You Name It, I Felt It
Alex reflects on a dramatic and revealing reunion.
Wow. I’m glad that the reunion intro mentions that we filmed for seven hours – once you’ve seen it, you’ll know why we were all so exhausted that week! When Andy asked me how I was doing, I replied, “I’m so good, it should be illegal.” That line didn’t make the cut, but it still holds true. Great things are happening, and I’m so excited to be able to share it with our viewers.
After my lay-off at the end of February, I went through the same things most do in the same situation. Fear, anger, frustration…you name it, I felt it. After allowing some time to process, I got myself back out into the job market. There were several things that came up immediately that were almost right or not quite right, and I tried to stay open and not run straight through the first door that opened. Along the way, an amazing opportunity came my way and I thought, what could be better than to do this, now?!
I’m working with a great company called Second Time Around, which has high-end designer consignment stores up and down the east coast from Maine to Connecticut with headquarters in Boston. In this economy, how do you repurpose for a purpose? How do you create an of-the-moment look without straining the planet’s resources? Designer consignment is a win for fashionistas & recessionistas looking to save money, and the planet at the same time by recycling clothing. I’ll have lots more to say about that in the future!
At the beginning of the show I sat back, and only wished I had some popcorn. The first big showdown was between Ramona and LuAnn over the Hope Lodge incident. Yes, Ramona was her unfiltered, confrontational self. Yes, LuAnn overreacted a bit.
Moving right along…Bethenny was congratulated, and deservedly so, on the success of her book which is racing up the New York Times Bestseller list. The show has opened many doors for all of us to start businesses and create all sorts of things, which is really exciting. Something that Simon and I are very excited to announce is that our book, Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City, will be released in February by Sterling & Ross. This is a journey that I began putting down on paper in 2004 as a first-time mom of one, and we are both thrilled to be able to collaborate on funny, poignant (and in some places cautionary) tales of raising young children in the big city.
It was great that we were able to discuss with Bethenny something that, while not keeping me up at night, was a disconnect I noticed. I’ve always tried to never say anything behind someone’s back that I wouldn’t say directly to them, and when necessary have chased people down after the fact to say “Hey, I said this about you, FYI.” Jill and her emotions and her lipstick and her mirror was one such instance. That’s just me. Likewise, I remember one time Jill phoned me up and said, “I think I threw you under the bus about [something,]” which in the end was not so bad anyway, but I was glad to hear it from her. I noticed that Bethenny made various comments about everyone that weren’t being said face-to-face, and that bugged me. It really seemed to me that she would prepare for interviews by thinking back on each scene she filmed and come up with sarcastic sound-bites to make fun of everyone around her. Sometimes the result would be funny, sometimes rude, sometimes both.
Whether or not Bethenny told the others what she said about them I don’t know, but my experience was that she would be pleasant in person, then go away, reflect on the scene and write herself a script. In a recent article on popeater.com, she stated “if I have something to say, I'll say it behind your back, to your face, I don't really care.” To me, the behind-your-back part is a bit yellow. OK, she’s been clear and I’ve been clear.
I had an aha! moment on the couch. Don’t we all? Anyway, when Ramona spoke about her abusive childhood, it occurred to me that she might project her feelings from her upbringing onto her view of Simon and me, somehow. She asked me if Simon was abusive, which I initially laughed off but then realized if she came from that environment, she may well view an isolated tantrum as abuse, or the idea that we like to spend our scarce free time together as a power struggle. It’s really interesting to see the world from someone else’s perspective, and also interesting that people tend to seek out (or shun) what is familiar to them. Simon and I were lucky to have parents that adored each other, and in fact all our siblings have similar relationships. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ramona was called to task for lashing out at Bethenny’s single status in a blog, and I agree that she was pretty mean the day she wrote that. It seems that each time Ramona feels slighted, whether she thinks she’s not being told everything or someone makes a dig at her, she fights back in a big way. In this case I had another aha! moment. If I feel badly about something to do with the show, I have an ear and a shoulder in Simon. He’s involved not only because he’s my husband but he’s a huge part of the show as well. We’re in it together, and likewise when he needs support I’ve got his back. Bethenny doesn’t have a partner who is with her on the show; she’s going it solo. For Ramona to point that out in such an aggressive way was below the belt and I’m not surprised it brought out some tears.
What else? I still can’t believe how much material we came up with that day; it could have been a mini-series. One thing I think did not make the cut was the unveil of our SILEX shirts. After over a year of fans writing and asking us to make shirts, we’ve partnered with Epaulet, a local Brooklyn boutique to do so, and 10% of each sale (which is 50% of our proceeds,) benefits one of three charities. Head over to www.mccordvankempen.com if you’d like see them and to know more about the organizations you would be supporting.
Finally? I’m still in suspense over a few things. My DVD screener was somehow scratched and wouldn’t play all the way through, so the last 2 minutes and 31 seconds of tonight’s episode will be a complete surprise. I can’t wait to see what the last tidbit was, and of course what Thursday will bring!