Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Knock the Chip Off Your Shoulder

Caroline has faith that Ashley can change.

Oh my gosh, what an episode! I laughed, then I cried, then I laughed, then I cried again, then I laughed, then I cried! Do you all agree or am I crazy? Wait, don’t answer that!

Teresa’s photo shoot looked exhausting! I must admit that I understand what those kids were thinking; ask anyone who’s ever had to photograph me, I’m not a very good subject. It feels awkward. You sit for hours waiting as the technical aspect of the shot is set up and then on command you have to smile and laugh at nothing. It’s unnatural. I think I’m going to call the Giudice girls and ask for lessons. I’m amazed at how quickly those kids can turn a frown upside down!
 
Watching Melissa tear up when her sisters mentioned their dad made me realize that this was not only Melissa’s dream, it was her father’s too. I can’t imagine the emotions she was feeling as Ryan Seacrest debuted her song on national radio. Bittersweet to say the very least. Congratulations, Melissa, you realized a dream and something tells me your dad is proudly smiling down on his little girl.
 
How cute is my Christopher! He seems to be in his element behind the bar at Wicked Wolf. Christopher loves to laugh and talk to people, the more the merrier. He’s famous for mixing up original cocktails, you saw an example of one when he came up with “Windex” in the Boys to Manzo webisode series. It is so typical of our family to show up in a group to support (torture) each other. Did you all notice what a big spender my brother Chris is? Don’t spend that dollar all in one place, Christopher! Like I said, torture. Truth be told, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
Matt and Jodi are nice people, and I loved watching everyone’s reaction as they surprised Ashley. All you need to do is watch that moment to understand how important it is to both families that Ashley realizes that she is loved. More on this later…
 
Kathy and Richie’s discussion regarding Victoria and “the talk” was hilarious. My favorite line: “Take a picture…” I have to hand it to Victoria; she listened to her mom and handled the awkward moment like a champ. Did you get that picture, Kathy?Lauren and I have an extraordinary relationship. We’re very close and spend a lot of time together. We talk about everything, and she generally takes my advice to heart with one exception, her weight. I have to be honest, I understand where she’s coming from. It’s so easy for me to say to her, “You can do it, Lauren,” when I never had to worry about my weight (until recently). When I talk about my weight issues, I speak from the mind of a confident adult; I don’t speak from years of feeling less than adequate as a teenager and young adult. It breaks my heart to hear Lauren say that she doesn’t like herself. Over the years we have had many discussions on self-image and confidence, and as hard as I try, and no matter how many times I tell her how beautiful she is, Lauren doesn’t believe it. The crazy thing is in every other aspect of her life she is very confident and strong. Thank God for Jacqueline, she relates to Lauren regarding body image and has been a tremendous, positive influence on her. I will love her forever for that. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jacqueline for picking up the slack for me, I owe you one. Xoxo!
 
On a lighter note, how fantastic was that gym scene? We had more laughs while filming that than anything else. I cannot express in words how much I love spending time with the kids; they make me laugh and keep me young. I said it then, and I’ll say it now -- kickboxing and I do not get along.  Bring me my treadmill, now that’s true love. Finally let’s discuss Jacqueline and Ashley. I have a wish -- I want Ashley to look at this episode and UNDERSTAND. I want her to feel her mother’s pain. I want her to see how lucky she is and know that she is surrounded by people who love and care for her. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE BLESSED, ASHLEY! Now show us what you’ve got… Knock the chip off your shoulder and show the world the good that’s inside of you, I have faith.

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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. 

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