Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Never Hold a Grudge

Jay thinks he may have stepped into RHONJ bizarro world.

The episode opens with Caroline at her radio job. I noticed the “Big Ragu” engineer isn’t there anymore. He has been replaced by a new guy that looks suspiciously like a Manzo. I guess Caroline didn’t like the way Carmine from Laverne and Shirley pointed. As she doles out advice, there is a new guy pointing; and he can really point. In engineer school they called him “Pointing” Scott Taylor. I’m not sure why Caroline is pushing her headphones to her head like she’s singing We are the World. The new engineer better step his game up. You may be a great pointer, kid, but don’t you EVER mess with Momma Manzo’s levels.
Melissa is in her Range Rover I think driving to Barbazon modeling school.  If she doesn’t want to be a model she can still look like one, right? The cameras in the car show that her car radio is pre-set to the Britney Spears channel. Atta girl, Mel! I knew you had taste. If Britney were smart, she would hire Melissa Gorga to open for her on her world tour. That would be way better than that clown D.J. Pauly D she has opening for her now. The kid is a star on Jersey Shore and he’s from freaking Rhode Island. Child, please! Britney, get some Jersey girls up there to open your Six Flags show in Jackson Township. If Melissa Gorga got on that tour, I would be in the front row for On Display. Let D.J. Pauly D tour on his own and have Kim Zolciak open for him yelling, “Google me! Google me!” Melissa must have gotten an advance check from SOULDIGGAZ, because she has enough ice on her fingers and ears to feed the Klumps. Seriously, Joey Gorga must be extraordinary at his job, because Momma Gorga is rocking about 200k of jewelry just driving around town. I’m starting to really like Melissa. Any girl that gets iced out to go for a drive to Pathmark is my kind of broad. Either it makes her feel fancy or she is secretly in Wu Tang Clan. Either way, Melissa Gorga is dressed to impress. That much jewelry must have taken a lot of poison.
Melissa takes the high road (figuratively, I think she’s on Route 23, which last time I checked, was at sea level) and calls Teresa to try and get the kids together. Teresa acts like she doesn’t know who is calling and then tells Melissa she had a stomach flu. She also says that she is “munching on everything.” Which is it, Tre? I have been banging on Melissa all season and now you’re making me look bad. She is calling you to mend fences and you’re acting a little snotty towards her. Melissa doesn’t even have to call you anymore, she has more diamonds than Candy Spelling. Two more rings and she’ll be Liberace. I mean they’re both musicians, right? Someone from Bravo get Melissa Gorga some candelabras STAT!
It’s obvious that Teresa is very unhappy with, well, everyone. I don’t know how Teresa could ever be unhappy. Joe Giudice can do the splits! At one point she asks how much farther Melissa and Kathy can get up each other’s asses. Probably not that much, but it really depends if Richie is going to let them use any of the weird S and M toys he brought to the Gorga’s house on Thanksgiving. If he does, I’ll guess they are working with about an extra foot and a half.
Albert Manzo is getting ready for work. He is in a bathrobe shaving with a straight razor. That is about as O.G. as you can get. Who is this guy, Sweeney Todd? Who uses a straight razor when it isn’t 1849? I hope after Albert got done shaving, he stomped out the campfire, got on his horse and lead his posse into town to see the marshal.
Lauren’s new spa at Chateau is about to open, and she has commissioned Ashley to come up with some promotional t-shirt ideas. That’s a brave move. I wouldn’t hire Ashley to do anything but take a nap. Ashley is a fantastic artist. I was very impressed by her artwork that was shown on the show. When it comes to Chateau t-shirts though, Lauren rejects the first two drawings faster than Simon Cowell dismissed William Hung. Maybe Ashley could design tour t-shirts for Melissa.
At the Gorga’s, Melissa is trying to keep all the kids mellow while she waits for Teresa to show up for their play date. Holy sh--, the Gorga kids are beautiful. Melissa seems to do a good job of entertaining everyone while they wait…and wait…and wait for Teresa to show up. Little does Melissa know that at Teresa’s house no one is even dressed yet.  There is a power struggle going on between Milania and Teresa. Milania wants to wear simple, basic colors and Teresa wants to dress her like Phyllis Diller. Milania goes to her dresser and throws all of her clothing out onto the floor. Maybe she was just putting them all ON DISPLAY, ON DISPLAY. Oh snap!
Back at Melissa’s house, she has set up a bouncy house and the kids are playing in it. Damn I wish I grew up Gorga. I would be gorgeous and I would have a drum kit and a bouncy house. As Teresa drives to Melissa’s house, it sounds like her girls are having Wrestlemania III and Gabriella just threw “Super Fly” Jimmy Snuka over the top rope.
Maybe Milania should listen to Teresa and wear what she tells her to, because when the Giudice kids show up at the Gorga’s, G to the ia walks in looking like Kid Rock. She looks cool as hell. Teresa and the baby have matching fur coats, and I wonder how long before Ashley tries to wear the baby on her head as a new hat.
Milania is picking people up and ripping through the toy chest like a pirate. She definitely came to play and pillage. As they sit down for a glass of wine, Melissa says to Teresa, “I don’t want to get in the middle of you and Kathy.” THEN DON’T. Just leave it. Just sit in your kitchen with your sister-in-law, drink your wine, and listen to her kids invade Scotland. Teresa is super aggressive during the entire visit. Next time, Melissa will have to bring up a few Xanax bars and drop them in Teresa’s drink, because Teresa is looking like she is close to flipping tables again.

Teresa explains to Melissa that it bothered her when Kathy said, “Hi, how are you?” Interesting. I seem to remember writing these exact same things about Melissa and Joey. They were late to Gia’s gymnastics, and they got mad when Teresa said, “Congratulations.” Now it seems everyone has switched personalities. Throughout the entire scene with Melissa, Teresa keeps chopping her down like a freaking tree. It got uncomfortable for me. No matter what Melissa said, Teresa had a body shot to go along with it. It’s just non-stop cheap shots. Teresa insults Melissa wanting to become a singer and in her interview she says, “That bitch can’t cook!” Maybe Melissa can’t cook, but she fed Gia the moment you walked in the door, T. If I were Melissa, I would have kicked everyone out and said come back when you have some manners.
As the families all get ready for the big New Year’s party at the Brownstone, I notice how pretty Teresa looks with out make up. She is a natural beauty. I don’t know why she puts so much make up on. Maybe she’s trying to look like Lysa.

Teresa says in her interview that she can’t wait to get to the party now that her girls are older and are so well behaved. Then Milania calls her father a stupid old troll and Gabriella calls Milania a little tiny baby. Gee, I wonder where these kids are learning to call people names? Not my business. I have a strict rule in my blog to never make jokes about anyone’s kids. (Ashley is 20.)

At Melissa’s house, things are a little calmer and happier. Gino is asleep on a bean bag chair. It looks like he’s in college. Melissa explains to Kathy how mean Teresa was being. I have to give Melissa credit. I made fun of her a lot all season, but in this episode she came off looking great to me. Teresa kept slicing and dicing her like a Ginzu knife commercial, and Melissa just kept pressing forward trying to make things work. MAZEL. Melissa explains to Kathy that when it came to Teresa putting a picture of Joey and Melissa in Teresa’s cookbook, Teresa said, “If I really wanted to be mean I would have shown everyone what you used to look like!” Suddenly the editors cut away to an old photo and my jaw hit the floor. Melissa used to be a really cute little Pomeranian. There’s some pretty lady holding her in her arms in the picture. On a side note: Melissa is a horrible impressionist. Leave the impressions to me, Melissa, because your Teresa imitation sounds like Urkel.
Over at the Brownstone, the New Year’s Eve party is under way. People are laughing and having a great time (seems to be a recurring theme while around the Manzos). There is an ice sculpture that says “2011.” The Real Housewives of New Jersey has more ice sculptures than the winter Olympics (that doesn’t really make any sense, I think I have run out of analogies). Teresa shows up wearing a SMOKING hot dress. The dress is “bangin’” but her attitude is “bummer.” She really seems incapable of letting any water run under the bridge and just moving on with life. I don’t get it. She’s mad at everyone. She’s even mad at Caroline for inviting Kathy even though IT’S CAROLINE’S PARTY. To Kathy’s credit, she shows a tremendous amount of class by showing up at the Brownstone with fresh baked cookies for Caroline. Caroline graciously accepts them and then right in front of Teresa, does not throw them in the trash.

Ashley is at the bar begging Chris to give her a shot. I immediately imagined Season 4. All of the Manzos are working at Verona Carwash on Bloomfield Avenue, because Ashley made them lose their liquor license.
Teresa is really not happy at this party, and it’s too bad because she looks beautiful. Melissa explains to Teresa that Kathy is her blood. Teresa then says that Kathy left a bad taste in her mouth. Is Teresa a vampire? That would explain why she couldn’t show up at Melissa’s until after dark. Something strange is happening. I have spent an entire episode agreeing with Melissa. Teresa is holding some serious grudges. It reminded me of a great expression Buddy Hackett once shared with me, “Never hold a grudge. While you’re holding a grudge, the other guy is out dancing.” As Teresa rants and raves, Kathy and Richie are literally out dancing. The most powerful image of the episode and maybe of the season is when the clock struck midnight, Milania and Antonia hugged. Oblivious to the petty feuds and bickering and backbiting that is happening between their parents. When the clock reached zero, their natural instinct was to simply hold each other.
Kathy continues to make an effort to be nice to Teresa. Teresa continues to be stand off-ish to everyone that crosses her path, and Richie is in the parking lot getting something wiped off his face. In the course of a couple of months everyone has switched personalities.  Even Caroline explains to us that talking to Teresa is like talking to a brick wall. How did this happen. Wasn’t Melissa the one we were supposed to dislike? How has everything shifted over to the Gorgas side in a few short weeks? This is some crazy ass drama going down. It’s 2011 and Teresa is mad at the world. She should realize that everyone around her is loving life, and if she doesn’t stop and smell the roses they are all going to drive right by her in their IROC’s. At least be nice to Mellissa, she has come a long way since her early days as a Pomeranian. Follow me on Twitter @jaymohr37. That free podcast of mine is HERE.

Amber: I Felt I Like I Was Being Hazed

Amber Marchese dishes on her experience this season on #RHONJ.

We made it Housewife friends! As it was my rookie season, I felt like I was being hazed in a sorority, but as hard as it was, I made it! I learned so much about how strong I am as a person and some areas that I can work on. I learned that I really do have a “no surrender, never retreat” mentality. I will go to bat with anyone, at any time, and will defend myself and my family at all cost. I also witnessed the undying love that my husband has for me and his family. He was not going to let anyone hurt me and will unleash hell if someone tries. He is truly my modern day Spartan warrior. 

I am so blessed to have shared my experience and struggles with breast cancer -- the timing of my five year mark, the photo shoot, and growing my hair for five years then cutting it for charity -- it was nothing short of a miracle that the Bravo was able to catch that all. It was just meant to be and God was truly working his wonders. Cutting my hair was completely symbolic for me, since cancer no longer defines me. I will never forget, however the pain, fear, and anxiety is in my rear view mirror now. I can sometimes look back to remind myself where I came from, but it in no way defines my future. It is my promise to all of you, I will never take that for granted, especially knowing that there are thousands struggling with cancer every day. 

On to my perspective on the season finale! I am not quite sure why the twins make it a point to confront others in front of large crowds. As Teresa said, they had two weeks to call her and speak to her about what Victoria Gotti had said to us. If they had an issue or wanted an apology, so be it, but what ever happened to being a civilized human being and picking up the phone to call? They did the same thing to me. Two weeks went by without any phone call from them. In fact, they never returned any of my phone calls or texts! They decided to make a scene in front of an entire party. Difference is, this was at a charity event with children in ear shot. Can you blame me for not wanting to bring my babies to this event? I would have absolutely loved my children sashaying down the runway, but there is absolutely no way I would EVER allow my babies to hear what went on. I spoke with Teresa and I knew the twins never called her. So I knew exactly what was brewing, so did Dina. My children come first and mama was protecting her children. Dina was brazen enough to kick Jim and me out of the Florida home for less of an offense, why wasn’t Dina kicking the twins out because they were making a scene at her own charity function for children?! Can we say double standard? Where were her “heads rolling” that she claimed would happen if someone started anything at a Ladybug event? 

I will add that I completely understand how hurt the twins are. I can understand their anger. However, I cannot understand their way of handling conflict. That level of “hot headedness,” I would think, cools down at a certain age as we tend to calm ourselves, think clearly, and with wisdom. It is a level of discernment that should happen after a certain age or experience in life. 

Dina claims to be Teresa’s friend of 25 years, but does not back up her friend at all. If that was my friend, like Christine or Angelia, whom I have been friends for just as long, the twins would not have gotten to the letter T in stupid before I would be dragging them out of the event by their ears. Dina doesn’t have to agree with her best friend, but she should also never allow someone to call her friend of 25 years stupid, at her own charity function no less. Especially knowing what her friend is going through, which pales in comparison to some stupid rumor.

Since Dina has unwarranted venom towards my husband and has completely snubbed him for his previous contributions to The Ladybug Project, I am going to thank him on their behalf for coming up with the idea of the children's fashion show, as well as the connection to East Coast Stars. Since Jim did not attend, he also made a sizable cash donation on behalf of our family. Jim had also worked hard before all the drama to make sure Ladybug even had a venue with all costs covered, including food and beverage. The venue was ultimately not chosen, but Jim had still worked hard to give Dina an option for the event. Instead she chooses to focus on Jim’s comment about her IQ after she interrogated him at an extremely inappropriate, charged moment right after his wife was attacked. Despite her inappropriateness, Jim still ended up apologizing to her. However in my opinion she should have apologized to him for being so glaringly insensitive. 

It may seem as if my perspective is harsh for an end of season blog, LOL! But it is what I was feeling at the time. I owe it to you all to give you my honest interpretation of it. However, at the end of the season, I came out having a certain amount of respect for all of these ladies. Being on a reality show is hard; it pushes us to our limits and it is nothing short of psychological warfare. I truly hope you will support all of us, equally. Teams are good, and appreciated; however, keep the hate towards other Housewives out of it. Perspective are OK, different points of view are what make the world go round, however, when your perspective rises to a level of cruelty, it takes the fun out of our jobs. Allow us to be ourselves, with the good moments and even the moments when we could have handled ourselves a little better. At the end of the day, the Housewives are girlfriends that have strong personalitiesand disagreements -- we love, we hate, and we make up. That’s life. 

I have would like to thank: Denee Lockhart, Amy Malkoff, J. Vincent Jewelers, Cate Scaglione Photography, Castle Couture, Action Media Productions, Elinet Cakes, Christine’s Restaurant, Historical Names, East Coast Stars, Zaboyon, Greenhouse Flowers, Johnny Donavan PR, Anthony Palmieri stylist, Tony Bowls evening wear, and finally, my husband Jim and my mom, Pamula Aguero. 

It was an amazing experience that I would not change for the world. I want to thank all of you for you love and support. This was a wild ride. 

Many blessings to all!

Amber Marchese