Real Housewives Of New York Recap: Manners On The Rocks

Bethenny Frankel was wished a very un-birthday on Real Housewives Of New York when she threw the most awkward BBQ birthday party ever.

Bethenny told us over and over again how cool her party was supposed to be – hot dogs! s’mores! Moscow Mules! Skinnygirl coffee cups! Yet, there for the grace of ungainliness go John, Dorinda Medleys boyfriend, a fetid protrusion who dropped a big old stink over the party, thus ruining it for The Big B. Her poor friend Carole Radziwill was equally besieged – the ghost of Countesses Past trailing her through the party seeking absolution? Resolution? Nah – actually a casually polite conversation. 

It was a crisp, cool day and that something in the air was pervasive. I don’t think it was the smell of wienies roasting, but that was happening too (metaphor alert!). Pre-party, Dorinda gave John a Cliffs Notes course on etiquette and ran through How To Apologize flashcards to prepare him for seeing Bethenny, but there is no turning back time there. Some stains just simply will not budge – John apparently being one of them!


For all of Dorinda’s stiff lecturing, John was more interested in a stiff drink. He pouted like a little boy dragged to his elderly aunt’s house under the order that he better behave or no dessert for a week! John didn’t want to apologize, but because he loves Dorinda, agreed to. I couldn’t figure out why John was so resistant – maybe he doesn’t like the taste of crow? Or maybe, as Bethenny suggested, he couldn’t remember saying all those awful things and being so aggressive. Or maybe he’s just a jerk.

Dorinda and John

When Dorinda and John arrive, alongside Jules Wainstein and her husband MichaelD2, Bethneny is shocked he had the audacity to show up. Bethenny is even more shocked Dorinda had the balls to trot her ball sack of a boyfriend to her birthday. She wishes she would have asked Dorinda not to bring him, but didn’t want to make things worse for their friendship. Bethenny decides Dorinda and John were too drunk to remember what happened at the bra party. She also decides to ignore John completely.

For the duration of the party, these two played shadow tag. John skulking in the corner (wearing a traffic cone orange sweater as if to say “WARNING”), just waiting to sink his teeth into the brittle bones of Bethenny, who is skittering around pretending if she doesn’t see him, he doesn’t exist. Bethenny complains that she’s not having fun at her own party. Which maybe she deserves since she’s always ruining everyone else’s parties! 

Dorinda keeps hissing at John to apologize, but every time he gets near Bethenny, she invents an excuse to escape – someone needs more booze! Anyone want food!? Need a chair! A tranquilizer gun?! A restraining order?! Unfortunately, John is nothing if not persistent. Or maybe that’s Dorinda

That’s not the only cat and mouse game at this woebegone party. Luann de Lesseps arrives, late per the usual, and nearly immediately encounters Carole, who tries to hide behind Bethenny. Luann greets Carole politely, because no matter what The Countess always displays good manners, but is received coolly. 

I take offense to Carole’s attitude that Luann is someone to be feared. Why? Does Luann know some incriminating information? Carole acts as if Luann threatened her or harmed her. Her constant whining that Luann owes her an apology while insisting she’s done nothing wrong is obnoxious. I’m shocked so many people were Team Carole in Reality Tea’s twitter poll last night!

Carole‘s insistence that she only re-tweeted mean things (also adding her own equally scathing comments) about Luann is not an excuse – her blogs were also merciless. Carole is the type of person who seems to view life as the living depiction of a Fairy Tale – written by the Grimms – in which there must always be a villain, and she must always have a target of persecution who deserves revenge for harming her, as Carole hides behind the veil of an innocent princess her “prince” (formerly Heather, now Bethenny) is ready to protect and save her. In short: grow the f–k up, Radziwhines. And quit making me root for Luann. UGH. 

But here Luann comes. She brought Bethenny a hula hoop, because this was a silly party, and why not? Carole grouses that Luann always has to make an entrance. Today’s entrance featured being treated like maid who showed up before the party ended. 

Bethenny and her ‘cool friends’ are sitting at a picnic table and greet Luann icily. Bethenny demands she show off her hula-hooping skills while they all judge her. And Luann does the hula-hoop. Carole calls her dumb and attention-seeking. When Lu walks away, Carole complains about her behind her back. 

Luann escapes that putrid and callow scene for the other part of the yard where the lesser guests are cramped in Bryn-sized folding chairs, eating with their plates balanced on their knees. At least Dorinda and Jules – and even Ramona Singer – were more receptive to Luann than Bethenny’s ‘mean girls table,’ which Luann compared to high school. 

Real Housewives of New York recap

To say no one is having fun at this party would be wrong because Ramona was loving it! Loving all the awkwardness, loving how sad the whole affair was, and loving that she had an excuse to escape – a hot date! Sayonara bitches!

Also, Jules, clutching an ever-present ball of napkins (just in case she accidentally touches something non-Kosher?), decides she likes Lu and accidentally invites her to brunch the following day. Which turns out to be a gaffe when she learns Carole and Luann don’t speak. Jules can do nothing right.

Since this is a Real Housewives party, confrontations must be had. Bethenny gets Luann alone to discuss the situation with Carole. Luann admits she’s feeling awkward and wants to nip the tensions in the bud. After Bethenny said a whole bunch of nasty things about Lu last week, she pretends to be her friend in order to convince her to seek out Carole for a chat, aka Luann begging Carole for forgiveness. Luann doesn’t feel she really owes Carole an apology, though, and Bethenny calls her “clueless.” I think Luann is actually more OVER IT, instead of putting Carole on blast by reminding her of all the awful things she also said (like re-tweeting a photo of Luann having a nip slip!). 

When Carole walks by, Luann calls to her, but Carole runs. “You can’t ignore me forever,” Luann trills, and Carole replies, “Oh, I think I can.” 

So John and Bethenny are a more combustible and aggressive mirror for Carole and Luann: Two people who have no desire to make peace, but are doing it for the good of others, and wind up in conversations going nowhere. Why Luann chose to chat with Carole around the fire pit is a mystery – I wouldn’t trust any Housewife with a flaming marshmallow close to my face! (Dr. Dubrow on speed dial!). 

carole and luann chat

For Bethenny, Luann asks to speak with Carole privately, but Carole refuses. Over marshmallows, Carole tries to force Luann to apologize, and Luann tries to force Carole to accept some culpability for the demise of their friendship. Neither felt remorse. Luann just wanted to drop it and move on, but Carole wanted to dwell in the past and remind Luann of all the things she said and did. “You called me a pedophile!” accused Carole. (I don’t remember that? Does anyone else?!) 

They agree to be cordial in social situations and move on from there. Seems good enough to me! Cramming a s’more in her mouth, Carole rushes away. Lu claims Carole never gave her the opportunity to apologize. 

John finally manages to convince Bethenny to acknowledge him, but John’s “apology” made things worse! It SUCKED! Clearly, he had no idea why he was apologizing (and didn’t remember all the mean things he said), so he felt less than zero remorse. Actually, he was actually pissed that Bethenny wasn’t also apologizing for talking crap about him to Dorinda.

Kinda funny seeing Bethenny get a taste of her own medicine, however, John was a total ass and disgusting in not only attitude, but words. He had no business being at Bethenny’s party. 

Bethenny and John

When Bethenny tells Dorinda their talk was a disaster, she bursts into tears. It was really sad. John and Dorinda aren’t in a healthy relationship, but I believe Dorinda has found herself in a co-dependent trap. Dorinda flees the table with Lu chasing after her. Bethenny realizes Dorinda is an emotional wreck, despite her tough broad exterior, so because she doesn’t want to lose a friend, she decides to do the decent thing and speak to John again. Although Bethenny is starting to lose respect for Dorinda over her unhealthy relationship.

Despite the Skinnygirl color being red, not white, Bethenny waves the flag of surrender and orders John to make nice with her and vice versa. He barks “Happy Birthday,” but the way he said it implied he really wanted to tell her “F–k OFF!” The awful party is temporarily over – continuing the next day over brunch. 

I don’t know why Jules had this brunch. Not only is her house a literal construction zone, there were actual contractors WORKING while she was was entertaining. It was awkward and weird. Plus, Jules had all this food spread out like 30 people were coming, but it was only 7 or 8 guests. 

Bethenny complains that Jules lives 45 minutes away from Hamptons civilization (she sounds like Ramona!) and makes it clear she doesn’t want to go. Carole especially doesn’t want to attend after learning Luann is coming. When they arrive, John answers the door, which sets a bad omen for the occasion. Bethenny stalks right past him into the kitchen and then proceeds to lecture Jules and Michael about how much they suck at home renovation; calling their house a “money pit” and bragging that she competed her renovation in 3 months. 

Jules and Michael

Bethenny compares Jules‘ house to that time she attended a party at Simon and Alex’s and had to walk through rusty nails to find the birthday cake. This time she’s wading through the uncompleted debris of what will hopefully be an indoor pool. I hope they use saltwater.

Jules snipes (repeatedly!) that Bethenny’s house is a mere 2,400 square feet, but hers is 20,000 square feet (with only 2 feet of it inhabitable), so if MicahelD2 wants to build a roller coaster, he can! Certainly Bethenny had no right to tell Jules and Michael what to do with their home or money, nor judge their ‘living through’ a renovation (at least they weren’t homeless!), but why invite people you don’t know to see your house in that state? And why have construction workers there during brunch?!

Sure – Jules‘ house looks like something out of a Hamptons horror story, being in the middle of a creepy overgrown woods way back in the middle of nowhere with John wielding a bottle of rosé that weighs more than two Skinnygirls and a possibly anorexi-girl and the lox has been sitting out for eons, Ms. Havisham-style, but Bethenny and Carole could’ve had a little class and been kinder. 

That’s not the worst of it. Over food, Bethenny and Carole whisper that Jules isn’t eating, and they speculate about her possible eating disorder. Jules was literally STANDING 10 FEET AWAY! Bethenny: lox more, talk less! 

Then, Luann arrives, with a date, and Carole snarks that Luann’s dates don’t usually stay the night (who’s “Female-bashing,” again?). MichaelD2 had been planning to give everyone a tour, but Carole wants to avoid Luann and starts whining that she wants to leave. In front of everyone, Carole and Bethenny discuss how badly they want to go and laugh about how much the party sucks. Bethenny insists on quickly seeing the indoor pool anyway, and Carole loudly protests – in front of Michael – that she thought they were leaving immediately.

Bethenny and Carole at brunch

For Bethenny, the highlight of the brunch was John swatting away a bee while revealing he’s allergic and forgot his EpiPen (plus Jules‘ house appears to be at least 2000 Bethenny houses away from a hospital). 

Bethenny and Carole run out the door, giggling and snickering about how terrible Jules’ house and brunch was. So mean. Just mean. I so hope Luann mailed Carole and Bethenny inscribed copies of Class With The Countess, instructing them to pursue the chapter on party etiquette.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]


Adding: If anyone’s interested in making Bethenny’s Moscow Mule drinks, the recipe is below.


Skinnygirl® Moscow Mule

    2 parts Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka
    1  part lime juice
    4 parts ginger beer
    Lime wedge for garnish

Preparation: Fill Moscow Mule mug with ice. Add vodka and lime juice, then ginger beer. Stir to mix. Garnish with a lime wedge.