Cast Blog: #RHONY

Arms' Length

Alex explains why she keeps her distance from LuAnn and gives her thoughts on Jill/Sonja.

I laughed for a while after I watched this episode. Grabbed a glass of wine. Laughed some more.

Before we get to why, please check out Simon's brand new webisode, my fashion recap here, and our Facebook page. Would love it if you follow Simon and me on Twitter, and definitely check out for our T-shirt partnership with Housing Works. Oh yeah, and Simon's song "I Am Real," and the Thug in a Club Mix! Wishing Simon, the dad of our two chums, a happy Father's Day as well as every Dad out there. Enjoy!

After the craziness of Morocco…by the way, did anyone catch on WWHL last week that LuAnn still thinks she's the only one who had been there before? Bizarre -- but here are my photo albums from the 2003 trip with Simon and François.

Anyway, back in New York, those of us with husbands and boyfriends spent a little quality time together. Everyone else went out, but Simon and I stayed at home. Our chums are five and seven, and not only can we not leave them home alone, obviously, but they need us and we need them too! It's so important to be there for bath time, dinner, homework, stories, and bedtime. We do tend to go out twice a week, and that's normally more than enough. When it's really busy, sometimes we bring our nanny or a sitter in and go out after they are asleep, but even that can sometimes be more stress than it's worth. For that reason, some of our best "we were here first" nights (I always think the term "date night" is cheesy) occur at home.

Simon and I put the boys to bed after I gave everyone their presents. Leather sandals for Simon, djellabahs and snake charming flutes for the boys, then lots of snuggling and about 50 stories each. Well, maybe not that many. It's just that my stomach was rumbling louder than any of the New Jersey housewives can scream. I came upstairs and we continued preparations for a feast -- one of our favorite foodie past-times that also accommodates having little kids. You didn't see much of the meal, so here's the menu.

After dinner, Simon surprised me with a huge basket of lingerie and garment bag of robes from Hanky Panky, and amidst everything I found a message on a pair hot pink knickers that read "I Love Us." Now you know why I love him so much -- a guy who will bedazzle a message on underwear for you is a keeper. And the message didn't include his initials.

Although Mario kept Ramona waiting for a bit, they certainly looked like they had fun afterward. Even LuAnn looked happy, though I'm not sure how happy Bobby looked during suit shopping.

After their makeup in Marrakech and everyone really trying to support them both, I was surprised that Jill wouldn't include Ramona in her shapewear focus group. Jill wanted opinions to make her product better. If ever there was a time to call in Ramona, this was it. I wasn't shocked at all over Jill jumping down Sonja's throat over the financial stuff.

I have no poker face whatsoever, and that was totally evident at lunch with Ramona. If I'm just sitting around being myself and reacting to what's around me, I can and do make crazy faces -- it's involuntary unless I'm trying hard to keep myself in check. The a-ha moment was clearly visible all over my face as I realized that due to Sonja's current misfortune she was within Jill's crosshairs as her next under-dog project.

Now. . .LuAnn. She and I had unfinished business from Morocco. At any rate, I needed to speak to her one on one. It was not OK to do this at a charity event, a focus group, anyone's home or frankly, an open business. It was either going to be the middle of an empty parking lot, or a restaurant that hadn't opened for dinner yet. The latter was more comfortable and served coffee.

LuAnn seemed, as usual, to be on her own planet. I wasn't even that surprised that when I called her vile, condescending, and rude, she didn't contradict me. I can only assume that she either agrees with me or doesn't communicate well in English. Either is possible. The henna/cabinet/whatever-you-call-it confrontation happened because I wanted LuAnn to lay off Ramona; however, this coffee had nothing to do with Ramona. She was out of it completely. I wanted to clear the air with LuAnn over her reaction to me. I've always kept LuAnn at arms' length, and this is exactly why. I don't care to taste her venom.

Dorinda: Sonja Is a Trip

Dorinda talks about meeting the other ladies and explains why she was nervous to meet Bethenny.

OMG, I’m on again! Is this really going to happen every week?! Funny how I’m still freaked out by myself on TV…

As you may or may not know, I am not a Hamptons girl; I am #TeamBerkshires. But hey, this could be fun too, right? As close as Ramona and I are, I have never actually stayed or even seen her home on the beach, so I was excited to go. Meeting Lady Morgan was a nice little adventure, too. She’s so beautiful. And I can totally see why Ramona gets flustered with her and her tendency to monopolize a conversation. But Sonja is a trip. I really like her.

Luann’s estate sale was something, huh? In the Berkshires, we call it a tag sale. Not as fancy, but much more real. After 22 years, it’s got to be hard to see the home where you raised your kids and built a family be taken apart and sold to strangers. But it was time for Luann to move on and write the next fabulous chapter of her life, as well as unburden herself of the past. (I need to start thinking about doing some of that in my life in Great Barrington. As my Mom would say, “Only when you’re good and ready, and not before that.”) I was excited to see Luann’s new house and watch her new beginnings flourish. I’m so proud of her.

So this was the weekend to reconnect with the girls I knew and meet the "new girls” I hadn’t met. Meeting Kristen and Carole was a breeze. They strolled into the estate sale with Heather and were as kind and as a welcoming as I expected them to be. Very, very sweet. I have to admit, I was a little nervous to meet the whole gang (operative word: gang), but I figured my closet helps me keep up with the best of them, and for this weekend, it was all “Hamptons Country Chic.”

At the cocktail party that night, I finally met Bethenny…at last! I was excited and a bit nervous, since she has quite the reputation. And all the good things I’ve heard…they were right! All the girls seemed happy to see her, but there was some sort of weird tension with Ramona that I didn’t really understand. It was almost like a Mexican standoff —a designer standoff, but a stand off. I was surprised to see Ramona “KellyBensimoning” Bethenny. It was weird and pretty tense, to be honest. It appeared to be about some brunch plans on a Sunday, but beneath the surface, it felt more like a timeless power struggle. Not comfortable with all that, and I’d hoped the next day would go smoother after it was all sorted out.

Honestly, I don't care where I go to brunch, as long as there’s food and good company. After that night, I was mostly concerned with getting through the weekend and making friends and/or figuring out who I had to keep my eye on. Ideally, I wanted to have a fun girls' weekend, not have to be the "hostess with the mostest" for once, and just get to relax...NOT!

For me, that weekend was mainly about supporting Ramona and really letting her know that I was there—that we were all there—for her, and that I understand what she is going through. After a long, happy marriage, divorce is a real bitch. Part of you dies. It’s that serious. Especially after 25 years…that’s a quarter-century! As much as I am so sad Richard is no longer here, I know it’s over, it’s ended, it’s done. I have to go on without him. In a weird way, this allows me a freedom to cope with what’s in front of me and continue with a new life. With divorce, you don’t have that “luxury.” (Weird way of putting it, but there’s a peace that comes with a solidified, unchangeable event that has no tomorrow.) Divorce, of course, keeps two people going, rebuilding their lives, and you know all about it. Whether through friends or social media—or even tabloids, in some cases. You know about their next act. It can be really difficult. After a divorce, you have to untangle your life emotionally and financially with expensive lawyers and sometimes in the public eye, though in front of family and close friends can sometimes be more draining than a tabloid can be.

In the end, if there ever really is an end to a divorce, you end up splitting your life up in half… (but it’s really “half of the half,” because the lawyers took most of it), only to run into the bastard in the grocery store with a new woman two weeks later. That’s a pretty crappy situation. You know what they say, "Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together." All true, but boy…the process sure is daunting!

Signing off, see you next week!

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