Cast Blog: #RHONY

Saw Red

Alex discusses the Marriage Equality hoopla and her fight with Sonja.

Holy mother of marching. I still don’t know what happened on September 26, 2010. Well, here’s what I do know. Equal rights to marry is something I am rabidly passionate about for a few reasons -- partially due to my upbringing, but mainly simple fairness.

Simon and I had been asked by a friend to join the Marriage Equality March committee during the summer. We’d said we would be happy to do whatever they needed, and I suggested that I ask all the girls to march and wear wedding dresses. I was thrilled to get the final invitation and see that Jill and Sonja had joined up to the committee as well, plus LuAnn and Kelly had agreed to attend. Ramona didn’t get there, but my best friend Rod from Northwestern, his hubby Lindel, and their son as well as our friends Ed and Joe, all came out to march.

Some weird things had happened in the days before the march -– I arranged for all the ladies to get ready at a 5th Avenue salon, but was told that Sonja preferred that not happen, that we go to her house. I said fine; didn’t think much of it. Saturday morning, we heard that there had been some midnight phone calls the night before which Simon and I hadn’t been privy to. I was genuinely pleased for Sonja that MENY created a Grand Marshal role for her; it made her feel special, and I like my friends feeling special. Very cool –- no issues. It seemed like there was an inordinate amount of “me, me, me” going on while we got ready, but sometimes that happens among friends and you try to let it go.

Everything happened very quickly after that. We got to the speakers' holding area at City Hall and met up with Simon, where he and I realized that something bigger had happened, which totally changed the plan set back in July. We were both shocked. Neither of us wanted to be the center of attention nor did we think it was “our day,” and we couldn’t believe that someone would act as Sonja did. This was not a day about straight people. We got upset about her adolescent and unfair behavior, but tried our hardest to rein it in because ultimately it didn’t matter who spoke, it mattered that everyone marched for Marriage Equality.

In the midst of the madness, Jill Zarin arrived. All animosity between us aside, I was really happy when she showed up, because I knew she could do it. No clue how “I’m glad you’re here” translates into picking on Jill. Just because she said I was picking on her doesn’t mean I actually was; if I walk outside on a sunny day and say “Please make this blizzard stop,” that doesn’t mean it’s snowing. When she whines that people pick on her, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. While I don’t think I was picking on her at the time, over the years I’ve gotten so sick of her game that my lack of tolerance for her nonsense may come across as picking. Or, she picked up on my mood from the Sonja drama and thought I was directing it at her. Oh well. I was genuinely happy that she "walked the walk" that day, and we agreed that when she returned from Australia, we’d sit down one-on-one and have a conversation.

I didn’t say a word about the march drama during the wedding reception at our house, though I did want to hear Simon’s speech. As Sonja left our house, I suggested we get together over champagne soon, and she agreed. I also wasn’t going to say a word to her on the third day post-march at the Gucci event or the fourth day at the art unveiling with Brian. Although I did download Ramona at the Gucci dinner so she understood why I didn’t want to sit with Sonja, my intent was to have a lunch with her privately and iron things out. Sonja and I are friends, and friends don’t bail on the relationship because of one crazy thing that happens. When I arrived at her house, I was blown away that Sonja brought up MENY in her hallway, removed from the guests but still within earshot.

The conversation should not have started then, and that is where I made my biggest mistake. I should have said “We’re not going to agree on this, so let’s not do this now. This is your night and Brian’s night, and if we can’t be together without discussing Marriage Equality, I’ll leave you to your guests and we’ll get together tomorrow.” That would have been the rational thing to do. Instead, when Sonja pretended she didn’t know my husband’s name, I saw red and charged like a bull. When she wouldn’t listen to me, I got even angrier. Although there was good reason to be upset, I didn’t need to take the bait at the art party. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Tonight, Simon and I are hosting a benefit viewing of this episode for Marriage Equality New York, and hope to raise more awareness for the cause. There’s still quite a bit of work to be done, and we’re going to be part of this fight until our LGBT friends have the legal right to marry the one person whom they love. We’ll be wearing our Thug in a Cocktail Dress t-shirts!

For Simon’s take on this episode, please visit his blog, and for a deeper dive into why Simon and I feel the way we do about equal marriage rights, check out our recent conversation with Sandy Chase. To find fashion information for the episode (and a picture from our wedding!) go here. See you next week, and if you want to find out more about us, follow us on Facebook and Simon’s and my Twitter feeds.

Carole on Elitists and Bitches

Carole says what she really thinks of Aviva and all of her talk about her book and things being "ghetto."

Dear Fans,

Let me start with something I stole it from Twitter this week. "The most dangerous liars are those who think they are telling the truth."

I'll say it again. The blonde at the end of the right couch, the one who's prone to lobbing limbs and insults, is an Insulting. Bitch. Some of you didn't believe me. Maybe some of you still don't. But after watching the reunion shows I imagine it's harder and harder to cheer for the anti-hero. Just when you think she can't get any faker she does.

The story according to Aviva makes me laugh: We were arguing, she insulted me, I called her a psychopath and that prompted her to affectionately compliment me on my age. Sure. Her disdain for the intelligence of the audience is palpable. It was too stupid for me to even reply. But as I was watching the reunion, and particularly Aviva and the way she treats people, I was reminded of something my Grandma Millie used to say. (I love everything Grandma Millie used to say.) "At 25, you have the face you're born with. At 45 you have the face you deserve."

I'd rather be 50 and me than be 45 and Aviva, any day of the week. She aged worse this season than a president in his first term. Holy short dress, I don't mind at all how I look. Overbite and all. I'll take it.

When I first met Aviva she was lovely. Really lovely. I meant what I said on the couch, I wish we had seen more of that. Her easy laugh and funny neurotic ways. Instead all we saw was a mean and angry woman. All because I asked her if she hired a writer -- a writer she did hire. It makes no sense. Three years ago she told me she'd read my memoir, What Remains. This was a book published in 2006 about my childhood, my family, my career and marriage, and then the death of my husband, Anthony Radziwill. A man I loved more than anyone I had loved before or have loved since. She gushed over my book. She quoted from it. We hugged. She seemed so sincere. Flash forward and she now believes it was written by a ghostwriter. She even knew his name, and it wasn't Truman Capote. It was Bill Whitworth, she told me. She repeated this over and over to anyone who would listen. And it doesn't matter how many times she repeats it -- it will never make it true.

When they stopped listening she started saying in the press and on social media that not only was my book written by someone else but that it was not my place to have written a book about my life, and my marriage. And, as if I didn't remember, she reminded me that I'd written about people who had died. Um, yeah. I know. It was my husband and my family and my closest friend who died. Just. . .wow. But I wasn't important enough to tell my story because my husband's family was famous, or historic or whatever she said. Because they had money and privilege and yachts. Really. Who do I think I am?

I’ll tell you. I’m a girl from upstate New York who grew up in a loving, if sometimes kooky, Italian working class family. I worked for everything I earned, just like my parents did and their parents before them. I have a proud family history of hard work and small but precious rewards that followed. My family won't be in any history books. I didn't grow up privileged. We didn't spend summers in Europe or Christmas in Palm Beach. A day spent at the town pool or playing in the woods behind our house was great. Much like Heather, I was taught strong values and decent manners. I learned to live with integrity and honesty. I'm proud of my upbringing and the woman I became, as was my husband. As is his family to this very day. I've known people who lived in what Aviva would consider the "ghetto" who have more class and decency than she shows.

All this talk about class and ghetto -- you'd think we were living in communist Russia. Here is the thing. This is America. In our country it doesn't matter a lick where you are from, it only matters where you're going. So don’t let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough because you didn’t grow up on Park Avenue or in a family that had some history, or because you enjoy saying mother-f---er now and then. I’ve met people from all walks of life. I spent time in refugee camps in Southeast Asia, and in the projects of Chicago. I've been to State dinners with Presidents. I met the Queen of England on a beach in Anguilla. No one is any more valuable or important than you are. No one is more important than your family and your friends.

Let the elitists go slow into the night.

In spite of the BookGate dust up I had a great time this season. I made wonderful new friends in LuAnn and Kristen and my friendship with Heather is more special and important to me than I could have ever imagined just three years ago. Friends have each other's backs. I love her, madly. And while we didn't always act appropriately, we had a lot of laughs. I hope you did too.

Thank you all for your supportive and funny and brilliant tweets. And while we didn't all agree on everything all of the time I enjoyed your participation in the show. Even the mean tweets about my skinny neck and my overbite were amusing. Like I said, I've stolen some tweets already. You may see others as dialogue in my next book, and yes, you can all say you were my ghostwriters.

As always,

With love, Writer Girl xoxo

Read more about: