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Tinsley Mortimer at the Circus - Real Housewives Of New York

Last night the Real Housewives Of New York went to the Big Apple Circus where Sonja Morgan lifted a random baby from the lap of the mother who was sitting behind her, and held it in her own lap so the child could get a better look at the action. That baby sat there stoically and dry-eyed as the adult women around her sloshed popcorn-essenced cocktails in her face and probably assumed the wetness on their dress was because the baby pooped herself. You know this child was forever changed, and all-knowing from this experience, and someday, many moons from now will be gracing some future Bravo network as a Real Housealien Of Spaceship Villa Uranus in the year 2075.

Especially because just as randomly this baby’s honorary temporary godmother Sonja Morgan, of the Sexy J performing acrobatics troupe, passed her back to her mother, and hiked up her sequined mini dress before vaulting over the dividing wall right into the center ring to join the clowns. It’s as if Sonja was born for this moment, and never has she felt more at home. To somersault in heels, pantomime, and ad-lib, and if Luann de Lesseps doesn’t incorporate The Sexy J random circus into her cabaret halftime show (sponsored by Dale Mercer, of course) than she’s a bigger fool than even I thought possible.

We thought Dorinda Medley had missed her circus calling, but really  Sonja could’ve joined a real, live, veritable circus and stolen the show! Sonja should just start one out of her townhome. How many clowns can pour out of the townhouse basement!? She can mix up pickle-flavored cocktails with mystery colored ice, and it can be a circus with acts that mimic Sonja’s circus of a life.

What was Sonja doing just marrying some rich old guy when she could’ve had her fill of the sexy trapeze men? Why choose a clown in real life when you could have a professional one, who presumably takes off the big red nose and stops his clowning around after his day job ends. And just think of all the props hiding in the Morgan basement? Under plexiglass, of course.

Sonja Morgan at the circus

I don’t want to ruin this beautiful fantasy of going back in time to follow Sonja’s true destiny by inserting the reality of how she was wooed and swayed by the conventional path of trophy wifeism. Sonja sure took the long, hard way out; right into bankruptcy, ill-repute, and disrepair, with the moldy underpinnings seeping out under the antique Persian carpet that matches the drapes. But the circus is a place where jumping through hoops isn’t a chore, or a necessity, or a tragic way of life, but an attraction. Here walking through fire is a vaulted skill, not a setback. Yes, the circus was Sonja’s calling, certainly not Tinsley Mortimer‘s, as Dale so aptly assessed, sizing up this situation as she does all of Tinsley’s little failures.

Never is there so ugly a place to cry than at the circus – especially when you’re over the age of 6 (unless you’ve dropped your cotton candy). Even worse when you’re Tinsley, a 43-year-old woman dressed like a babydoll, and sobbing because she wants her mother’s approval. This entire scene is only acceptable in a fetish porn or an SNL skit mocking post-millennials and their snowplow parents.

Dale has no patience for Tinsley’s drunken tantrum. Dale wants Tinsley to pull herself together and stop projecting all of her disappointments over Scott Kluth onto Dale. Tinsley’s problem is that she’s making Dale responsible for something she’s not. Namely that Dale didn’t call Scott and beg him to surprise Tinsley at the circus with a clown car full of pink roses and a trapeze artist swooping down holding an engagement ring, which Scott would place on Tinsley’s finger at the greatest show on earth. The complete successful merging of Tinsley’s past – since so many childhood daddy issues memories involved the circus – and her future happiness. But that did not happen, and it’s not Dale’s fault.

Tinsley Mortimer & Dale Mercer

Tinsley is also upset that Dale isn’t proud of her. But why would Dale be impressed by her 43-year-old daughter, who has nothing to show for it – except, literally a reality show on which Tinsley is not even a principal, but the lowest rung on the trapeze ladder (not counting Barbara Kavovit). No, Dale is not proud of Tinsley for fucking up her bonafide life, the one her parents groomed her for and paid handsomely for her to achieve, by chasing fame emptier than the backup hoops dangling from the corner of the Big Top roof. No, Dale isn’t proud that her middle-aged daughter is sobbing over freezing eggs while wasting her time with a man who bought a ring to dangle over her head, but not affix to her finger. After all a man who deals in coupons will always be stingy! No, Dale isn’t happy that Tinsley is literally a mess, with clown makeup washing down her face with tears and a Toddlers In Tiaras bow drooping into her eye as she wails about how depressed she is with the discount love Scott is willing to offer.

But what can Dale do? She has guided Tinsley through finishing school, and debutante balls, into the waiting arms of the most prestigious private schools, and tennis lessons, with holidays in both Hilton Head (the Hamptons of the South) and the Southampton, and whisked her right down the aisle to a scion of an American dynasty. Dale has provided Tinsley with every available opportunity – except for emotional support and unconditional love, but honestly, what do those things give you that the right last name can’t provide?

Just ask Bethenny Frankel who is sobbing about her custody battle to her new driver, Albi (who’s so checked out he can’t be bothered to add the extra “e” to the end of his name). This is who Bethenny is forced to confide in. And also Brent, the second “B” in BB Enterprises. Except Brent’s “B” stands for balanced, not bitchy. This should be a wake-up call for Dale, who thinks traveling to NYC to have her hair done is supporting her daughter. But Dale distractedly flips her hand away at the mere notion of Tinsley’s father being an alcoholic, or the idea of Tinsley’s anger and grief being valid. Dale probably won’t learn, because you can’t teach an old deb new tricks, but Bethenny might.

Bethenny is so distraught over work subsuming all her time with Bryn that she’s ready to sell 50% of Skinnygirl to the highest bidder. Bethenny wants to turn back the clock, all the way to the very first memories from her own childhood when her mom was just Dale on steroids. Before Bernadette transformed all the way into her demon form. Bethenny, thankfully, wants to do better for Bryn. She doesn’t want to be Skinnygirl all the time – sometimes Bethenny just wants to be a mom hanging out at home in adult-sized pajamas and not stressing or social media-ing. A mom who is stable, not dating five men at once: engaged to 1 of them, in love with another, assessing and calculating # 3 and 4, and divorcing, for all eternity, #5.

Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny is suddenly so desperate to be the anti-Dale, she’s willing to part with the only version of herself she previously saw value in – her ability to become a self-made business mogul. Bethenny has achieved all that (and more!) but instead of feeling successful, she feels defeated, overwhelmed, and like she’s flittering away Bryn’s last innocent years on trial for her own mistakes marrying Jason Hoppy for a spinoff and a sperm donation. Jason is the literal and physical manifestation of Bethenny’s obsessive need to achieve. But through that Bethenny did achieve Bryn, and it now dawns on Bethenny that this has more value than diet drinks and jeans. This is the growth I’ve been waiting to see from Bethenny for years.

And then there is Luann. Luann, who just can’t be bothered to even answer reality’s text messages. And why should she, being a cabaret star and all? For Luann growth is when your cabaret tour goes national.

Luann retrieves Jill Zarin from the vault of  Housewives put out to pasture and props her up on a tennis court to smack balls at her. Jill used to chase these glowing balls of spotlight, but now she is blasé – her heart, like Bethenny’s, just isn’t in the game anymore.

Jill has been there, done that; watched Bobby waste away while she stalked her twitter mentions feed to the glow of the hospital nightlight, and now she is relaxed. Sure – Jill will appear here and there to play Andy Cohen asking Luann the hard questions and not pushing back on the soft answers, but she’s not about this life anymore. Jill is finally about finding peace and a hot piece of ass.

Jill Zarin & Luann de Lesseps

In a discussion about her alcoholism Luann tells Jill that most people wouldn’t consider her an alcoholic because she didn’t drink at home or hide booze – except when she did, and it resulted in an intervention. Lu claims her problems start when she has one drink which leads to an uncountable number of drinks which is a direct funnel to marrying Tom. Lu only truly emotionally stopped drinking when it started making her look bad – literally – after a friend said Luann’s face changed to a mask of ugly when she drank. The editors illustrate this point with a close-up of Lu’s mugshot. Now Luann channels her obsession into cabaret. Cabaret, not cabernet, girls!

Jill is satisfied with this. She did her time, she packs up her new dog, Bossy, and saunters away. Luann heads to cabaret practice where she’s headlining the biggest Halloween party in Manhattan by wearing a nurses costume and posing beside the sexiest woman she knows with low standards: Sonja.

Sonja’s standards are so low she agrees to do a paid promotional commercial within a Skinnygirl infomercial for Anne Hathaway’s movie, The Hustle. Dorinda’s standards aren’t much better (case in point: John), so she gets to play Sonja’s foil in a bored discussion comparing the movie characters to their Real Housewives Of New York castmates. And how did this advertising stint go for PR mogul Sonja J? Not well, bitch.

After a few moments of grasping at straws to describe how Ramona Singer is just as unpredictable as Rebel Wilson’s character whose name eludes them, Sonja and Dorinda switch to the comfortable territory of talking about how Tinsley is a mess. If Sonja is calling you a mess things are dire. This is why Dale has thrown in the pink monogrammed towel with the whites. It’s all just a wash.

Finally, the highlight of the episode (other than The Sexy J Caburlesque Clowns), was Ramona taking Barbara shopping, and only shading her for the first half of the trip. After Barbara got re-tooled by Ramona’s stylist – and it must be mentioned, came out wearing several variations of a wrap dress and wrap blouse – Ramona started feeling her Svengali self. She had taken a butch, rough around the edges monster and turned her into potential maven. Basically, she transformed Barbara into a Just My Style Ramona Doll.

Barbara dubbed their successful shopping trip as a budding “hoemance,” like a bromance for girls, and Ramona is fine with that provided everyone knows she is not Luann a hoe. But what happens when the protege usurps the maven? Like when Barbara turns Ramona’s words around on her to call her and calls her rough around the edges and accuses her of with cutting comments… Yes what happens then?

TELL US – IS DALE TOO HARD ON TINSLEY? WERE YOU GLAD TO SEE JILL BACK? HAS BETHENNY CHANGED?

[Photo Credits: Bravo]

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