Last night’s fable from Real Housewives Of New York taught us a valuable lesson about the bounds of friendship when it comes to Dorinda Medley. Warning: Do not tell Dorinda anything about John – she’s a grown woman who can Nair her man’s back if she wants to.
The episode awakens amid the chaotic domestic scene of Jules Wainstein‘s morning. I presume the live-in nanny doesn’t do childcare before 9am? Jules struggles to make coffee for husband Michael, then announces she’s eating half his breakfast, and then puts both kids in the bathtub, even though they’re perilously perched on being late to school – as always. Not that Jules cares. Paying tuition entitles her to reinvent the clock, so she can be an hour late everyday if she wants to. It’s Jules‘ world and we’re all living on Jules time – it’s hair flip o’clock somewhere!
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In a tableau of slightly-crumbling patrician elegance, the delusion quietly buffered by original antiques and silk wallpaper, Sonja Morgan, in a satin robe, entertains Luann de Lesseps. Over pink champagne and pink chips, they discuss the frightful predicament Carole Radziwill has found herself in – that of being lodged up Bethenny Frankel‘s “anus”. Countesses don’t use the words “butt hole.”
Luann doesn’t believe she and Carole can make amends after their nasty fall-out over Adam. According to Luann, it’s negatively affecting her friendship with Bethenny. Sonja, considerably calmer this season, listens attentively. I know – Sonja listening! That’s as unlikely as the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse storming a Chanel sample sale and demanding all the Fantasy Tweed. (size 2!)
I knew there was a reason Sonja was “sage-ing” her kitchens for demons – to ward off the spirits of evil Housewives, right?!
Sonja and Luann also marvel over Ramona Singer dating. These two seasoned divorcees are over the dating scene and are looking for enduring and everlasting love.
In Bethenny’s world it’s all about Bethenny. And Bethenny’s birthday which she absolutely does not want any attention for!
It’s Bethenny’s birthday; she’ll judge if she wants to, condescend if she wants to, be a shitty friend if she wants to … you would snark too if you were unhappy too. Luckily, jewelry is an excellent band-aid for sadness, so Bethenny invites Dorinda and Carole to do a little jewelry shopping. Except the only thing being sold, according to Bethenny, is John.
Dorinda mistakenly believes she can convince the ladies of John’s virtues by revealing that she Nair’s his hairy back. Bethenny nearly vomits into her champagne. Look – this is New York City, not Planet Of The Apes, the only animalistic things these ladies are accustomed to are either sold in the Furrier at Barneys, on display at the Central Park Zoo, or are lapdogs who get their own funeral.
Carole recounts her loquacious lunch with Ramona. Ramona has not only upgraded her bra size, she’s also renovated her apartment – FINALLY! Good lord – that place was stagnant, depressing, and stuck in a decor time warp no one wants to remember! Bethenny is unsurprised by Ramona’s self-absorption at lunch, and every time she invests in a relationship with Pinot, she gets burned (Ramona is the electrolysis of middle-aged friendships and Bethenny needs some sage!). Dorinda defends her bestie of 20 years, saying she has never experienced this burn. She and Ramona know each other so well there is an unspoken trust… Foreshadowing By Bravo!
Dorinda visits Ramona’s apartment to see the TruRenewal. Ramona has cleansed everything in pinot, pulled down the drapes, burned them in a bonfire, and thrown Mario’s Baby Grand off the balcony in a burst of super-pinot strength. The result is blinding. Literally. It’s like living in Midas’ castle after everything was turned into gold! Over lunch, Ro and Do get so hot, they sit on the AC – even though, other than Dorinda’s upcoming bra-fitting party, they weren’t even discussing hot topics!
Meanwhile, Bethenny and Carole have a considerably cooler lunch, where they pick at some hummus and Luann. It’s Bethenny’s birthday (how many times do we have to hear that before we get to the tootsie roll center?!), so Bethenny is having a tailgate/BBQ party in her Hamptons backyard. Does Bethenny know what a tailgate is? (Maybe the ‘team’ everyone is supposed to root for is Bethenny? Everyone will wear Skinnygirl t-shirts!).
A caveat: Bethenny isn’t sure if she wants to invite Luann, who Bethenny dismisses as a “user,” desperate to be her friend. All summer Luann was begging Bethenny to hang out. When Bethenny was evasive, Luann texted her to not be “uncool”. Bethenny complains that there’s always something disingenuous and slimy about her relationship with Luann. Carole quite agrees, and after all the horrible, awful, unforgivable, and evil things Luann said about her relationship to Adam, there is no chance Carole will forgive her. Interestingly, Bethenny seems surprised to learn this!
Bethenny pretended to be friends with Luann to segue back into RHONY, but is now calling Lu the user? Also, Carole was saying way, WAY worse things about Luann. For a reminder, click here. Sounds like Carole is Eileen Davidson-ing: i.e. deflecting onto Luann because she feels defensive about the Adam situation.
Regarding that May/December relationship with Adam, Carole admits it likely won’t last – Adam wants kids and a wife whose Depends he won’t be changing in the near future. “I’ve only got like five good summers left,” she acknowledges, sadly. But in those five summers Carole is gonna live like she’s 30 again, dress like she’s 30 again, and roll hard with the Carrie Bradshaw “Hot Child In The City” shtick. Don’t be contrived, Carole, be, like, uncontrived.
The day of Dorinda’s party, which Ramona calls a “brassiere party,” Dorinda runs into Luann and last-minute invites her – cause that’s flattering – but Lu can’t attend. Which is just as well because the presence of the Evil Countess would send the sweet, innocent Princess Carole hovering and shivering in the corner!
Of course, no brassiere party is complete without drama. Ramona, the woman who burned Bethenny to smithereens, calls her to wish her happy birthday and relays an anecdote she heard about John and Dorinda. Outside a party last week, John was drunk and admitted he likes to get “really buzzed, pop a Viagra, and do Dorinda for like 6 hours.” And we thought hairy backs imagery was repulsive! Ramona wonders if she should tell Dorinda – because she would want to know if her man was making such disrespectful comments! Ramona worries that she won’t be tactful enough when letting Dorinda know what happened. Y’a think?!
Meanwhile, a blissfully unaware Dorinda stops by Madame Paulette’s, to pick up her outfit and arrange to meet John after the party. Foreshadowing By Bravo…
When Bethenny arrives at the party, she instantly rains on Dorinda’s parade by revealing that she once had a party in the very same room (for her very important birthday) and she once once had a brassiere fitting done by swami priestesses in Tibet so her bra is made of magic, and Bethenny also knows one of Dorinda’s mutual friends, which Dorinda didn’t know. It’s always about Bethenny! Bethenny! Bethenny! Bethenny! Dorinda sighs because there’s no beating Bethenny, or her birthday, so you might as well join her!
Jules wonders if they make bras to accommodate areola only, since she has no boobage to speak of. While perusing the food table, she accidentally touches shrimp. She’s kosher and freaks out cause it’s shellfish. Instead of excusing herself to use the RESTROOM, which has these things called SINKS, Jules panics to find the “nearest mikvah”. Which turns out to be a lemon she squeezed on her hands – over the table! – then plunging her hands into the ice bucket!!!! A bucket which was not for chilling bottles of champagne, but for actually putting INTO THE DRINKS! Moments later, Carole was served tequila over Jules shellfish hands.
In a touching moment of hypocrisy, Carole comments on Jules thinness, deciding it’s unnatural. Unlike the thinness of Carole, herself. Even Ramona is side-eying this contradiction as she hollers to Carole that her leather hot pants are falling down because she’s so tiny. I love how Carole, who is all ‘I support women, unlike Luann’, thinks it acceptable to rank thinness from natural (she and Bethenny?), to unnatural and decides she hovers, with condescension, slightly above Jules Of The Forced Skinniness (and shrimp aversion).
Of course, clothes hanger competitions are sidelined, because shopping for brassieres pales in comparison to arguing. Dorinda tells Bethenny that she ran into Luann, who said she’d see them in the Hamptons next weekend, implying that she’s attending Bethenny’s party – a birthday party Bethenny did not invite Luann to! “She’s RSVPing and she hasn’t even gotten an invite,” Bethenny snipes. She trashes Luann for being slimy and “always doing the wrong thing.” Carole starts to complain that she assumed Bethenny wasn’t inviting Luann, out of loyalty for Carole since this is adulthood and all, but Bethenny snaps, “It’s my house!” DAMN!!
I don’t know if it was an intentional double-team or a sub-conscience one, but Ramona and Bethenny were working in tandem to bite everyone’s heads off! Were these edible underwear brassieres?! Ramona turns to Carole and yells at her for being a bad friend, who didn’t call all summer while she was going through the worst time in her life, divorcing Mario. Carole is speechless and almost laughs, which is what I appreciate about Carole. I wish to see this Carole more often.
Dorinda squashes the argument by explaining how Carole and Ramona are two different girls, from two different worlds (like a Billy Joel song), and maybe shouldn’t venture to each other. Which prompts Bethenny to decide Dorinda needs a Come To Jesus moment about John.
Bethenny reveals that over the summer, while Dorinda’s back was turned, John propositioned Bethenny for her phone number, which made her feel uncomfortable. This was the same night John and Dorinda got so obliteratedly drunk Bethenny still hasn’t forgotten it months later. That bad, huh?
Bethenny feels Dorinda is always trying to “sell” John and their relationship to her friends, which makes everyone feel like she’s got something to hide. Good points!
Dorinda, of course, denies everything. “Guess what Bethenny Frankel?! You’re not the word according to God! You’re not gospel!” Dorinda shrieks, shaking the walls of the Gansevoort Hotel. Jules tries to calm Dorinda down, but Ramona, tactful and socially aware as ever, decides this is the right moment to drop the Viagra story. “Abort! Abort!” quakes Bethenny in her confessional. I assume we didn’t notice her signaling frantically to Ramona, waving a white brassiere as a flag of surrender, warning her to back slowly away from the beast that sprouted from John’s back hair and overtook Dorinda.
Ramona dives in with both feet, no macrame net to save her, and is rewarded by drowning her friendship. As Ramona predicted, Dorinda doesn’t care that John said it. Perched on the edge of the sofa with her legs splayed, Dorinda screams that Ramona, her friend of 20 years, chose to bring this up in front of everyone instead of speaking to her privately. I didn’t even get the impression Dorinda cared that it was on camera, just that Ramona chose to come to her in a group, intervention-style, as opposed to one-on-one, friend-style. Dorinda reminds Ramona that she confided in her about divorce and Mario, which Dorinda never repeated.
Dorinda has a good point about friend responsibilities. Dorinda feels something has permanently changed about her friendship with Ramona, and choked on those words about how Ramona has never betrayed her. That must burn to swallow.
Next week – John shows up – DRUNK – and gets into it with Bethenny! Yikes.
TELL US: WAS RAMONA A BAD FRIEND TO DORINDA? IS LUANN A USER?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]