Cast Blog: #DCHOUSEWIVES

What is Salahi-ism?

Secret Thoughts

A Rewarding Experience

Man Rule Refresher

Wine Woes

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Bullying Tactics

Something for the Grandchildren

Man Rules

McGyver, Jack Bauer, ... Jason Turner?

Just Say ... Yes?

Love, Communication, and Mutual Respect

Mary's Best Moment

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No More Drama

Edge of Your Seat Drama

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Q and A With Stacie

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Shining Just Where We Are

Time to Press Delete

Mary's Worst Moment

Be Careful Who You Trust

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Gracious Offerings from Burkina Faso

No Stones Left Unturned

The White House Cirque Begins

Miss Understood

There's Nothing Pretty About Being a Mean Girl

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"Some People are Not Destined to Be Friends"

Ask, and I May Tell!

I Live for "Today!"

High Heel Fatigue

The Many Faces of Mary

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Let's Hear it for the Boys

This Oasis is Not a Mirage

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Time Is a Healer

Vineyard Vindication

Breaking the Man Rules

Who wants to Shoot Tareq?

Making Wine, Housewives Style

Reality Check

Grape Expectations

I Laughed, I Cried, I Cringed

'Tis Better to Give Love Than to Receive Meanness

What is Salahi-ism?

Let Stacie fill you in as she breaks down this week's events, from ridiculous real estate to Lynda's love for Ebong.

PREFACE:  What is Salahi-ism?

(n) 1. a condition of, or pertaining to total self-centeredness; 2. A mental state; characterized by absolute pre-occupation with oneself and/or self-interests. See also: narcissism.

The craziest people in the world, the ones who really do the most damage, ironically, are the same ones who believe that they are completely sane; that it's the rest of us who are crazy!! When their craziness is exposed, they see themselves as the victims, not the offenders. The rules of society that most of us abide by, regardless of culture, are completely irrelevant to the condition of Salahi-ism.

Tareq works extremely hard to convince others that he's the blue-blood Virginia gentleman:  Polo player, wine maker, global connoisseur, philanthropist, and overall bon vivant, married to the tall, cute blonde. In HIS mind, he's wealthy, polished and knowledgeable; he's THE winner everyone wants to be.  He's "the most interesting man in the world." Michaele is his enabler; she reinforces the crazy and validates the crazy as normal. Together, they are convinced that they are THE couple everyone wants to be around. She has a fancy hotel room key, a white stretch limo, and a horse named Sparkle to prove it. He has Oasis and a dream. Tareq and Michaele are perfect for one another!

"Something about Mary"

We didn't know the Salahis previously. They seemed cool, we shared similar interests, kicked it in Paris; we basically gave them the benefit of the doubt. That was then, this is now. For Jason and me, family is the most important thing in our lives. All jokes stop when dealing with family. Our commitment to our kids, their values and experiences is, like most sane people, our number one priority in life.

So when Tareq launched into a tirade of criminal allegations against Lolly, on national TV no less, we were shocked and horrified at the same time. All we could both think of was how literally sick to our stomachs we would be, if we were in Mary's shoes. All I could imagine was my husband flying across the table and whippin' some a-- if Tareq even thought to say something crazy about our kids. What kind of man attacks a woman, especially without the presence of her man? Like Rich says, there are some SERIOUS man rules being violated here. Rich and Mary are lovely people - and Jason really likes Rich. Both men are so funny and sarcastic - which as Mary says can get on our nerves sometimes...but a man with a sense of humor IS sexy isn't it??

I don't knowingly deal with shady or suspect people; but now finding out about all the people the Salahis have charmed (read: tricked) in recent months (years), all I can say is that the Turners are in good company, and will not be fooled again.

Cat Out of the Bag

I loved the scene with Cat and her kids finding something outrageous to wear to the stuffy healthcare forum. TV could not capture how truly hysterical the moment was when she arrived at the party dressed as Sarah Palin. Too funny! Just what a boring party needs to pep it up. This is a side of Cat's personality that I really like. She is not afraid to do the unexpected - say what's on her mind (i.e. as she shares her opinion on healthcare and Republicans to a Republican). Say it to her face - with no shame.  Edwina was so not ready for the directness. I've gotten used to it - and rather like it. In time, I have seen the authentically fun, endearing side of Cat's personality. Now while I still believe that she is impulsively inappropriate in many situations, she is also extremely smart, funny, and deeply sensitive. We can see that the death of her close friend was extremely difficult, especially when Cat is thousands of miles away from her extended support system. My heart really went out to her. I can vouch for the fact that Jade and Ruby are delightful, smart, and highly poised young ladies for their ages.

Still, adult reactions to death and grieving must be hard for an 11 year old to digest...

Lynda - The Southern Baptist Jewish Astrological Love Child

Lynda is a naturally sweet person who genuinely tries to live according to "energy based principles". In fact, I love being in her company because she always exudes such positive energy. I actually wish Jason and I had some of that sage blessing when we first gut renovated our house 10 years ago! I was flattered that Lynda called to talk to me about her plans to purchase a home in Virginia. She called me as a friend first - who happens to know the real estate market. So I felt compelled to express to her my surprise that she was leaving her FAB-U-LOUS condo (can I say huge, waterfront, prime location, amazing views, etc.) to move to the suburbs seemed extreme. I didn't like seeing myself seeming to "bash" Virginia, where I'm a licensed real estate agent. Besides, I grew up in Virginia, love Virginia wine, my hubby is a UVA alum, Aunt Frances is in Virginia - we are VA loving people - we just loving living in the city right now. To be clear: I was not a fan of Virginia for Lynda - knowing her lifestyle and (selfishly) knowing that I would no longer enjoy cocktails on her balcony overlooking the Potomac. Lynda is so connected to the city - running a DC based business and having a very active social and civic life - that I wanted to make sure she had fully thought through the lifestyle changes which are equally important as making a smart investment decision. I am just happy that Lynda and her family are happy - and I know

that her new home will be as inviting and warm as the previous. I can't wait for the housewarming party!

I can't leave a Lynda discussion without sharing my thoughts about Lynda and Ebong as a couple. I love low-maintenance people who are happy, which is what comes through when you hang out with them. They have that real, easy, laid back, "love is good" feeling that you can maintain with a boyfriend - she's had enough experience to know a husband is a little more complicated. I love Jason to death, but I am a big fan of her relationship "boot camp" for men idea! Where do I sign him up? Gotta keep your man in shape!!

Real Estate for Dummies

For real, I am no joke when it comes to my real estate practice. I love the benefits of the profession - the freedom of running your own business and unlimited income potential - but it comes with a price.

Any successful agent knows this gig can be tough on family, as I routinely put in 50+ hours per week. I work nights and weekends on the regular - so sadly, I miss many dinners with the family. Sunday brunch after church?  I think not - got an open house from 1-4! Needless to say, my time is valuable, and I don't waste a minute of it.

When talking real estate, I draw a thick line between business and personal. As a friend, I can freely give my personal opinion (like saying I don't see the Virginia suburbs for Lynda's lifestyle). As a realtor, my personal opinion doesn't matter; I work to meet my clients'

objectives wherever (i.e. McLean is a great buy). I am always happy to talk to friends and family about real estate matters, but I also recommend caution when considering hiring an agent you know too personally. As a buyer's agent, that friend must be willing to share their most sensitive financial information with you, which can be difficult for some (mission impossible:  Salahi). When listing a friend's home, it can be difficult to explain why you think your friend's place isn't anywhere close to what they think it's worth! This is why I am extremely numbers based as a professional - the market dictates value, not your faux-painted accent wall.

I somewhat reluctantly went out house-hunting with Tareq and Michaele. Defunct (but gorgeous) wineries don't generate cash flow. Michaele doesn't come from wealth that I am aware of - so I am SERIOUSLY doubting their money making mojo! An $8 million dollar home? Are you kidding me?

For perspective, a qualified buyer will need proof of income around $2.0 million annually to even entertain a contract. Regardless of price, my serious buyers are prepared, and quickly produce such documents. Know this: your buy/sell agent's market reputation is a BIG factor at the table. People know that my clients can do the deal. I am baffled about what "business" they can work this deal through. Time is money. I don't have time, and now, I don't believe they have money. See "Salahi-ism" above.

Legitimate clients, please go to www.stacieturnerhomes.com. My team and I are at your service.

Facebook Family

Jason promised me years ago, just after my Dad died in 1999, that he was going to find my birth parents for me. I thought that was sweet of him, but did not think much more about it.  Of course, in retrospect, I should have known that my husband's resourcefulness, creativity, and love for me would make it happen. The problem with knowledge is that once you have it, you want more of it. And especially when it comes to who I am...who my children are...and those whom I don't know, but whose presence I can sense in some weird way. Jason has been very patient with me over the years of this search. He understands that I want this knowledge more than anything, but that it is also scary as hell to confront a past and future that is totally unclear, and potentially painful.

I was so shocked when Jason discovered my birth mom's son on Facebook. I mean technology is so crazy! Here my birth mom is keeping me from what I feel is MY story, and my blood family! I am so deeply appreciative of her sacrifice...she could have easily aborted me.

That action of carrying me to term says so much about who my birth mother is, and the tough choices she made in a tough period of time in the mid-sixties. The thought of connecting with her son on Facebook seems so devious to me, kind of like I am breaking the "rules" in some major way. Yet, FB is the people connection tool of the 21st century...like me not getting in a car because I might drive past her house (since I know her address, this has crossed my mind). It's crazy how birth-mommy imagination-TV plays in my head.  Sometimes the mental show is happy, deeply appreciative to someone I don't know; other times its anger on demand! We'll see what happens with this route...I mean it's just a friend request. He won't even know who I am right?? More than anything, at that time, that day, reaching out on Facebook really shows the urgency, and increasing anger that I feel about getting the full truth - by any means necessary.

 

A Rewarding Experience

Despite her cringe-worthy moments, Mary's had a blast.

Nonsense

n.

1. Words or signs having no intelligible meaning

2. Subject matter, behavior, or language that is foolish or absurd.

3. Extravagant foolishness or frivolity

4. Matter of little or no importance or usefulness

5. Insolent talk or behavior; impudence

One thing that no one can ever take from you is your word. I was raised with the motto say what you mean and mean what you say. The reunion was extremely difficult for me. All of the nonsensical behavior that we have been subject to this season from Boris and Natasha came to a head that long September day. It was difficult to watch myself become so exacerbated by the lies and false accusations, and to see myself visibly display the emotions I was experiencing: anger, hurt, and frustration. Even when confronted with solid proof these people still arrogantly sat there denying all. It was unreal. After a season of fabulous fun with my family and friends it made me sick to see it all end this way.

As parents, one of the primary values we teach our children is the importance of being honest. As I sat on the sofa during 10 tedious hours of filming, listening to lie after lie coming from a couple who are masterful storytellers, I wondered how we got to this point. I have never in my life been put in such a confrontational and frustrating situation nor watched two grown adults be so blatantly dishonest. My family, close friends, and my charity have all been negatively affected by these individuals. At the end of the day I know what I signed up for, and in the reality TV world the name of the game is drama. What I was experiencing was not drama. This was about two delusional individuals who still can not answer a "yes" or "no" question. Ultimately for me they stooped to the lowest of lows by falsely accusing our daughter of a serious crime that she had no involvement in whatsoever. I can easily say that I am relieved that we can all move on from spending precious time and energy talking about these people. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I'm ready to move on!

In some ways this reality TV experience was like being pregnant for the first time; many people offered sound advice but nothing can really prepare a person for such a surreal experience. As a family, we have had a blast on this roller coaster ride and have enjoyed watching snapshots of our "functionally dysfunctional" family relate to each other through the challenges of being a large family. The love of a family is the greatest blessing, and I am overwhelmingly blessed with a large loving family. I want to thank them all for taking this great risk and jumping on this ride with me.

The cross! I have had an overwhelming number of inquiries about how to find the cross that I wear regularly. I purchased my cross a number of years ago on a trip to the Carribbean. Unfortunately, the cross is no longer available, but I am working closely with the company that produced it and will be launching a new version soon! Additionally, I am excited to share that I am currently designing an entire cross collection. Look for more information coming soon on my future website www.maryamons.com!

If in the DC area on November 4th, please join me as Labels for Love hosts a spectacular event called the Modus Union Salon Party. This evening will feature the incredible works of 75 juried artists, live painting, musical performances, trapeze artists, vendors, nibbles from local restaurants, and of course cocktails! All artwork will be for sale and the proceeds will benefit Fran Drescher's organization, Cancer Schmancer (www.cancerschmancer). For more information, go to www.labelsforlove.org. I hope to see you there!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all that helped make this year incredibly enriching and rewarding. This entire experience has been a very humbling and rewarding one. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and witnessed many cringe-worthy moments to learn from ... and avoid! One of the best aspects of making the choice to do the show was the beautiful friendships that developed and strengthened over the last with Lynda, Cat, and Stacie and our incredible crew. We shared many laughs and had a ton of fun! Although a friendship with Michaele didn't develop, I wish her and each of my cast mates only the best for the future. Thank you all for the support and encouragement over the our first season! 

Peace and Blessings!

ox,

Mary

 

Follow me on twitter at @maryamons

www.labelsforlove.org

www.maryamons.com (coming soon!)