Cast Blog: #RHONY

No Surprises

Sonja debates why grown-ups don't like surprises and her role in the Moroccan adventure.

I was in St John before Jill popped in, and I know exactly what the feeling was. I said it before, and I'll say it again -- why would Jill fly there to make up with Bethenny when she is your neighbor in NY and you can do it in privately? Show up without calling first? Grown-ups don't like surprises. Even when I attempted to put Ramona together with Kelly over toaster oven recipes, I asked Ramona to call first to be sure Kelly was comfortable with her "dropping in."

Both women made it clear to their host, Ramona, when the thought came to their minds that Jill may plan to drop in on her way to St Barth's that they didn't want Jill to come at this point. Ramona did what was best for everyone else who had committed to the whole trip. Bethenny was pregnant, exhausted, and starting a new business, getting married, and seriously couldn't take another minute of drama after the scenes with Kelly. Jill wasn't there, so she didn't feel it. It was terrible. Having said that I felt bad for Jill as well. What was she thinking? The whole Bethenny/Jill thing was heartbreaking.

From the beginning, LuAnn has been acting like it has been her solo trip. I'm glad I was able to patch up Ramona and Kelly before we left. Kelly stayed neutral when it came to the Jill and Ramona blow up, and for that I am grateful. I don't think Kelly understands how sensitive Ramona is. Cindy, LuAnn, and Jill have been talking about her behind her back a lot. I feel bad when Kelly starts throwing out the adjectives because it's not who Kelly is. She does this when she gets aggravated.

I love everyone to have fun and was happy to get us into the exclusive Le Comptoir. I knew it would be distracting with all the Moroccan dishes, the dancers, performers, fun music, and large tables of International jet-setting men! It was good to see everyone enjoy themselves in a real Moroccan hot spot, and we got the best table. I'm happy to say that it seems my idea of the Turkish baths (or Hamam) was a success. Everyone relaxed and wound down for a bit. The place was really gorgeous, and it's not a place everyone gets to see. I love luxury, and luxury loves me!

I enjoyed Jill on the tour of the palace with all her questions. She is in her element! Mustapah is a wonderful, tolerant man; he is the perfect representative of Morocco and a celebrity in his own right. He worked on Sex in the City 2 while they were there. Don't you find him charming? The outfit he wears is called a djellaba. They are typically for men, but women buy them too. I bought a couple for myself; you saw me wear the tan one.

Since Ramona's father died, she only wants authentic relationships in her life. I know her friends, and she has lot of supporters who have been with her for a long time. When in need she will be there. It may be tough love, but she will be there. Ramona has to be tough because nothing has been handed to her, and there is always someone trying to take it. People have been tough on Ramona on the way up. I know the exact feeling. She and I bought our first homes, started our first companies, dated, travelled around the world, and did our charity work, all at the same time more or less as single ladies in NYC. After we married and had children, we were in slightly different worlds. I was mainly in CT and France, and she in Southampton and different parts of Europe at different times. After I married, I gave up my Southampton place, but have now returned after our split.

"Just by being there and listening," as Ramona says, is everything to me. I try to do that by riding the wave, breaking the ice, and hoping over time people will see who I really am. While I am privileged, I didn't just get lucky overnight and assume a life of leisure. That notion couldn't be further from the truth. I have always, and continue to, work my tail off. I can tell you first hand, it's not like that. If you want glossed over, go to a movie or wait until my sexy (behind closed doors) novel comes out. LOL! That's what I do when I want to relax!

Why did LuAnn say I didn't want a henna tattoo? I got one, with all the drama, no one noticed!  My tattoo also got ruined! They take a long time to dry.

I stayed up all night with LuAnn one night. She was getting upset that I was spending all my nights with Ramona and Alex. Plus we were upstairs and had a beautiful balcony, while the brunettes were downstairs. It is wonderful under the stars at night! As I wrote in my blog last year, I love to sleep outside.

Once LuAnn invites Alex to stay, whoops! she has to be open to what Alex has to say. Alex said "Please come to me when you are finished." She meant "on the side in private." But I have to admit Alex's entrance was a bit like the show Dynasty!

I can't help but feel sometimes that, for whatever reason, LuAnn has had it out for Ramona. She makes her digs about her jewelry, her dresses, the checklist for the riad, and her wine. None of this helps Jill and Ramona on their already bumpy path.

Alex is always there for Ramona, so Kelly shouldn't say she shouldn't be with Ramona now. Alex was making a point that no one wanted to hear or acknowledge. Honestly, I could have told Alex that was going nowhere. But, she has to vent, I have seen it, and I am happy if it keeps her healthier. She did have her point, and I can't say LuAnn and Jill didn't deserve the blowup. Kelly just wanted to make it all end, I guess.

In this episode you see the designer was not upset with Ramona. He had a great time with us the time before when the girls were upstairs dressing. I was just trying to cheer Ramona up bringing her there early. I felt bad. She took a beating from the girls over and over, the past couple weeks, all while working hard at her businesses, and taking care of her family and homes. We were just borrowing the dresses. So they didn't actually fit perfectly. Of course LuAnn and Kelly are tall as the day is long, so everything looks fabulous on them! I ended up giving my dress to Jill because hers didn't fit well either. I was happy to wear my magnificent Sarbu Kaftan anyhow.

I believe that sometimes Kelly misreads emotions. To say Alex is sad not angry is not fair. It's for Alex to say how she feels Again, I think she just wanted to make the heated situation go away. She didn't mean to belittle Alex's feelings.

Alex is certainly not known for her timing but she was coming from a good place and standing up for Ramona and no one really cared to hear it. I felt bad and was surprised Cindy cared. Maybe this is how Cindy feels when she blows up. Maybe I have the key to Cindy?

We didn't know about dinner. LuAnn did not tell me about dinner at 8 pm. We only had a snack at 4 pm. We thought it must be a buffet like breakfast since no one came to us. We became ravenous upstairs and said lets go down. "Where is dinner?" When I have guests they can join or not, as Kelly said but I make sure everyone knows what time. Seriously, who wants to miss dinner?

Kelly's gets a strange read on things at times, and doesn't feel others pain. She said last season that emotions are so 1970s, and that she is not comfortable with feelings. She is totally missing the boat in this situation between LuAnn and Alex as well.

I find it hard to believe that Cindy hasn't seen other ladies react this way. We've all seen her fly off the handle in inappropriate places and times in an aggressive manner. This doesn't make her a bad person, but I'm just sayin'.

I don't understand why LuAnn continues to berate us when Ramona comes in. Alex had just informed her that we were not told what time dinner was. So weird.

Cindy was trying to have fun. I think at this point, she realized with the brunettes having a wall between the blondes, it wasn't so much fun. If Cindy didn't presume a lot about me, she would see there is a way for us to enjoy each other's personality. It takes trust.

When I have guests, I make them feel comfortable. If I have a problem with their manners, I don't discuss the issue on the actual trip. Knowing I have other guests to think about, I would just say "Oh, wonderful, you made it! Here's a plate. I'm so sorry you didn't know about dinnertime." I'd make a mental note of the behavior, and then when organizing 12 people on a weeklong boat trip, I'd be cautious with who I mix them with. This is why Ramona didn't ask Jill to stay with Bobby when she came to St John; it would have been a nightmare. Trust me -- but you probably all wanted to see that!

I don't understand why LuAnn brought up the card reader when she did. After the dinner time turmoil and reprimand? Horrible timing.

LuAnn said she felt she was hit by a donkey cart the next morning! I think that was the night we stayed up together. I felt we needed some alone time with the wall up between the brunettes and the blondes. LuAnn and I have a ball sometimes. She is a Countess, after all, and has to be aware of the example she sets! LOL! I also had a glimpse of Cindy wanting to have fun with Ramona and me. I had seen at Ramona's entrepreneurial award ceremony when we shared a martini together that Cindy would like to spend more time with Ramona and I, and just let her hair down. l am going to work on that!

Jill is saying the truth when she says she gets upset with Ramona because she cares. If she didn't care she wouldn't get so emotional. But what between her and Ramona is important to her? This is the key to them being happy again with each other. I do feel egos and jealousy get in the way here. We are all controlling women, and we do like things our own way! So that can always be a problem depending on the weather.

Ramona looked just like the real belly dancers! She actually bought the outfit. She is always up for anything and she's fun. Mario is going to love that.

I set up the cooking lesson! Cindy continues to reach out to me. I think there is light at the end of the tunnel for our friendship. She's rolling with my jokes now, and not taking them as insults as she was before. My joke that she needed her staff to help her cook her one dish went over OK. Maybe she is starting to see I come from a good place. I hope so. I told her we should keep our disagreements to ourselves, and private. I think she knows that to be true now. Look at LuAnn and I. LuAnn has opinions different than mine at times, but she knows I'm not out to hurt her. I'm just a Sagittarius like Jill. Foot in mouth at times!

I have a chicken tangine recipe for the toaster oven. You crimp the ingredients in foil, or use a piece of French crockware for the "tangine" pot. Then just add the Moroccan spices with oil, and some water, and you are all set.

My caftan during our Egyptian makeup session is Lorena Sarbu. More to come on that story.

Pink champagne. Love it! I have to say I look a little fed up at this point in the trip. Don't ya think?

How does Jill go from champagne to Diet Coke? She is so disciplined! We were very lucky to get into this restaurant, and I pulled some strings so I wanted to enjoy it, and have my friends enjoy it. After dinner, LuAnn and I hung out inside where there was a three-piece musical group and we sat on the floor on pillows. We had a ball!

I posted some toaster oven recipes and some floral arrangements on my website blog. My 2011 Reel on is on YouTube and join my fanpage for updates (I need some followers!) and my follow me on Twitter for everyday thoughts with viewers, friends. If you go to my Facebook page, I have a contest! You can win a doggy goody bag or a phone call with me to gossip! I'm excited because I love feedback from viewers.

For more information about the contest or for links, recipes and blogs, visit my website at Sonjamorganonline.com.

Thanks for watching the RHONY!

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Dorinda: I Was Surprised to See How Open Bethenny Was

Dorinda weighs in on the Luann/Carole drama and discusses Bethenny's willingness to open up about her past.

So we’re back from Atlantic Titty, as I like to call it. Strangely, that trip left me feeling more connected with the women. It’s not easy making friends—especially at my age and after the life I’ve lived—but I’m starting to feel “familiar” around them, if that makes any sense. The sheen of being a “NY Housewife” isn’t entirely there anymore, because I’m one of them, you know? During and after the Atlantic City trip, I started to feel more comfortable, more at ease, and more like “one of the girls.” Considering how they carry on sometimes, I’m not quite sure if that is a positive or a negative just yet. Maybe a little of both? I don’t know…It’s always interesting to put eight women together for a few days, that’s for sure. You see the politeness slip a bit, the “veneer” get a little cloudy, and you really see them in all their glory—and in all their realness. All and all, it was a fun trip…and a bit of a learning experience.
The good news is this: Never a dull moment! For example, Ramona is great about having the never-ending birthday that never ends (redundancy intended). In reality, her birthday is November 18, but the celebrations start shortly after Halloween and continue throughout the month of November, Thanksgiving be damned. It’s like Ramona Heritage Month. Our next stop on the birthday train was at Fishtail with ALL of her friends. And I mean ALL of them. These girls run the Upper East Side with an iron fist. They basically buy out every season at Bergdorf’s before it makes it to the floor. They’re a fun crowd—colorful characters—and Bethenny was right: It’s like the Cantina’s greatest hits from Star Wars. Of course, they’re all jockeying to be Princess Leia, though c’mon, Ramona’s the birthday girl. We know she’s the princess in our midst. After all, it is November…
I don’t typically run with these girls, but over the years of living in this ‘hood and being one of those “ladies who lunch,” I guess I can comfortably say I’ve claimed my seat at the table, so to speak. Seeing Heather, Carole, and Bethenny there was like spotting animals that wandered into the wrong habitat. Not really their “downtown diva” scene, but the effort is all that matters. Carole, babe, I know you're coming back up “here,” but I think that hat needs to stay downtown. “Hobo chic” doesn't really play well north of 57th Street. I do like how Heather is versatile and adapts to any and all situations and just knows how to turn it on (though “mama” and “holla” are as out of place as Carole’s beanie, in all honesty). Watching Bethenny was the most entertaining for me: She just wants nods and smiles and gets out as fast as possible. Kinda wish she would’ve taken me with her…there’s only so much chat about personal shoppers, the traffic on Fifth Ave., and what a disaster DiBlasio is that one can take before they start obsessing over fine lines and poodles.
By the way, I wish I had been invited to the boxing match! I love boxing! It’s such a rush and makes you feel alive. You saw that first-hand. Boxing takes the meekest of beings and makes them want to see blood (ahem…Kristen). Wow, girl, you got into it! Don’t let that “pretty” thing fool you; she was ready to jump in and knock some teeth out. I was very impressed. Last time I saw her this excited, it was when another box of Manolos just popped up out of nowhere. I like this side of you, KT. It shows what I’ve seen in you all along: real passion is your super power.

Oh…and then there’s the Carole/Luann situation getting some more meat on its bones. This one is a hard one, because I get the way Luann feels: She’s a mom, and it’s her niece at the center of this issue. At the same time, I also get Carole’s perspective. She's never been a mom, of course, but she lives a very youthful life, downtown, surrounded with young people. I believe her and Adam really do have some sort of connection—no doubt about that. Is it love? I don’t know, but obviously it is something. I hate to get involved with people’s private lives—it is so personal and really private. At least to me. I draw the line at critiquing one’s decisions. As long as they’re happy and the person they’re with is happy and they’re not hurting anyone by being together, then I’m fine with it. The details of the Carole/Adam tryst and the family connection to Luann is still a bit cloudy to me, so I don’t know. I just hope they work it out, because it’s gotten pretty heated and tense. Let’s face it, they were great friends, and I hope they find a way to rekindle that friendship. Listen, I’m just trying to figure out my life and my relationships again, and I’m trying to keep it simple. Naturally, that means keeping other people out of it. Am I right? You're welcome.
Speaking of private lives…I was so surprised to see how open Bethenny was about her past and her family. In may ways, she and I grew up around the same people. My grandfather loved race horses, being around the track and all those characters—some of which were colorful, to say the least. Evel Knievel was one of them, so that might give you a sense…
But despite how I could relate to some aspects of her childhood, it was a tough scene to watch at the end of this episode. Listen, we’re all looking for love. Some of us are looking for a love we once knew, others for a love we see others enjoy, and some are just trying to find what love means to them. In the end, we all want to be needed, wanted, and desired. But there’s nothing that completes that quest quite like a mother’s love. One can “suck at relationships” till they’re blue in the face, but not finding love or a mate to love you or make you feel loved is, at its core, entirely conditional. It truly depends on the who, what, when, where, and why…and all of those rely on you. They are yours to determine. A mother’s love, however, is unconditional. It’s a given. It’s something that gives those of us blessed to have it, an accelerator, a momentum in life. Knowing you have a “home” in someone’s heart because they are part of you and you are part of them is sometimes all you need to go take on the world. Without that mother’s love and affection, it’s got to be difficult to not feel lost. That said, not having that in your life really makes you appreciate it so much more, right? You come to value how priceless and profound an unconditional, immovable love can be. This is why Bethenny is such an amazing mother. So devoted, so compassionate, so unconditionally in love with her daughter…it’s inspiring to see and moving to a fellow mom. As you’ve come to see, Bethenny’s a titan through and through. She found it in herself to foster that momentum and catapult herself into the big leagues. Would she have had the same drive and determination had she not experienced that kind of pain? Is that where she gets that hardcore, no-nonsense attitude to petty crap? Is that why a clash with Bethenny is like clashing with no other titan?
It’s all fascinating to me. And now that I finally feel like “one of the girls,” it’s some of the best popcorn drama I’ve ever seen. I almost can’t wait to watch what happens next. It’s all so…yummie.

Till next week, xx!

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