I'm sorry I can't start this blog with all kinds of excitement, because I don't feel like there was much to celebrate in this first episode. It was beyond heartbreaking to watch.
To make everything easier, since there are so many Joes, I'm going to call my husband, Joe, my brother, Joey (since I call him that anyway).
I'm sure you can all see why this was a tough episode for me to watch and a tough season to film. When I signed up for this, I thought it was going to be a fun show that followed me and my friends shopping, going to dinner, and just living our lives. We never expected it would get so dark with Danielle's drama. This person we didn't know came in and tried to drive a wedge in between the Manzo and Laurita families. My heart broke for them, because no family is perfect, but to have someone come in and mess with your family dynamic on purpose is just evil. I stood by Caroline and Jacqueline, stayed loyal to their family when it was being attacked, and I always will. I love them, and I love their fantastic kids.
Of course that's not to say I don't love my own family too. Of course I do. My family is my life. It always has been, and I think it's pretty clear if you've ever met me or watched even one episode. Would I have joined the show if there was a chance it involved my family members being pitted against one another? No way in hell. I would never want my family exposed in that way. What sane person would? Who would subject their family to this on purpose? No opportunity or fun new celebrity career would be worth that trade off. Not even remotely.
My brother and I have always been close. Yes, when he got married things changed, but we were still close. We all had Sunday dinners together. We celebrated all our family events together. We were godparents to each other's kids. In my book Skinny Italian, I talked about our lives growing up -- the photo you saw of us in tonight's episode as kids is in my book. I even thanked him in the acknowledgments, right after Joe and my parents. He and Melissa were invited to and came to every single party I ever had -- on camera and off. If you go back and watch old episodes, you can spot Melissa. She put herself in the front of every shot because she wanted to be on TV. (That actually might be a fun drinking game -- spot Melissa at my parties). Just like they don't show all of Caroline's brothers and sisters or Jacqueline's brother even though they too are a huge part of their lives.