Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Extending the Olive Branch

Caroline gives her thoughts on Kathy and Teresa's confrontation.

Hello! It seems as if I just wrote last week’s blog only a few hours ago, where is the time going?

I love the Christmas season; it’s my favorite time of year. It’s a wonderful blend of chaos, laughter, food, friends, and family. Putting up the tree and decorating the house is always an event in my home, and I was happy to see that we aren’t the only ones that argue during the process! There’s nothing more magical than watching the kids faces light up when the house is decorated and the tree is lit for the first time. Precious moments…

Ashley struggles with her feelings about belonging to two families. I understand where she’s coming from to a certain extent, but then I look at the two families that she’s a part of and wonder why she’s so negative. It can’t be easy to have your parent’s divorce, remarry, and expand their families with their new spouse. However, in Ashley’s case there is no divide between the two. Jacqueline and Mat have a great relationship with each other and their respective spouses. Ashley is part of our family, when I speak of her, I say my niece Ashley, my kids will say my cousin Ashley, never once was the word “step” used. The same holds true for her dad in Texas. You can’t change what is, but you should embrace the positive; Ashley has two families that love and support her. To me that’s a blessing.

Lauren had a tough time adjusting when the boys moved out of the house. I’ll never forget the day we moved them into their apartment; she was laughing and joking with them the entire time. On the way home she burst into tears and told me how upset she was about the move. She told me that for her entire life it was the three of them; they did everything together, and now she was alone and the boys moved on without her. She felt that she was being left behind and her brothers would move forward making new friends and have a new life that she wouldn’t be a part of. I felt terrible for her, but at the same time that’s life. Things change and you have to bend with the changes and adjust.

I decided to give the kids a special gift for Christmas to remind them of the bond they share with one and other and the bond we have as a family. I went to my friend Yanina and asked her to help me design a bracelet reflecting that sentiment. She did a fabulous job, and you’ll be seeing the finished product in a couple of weeks! In the meantime, check out her website.

It was nice of Melissa and Joe to invite us to their Christmas party, and we were all happy to go. It’s tough to fight with family, and the holidays can be especially difficult when there’s a divide. We all decided that we were going to attend the party and do our part to mend the fences between the Giudices and Gorgas.

I wasn’t in the room when Joe and Melissa confronted Monica, and as I watched tonight, I could see how uncomfortable it must have been for them. I’ve never met the woman, so I’m not going to make any presumptions on her character or the issues she has with Teresa, but I have to give credit to the Gorgas; they showed their loyalty to Teresa by asking Monica to leave.

The whole conversation between Teresa and Kathy was crazy. Why not just say hello? I don’t understand the combative attitude; say what you want, Kathy extended an olive branch and it was shoved in her face. Makes no sense. Maybe I’m crazy, but then again, maybe I’m not…

All in all the party went off with only a few bumps along the way – well, almost… See you next week!

Amber: Is Dina Coldhearted?

Amber Marchese dishes on her first reunion and why Dina Manzo confuses her.

Hello Housewife friends!  Welcome to the jungle baby! My first reunion was a wild ride. Call me sick and twisted, but I had an unbelievable time at the reunion when most, I have been warned, dread it. I felt like it was “The Great Purge” and when I went home I was felt relieved of any built up tension. I don’t care if anyone has a grudge against me, my slate is clean and I harbor no ill feelings towards anyone. I love to argue my point, and I truly stood by all of my convictions this season, so I was ready to say exactly what was on my mind, and then some. 

I know the twins and I went at one another pretty hard, but that is what the reunion is all about. It is an opportunity to get it all out and potentially understand one another's position better. Then we can each make our own decisions as to where we want to go with our relationships. I am very much the type of person that can say some of the meanest things and sling mud, but hug it out at the end forgetting anything negative that was said. It just rolls off my back. I actually think it is healthier to say what needs to be said, and then move on.

One thing I did question after the reunion was if Dina actually has a heart or if I should start calling her the Tin Man. I actually have not figured her out yet. Is she really just a coldhearted bitch, or has she been hurt so many times that she has become warped and jaded. I feel I don’t owe anyone any reason as to why I call cancer “the cancer,” but I will give it once more anyhow. “The cancer” is “the monster” to me. It is a way for me to take away its power and to minimize it. “It” destroys lives, so “it” does not deserve a name. It is just “the cancer” -- it was “the monster” or “the dragon.” Although Dina claims to have an understanding of how devastating cancer is to a family, her actions and blatant lack of empathy proves otherwise.

In addition, I did not think it was appropriate for me to interject into family quarrels at the reunion; however, this is something that I feel strongly about. I have met Jaqueline and I have spoken to her on many occasions. In the very short time that I have gotten to know Jaqueline, I know and have empathy with the struggles she has caring for Nicholas. I felt that Dina’s interpretation of her nephew was callous and completely out of touch with reality. The only thing that keeps playing in my mind is, "You know nothing John Snow."  No, thank God, he is not hooked up to machines with cancer; however, what the Laurita family goes through is extremely difficult on a day to day basis that will continue on for a lifetime. It is emotionally and financially devastating. Although, Dina "visits" children with cancer, at the end of her visit she gets to go home, leaving it behind and goes on with her daily life. Since Dina does work with children with cancer, I pray that she can abstain from a self-absorbed lifestyle and become a loving, involved aunt.