Cast Blog: #RHONY

I Hope You Dance

Episode 15:’s Associate Editor ponders the power of dance and the discrimination against numbers.

Hello friends,

Did you take a Hummer to get here? I hope not because Hummers are déclassé. If you did arrive in a limousine complete with gels to give you just the right amount of sunset in the back window then we’re a go, so let’s get started.

The Queens of Pop (and Popping People’s Bubbles)

LuAnn is full steam ahead creating the perfect music video (which it is). It needs to full represent the message of beauty and elegance she so desperately wants to convey. More jets. Less non-professional dancers. Locations that with initials that could also be Air Conditioning. And no hummers -- because as LuAnn says, “when I think of beauty, class, and elegance, I don’t think of Hummers.”

While LuAnn is planning an MTV Moon Man-worthy clip, the other ladies are busy deciding if they want to be part of the production. Sonja and Ramona discuss if it’s a mother’s place to appear in music videos while working out. Though Sonja initially seems excited, Ramona has her feeling less enthused by the end of their elliptical. After, Alex and Simon discuss the irony between the word “Count” and another c-word of note, Alex asserts that she's staunchly anti the word "class" and is definitely not going to make an appearance.

Then LuAnn and Ramona have "Chic" chat. Finally the truth is revealed -- Ramona doesn't want to be in the video because she doesn't want to make it better. But even if her cameo is contingent on slighting The Countess, she still has some barbed comments about LuAnn's parenting -- and marriage. Things elevated really quickly, and in the Real Housewives roshambo this is a fight that seems pretty equally yoked. However, LuAnn pulls the ripchord pretty quick, and the matter is buried. . .for now.

The Manhattan Brain Scan Project

It's been a season of doctor visits for the ladies, and Jill’s brain scan might usurp her dentist visit with Cindy as my favorite. Watching Jill fill out the questionnaire and inquire of the doctor about her various personality points was such a delight (Jill: “Would you call me a loner?” Doctor: “You decide.”) What’s perhaps most glorious is the fact that Jill knows not what the brain scan is for, but she’s doing it “because it’s free.” This is the medical equivalent of a free sample. "What’s that you've got out on that tray Costco? Sure I’ll eat it if it’s free." She's doing that -- but with medicine!


This is FREE!

As Jill’s brain is prodded and poked, Jill and Sonja discuss the video. Perhaps it’s the brain scan machine on Jill’s head giving her keen intuition, but she immediately realizes Ramona and Sonja have already discussed the video. And despite Jill’s checking "guilt" on the list of personality traits, her attempts to talk Sonja into appearing don’t work. Perhaps if that cap had been a wig, as she wished, it would have been more convinced.

No Woman Is a Staten Island, Which is Why People Have Non-eating Assistants

Sonja Morgan is a busy lady. She doesn’t always have time for leisurely toaster oven breakfasts. Therefore when she decided to host Cindy for a mid-morning nosh she was skipping a dance class to make those Easy Bake eggs. As Cindy ascended the stairs escorted by the French-tern, it seemed like these two had put the pecking order pet peeves to rest and finally moved on to a place where they could eat eggs freely.

Until Cindy took a call. . .

You see Cindy does the small meals, so it was already lunch or pre-dinner by the time they ate. And work beckoned, so she enlisted her assistant to come along and not eat and keep the call a rolling. Perhaps she should have rescheduled brunch? Perhaps she should have let her assistant eat? Perhaps she should have had her act as a proxy eating the eggs and saying Cindy-like quotes during the business meeting? Who am I to say? All I can guarantee that this was surely the last time the toaster oven dinged that a meal was done for Ms. Barshop.

Bonus Borough: Atlantic City

Though it’s outside of the contingent five boroughs I have to give some major props to Atlantic City, the set piece for LuAnn’s “Chic C’est La Vie” clip. The video shot was such a phenomenal exercise in fabulousness I can barely describe it, so I'll limit it to my two favorite parts. Obviously Kelly's description of the extreme injustices against the Number 8 is first, but amongst Jill's many helpful instructions about the best production choices to make was a nugget of truth that I adored so much. As the ladies threw their chips in the air, Jill remarked what a once in a lifetime opportunity it was to be in a casino privately and be able to "just throw s--t all over the table." True facts. It's something I'll always pine for myself.Escape to Brooklyn

While LuAnn and Co. were off rolling dice, Sonja and Ramona went to Brooklyn to attend an art show at the McCord Mansion. We learned a whole lot about Sonja and Ramona and their friendship on this trek to the outer boroughs which I’ll outline below.

  • Sonja takes supplements which are designed to make her more supple and less raisin like.
  • According to how pitch perfectly it was performed, Sonja and Ramona have not only seen Mommie Dearest on many occasions, they are also pros at jumping up and down reciting “No more wire hangers."
  • Sonja occasionally refers to her breasts as “the art."
  • Sonja and Ramona call Brian “The Heater.” 

And as if those aren’t precious enough, we see Ramona having a bit of second-hand embarrassment, in a rare turn of events when Mario’s doing out of turn speaking. When Simon thanks the crowd for hoofing it to BK, Mario remarked basically “You’re welcome.” Ramona was a little mussed, but managed to move past it -- she is "the party" after all.

The Boogie Down Bronx

As a long-time Dougier, my heart was actually bursting at the seams to see the blondes unite in dance. Dancing against the oppression of the “Chic,” Avery ushered Ramona, Sonja, and Alex into modern moves with a class that taught them, the Dougie, the Rerun, and the Cat Daddy. I wish that I had videotape of my own eyes as they darted back and forth between the ladies taking in every nuance of their movement. Sonja said, “I may not be getting Dougie Fresh, but I was getting Sonja Fresh.” Yes, yes you were. Perhaps Sonja Fresh could become a line of fast-food restaurants like Baja Fresh, but everything is made in the toaster oven and the staff has to Dougie the food out to you (so it’s sort of like a Sonic). Alex also didn’t feel like her moves were perhaps up to par, but I found myself transfixed. Did you?

Next week we find out what is more unforgettable -- LuAnn dueting with Natalie Cole or Ramona taking a pregnancy test on a moving boat.

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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