Last night’s episode of Real Housewives Of New York pulled back the curtain on Dorinda Medley‘s rather worrisome relationship with John, who, according to Ramona Singer, is the tugboat dragged behind Dorinda’s yacht.
After the blow up between Dorinda, Bethenny Frankel, and Ramona at the brassiere (or “brawr” – depending on who you ask) party, everyone has a drink and Dorinda puffs a Newport Light 100 (or maybe it was one of Jules Wainstein‘s Virginia Slims left over from 1977 kept in a fireproof dry box under the bed, the blessed creatures pulled out for emergencies only. She better buy some on eBay to get through Real Housewives Of New York).
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To clear the bad juju from the air, the ladies practice something Housewives do in times of strife: stress-relief shopping. While Dorinda and Bethenny are upstairs in the dressing room, Bethenny admits she’s sorry, but explains she’s worried that John is a crap person using Dorinda and dragging her down. Something Bethenny recognizes from personal experience (aka her marriage to Jason Hoppy). I found this to be both an honest and an insightful statement, and it demonstrates that sometimes Bethenny has the emotional wherewithal to act like a real human. Bethenny must be taking sensitivity training as part of the Skinnygirl HR mandate.
It’s not necessarily Bethenny who Dorinda is concerned about, however. It’s Ramona, her friend of 20 years who chose to embarrass her by publicly sharing the salacious story of John’s inner-(non)workings.
While Dorinda is brawr fitting, Ramona is furiously Googling the definition of “apology,” then asks Bethenny (WHO WAS USING THE ICE JULES WASHED HER CLAWS IN!) to coach her through one of those sorry-thingies. When Dorinda comes down stairs, Ramona whizzes over like Rosie from the Jetsons, robotically barks out “whoops sorry!,” then retreats to a corner to bury her head in shame that she actually used the “A” word and people heard. I imagine this scene happening a lot in Ramona’s marriage.
Carole Radziwill and Jules testily peck at each other over who’s thinner (Jules still gets her period every month! Carole, ummm, eats solids sometimes!). Then Carole and Ramona flee the scene, which was not unlike the lace concealing the bulky underwire of a support bra.
Good timing. Moments later, while Bethenny, Jules, and Dorinda are talking through the night’s events, Dorinda calls John, who immediately demands to know if the women were talking about him, invites himself upstairs, and comes barreling into the party wearing a pink shirt with a scarf slung across his shoulders. Did he think this made him look dapper? Because it only emphasized that he resembles The Hulk.
Immediately after tepid “Hellos,” John gets into it with Bethenny, who requests he take the goofy scarf off if he wants to have any kind of discussion. So what does John want to discuss? Why, how Bethenny stole the word “skinny” from his friend Sam! John has come prepared for battle – he’s “all hopped up” and accuses Bethenny of stealing the name Skinnygirl from Sam, who invented Skinny Cow, which as Bethenny so aptly pointed out are two different brands (one with a girl, one with a cow), one of which was sold to Nestlé and is currently selling deliciously scrumptious ice cream sandwiches in my supermarket.
If there’s one thing to get Bethenny seeing red it’s talking shit about her business – trash her marriage, her friends – anything – but never her Skinnygirl!
Dorinda tries to yank John away, to make him leave. She screams at him for being embarrassing and speaking to Bethenny that way. John then takes it one step lower by saying Bethenny is “jealous” of the love he and Dorinda share, because she can’t make relationships last, which is why she’s alone. A) No one is jealous of the porcine and aggressive John. B) It’s a cheap barb given how well-known Bethenny’s relationship issues are.
Finally, Dorinda manages to shove John out of the hotel room while screaming repeatedly that he’s an embarrassment. He keeps trying to barge his way back in, until Jules is forced to go into the hallway to console him in timeout. Jules is used to dealing with irascible toddlers and handled it well. John finally agrees to go downstairs and “wait for his girl,” as if Dorinda is a dress that’s currently being dry-cleaned. Back in the room, Bethenny points out that all the things she and Ramona said about John, he just proved to be true, but Dorinda is too heart-broken to process this and just wants to go home to sleep in her own bed – alone.
Bethenny assumes, after this volatile incident, Dorinda will break up with John. As always, Bethenny’s relationship crystal ball is malfunctioning. Magic Hate Ball says: “You Will Be Disappointed”
So that was fun!
The next day, Bethenny calls Carole to discuss the Hamptons. Carole is on her way to vet to deal with Baby’s loose stool. Riveting stuff you’re giving us, Carole. The other thing Carole is obsessing over is that Luann de Lesseps will be attending Bethenny’s birthday party. Which means Carole will be forced to give Luann the silent treatment to prove that she’s still not speaking to her because she hasn’t apologized to her. Am I missing something? Carole keeps saying Luann is obsessed with her, and said so many mean things, but I don’t remember them. I do remember all the horrible things Carole has said and written about Luann (for instance, check out last week’s blog!).
Bethenny is like WHO CARES about this; John verbally assaulted me over the ice bucket Jules washed her hands in and now I have PTSD from being exposed to his onion breath. Or, I wish that’s what Bethenny said.
Speaking of Luann, she’s pretending she doesn’t own an apartment and needs to rent, just in case she meets the love her of her life in the next 15 minutes and will need to move. Even though this story line of Lu and Sonja Morgan being roommates is fake nonsense I still love it.
Sonja comes along for the apartment hunt. One place is on the UES, but is one of those awful railroad-style apartments and has parquet floors. We’re supposed to expect that Lu would live there? The real estate agent is Luann’s first roommate from NYC, after she moved there to be a model fresh from the farms of CT. Luann tells a story of bringing random Italian guys back to her apartment and getting screamed at by her roomie. Some things never ever change!
Then Lu heads downtown to view a much nicer place. Sonja is aghast that Luann would consider defecting from the Upper East Side.
While Bethenny is at the Skinnygirl offices, Ramona drops by to break down what happened with Dorinda and John. Ramona is shocked to hear about John verbally assaulting Bethenny. Even more distressing are the texts Dorinda sent Ramona about how Ramona broke Dorinda’s heart and betrayed her confidences.
In that moment, Ramona recognizes that she must truly apologize to fix her friendship. More than that I think Ramona did feel bad and realized her handling of the situation was inappropriate. I appreciated that. For once we got to see Ramona have some perspective: her friendship with Dorinda is real, and Dorinda called Ramona out on causing real hurt like a real friend would. Ramona learned friendship is worth far more than a story line, or proving a point about how John is gross. A point John has duly proven himself!
I also think both Bethenny and Ramona DO care about Dorinda, and truly believe John is causing harm in her life. And he is. Her daughter doesn’t like or trust him, her friends don’t like or trust him, and he obviously parties too much. Dorinda never seems able to let down her guard around him, either, and she’s constantly defensive over his behavior. Bethenny, who knows crazy from being raised by wolves, believes Dorinda is addicted to the drama and nonstop party John brings. Ramona says John was there after Richard died, when Dorinda was reeling from loneliness. It also sounds like John took advantage of this and Dorinda is confusing love with co-dependence.
Perhaps Dorinda is using her dysfunctional relationship with John to avoid dealing with painful reality?
Ramona and Bethenny decide to call Jules for her perspective. Bethenny asks Jules to rate the craziness on a scale of 1-1o, but Jules obviously forgot how to count (unless it’s calories!), so she’s stumped for a moment, while rushing to grab her kids Count With Elmo book. “An 8!” she announces triumphantly, while Bethenny disentangles herself from the sofa because she’s afraid the stupid must be catching. After they hang up, Bethenny deems Jules “special needs.” Oh Bethenny…
I don’t think Jules is stupid, but I do think she wasn’t sure how to handle the situation wanting to be loyal to Dorinda. Ramona explains that Jules is super laid back. Or maybe she’s a person who thinks before she speaks? Ahem.
Since everyone is heading to the Hamptons for Bethenny’s birthday – yes, even Luann – Ramona and Bethenny decide to invite Dorinda to dinner that first night to work things out. Dorinda was supposed to stay at Ramona’s, but she decided to stay at Jules‘ instead, where John would feel more comfortable. YES! She’s bringing him!!!!
Jules and Michael strap their kids into what looks like some sort of industrial-sized minivan with a divider wall, but no Sour Patch Kids dispenser. As the kids melt down, Jules rocks herself in the front seat, silently repeating “Sour Patch Kids” as her mantra. If she says it three times while also whipping her hair back and forth, they’ll appear! Jules has invited all the ladies for brunch – except her house is currently under construction. Michael would have preferred to feature it fully-done, but Jules emphasized that it’s super casual. One thing about Jules and Michael, they do seem super relaxed.
Dorinda and John’s ride to the Hamptons is filled with animosity towards Ramona. John is venomous and Dorinda does little to shut him down. He calls Ramona out for being a 60-year-old divorcee with a boob job. John is gross.
Upon arriving in the Hamptons, Jules does a rushed Shabbat featuring Hawaiian Punch and breadsticks, overlooking the unfinished construction zone of what will someday be an indoor pool. John arrives swinging a bottle of Rosé the size of Jules. Dorinda is headed to her dinner with Ramona and Behtenny, where she plans to issue a decree that they must accept John, or else! Michael compares it to Caesar’s “Et tu, Brute?” and Jules asks, “The salad or the movie? That dressing is fattening and gross, but the movie looked boring, so I never watched it.” E stupido Jules.
Bethenny and Ramona prepare for Dorinda’s arrival by comparing martini olives to penises. Ramona had a bad experience with shrinky d-cks once and believes it was God giving her a sign.
Dorinda arrives wearing Chanel and raw emotions about how hurt and “disgusted” she is by Ramona. She breaks down over how frustrating it is to love a man no one can accept, so Dorinda has decided to keep John separated from her friends. In this moment, I think Bethenny and Ramona both had an Oprah “A-ha!” that this situation is far bigger than anything they did or said.
Bethenny reminds Dorinda to take care of herself, and I believe she means that. Bethenny is shocked Dorinda is staying with John after the altercation, but Dorinda admits she “yearns” for him. Bethenny was almost speechless about the way Dorinda internalized the whole incident. Bethenny was also expecting an apology for the way John behaved, which Dorinda doesn’t think she deserves, however that was just Dorinda playing hardball, because then she does apologize.
Shockingly, so did Ramona! Sincerely! She hugged Dorinda, and from the bottom of her heart, expressed regret for sharing the John story in front of everyone instead of speaking with Dorinda privately. Dorinda accepts that Ramona didn’t come from a bad place, “she just f–ked up.” They all agree to move forward.
I do love that Real Housewives Of New York is ultimately still a show about real friends in real situations. Let’s have more of this on other cities Bravo! One more thing: did John still let Bethenny use her dry cleaning gift certificate?
TELL US – IS DORINDA’S RELATIONSHIP UNHEALTHY? SHOULD BETHENNY AND RAMONA BUTT-OUT OR ARE THEY JUST CONCERNED FRIENDS? IS CAROLE OVER-REACTING ABOUT LUANN?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]