Week Two! We’re back for another installment of As The Etiquette Turns with The Real Housewives of Potomac. Not wasting any time, we’re plunged right back into the argument between Karen Huger and Gizelle Bryant as they trade barbs at Charrisse Jackson-Jordan’s
low rent crab boil. Since last seen, Gizelle is still checking her bangs in the mirrored frame of 5 Rules of Etiquette that Karen’s “gifted” her as a reminder of who sits where at birthday dinners. It’s all too much for Gizelle, who claims a legacy and pedigree over Karen’s farming skills.
Meanwhile, Charrisse is STILL UPSTAIRS at her own party dishing with a friend over how loud and “ghetto” Gizelle and her friend, Kal, were behaving downstairs earlier. Earlier, as in: When they were literally doing all of the cooking for Charrisse because she’s too cheap to hire a chef! Perhaps she’s just salty that they kept the cameras lingering too long in her kitchen. One dented fridge, 2 junk drawers later…a girl’s gotta find someone to blame it all on.
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Katie Rost shows up with boyfriend Andrew and her three children. Though Charrisse has finally meandered down the steps – steps which SHALL NOT BE CLIMBED by other women’s stylists – Gizelle is still in co-hosting mode, checking on guests and making sure the party is going well. Because she thinks they’re actual friends, Gizelle wants to take Charrisse aside to squash the beef, so they sit down in a side room to chat. Turns out, Charrisse admits she was rubbed the wrong way when Kal entered her home with a “look at your hairrrrrr!” comment. And by the way, Charrisse thinks Gizelle’s hair is not cute, so who’s her stylist trying to school anyway?
Gizelle says she was just playing with her, but Charrisse is not buying it. She tells Gizelle if that’s the way she wants to act, then she can do it elsewhere. Then she leaves. Gizelle grabs Kal and makes ready to blow this crab boil, but not before getting into it one more time with Lady Eloise and Ms. Jordan, who tell her if she can’t be classy, don’t come around. Cool Cat Robyn Dixon comes in to diffuse the situation, but between Kal taking on Karen and Charrisse waving at Gizelle to “Be Gone!” not much is accomplished. Random yellow dress friend is still pinch-hitting as she shuts the door behind Gizelle. And that’s that.
Sometime later, Katie is back at her house hosting Rabbi Mark to discuss the upcoming Jewish naming ceremony for her twin girls. Karen is the only black Jew she knows, since she’s not good friends with the late Sammy Davis Jr. or the current Lenny Kravitz at the moment. But she does see Obama on her golf course! The Rabbi is not impressed with Katie’s name dropping, and is more interested in Katie’s Jewish cred. Katie was raised Jewish and wants her children to have the same heritage, but she’s more a High Holidays and non-Hebrew-reading Jew, as it turns out. Rabbi Mark is willing to work with Katie on the naming ceremony, but he bristles at involving Andrew (who Katie calls her “soon to be fiance”), as he’s not the girls’ father. Katie divorced her ex-husband because they had the “exact same personality,” and no one wants to be married to themselves
especially if they’re a gold digging gala girl.
Over at the Hugers, RHOP is delivering the high class, upper crust scenes we were promised as Karen arranges Panera pastries on a cake tray in her 1982 Formica kitchen. (Is Extreme Home Makeover going to do a crossover with this show at some point? Because then all of these extra jaaaanky kitchens would suddenly make sense!) Lipton Tea will also be served. Raymond’s Aunt Dot is visiting today, and only the best will be expected from the family matriarch. She is the woman who took Karen from farm to table, as it were. Aunt Dot writes all the etiquette rules, including those involving tea and its hotness, apparently. Karen wants Gizelle to know Aunt Dot is also available on loan to coach the other ladies in her social circle about etiquette.
Katie and Gizelle are meeting at a Sip with Socialites event hosted by Ashley Darby, the youngest housewife on the docket this season. Ashley greets the the ladies with giggles and small talk, but all Gizelle sees is hair. Their awkward exchange is interrupted by Robyn, who tries to understand what Ashley is prattling on about…to no avail. Ashley seems nervous, and she should be because the next questions she’s grilled with are as follows: Is your husband black or white? And what are YOU? Answers: white and mixed, respectively. Here we go! Gizelle snarks at Katie, “And Katie, what are you today, black or white?” Katie laughs it off for now, but they’ll be more to come on this front later.
Ashley is 26, married to a 55-year old man, doesn’t have kids yet, but wants a Gemini or Leo baby. Gizelle takes issue with all of these stats but, as Robyn notes, is probably showing her claws with Ashley simply because she is young and pretty. Which are not Gizelle’s favorite attributes in new friends. Ashley seems unruffled by Gizelle’s snarky remarks, and blithely takes to the dance floor to hump up on Robyn. While Gizelle thinks Ashley is simply a THOT, Robyn wonders if she’s just spent too much time around white people? Katie, however, sees a potential ally in Ashley, and claims to love her energy and youth. So. You say ratchet, I say bring it!
Charrrrrrrisssssse is at the gym with her kids, noting that this is her happy place: with her children. That’s good because her husband Eddie lives in NJ currently, coaching for Rutgers. It’s not easy, she says, but it works.
At Gizelle’s house, she interrupts her three girls’ homework time to get their opinion on her nails and her friendships. She’s writing letters to Charrisse and Karen to invite them out for lunch to make peace. She also wants to remind them that she’s from a better family than both of them combined, and that she can etiquette-out even the biggest Snobby Come Lately in Potomac, so harrrunmph! The letters will be delivered via chariot. Gizelle asks her girls what lesson they’ve learned today? “Always be nice to enemies.” Boom.
Ashley and hubby Michael, real estate developer and the smartest guy Ashley knows, are at home having drinks. They’re currently trying to open a restaurant/bar that showcases Australian and American food (Michael is an Aussie). Ashley is not from wealth, hailing from a working class family in Sandy Spring, MD. She won “Miss DC” and competed in “Miss USA,” but wasn’t accustomed to financial security until she met Michael. She tells Michael about being called a THOT the previous night ala Gizelle, but laughs it off as jealousy. Whether these ladies accept her or not, Ashley plans to infiltrate their circle because they have what she wants: connections.
It’s the day of Katie’s naming ceremony. The guests assemble around a guitar-playing Rabbi Mark. Before he gets to it, the doorbell rings and a late Gizelle strolls in. She says she thought Katie was rolling on black people’s time, but not so. Robyn notes she went to school with lots of Jewish kids, but none of them looked like Katie. It looks like Andrew has been included in the ceremony after all, as Katie likes to keep their un-engaged status “muddied.” She notes that a lot of other women out there could swoop in and steal her prize, so she wants to keep him locked down.
After the ceremony, Katie gathers out back with Robyn, Gizelle, and two friends to discuss racial relations in the US. It goes a little something like this: Why are you Jewish? You’re black!? But, of course, with a dash more etiquette (just a DASH, though). Katie is proud of her biracial heritage and doesn’t see the issue here. “What box are your girls going to check?” asks Robyn. Katie doesn’t know. She identifies with both sides of her family and wants her children to also. Interestingly, Gizelle and Robyn are often asked if they’re white, given their light skin and eyes, but both of them come from two African American parents each and identify as black. So, what’s Katie’s biracial identity got to do with them? Apparently a lot, as neither seems to grasp the fact that Katie is comfortable with who she is.
Moving on to the luncheon from hell, Gizelle awaits the arrival of Karen and Charrisse. As their chariot ferries them to the event, Karen and Charrisse read their letters to each other, which haven’t done much to unruffle their feathers thus far. As they arrive with their best stink faces on, the ladies order then get right down to it. Gizelle takes issue with Karen’s crazy gift at Charrisse’s crab boil. “Crazy gift, crazy person,” retorts Karen, who then backtracks and claims the gift was lighthearted in its intent. Gizelle doesn’t think it was a joke, noting the only joke at this table is the wig on Karen’s head. “Smooth it down, boo. Just smooth it down.”
Charrisse jumps in to pile on, reiterating how “amped up” Gizelle and Kal were when they arrived at her house to help out. This is not a Tyler Perry play, says Charrisse. Gizelle wonders if Charrisse is just mad because they’re happy people, and possibly Charrisse – at least lately – is decidedly not. Gizelle argues that Charrisse asked Kal to come up the
royal steps and do her hair, but Charrisse (I literally feel like my keyboard is sticking on the “R” and “S” every time I type her name. Damn!) conveniently has no memory of this.
“Who brings a hair stylist to a crab boil?” asks Karen. (How about, who doesn’t hire a chef for a crab boil!?!?!?) And has Gizelle done a background check on him? Karen wonders. Because, according to Karen, he threatened her by balling up his fist and pointing to his bicep at the party after things went left. But this dreadful conversation isn’t really about Kal. It’s about Charrisse and Karen not being able to control Gizelle with their Imaginary Potomac Rules. Since Gizelle isn’t interested in these Imaginary Rules, Karen wonders if they can even be friends.
Gizelle tells Charrisse she can go ahead and get along back to the car – that she ordered for her – if she doesn’t want to sit here anymore. Charrisse exits, telling Gizelle, “The presence of your face repulses me!” then takes her leave.
Karen sticks around, but accuses Gizelle of not taking ownership of her part in things. Gizelle claims she did apologize, brought flowers for the ladies, and even had her kids help write the letters to set up this peace-seeking-mission today. Lady Eloise goes way, way below the belt next (Aunt Dot would NOT approve!) and snarls that Gizelle should give the flowers to her kids, as she obviously “pimped them out” to help her with grownup issues. #OhNoSheDidn’t! Gizelle silently seethes as Karen walks away, tossing a “Kiss my ass!” behind her for good measure.
So, Karen says she has been groomed on how to enter a room, but who taught her this exit?
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF NEW GIRL ASHLEY? SHOULD KATIE’S BIRACIAL IDENTITY BE A POINT OF CONTENTION? WHAT’S TO COME FOR CHARRISSE, KAREN, AND GIZELLE?
Photo Credit: Bravo