I don’t know about you guys but I am still recovering from all the kangaroo caprese salad and Tasmanian devil poppers from the Oz Critic’s Choice Dinner last week on Real Housewives of Potomac. Aside from the food, Ashley Darby calling her dinner something straight out of an award show format was pretty lofty, especially considering the food critics weren’t really choosing anything, more like getting a free dinner in exchange for filling out a comment card. But despite my snide assessment of the details, it was a clever move on Ashley’s part to get her restaurant some exposure and convince her controlling Aussie husband that she’s not the only one who thinks the menu well, sucks.
As Ashley reads through the comment cards on the new menu, she is pleasantly surprised about how good the feedback was and it only reinforces her belief that Aussie food is not the way to go (duh). There is only one thing still standing stubbornly in her way – Michael. He shows up with his tail in between his legs, offering a tepid apology that becomes pointless when he blames his threat to shut down the restaurant on her not acting like a team player. Now Ashley was no saint during that argument, but I could see how she would flip her sh*t when idea after idea of hers has been shot down and she just wanted to do one thing on her own for the betterment of Oz without her old curmudgeon of a husband putting the kibosh on it. Michael’s apology doesn’t really land and while he says he wants to work through it, he’s still ignoring how discounted Ashley feels in their partnership.
So the Real Housewives of Potomac have their proverbial plates full of conflict and not just of the marital kind. Gizelle Bryant and Monique FIVE HOUSES Samuels have been feuding from the jump and it’s not a good look for the group. Says who? The Grande Dame herself, Karen Huger, that’s who. For whatever reason,
probably boredom Karen needs to be the peacemaker for these two alley cats and decides a dinner would be the perfect way to broker a cease fire. Charrisse Jackson-Jordan comes along for the ride because she can never miss a chance to make it about her (more on that in a few).
After a little bit of small talk and Gizelle not even bothering to look in Monique’s direction, Karen finally pushes them to solve their problem. Monique claims she just wants Gizelle to get to know her, and then she can hate her. Sounds about right! Gizelle can’t even respond without choking on what she’s about to say, which Miss Mo thinks is God himself choking Gizelle for the lie she was about to tell. As if God doesn’t have better things to do than worry about this nonsense! While Gizelle tries to recover, Monique barrels ahead with all of her grievances. Ok, back to back….to back, they do look pretty bad for Gizelle. The pettiness is palpable! But Gizelle knows that Monique hasn’t been the little angel she is making herself out to be in all this – she did call Gizelle a trick. Or was it a stuck up trick? Either way, we now have to suffer through Mo’s definition of what a trick actually is. In my world, a trick is a hoe. But in Miss Mo’s world, where she doesn’t curse and tricks are for kids, it means childish. Come on now, Monique, you know that is not what you meant. She defends herself by saying she wanted to apologize for that but Gizelle refused to give her phone number out and therefore, disrespected her again. Gizelle remains calm, like always, and you can see how much that gets under Monique’s skin when she gets loud over a simple hand waive from Gizelle. The ship is way off course and Karen and Charrisse try desperately to right it, but to no avail.
Finally, Charrisse tells them that it’s not really about them anymore, but about her and she needs her friends to get along so they can support her with all the hardship in her life right now. What on earth is she talking about? Looks like someone has been spending too much time closed up in their champagne room sniffing the fresh paint. Everyone say it with me: this is not about you, Cha Cha!
Onto more pressing issues for Monique: she has a first birthday party to plan and you know it has to be over the top
to make up for her insecurities. As she busies herself working out to get bathing suit ready, she fills Big Drawers in on the details. Held at one of their FIVE HOUSES, specifically, the 26 acre lake house that’s two hours away, there will be a petting zoo, face painting, clowns and hired nannies to watch the kids. Big Drawers mentions a budget and Monique gives us some fuzzy math on how the $30K she is spending is really in line with the $20K budget he imposed. Either way, Monique is spending the equivalent of someone’s yearly salary on a first birthday party so let that sink in.
When Karen isn’t busy brokering peace between cast mates, she is getting all cash offers on her house from China. You heard right, someone from far far away, who doesn’t care about trivial things like updated kitchens, is going to pay all cash for Karen and the BBG’s
crypt home of memories. While all cash is good, this means Karen and the BBG don’t have much time to get out and find a new home so they are facing a rental situation. Karen is surprisingly OK about that for someone who can’t even fathom an open house. And to raise even more eyebrows, she is actually considering housing options outside of Potomac. Say what?? Yes, Karen says it’s only 20 minutes away and her title knows no zip code. So not only is she downsizing her home but she is also moving out of the place she has christened herself the Grande Dame of. Does something in the outdated kitchen smell off to you? Yeah, me too. But Karen insists this is all a good thing and tells the BBG they are close to putting this all behind them so they can get back to partying like it’s 1999.
Speaking of 1999, Karen is at Charrisse’s house, lounging by the pool in a bathing suit, cover up and heels. She’s there to discuss planning a girl’s trip and wants Charrisse to help her. They settle on Bermuda and argue over who gets to plan the damn thing.
Robyn Dixon has finally decided it’s time for therapy after a conversation with her mother about the state of her marriage/not marriage. While she insists she doesn’t need therapy, she thinks maybe it would help her to talk. She sits down with the therapist and glazes over the details of her one and only real relationship ever and discovers that the common theme is her lack of trust in others because of Juan’s cheating. When the therapist asks if she wants love, specifically with someone else, Robyn skirts around the question but ultimately answers yes. It’s hard to tell if she really wants it or if she is just agreeing to it since she knows Juan is likely out there dating too. But her homework is to define trust, write down some examples of it in her life and then go on some dates. Yes, Robyn is being instructed to go on a date with someone who isn’t Juan.
It’s time for the first birthday party of the ages and Monique is zooming around her lake house on a hover board in some bathing suit straight out of the Fredrick’s of Hollywood collection. I know Monique is from Jersey so is that why she is always dressed like a RHONJ cast member circa season 2? Monique is stressed out for a multitude of reasons (none of which are important) – her caterer and valet are late and according to Miss Mo, things have to be perfect because you only get one first birthday party. Correction: Monique only gets one first birthday, because I’m pretty sure her daughter doesn’t give a flying fig about having a valet.
The rest of the ladies arrive and Ashley is in heels so high, she can barely make it across the grass. She’s also solo, saying Michael is at the beach house. Robyn shows up solo too, claiming Juan is busy with basketball camp which translates to his new girlfriend. We also get to meet Monique’s dad, who Ashley expertly points out is younger than both her husband and Karen. Ha! She busies herself talking to him and getting some serious marriage advice at the tiki bar.
The housewives (minus Gizelle because she wasn’t invited) assemble to talk about the Bermuda trip and Charrisse and Karen snap at each other over who is in charge again. Karen makes a comment about Charrisse being balanced for now and you can tell this isn’t going to go away any time soon. When they meet a few days later, Karen finally concedes to them both hosting a day, but refuses to say they are co-hosting the trip. For Charrisse’s part she refuses to admit she is assisting Karen because Cha Cha is no one’s assistant. Good lord, WHO CARES? They finish up with Karen asserting that they need to be an example for the rest of the women and if that’s the case, they are all screwed.
Michael is back from the beach house and trying to get on Ashley’s good side since their fight so he takes her to sculpt some clay and make phallic references. Ashley is still hanging onto their big blow up and doesn’t seem to be getting the reassurance she needs. She asks Michael if he thinks they are still in love with one another and he responds with a “yeah” and doesn’t even bother to ask her if she’s still in love with him. He moves on to asking about their baby plans and Ashley admits that’s not on her radar with all the problems they are having. Michael seems genuinely surprised by this and you can see how disconnected they really are. Ashley is looking forward to going away on the girls trip to Bermuda because she could use some space. You have to know your marriage is not on the right track when a few days of nonstop bickering with a bunch of women sounds better than spending time with your husband!
TELL US – WILL ASHLEY AND MICHAEL WORK THROUGH THEIR ISSUES? WHAT ABOUT GIZELLE AND MONIQUE?
Photo Credit: Bravo TV