony because now that Lauren’s wedding is over there will be nothing to distract Caroline from meddling in their lives. Chris makes a mental note to poke holes in Vito’s condoms and replace Lauren’s birth control with Tic-Tacs. If Lauren gets pregnant, Caroline will be distracted!
Then it’s on to the reception. Lauren can neither get in, nor out of the car effectively, but at least she wore her same dress all day without 600 outfit changes. (and she did look really pretty). During the Father/Daughter dance Al bawled so heavily Lauren’s hair got soaked. During the Mother/Son dance Vito sobbed into his mommy’s shoulder while Denise patted his back and whispered, “Don’t worry Vicotta – Mommy will still do your laundry. And make you lunch. Don’t you dare eat that witch’s phony Italian cooking!”
Why are Jacqueline and Melissa dressed so hoochie?
Jacqueline spent much of the reception pumping her fist in the air and whooping. Is she impersonating Snooki now?
Denise and Caroline had a cute bonding moment about how they finally pulled it off. They seemed genuinely happy and hit the bar to get drunk and plot getting that grandchild. Overall it was a happy day, filled with love. Even Al is happy – because it’s over – and if Lauren is happy, so is daddy. Congratulations Lauren and Vito!
The next morning, Caroline makes breakfast for her boys and Al. Al decides Vito and Lauren still aren’t allowed to share a bed – not under his roof! Caroline threatens him with the bagel knife – because what about her grandchild!!!! Al relents under threat of having to visit Albie’s Life Coach.
Finally Lauren and Vito arrive home; Lauren carrying her massive dress, quite deflated now that the helium of the big day has evaporated. Lauren’s recounts her favorite memory of the wedding: Drunkenly scarfing down microwaved Mac & Cheese in the hotel afterwards. *side eye*
With it all over, Caroline is relieved the fambly survived intact. Nothing will come between their closeness – not even Brittany – and now they are expanding by graciously including Vito. Although he better come attached to future grandchildren or it’s back to Denise’s he goes!
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[Photo Credits: Bravo]