Under Pressure

Simon shares details on the big renovation reveal.

This episode opens with Alex, the boys and me visiting Jill at Zarin Fabrics to choose some fabrics for our living room window treatments. Surprisingly Jill mentioned that she wished we’d given her a little more notice, so I guess she’d forgotten the conversation we’d had when she’d visited us at our house the previous month. But this isn’t the only time that Jill made a little slip up. I guess when some one’s prodding you with lines it’s easy to do. Anyway we had taken a 12” x 12” paint swatch of the living room wall color and chose a wonderful black and red fabric. You see us with the boys looking at rolls of fabric after fabric and when Francois is on my shoulders & nowhere near any of the rolls, one starts to roll out too far. Jill’s voiceover mentions how Francois caused this and we get the second time that the sound doesn’t match reality. Lastly as we leave you hear her mention that she’s nervous about doing window treatments when we don’t have any windows. Huh! And that’s three!

Next Bethenny calls into see Francky l’Official, in her words her ‘token gay friend” and hairdresser. I wonder if he’s a token friend or a token gay? Anyway, Francky suggests setting up a blind date with an ex model friend of his and I am wondering whether Bethenny sees a chance to compete with Kelly with Max. She seems not to sure about it but as she says she’s nothing to lose.

Back at out house it is two weeks to go before our house warming party and you can see that there’s still an enormous amount to be done. The kitchen is still missing, there’s a huge hole in the back wall, the 1/2 bath is missing – the walls in it haven’t even been sheet rocked! (We were still waiting for the NYC plumbing inspection and couldn’t close them until we’d passed.)

Anyway Alex and I discussed inviting Ramona and Mario as I felt that our Page 6 blow up might have cleared the air and so we’ll see later if they make it.

The next scene shows the beauty of this type of show as just a week or two after we’ve seen Ramona talk about launching her own skin care line, we’re back with her at her skin treatment center as she gets non-invasive treatment. Maybe she should put her doctor in a jar and sell it?

Bethenny is over at Jill’s to again discuss the travails of being an unmarried 37 year old female in NYC while simultaneously trying to cement her career which has ballooned a lot in the last two years. Ultimately life has to be about compromises and it’s almost impossible to have everything. Fortunately for us Alex and I are just about there.

At last a girl’s night out that I didn’t ‘crash’ as LuAnn and her two nieces join Kelly for drinks. Lo and behold, Max walks in to set the hearts a flutter in the way that I failed last season! He also had the good grace to leave not long after he arrived. Nice to see lessons can be learned.

A few weeks ago I wrote how Kelly gave one of the weirdest scenes in the annals of reality TV when she ran in traffic on 5th Ave but after LuAnn asks her “what does it take to let her hair down” she literally does just that. Is Kelly playing with us or did she really not get the metaphorical nature of LuAnn’s question? Honestly after meeting her several times I am really not sure what to think.

Back in Brooklyn we are finally overdosing on our house and it’s now just FIVE days until the party. You see unpainted walls, no kitchen appliances, half installed kitchen cabinets and IT’S BUCKETING down with rain. I had a hectic day in my office so I left Alex to direct traffic. Appliances were being delivered, the steel doors in the kitchen were being installed in a freshly built brick wall and the new roof had just been installed but with the rain they couldn’t come that day to put on the guttering. That meant the guys couldn’t weld to install the new doors and windows. You’ve got to love pressure.

Honestly with five days left it was touch and go whether we’d make it. Halloween fell in this time and despite the work we needed to do on the house we were also determined for the boys and us to have fun on Halloween.

Bethenny is out on her blind date where she magically gets to order her skinnygirl drink even before it’s been publicized, while they amiably chit-chat it doesn’t appear there’s much chemistry beyond the reaction of the contents of her Margarita. It seems though that the spark was destined not to occur as Bethenny went in prejudging him and then couldn’t get passed that.

We briefly see Jill, Bobby, Brad and Bethenny in a stretch for the long drive to Brooklyn and then after the break you see me doing the final walk through before everyone arrived. Finally you get to see the color scheme we chose and you can see the great contrast between each of the three main upstairs rooms. Kelly arrives early, as in her own words she had no idea how long it would take to get to Brooklyn. Honestly it’s a shorter distance from where she lives to where we do than it would be for her to get to the UES.

Bethenny walks in and is genuinely shocked at the makeover. When she talks about the color scheme she is channeling an outfit I am seen wearing next week which in ‘real’ time was last week. Honestly the clothes had naught to do with the colors we chose. Jill genuinely is shocked at the speed with which we’ve done all of this. Brad had brought us a housewarming present from Zarins – a whole host of throw cushions for the sofas. Bethenny referred to the tension between her and Kelly (remember this party was held one day after Halloween).

We have no input on what you see but I really wish that Marty Markowitz’s speech to all of us that night had made it to air. Marty has spent his entire political career as an ardent campaigner for Brooklyn and Alex and I were so thrilled that he and his lovely wife Jamie had made the time to join us just four days before Election Day.

After everyone left Alex and I for the very first time sat down in our new home and relaxed, something we’ve happily done many times in the six months since we filmed that night. Uniquely, this night most of our artwork was seen including the Danny Clinch portrait of Alice Cooper that had been used for a John Varvatos advertising campaign in 2008. On a show such as this every copyrighted piece of work requires a legal release to be shown on television and can I just say thank you to all at the production company and to the copyright holders for giving their permission. So did you all like Alice?

For more on our house renovation with timeline and pictures check out our renovation blog at http://mccordvankempen.com/index.php

Back over at Casa Zarin it looks like Jill is trying to act as peacemaker. Another charity meeting is planned. Jill probably also told Kelly that the meeting was actually starting two hours before it actually was in the hope Kelly would arrive 30 minutes early. Bethenny arrives determined to sit down with Kelly and clear the air. All seems to be going well until a force field magically descends over Ally’s bed right between them. This force field works to garble all sound waves sent from Bethenny’s voice box and consequently we now have two people sitting in a room ostensibly speaking the same language however clearly Kelly was hearing a foreign tongue and mostly speaking in one too. Apparently at the end despite the massive disconnect Kelly says the air is cleared. I hope she convinced herself as she clearly didn’t Bethenny nor me.

Kelly goes to get the wine as apparently Ramona needs an IV of Pinot Grigio and Bethenny tells Jill that her talk with Kelly achieved nothing. Then we see the ominous “to be continued”…

Until next week.

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