Last night the ladies of Real Housewives Of New York hit the Hamptons, where the very homeless Bethenny Frankel invited everyone over to her house for brunch only to be told by Ramona Singer that brunch was her jurisdiction and no one wants to eat out of the Skinnygirl trashcan parked in the alley behind Bethenny’s summer home. Home is where the heart isn’t!
Everyone was in the Hamptons for Luann de Lesseps‘ yardsale and to see her new home, which is fabulous, cozy, elegant, sophisticated – it definitely seems like Lu! And it has the added benefit of containing a live-in hottie mcjr chef whom Carole Radziwill, in her tomato red pants turned beet red over, as she flirted shamelessly. She was laying on the single and ready to mingle vibes thicker than a beefsteak tomato paired with mozzarella.
Heather Thomson and Carole escorted Lu to her yardsale, where eager fans were snapping pics of the Countess’ used linens and other finery. Luann looked like she was trying to hold it all together, as she ended up reneging on a couple pieces and purchasing them herself. In the middle of the auction in waltzed Ramona who was staying at her own Hamptons home with Dorinda Medley and Sonja Morgan.
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Dorinda has never met Sonja, but describes her as an “Urban Myth” on the UES. Urban myth like the zombie of poshe splendor’s wealthy trophy wife’s past, haunting the stomping grounds of the MET and Barneys? Apparently no one has ever seen Sonja at one of these elite soirees in dozens of years, but the cautionary tale of what befalls an over-eager social climber haunts the socialite circle like bad case rancid bankruptcy. Once P.Diddy partied on her yacht, and now a lifesize cut-out of P.Diddy remains propped up in the wading pool that now has to be used as a bathtub in what was formerly the guest suite.
Seeing Ramona in her Hamptons home brings back memories for Luann, not fond ones, but memories of all those nasty accusations Ramona made against Luann’s mothering and marriage, like the time she called Luann a “weekend mom.” Shockingly, Ramona comes bearing a peace offering as she contritely (and sincerely for the pinot-addled wineanity of Ramona) apologizes to Luann for those comments. Luann is taken aback – even the Countess has no etiquette to mitigate the pinot-pology, so she just lets Ramona stew for a bit and doesn’t really say anything except thank you.
Then Ramona trots home to her Hamptons castle and waxes poetic about all the times the good times they’ve shared here, all shattered by Mario’s midlife crisis. Dorinda raises an eyebrow at the whole charade, and her eyebrow stays raised the entire times she’s in the Hamptons, because wafting through the door like stale perfume comes Sonja, blabbering on and on and on about herself like the star of her own one-act play.
Meanwhile still in NYC is Bethenny, who reveals she does have a home – in the back of her chauffeured town car where everyone’s favorite homeless hoe is whining and waning about how hard it is to have no stability. Being trapped in a car with Bethenny for hours is as bad as being trapped in a vacation home with Sonja, her interns, and her magic act tooth (now you see it, now you don’t! Where did ever disappear to?!).
Over at Ramona’s she bares to Sonja the bad news: she’ll be downgraded to the basement guest suite on the pull-out sofa. It is a stinging blow to Sonja’s carefully constructed ego, propped up by the sycophantic interns who cluster around her like a coven of bodyguards. Sonja being discarded to the basement in the home of a woman who was formerly her best friend cut deep. But it isn’t just the metaphor for Sonja’s life? Always in the basement of the chic and upper echelon, always trying to hide the frays on her second-hand Hermés scarf, always smiling just so to hide her mercurial tooth? So Sonja tromps down to the basement and sneaks out the window that night to buy beers at 7-11. Walking back she stares up at the moon remembering the better days. She repays the favor to Ramona by mentioning Mario or divorce every chance she gets – she even announces to the world that Pinot Singer wears grannypanties. Le scandale!
Over lunch the next day, Sonja casually mentions that she’s forgotten her underwear, however Ramona’s substantial underwear is big enough to share. Ramona is miffed and bothered. Then Sonja muses about the state of pantyhose – are they in or are they out? I’ll inform you miss Sonja In The City Fashion: colored pantyhose are in and underwear has never been out. Sonja needs to catch up with the times. Literally.
Poor Dorinda is sitting as if the third wheel on a date with a couple going through a divorce. Their bickering is so stupefying, it’s making me understand why Sonja and Ramona drink so much. Dorinda seems like the type that would sneak a cigarette. Then Ramona’s sister shows up and Tanya is the polar opposite of Pinot-delusional.
Over at Lu’s, Carole is still giggling coetishly at the Andy, the pre-teen chef, Noel is now an adult which makes me feel like I need to join AARP (when did I get this old?) and Lu is aging backwards because happiness agrees with her – and so do pinot-apologies. The ladies discuss the curious state of Ramona and agree she’s changing for the better (changing out of her granny panties?!) and they welcome it. They all wonder if she had known Mario was cheating for years and Heather dubs it “Mob Wife Syndrome” aka turning a blind-eye and carrying on.
That evening Lu hosts a casual soiree which includes Sonja playing weeping willow (a cloying vine) to the gardener as he desperately tried to back away until he fell into the ocean and resurfaced in Bal Harbour. At least he escaped the strangulation of poison ivy! With her hopes of a tender garden dying, Sonja helped herself to a beer which she pulled from her purse. Look! It’s a Beer! In A Birkin! Then she poured it in a wine glass like classy ladies do. Luann knew better than to be shocked and merely shrugged it off as less alcohol consumed from her own stash.
Carole hovered in the kitchen reliving her high school days by molesting the chef and pretending she knew how to cook until Lu blew her cover. Then Bethenny arrived.
Everyone acted like Oprah walked through the door shouting FREE CARS! They all clustered around Bethenny. basking in the Skinnygirl success of the Golden Housewife, and she ate it up interviewing them like the talk show host she still pines to be. Everyone but Ramona was mesmerized. Ramona had no use for the Little Housewife That Used Then Quit. When she showed up looking sassy and single, but not yet divorced!, she and Bethenny snarled and gnashed their teeth at each other. Of her new look, Ramona said an old dog can learn new tricks, and Bethenny joked about Ramona being the old dog. It was oddly metaphoric, because this truly was the battle of the old dog vs. the formerly old dog returning to the other old dog’s territory. Or as Carole said, “Battle of the alpha dogs.”
Also struggling with Bethenny, is Heather who tells a story of finding Bethenny’s first book in Lu’s old Hamptons home with the inscription thanking Lu for helping her name and develop Skinnygirl. Heather, clearly joking, says Bethenny should buy Luann a car – or at least a Rolex. But silly Heather – Bethenny is living out of a car! She surely can’t spare another. And really, Bethenny is already passing out apartments and bon mots like they don’t cost a thing and she has scarcely a wit to waste. Bethenny takes the whole thing way too seriously and is defensive. I wonder if that inscription holds up in court… Lu could have a settlement on her hands! She and Jalopy That Starts With H could have a class action on their hands. Holla!
The mood was tense, even more tense after a fraught conversation about sex in which Ramona described dating as “keeping the company of men” and Bethenny told her that means “f–king” and Ramona immediately swooned and needed to be revived with smelling salts.
Then of course, BrunchGate exploded. See Ramona thought she had invited all the ladies to brunch at her house, but the email never got sent? Ramona says it was trapped din her junk mail. Or who knows, maybe she was pinotfied and thought she was sending an email but was really just putting tictacs in Mario’s viagra bottle?
Bethenny takes the opportunity to invite Sonja over for brunch at her house – even though Bethenny is homeless – and Ramona asserts that it is rude of Bethenny to usurp her houseguest without asking first. I mean Sonja’s only staying in the basement, but still there is a curfew! Ramona asks the Countess, as the manners expert, to intervene and Luann doesn’t believe Bethenny did anything wrong. However the matter of brunch is still not cleared up: Where they have it? Where will it be?! Will it be in a restaurant? On a boat? In a bathub without a host? Will it be at noon or half past three? Will it be with Ramona or Bethenny? Well I don’t like it, Real Housewives, no I don’t. I don’t like it with either host.
Bethenny leaves, and outside with Luann compares Ramona to the insane asylum, then Ramona stomps out and they start arguing. Bethenny tells Ramona she can’t hang out with while she’s going through whatever it is she’s going through, and Ramona shoots back that she’s fine – sensational in fact! – and Bethenny is the one with issues. Ramona has been seeing a life coach, finding zen, and has discovered deep breathing and crystal healing – infomercials on at 3 am are a wonderful thing, so she instructs Bethenny to calm down and deep breath and eat gummy bears with Al Sharpton. And then Bethenny’s house-car shows up and Ramona stomps inside bellowing that Bethenny has “drawn a line in the sand.”
Ramona describes Bethenny as a cat because you don’t know whether she’ll purr or scratch, and that’s pretty much true. Because of that everyone tiptoes around Bethenny, gushing over her, and trying to keep the peace. I noticed Lu was doing that a lot, much to my dismay.
TELL US – BRUNCHGATE: WAS RAMONA ATTACKING BETHENNY OR WAS BETHENNY BEING RUDE?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]