The standout moment from last night’s Real Housewives Of New York was that nearly every woman wore the exact same dress to Ramona Singer‘s birthday lunch. We’re no longer fighting for control of Ramona Blue, it is now Ramona Red!
Dorinda Medley meets Carole Radziwill for dumplings. Of course, the real reason for this feast is to discuss everything that went down in the Hamptons at Jules Wainstein‘s Joker’s Funhouse of Construction Deathtraps. Carole says it was an awkward vibe, but surprisingly admits that she and Bethenny Frankel behaved badly.
Suddenly, careening through the door in a gold leather jacket, like The Flash (if he lingered a whisper of pissiness and perfume), is Jules. She plops down – I never even had time to notice if she ate or not because she talked so much and so fast about the terrible impression Bethenny’s abrasiveness has given her.
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Here’s what sucks – Jules had salient points! Salient points she obscured with her own arrogant insecurity. Bethenny has been openly judgmental of Jules, without provocation, and incredibly rude. Bethenny had no business coming to Jules’ house, lecturing her on what a failure the project was and telling her how to spend her money. After all, Jules went to Bethenny’s and behaved graciously, brought her a gift that wasn’t filled with Skinnygirl schlock she wants to promote, and made an effort to get to know Bethenny and her friends. Also, Jules made no comments about Bethenny’s home, except to say it was lovely.
Naturally, because it does seem the only thing Jules is regularly sticking into her mouth is her foot, she stomped all over her very legit points, by shaming Bethenny for having a smaller house and less money – not only that, but “new money.” The horrors! I have no idea what that was about, but it was gross and left me feeling like I wanted to immediately plunge my hands into the ice bucket at a cocktail party.
I get it, Jules was venting, but it was shallow low-blow venting to mask her own insecurity
Despite Jules‘ rip-roaring treatise about the divide between her wealth and home size, contrasted to Bethenny‘s, both Dorinda and Carole encouraged Jules to share her feelings with Bethenny, because as Dorinda said, “Bethenny usually apologizes.”
One person who really dislikes people being upfront and truthful with her is Sonja Morgan. Ramona stops by to celebrate that her divorce is final. Sonja marvels that Ramona has moved on so quickly – 2 years – whereas Sonja still spends her evenings staring into a backwards upside-down crystal ball, cleansed with sage, pining for the years of bliss and money.
Things have been off with Sonja and Ramona. Ramona is hoping they can smooth things out. Sonja is bizarrely wearing some pussy-bow blouse paired with a too-short studded mini and knee boots, and swilling a glass of water around like it’s a highball. It is this moment that Ramona chooses to gently inform Sonja that she’s embarrassed by her and keeping her distance. Not only that, but she’s worried about Sonja’s drinking and suggests she tone it down. These concerns seemed real and earnest – not Ramona looking to stir the pot.
Ramona even reveals why Bethenny didn’t invite Sonja to her birthday party (Sonja didn’t even know she wasn’t invited) – because she was worried Sonja may get wasted. (Bethenny later denied this.) Actually, if there was ever an event which needed a dash of Sexy Sonja, it was that stinker!
Sonja completely dismisses Ramona‘s concerns and is offended. Then she mentions that Luann de Lesseps is moving herself in. Ramona is gobsmacked because this is the last thing Sonja, in her precarious state, needs – given how many men and bottles Luann goes through on the regular! These ladies make it sound like Luann is some skidrow alchy prostitute. Sonja admits Lu is a bad influence…who drags her around everywhere like an old suitcase.
After bonding with Luann–bashing, Ramona invites Sonja to her birthday lunch.
Jules has lunch with Bethenny, and spends the first 15 minutes scrambling anxiously around her frustrations to make a point. Finally, Bethenny makes Jules’ point for her, that Jules is upset by Bethenny’s uncalled for behavior in the Hamptons. Bethenny apologizes for Bethenny, on Jules’ behalf. Jules feels better getting that off her chest, then proceeds to openly admit she suffered from a terrible eating disorder in her late-teens/early twenties which caused her drop out of college and dwindle to 80lbs.
Bethenny tears up over Jules‘ honesty and vulnerability. But, of course, Bethenny has to overtake Jules’ moment by making it all about Bethenny and her need to over-share about her mother’s eating disorder.
Bethenny, who was previously iffy abut Jules, is greatly impressed by her openness and believes they’re on the path to friendship. Something tells me that path will go about the same way Jules’ Hamptons home is going.
The next day, Bethenny has lunch with Ramona and Carole in Ramona’s De-Mario-ed apartment. The table is wobbly as Lady Morgan after champagne and Carole is later than an overdue bill, but the mood is pleasant.
Ramona is excited about her upcoming birthday and informs Carole that Luann is attending. Carole insists she’s indifferent. Bethenny’s annoyance with Luann stems back to this summer when Luann tried to invite herself to the dinner party Bethenny threw for Kyle Richards and the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills. Luann was overly-pushy about being excluded and it reminded Bethenny of the ‘old Luann’ – Luann The Snake – so Bethenny decided to take a step back from their friendship.
On the other hand, Bethenny is all too happy to report that she’s had a change of heart about Jules, and that they really connected. “I love Jules,” champions Ramona. Carole seemed… discouraging (?) about Bethenny and Jules’ breakthrough. Her expression was a bit… um… odd.
Meanwhile, Jules and Dorinda meet for pedicures. Jules is also ecstatic to have seen a different side of Bethenny. “You were right,” she tells Dorinda, sharing that Bethenny was much softer one-on-one, prompting her to share about her eating disorder. Unlike Carole, Dorinda seems thrilled to have helped broker that peace, and hopeful for a friendship between her two friends. Dorinda has also decided John no longer has any place in her friend group, so she’s not including in him in future events. She will not have John blamed for every situation that goes wrong between the ladies. Hey – less John is alright with me!
Dorinda and John aren’t the only relationship that has washed up on a rocky beach. Carole‘s Adam, the subject of so much controversy and discontent, is in Ethiopia, making a film. He’s been gone for months, making Carole recall her own distant youth working as a producer for ABC News. Carole COULD have gone back to that. She wrote like 2 books in 15 years – what was stopping her from getting back into her former career? [eye roll]
Carole Skypes Adam, but he seems distracted and tells her he’s in the middle of eating and needs to go. After she clearly did up her face and hair to chat with him, Carole is bit put off by his abrupt brush-off. Ethiopia calls, not Carole!
The day of Ramona‘s birthday, Bethenny arrives first and is greeted by Ramona’s coven of girlfriends, who pull her into their perfectly preserved fold to gush over her hair. Bethenny marvels that time has stopped, leaving them in this restaurant for a year, unchanged in any way.
When Ramona arrives to “celebrate with 50 of her closest girlfriends,” all of whom have stood by her in her darkest hours through her “horrible divorce from Mario,” she is the first of the ladies to be wearing a red sheath dress. She is in an emotionally buoyant mood that leaves her no energy to start drama. This was a first. I like this Ramona! Everyone at the party actually seems strangely emotional, but also euphoric. Who spritzed dopamine into the pinot?!
Carole is also wearing a red sheath. The entire party, she skitters behind Bethenny like an anxious shadow. Sonja thought the party began at 3 PM, but made it, arriving on what appeared to be the tail-end of an all-nighter and wearing fur and scarves, a messy up-do, and smoky eye from G’staad. The crazy vibes of Jules and Sonja immediately synchronize. They connect instantly.
Luann looks striking but seems unsettled. She breezes past Bethenny and Carole to greet Ramona. Carole is miffed over the “cold shoulder,” but insists she prefers it that way. Luann has come bearing surprises – not a hula hoop, but Part Deux of Bethenny’s birthday gift.
Bethenny feels uncomfortable with the timing of Luann’s present, given that it’s RAMONA‘s party, but Luann assures her Ramona also got her present, so they open them together. Carole hovers just over Bethenny’s shoulder, literally poking her nose into the gift bag like a nosy child. Is it me or is Carole morphing into Baby? She’s always at Bethenny’s heels, nipping and frolicking. She requires a lot of petting, reassuring, corralling, and feeding, lest she get lost or confused. And she seems to be guarding Bethenny against the threat of what? Luann? Jules? Meanies who may bark at her in the dog park? Obviously, Bethenny is pack leader and top dawg. This relationship has become co-dependently awkward. On Carole’s behalf.
Luann gifts Bethenny a custom-monogrammed Carlos Falchi bag, since Bethenny admired the one Luann had so much. Ramona gets a tangled necklace from The Countess Collection – a gift Luann actually previously gave Ramona two months before, but it broke so Luann took it to have repaired. Ramona is floored that she was “re-gifted” her own gift. And Luann seems completely unaware.
That was so weird! That bag was a super lavish gift, carrying a lot of things unsaid, but hoped to be conveyed. The timing was odd, and the obvious emotional attachment Luann had to giving it was unsettling. She is clearly overly investing in her relationship with Bethenny, who is not reciprocating. It’s even stranger considering that Bethenny and Lu have been at odds lately. Maybe the bag was Lu’s way of saying let’s make up, but Bethenny didn’t take it that way. Maybe Luann feels that with Carole around, she’s overtaken Bethenny and there’s no room for The Countess?
Bethenny pulls Luann aside to explain that she thinks there’s a disconnect and reminds her of the incident in the Hamptons. Bethenny maintains a few similar incidents occurred, which made her want to detach from Luann. Also, Bethenny accuses Luann of not being honest about her life. Bethenny always does this – a deflection so she doesn’t have to take accountability for her own bad behavior or be honest about HER LIFE.
For once, Luann does get honest! She is adamant that she and Bethenny got together often at each other’s homes, and Lu considered Bethenny like family. Bethenny does not seem to agree. Luann was feeling a little over-sensitive this summer with Noelle leaving for college, moving apartments, and being lonely. Luann just wanted to be included and have her friends there for her.
Luann tears up, and even Bethenny is shocked. They hug, and Bethenny is momentarily mollified after seeing the vulnerable side of Luann.
Dorinda arrives, last, also wearing a red sheath, and all too eager to make thinly-veiled barbs about some of her ‘friends’ being jealous of her relationship with John, and judging her. Mind you, Dorinda says all of this to Luann and Sonja, while Ramona is seated right next to her! Ramona scampers away to tell Carole and Bethenny, and Bethenny speaks for us all when she nearly gags on her salad. Nice try, Doritos!
Even though Dorinda still feels a trust has been shattered in her friendship with Ramona, she gives Ramona the sweetest birthday toast ever. Days after Richard died, Ramona insisted Dorinda get out of bed to attend her birthday lunch, where all her girlfriends would be there to support and love her, and that is the importance of friendships, and why Dorinda values Ramona. “To the ladies who lunch!” she cheered, bringing almost everyone to tears. I almost cried myself. And this, people, is why I LOVE Real Housewives Of New York – the friendships are really real and so are the issues.
TELL US – ARE YOU SURPRISED JULES AND BETHENNY MADE PEACE? WILL THEY BE FRIENDS? IS SONJA OUT OF CONTROL? WHAT’S UP WITH LUANN?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]