Caroline Manzo is hosting Lauren’s shower at Casa de Smothers because no Manzo ever, like ever, leaves that house. Seriously it is the black hole of adulthood. Their family motto is probably “We Fail To Launch Here!”
Ever since Lauren first got a salami-scented whiff of Vito wafting from across Albie’s dorm room, Caroline has been buying vintage tea cups on Etsy. For whatever reason they’re hot glue gunning tea cups to saucers and hanging them from chandeliers and floating them across the pool in parasols to create a tea party theme. 110 people are attending. Dina Manzo was invited, but is in California. Sadly, the grinning face of Greggy Bennett will not be appearing. Or so we’re led to believe…
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Lexi was trotted out to prove that the Dina–Caroline resolution did actually happen. Albie’s new-old girlfriend Brittany, whom suddenly everyone has taken a liking to, also appeared. Caroline knows reverse psychology will work wonders on the text book case for Mama’s Boys.
Caroline has been in overdrive Pinteresting tea party snacks, which means every cookie the state of Jersey has to offer is represented. I didn’t notice any Kannoli By Kathy (or any Fabulicious Desserts straight from Danbury Correctional Facilities). In fact, doesn’t Dina own a party planning company?
While preparation is happening, Ablie visits Chrissofart. Suddenly! There is a knock at the door. SURPRISE! It’s Greggy! Back from the dead of 15 minutes past. From the far-flung mysterious West Coast – it’s the only one who has managed to flee the coop and escape the clutches of Ma Smothers‘ tough, yet sticky-sweet love. Unfortunately Greggy can’t escape all the pitfalls of Manzo-ness. He’s succumbed to the family curse of loving thy cheese a bit too lavishly and like Chrissofart has added “More To Love to his Match.com profile. Greg, I implore you, metaphorically get OUT of Caroline’s kitchen!
Chris and Albie cheer as if they learned Playboy Bunnies really do exist – despite what mommy told them. Then they plot how to smuggle Greggy into Lauren’s shower without upsetting her? Chris proposes a refrigerator box with a bow on it. WINNER! Greggy swears he’s not trying to upstage Lauren’s day.
While Chris procures the necessary supplies to make their surprise possible Albie and Greggy girl talk over cocktails about Albie being back with Brittany – except now his family likes her. Why so glum, Albanito? Meanwhile, over at Caroline’s, Brittany is walking on porcelain – literally. She’s trying so hard she drops some tea cups. Caroline bursts into laughter.
Melissa Gorga, making sure the cameras can spot her in the crowd, wears a bright red, micro-mini, with a cut-out under the boobs to a tea party-themed bridal shower. Most of the guests are in pastels and florals. Life is not a Kim Kardashian App, Melissa! For comparison purposes, Brittany, formerly of the braless boobs, was more appropriately dressed than Melissa or Jacqueline. Brittany wore a knee-length, cute, blue floral dress.
Caroline wore a toga. Or it may have been a swimsuit cover-up? Lauren finally arrives in a wedding gown. Actually a quinceanera dress. She must have known how many famewhores were going to try and show her up! She dragged Vito along by his leash. It was Chanel – Al paid for it. He wondered when Lauren got a dog…
Amid cookies, champagne, and awkward toasts about daddy’s old shirt embroidered with hearts, Chis and Albie are secreting Greggy to the party. For some odd reason they make Greggy ride in the car while sitting INSIDE the fridge box, The party was in the backyard and they’re delivering their precious cargo to the front yard, but he can’t ride normally? Seatbelt laws do not apply to the powers of reality TV.
Albie positions the Greg In A Box while Chris runs around blasting a trumpet. Lauren is annoyed until she realizes Chris is bellowing the word “gift.” Greggy is revealed and Lauren cries. She was way, WAY, WAAAY more excited about Greggy than Vito, who schleps behind her mutely. Vito, before our very eyes, has become Al Jr., Albie should relinquish the name to the rightful owner.
To celebrate Greggy’s arrival, the newly adored Brittany, gets shots from the bar. She jokes about getting Lauren a Sister-In-Law card with her gift. Albie is now having second-second thoughts. Made worse when Jacqueline escorts them into the kitchen (where else?) so she can grill the old-new couple about rings. Albie squirms. Brittany procures a composition book and pen out of thin air (You do magic now?) to write “Brittany Loves Albie”. This is so obviously a storyline and Brittany is so obviously playing her role perfectly by making so obvious a mockery. Her snark is practically performance art. I actually hope she and Albie end up together to subtly mock Manzology.
Lauren loved her shower, obviously because it was all about the greatness of Lauren-ness.
The next day the Manzo’s + their missing link Greggy convene for post-shower clean-up. Al wears heeled crocs and fumbles with the pool vacuum, finally disgruntledly tossing it into the pool. As he watches it soundlessly and soullessly crash into the side of the pool, sucking up water and spitting it back out, Al recognizes his own life of ignored monotony. Meanwhile on the patio, Caroline over-sees her brood as they goof-off and banter. She finally notices Al, always off to the distance, and realizes he is the only one working while the spawn remain forever children.
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[Photo Credits: Bravo]