Have you ever heard the saying “You get more bees with honey than you do with vinegar?" That’s exactly what comes to mind after watching this season’s RHONJ finale.
I consider all of these ladies to be my friends, and I wanted nothing more than to see them all work through their differences. I am entitled to my opinions and only want the best for all of them. Have YOU ever had friends that were fighting? If you have, then you know that it’s not comfortable for anyone to be around them, and being in the middle is no fun at all!
I don’t believe the blame belongs on one individual here; EVERYONE involved in this situation has a hand in the cookie jar. There are so many instances this season that could have gone so differently if everyone didn’t fly off the handle so quickly and took the time to calmly talk things through and listen to each other. These relationships aren’t moving forward, because no one wants to take accountability for their actions.
Regarding Jacqueline and Teresa’s relationship, I’ve always believed that Jacqueline was reacting in a way that stemmed from uncertainty and hurt. She never trusted that Teresa truly wanted to be her friend again and after the Vermont trip, those feelings just escalated. It’s important to understand that at the Vermont dinner, Jacqueline walked in to dinner thinking that Teresa or Melissa had asked Robyn and Christina to leave the trip –- she had no idea that Teresa was so angry. How I wish that Teresa had softened her approach towards Jacqueline within the first three minutes of her sitting down, and how I wish Melissa had just answered Jacqueline’s “Strippergate” question right away. It was all one big mess; Dolores and I did our best to give Jacqueline’s perspective in hopes of bringing everyone together.
Neither Dolores nor I wanted to be in the middle of this war, so my only goal was to get these girls together for CLOSURE! I wasn’t expecting them to walk away as best friends; I just wanted them to walk away as ladies who could understand one another, act civilly toward each other, and MOVE FORWARD.
I initially planned a luncheon at my house, and when Teresa asked me if I had insurance, I got scared and changed the location to Rails -- and yes, I hired security! (All of us JERSEY girls are strong, opinionated women, and I wanted to make sure that nothing went flying in the heat of an argument!) I was beyond ecstatic when Jacqueline walked in and even more ecstatic that Dolores and Jacqueline handled their little misunderstanding so well… and then… BAM!
It all happened so fast. I know that Jacqueline was still so hurt from the Vermont trip and she wanted to talk to the girls one on one so that both Teresa and Melissa couldn’t gang up on her, but Jacqueline’s delivery was wrong. She was giving orders and neither Teresa nor Melissa was having it and it didn’t end well. When Jacqueline left, Dolores and I chased after her because we wanted to tell her that her delivery was off in hopes that she would come back inside and we could start all over again.
I may be a relationship expert, but I am not a magician. I can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat, and I can’t make people behave in ways I wish they would. They have to want it in order for it to work!
In TRUE FRIENDSHIPS, it’s comforting to know you can AGREE TO DISAGREE! Having different opinions and being open (in a respectful way, of course) can be a beautiful thing! I will always be exactly who I am – I have nothing to hide and I’m going to be honest and upfront with you from the get-go because I WANT WHAT’S BEST FOR MY FRIENDS. How can you grow as a person if you aren’t willing to accept constructive criticism from those who care about you the most? At the end of the day, I find comfort in knowing that I truly tried my best. In situations like this, there’s only so much you can do. I now see the light and realize I can’t bring these women together.
I’d like to end this season finale’s blog on a positive note. Although my skills as a relationship expert weren’t as effective with my friends as I had hoped they’d be, I am so grateful for this experience during my first season as a “Real Housewife." I’ve had some constructive criticism thrown at me from the people I love the most -- my family. What did I do with it? I accepted it, reflected on it, and used it to make positive changes in myself that have only enriched my relationships with my parents and my children. And that, my friends, is how you do it. Life is good!
See you at the reunion!