Ramona Singer's memoir, Life on the Ramona Coaster, is an emotional ride that takes a look at the Real Housewives of New York star's journey from an ambitious, business-savvy young woman, to a wife and mother who quickly rose to fame as a Bravoleb thanks to her love of Pinot Grigio and Turtle Time.
The memoir (out now through retailers like Amazon) sheds light on Ramona's childhood and delves deep into how she ended up on RHONY. Here's what we learned.
1. Ramona's childhood was tumultuous due to her father's abusive behavior.
"The next few years of my life are a blur of nightmarish memories, punctuated by my father drinking too much, then drunkenly abusing and berating my mother," she writes. "An endless cycle of screaming, fighting, and crying. I feel like I am living in a war zone." In another passage, Ramona recounts the time she pulled a knife on her father in self-defense.
2. She almost didn't do the Real Housewives.
"After they send me the contract, I start having second thoughts; I don’t really have time for this. I don’t need to be famous. I’m already popular with my friends. I already have a successful business. I’m married. I have my daughter. I have a full life. I don’t need this stress in my life. What do I need to take this on for? I contact Bravo and tell them I’m out." We're happy she changed her mind.
3. But she's happy she did — and for this good reason.
"One of the biggest benefits of doing Housewives has been that it has allowed me to show my daughter that you can find business opportunities anywhere and at any age. Here I was in my fifties and all these doors were opening up for me."
4. Mario's affair rocked her family.
"Meanwhile, I was deteriorating physically and emotionally. I was disappearing into myself. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I knew once Avery went back to college, I would be alone with Mario and I was beginning to realize that I couldn’t be around him anymore. It felt like no matter what I did, he seemed to be getting angrier and angrier with me. I think he was, in fact, angry with himself for being unfaithful, but he turned his rage on me because he couldn’t handle the guilt. He never laid a hand on me, but he would get this white rage in his eyes and I began to feel very threatened and afraid," she writes. His anger began to take a toll on Ramona's mental health. "The stress of everything became unmanageable and it began to wreak havoc on my mind, body, and spirit. There were times when I was so low that I almost felt like throwing myself in front of a subway train. I was so anxious and depressed that my doctor put me on anxiety medication. I think it was at this point that Mario finally began to see how much of a toll everything we were going through had taken on me." Ramona recently told People she considers Mario "dead" to her.
5. She doesn't hold back when it comes to first impressions.
Ramona recounts several first encounters with her fellow RHONY stars.
Alex McCord: "My first impression: this woman is a boring Stepford wife. Judgmental? Yes. At this point in my life I have a ten-dency make to snap judgments based on first impressions, but this is something about myself that I am about to learn that I need to change."
Simon van Kempen: "Mario and I have just finished a romantic dinner together and are about to leave the restaurant, when I hear Jill Zarin’s raspy voice coming from over by the bar. She is waiting to be seated with her reserved, soft-spoken husband, Bobby. Beside them at the bar is a lanky, fair-skinned blonde and a flamboyantly dressed, animated man with closely cropped ginger hair. For a moment, I wonder if Jill has replaced her 'gay husband' Brad, but then I see the man affectionately caressing the blonde’s slender back. Oh my God, I think to myself as I scrunch my face in distaste, are they a couple?"
Jill Zarin: "I had known Jill for years, and at the time I saw her as a whiny, materialistic Long Islander."
Luann de Lesseps: "Luann was always very proper and neutral, like Switzerland."
Kelly Bensimon: "When Kelly joined us on the show, I knew of her but had never met her. She was very prominent socially because of her ex-husband, the famous French fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon. Before we met, I actually googled her and listened to some of her interviews. She seemed like she was nice and engaging and my initial reaction to her was positive. But the more I got to know her, the more I began to feel that there was no depth to her. I felt like as long as she could talk about children and nail polish and clothes she was fine, but beyond that she didn’t seem to have anything substantial to say, so I found having a real conversation with her
6. Believe it or not, TV makes her nervous.
"Although I have had cameras following me around through two seasons of filming for Real Housewives, there is something about live television that freaks me out. For starters, there is no editing. And, as any of my fellow Housewives will tell you, I need editing," she reveals. "First and foremost, there’s the issue of when to speak. I don’t have a problem finding things to say, but I do have a hard time taking direction. I’m worried about knowing when I should talk and when I should let the host talk."
7. She seeks strength from her mom.
"Whenever things feel hopeless, I hear my mother’s voice, you must have faith in God, Ramona, and you must have faith in yourself. Always know that if you have faith, true faith, you can accomplish anything. Despite everything she went through, my mother never gave up and neither will I. Life is a roller coaster, or in my case it’s a Ramonacoaster. Sometimes it’s thrilling, sometimes it’s terrifying, but you just have to raise your hands in the air, throw your head back, and enjoy the ride."
If you want more Ramona, check out the most ramotional rides on the Ramona Coaster, below.