Do you get the feeling that everyone is off their meds this episode? I need a Xanax just watching it, some of this I hadn't seen until now. Does anyone have a Xanax?
It inspired me, though, I found the title of my next novel -- a thinly-veiled roman a clef about six women and a pirate in paradise and the hijinx that ensue. I’m calling it: “Drinking, Lying, Screaming.”
Let’s start with the scream, the one heard round the world. I should never have left the main house that night. I should have stayed. But there was my hair to consider and an outfit change -- my boyfriend was waiting. Aviva had arrived in one piece, passed her presents all around, kisses and hugs went back and forth and Reid was thank-you’d and tucked in his room with emails and business. All was well. Jean Batiste made canapés with dip, the sky if I were to step out from beneath the bar and look up was full of stars, the moon was bright. Music floated out from the well-placed speakers, the pinot flowed free in red and white, and happy laughter echoed across the island. The ocean lapped onto Saline beach in what sounded like faint applause behind me.
“I did it!” I thought, and patted myself imaginarily on the back. “I pulled off the hat trick.”
I thought I had merged the crazy lot of us into one $40 million house, seamlessly. A cloudless blue-skied day had melted into a star-filled night. It was perfect. It was ripe for calamity. It was the kind of night where no one expects anything to happen, and so it does. I should have known.
I’m no stranger to the Goddess Fortuna. In ways both good and bad -- she could care less -- she steers our fate. And she favors the prepared. She sneaks into five-bedroom, three pool, two-guest bungalow, wait-staffed homes when all is calm, and she throws up a clatter. I was unprepared.
But let’s start at the beginning when things are still light and sexy.
Our pirate is back!
How many of you feel bad for our pirate? English is his second language and he is even less fluent in the language of deceit. He looks confused, LuAnn looks tense, Ramona looks like a wolf going in for the kill. She’s relentless, she’s like a dog with a T-bone. And unfortunately for LuAnn -- and her cock and bull story -- the one thing Ramona isn’t this time, is crazy.
So what really happened, will anyone ever know? Will the Italians ever show up? Wait, rewind, did our pirate just say “body double?” That’s it! It wasn’t him, it was his double, which is as plausible as a group of Italians any day and also begs the question: What does Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow double’s double look like? It’s your lucky day, guys, because I found a picture. He looks like this:
Housewife Rule #39:
“Don’t talk on the phone behind the camera’s back.”
Why? Because it will always bite you in the ass. LuAnn forgot the rule. She wasn’t the only one.
LuAnn is like a dog with a boner the way she pursues these Italians and their friendships. I did it Italian-style last night, now I do it French-style. She won’t let up. No one believes her Italian story, not even our pirate when he is beaten into submission by Sonja and says Yes! Yes! It was him. They went out drinking together. Wow, that’s all? What a letdown.
Heather and I can’t believe our luck in this scene, it’s the National Geographic Channel up-close and real, like watching Animal Planet ringside. Here are, move for move, the entire mating repertoire of the Bonobo Chimp. Peacocking and preening and pricking. The Bonobo Chimp organizes its entire social structure around sex. They use sex to say Hello, to resolve disputes, to make up after fights; they trade sex for food and favor. They tongue kiss, perform orally, mutually masturbate, and even have a penis-fencing ritual. They do have sex for pleasure, but most of the time, much like Housewives across the country, they use sex simply to keep the peace. Not surprisingly, the DNA of the Bonobo compares closely to DNA of the average man and woman, matching as high as 98 percent in one study. Bonobos are closer, genetically speaking, to humans than they are to gorillas! I’m obsessed with animal shows. I know, it’s weird.
The Fat Lady Sings
Sonja said it’s not over until you-know-who-sings and someone -- no names, not saying names -- sang. I said too much already. But before you wrinkle your cute little noses up, hear this. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 46 perfect of woman surveyed claimed to have had a--l sex, so half of you reading this should be all good. According to the same data, these women said it’s easier to reach orgasm, anally speaking, yet the practice, despite it’s being not uncommon, remains taboo. Should it? This might be worth investigating.
Let me take a minute here to say that while I might not agree with everything Ramona and Sonja do or say, they are definitely fun and entertaining. They can both drink pirates under the table but they are two decent people. Do we have a lot in common? Yes, no, maybe. But as my fat Italian Grandma Millie always said, “It takes all types to make a world.” That’s how I grew up. I celebrate the differences in people, and then look for commonality. It’s there, with everyone, if you’re willing to look. I always assume, regardless of what we’re wearing or drinking or saying, that we run around most of the time in our own personal hell. We all have that in common.
Meet The Parents
Yes, out on the lawn, there arose a bit of clatter. It’s hard to come late to the party. You’re behind on the jokes, on the drinks, on the stories and spills and falls. It’s hard to catch up. You saw that when we were regaling Aviva by the bar with our tales. She looked out of sorts. It’s like when you get to the New Year’s Eve party right after midnight. Everyone’s kissed, they’re low on champagne, there’s a certain vibe that, well, money can’t buy.
We arrived back from the boat trip later than we had intended because it’s hard to wrangle five women plus drivers here and there. We did not have much downtime. I was getting ready for a date, Lu was showering, Heather was in her PJs, Ramonja were frolicking like nymphets -- like the Aphrodite of Cnidus come to life.
We hugged Aviva, when she walked in, and thanked Reid for bringing her. Then she asked us to thank him again. She asked us to thank Reid more times than LuAnn asked us to believe in imaginary Italian friends! When I was married it was my job to do all the thanking and drooling and gushing, not my friends. Even Reid says he doesn’t need that. I think he just wanted all of us to go away so he could work, no?
The scene that launched a thousand screams had back story, I won’t bore you with it. There were phone calls, there were talks behind the camera’s back. No good ever comes of that, we learned that during the alleged blackmail-gate. What you did see, though, was on last week’s show, when LuAnn, Ramona, and Sonja discussed Reid’s arrival. (Remember, I’d stepped out of the room to talk to Russ.) LuAnn said Reid at the house would change the dynamic. (LuAnn had trouble with the truth our entire stay.) Everyone else agreed. Ramona ask diplomat LuAnn to ask Reid to go to a hotel, she deferred to me. For the record, no one ever asked me to ask Reid to go to a hotel. This was a throwaway conversation. It died. It was idle chatter. Maybe it wasn’t nice, but in the end they were all fighting and pointing like Larry, Curly, and Moe over something that was discussed but never happened. Oye.
Class Warfare on the Richest Island in the Carribean
Some of the smartest people I know never went to Vassar, or even to college. Peter Jennings never finished high school and he was one of the most gracious, elegant, and intelligent men I’ve ever met. I’ve met people with enough degrees to paper an entire guest bungalow who have the manners of a jackal. Dangling an impressive resume to belittle someone isn’t like Aviva. I think she’s rattled by her suspicion that Sonja and Ramona have been talking badly behind her back.
Still, there is never a reason to call names. It’s not decent or nice. “White trash” is a derogatory slang term referring to people in this country of a lower social class. It’s a slur -- used by upper class whites to refer to uneducated lower class whites. While it may differ from Okie or Hillbilly, it’s still pejorative, and worse -- it’s vulgar and inelegant.
Hug Therapy Works!
Sonja is trying hard here. As I watched this scene, I wished I had hugged her. She’s been over-served and over-insulted and she’s hurt.
Healing touch therapy is a gentle therapy that emphasizes heart-centered care and compassionate healing intention. I think it works, because Aviva seems genuinely sorry in the touch therapy session. People do say things they don’t mean in the heat of an argument. I believe that. . .but then, huh?
Aviva had me at "Hello" but she lost me somewhere between "White Trash" and "Rush Limbaugh," and her reference to his infamous empty apology. Limbaugh wasn’t sorry for calling an innocent young woman a whore and slut, he was sorry his show lost sponsors. And it was arguably one of the nastiest moments in his almost 50-year broadcasting career.
And So it Goes. . .
In the end, Heather and I had a few good laughs but did not beg anyone to come to St. Barths. Do we seem like beggars? I’ve never begged anyone to go anywhere. And it’s true -- it was egregious -- I didn’t organize a party, or a red carpet. But it’s because I didn’t have my Oscar dress, it wouldn’t fit on the small plane. Too much crinoline. Plus, I wonder if maybe we all forgot one little thing. This trip was about, um. . .me?
Yet I somehow end up pants-less, refereeing a boxing match between grown women, cursing like a pirate and missing Russ’ rehearsal. I, too, wound up pounding Captain Jack all night, the whiskey, that is.
I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone, again, about the reasons for this trip.
1. I finished the first draft of my book.
2. Russ is playing a blues festival.
3. I invited the girls along to celebrate.
Which of the ladies actually did leave that night, and stayed at a hotel?
If you guessed me, you win! I left dinner to see Russ and I didn’t come back. Russ was staying at the coolest little dive near town, it hadn’t been updated since the 50s. The bed had a mosquito net canopy, the orange walls were faded and peeling. It was beautiful. We contemplated running away that night. We called the house on the hill Alcatraz. When I woke the next morning I had hoped it was all a dream, a nightmare, then I got a text from my producer -- “Please return to the house.”
Tune in next week when the ladies make me cry.
As always, you can buy What Remains here. Contact me on my website here. Follow me on Twitter here, Facebook here, Pinterest here. Follow my sister (@teresadifalco). You can get the book I was talking about on the boat, titled The Letter here.