Cast Blog: #RHONY

Crazy Talk

Heather Thomson shares her side of the argument with Ramona.

Things (and people) are gettin’ crazy up in here...

Watching this episode I am having flashbacks to filming now more than ever, because it was during the holidays and I can remember being crazed trying to keep all the balls I was juggling in the air along with the added pressure of the season! Oy! I remember being happy when I got Carole's invite to what I knew would be a lovely holiday dinner at Hotel Griffou. I had just hosted my company Holiday party there for Yummie only two days prior, and I love the place. Jon and I didn't need a sitter because my sister was in town, and I knew Ramona and Mario were not attending, so I was looking forward to a fun night out with my hubby and friends. The game we played called “White Elephant” (where you have the choice to keep your surprise present or trade with someone that has gone before you) was so much fun! And Aviva’s dad, the now infamous George, added thrilling shock waves with his irreverent wit. But as you saw, even George was upstaged by the live lizard that leaped out of its neatly wrapped box. Bravely, Carole captured him, gave him a home, and named him George. I've actually asked Carole to write the story of George for all to read, because you could never imagine what became of him, but that is another story. On this particular evening the two Georges added a lot of emotion to what might have been a predictable evening out on the town!

Carole continued in her hosting role by inviting all the ladies downtown to her apartment for lunch to discuss an idea of a trip she was pondering after she had delivered her book. Carole is a very cool, laid-back gal and her style is casual. Neither Carole nor myself are the high maintenance types, and I would have been so down with the pizza order, but others aren't as easy going. I wish Ramona would relax and try to just enjoy the moment. I mean, friends shouldn’t have to roll out a red carpet for each other every time they get together! Somehow the word “entitled” seems fitting here. Meanwhile, the nervous tension coming off Aviva, who was sitting next to me, is like a force field when Ramona was less than accommodating concerning Reid joining us in St. Barth’s. If this is what ordering lunch while planning a luxury vacation is like...will I ever survive the actual trip?

I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my work, and I care deeply about giving my all to anyone or any project that I am associated with. I took Sonja's branding project very seriously, and I put together a dream team of talented and passionate experts, all of whom volunteered to help Sonja. She was not paying any of us for our services. There was no barter system for our time and efforts, yet here comes Sonja rolling into the shoot over an hour late! At this juncture I am not surprised, but now I am really getting annoyed. Not only did she not have the decency to acknowledge the people that I had gathered to work on this project, but when she did get there she showed no sense of urgency to get into hair and makeup so we could start. Then her “lady problems” delayed us further, and did we really need to hear the graphic details? Sonja, spare us, puh-leeze! I was pushing to get the first shot, because I know from experience that once you get that first shot off and get rolling the magic begins.
I feel like I care more about Sonja’s brand than she does. A good friend once told me that if you want to get something done quickly, you give it to someone who is busy, because busy people don’t have any time to waste so they do it as fast as possible to get it off their plate. I am a busy girl with my own company to run. I want to help Sonja, but I can’t waste my time, and she needs to acknowledge and respect that. Again the word entitlement seems fitting. Oy!

Now that I have that off my chest, I will say that Sonja was AMAZING in front of the camera. She totally turned it on and looked fabulous, and in that regard she made our task easy. I am happy with what we created for her especially under the circumstances. Sonja’s set up on the table is exactly what she wanted and it's a wrap! The shoot is complete and I am ready to present two set up options for her to choose for her campaign. As long as she loves one after editing and retouching, I will proudly have delivered on my word.

I was happy to attend Ramona’s red wine launch event, because I knew it would give me a chance to see all of the girls. I had been getting along a little better with Ramona, and it was good to have been asked to come out and support her. As soon as I walk in the door I see Sonja and I really wanted to congratulate her on the images we captured and to let her know I still support her toaster oven idea. Like I said directly to her, I had my vision for the shoot, based on all that she had shared with me and the Sonja I know and adore, but in the end Sonja needs to choose what makes her happiest and what she wants representing her brand. Like all of you watching the show, I now realize there was a conversation between Ramona and Sonja about my steamrolling her on the set and the fact that we didn’t want Ramona there. Well, mea culpa. It is true…sort of. I did push my idea for Sonja, but let’s be totally honest…those toaster ovens that she is saying suddenly need urgent branding (Which is crazy, because I wouldn’t recommend buying production inventory until you have shown a customer and received an order!) would still be sitting in a warehouse somewhere without any branding if someone didn’t push it. I was fighting FOR Sonja not against her. James was the one who asked that Sonja not invite anyone on set, and I happened to concur. So, I can take the criticism, but I am NOT a liar and for Ramona to accuse me of that really floored me. Now that you have seen both sides, what do think?  I can tell you I have learned this: 1. Sonja talks out of both sides of her mouth. She tells you the version that you want to hear and not necessarily the whole story. And 2. Ramona only listens to half of any story -- the half that she believes -- then she walks away. She is operating in a bubble of partial information that fits into her paradigm. What is it with these women?!

On to the holiday party. Sonja invited us to Janna Bullock’s fabulous home. Wow, can that Carole dress up! She truly looked like a princess that evening. That was pretty much the highlight for me, because everything quickly went downhill from there. Why did Aviva (girl, I love you, but…) have to bring up that wine tasting event with Ramona again? Is it just me or are these girls running in circles? I just could not let Ramona and Aviva trash talk Jacques without at least addressing it with Aviva directly. The others didn't surprise me, but what's going on with Aviva?  I mean, that they started in on him before the front door was even closed? Come on! A fake French accent? He is French-Moroccan and was anyone there an expert on regional accents? Ramona says she really hates the thought of people talking behind her back (even when they are not!), but she has no problem doing it or worse (making fun of people) behind theirs. But like I said, Ramona hears only what works for her then flees the conversation before anyone has a chance to finish a story and perhaps prove her wrong. And yes, I did call her crazy. I could have said worse. I was reacting to her antics and out of a sense of loyalty to Lu and Jacques. You have to admit, it’s not too far off the mark at certain moments.


Last question -- the Holiday spirit was at the heart of it, but do I keep the red lipstick? I am giving myself mixed reviews and would love your thoughts!As always, thank you for all of your support and feedback. You make being on the show so rewarding for me. To learn more about me and my shapewear business, go to Facebook, www.yummielife.com, and www.heatherthomson.net. Pls don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @iamHeatherT and to visit donatelife.net to sign up to become an organ and tissue donor.

xx Heather

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Bethenny: There Is Definitely Smoke and Mirrors

Bethenny explains why she was worried after seeing Sonja's fashion presentation.

Well, my bar is set very low. If I'm not crying or ripping someone a new one, I breathe a sigh of relief. Let's enjoy that while it lasts. This episode was a good one for me.

Aaaah Sonja. The truth is I love her. There are times during this season that that will be difficult to believe, but I simply do. Some people are cunning and have a malicious or shifty or disingenuous side. Sonja has none of that. She is a good person. She is just often misguided and misdirected. Many of us are. Reminder: I have a book called I Suck At Relationships, so we all suck at some things.

I loved lunch at Il Mulino, because I love to laugh and Sonja makes me giggle. I also very much appreciate her honesty. You guys are all very smart and you will be able to tell who is real and who is trying to create a persona. Sonja allows herself to be messy; that is to be respected in its own way.

I didn't want to give unsolicited advice, and, this season, I walk a slippery slope. I’m damned if I do anything in the way of business advice. Whether it’s positive or negative advice, it will appear that I'm better than and an expert, and that's simply not how I view myself. I have a lot of experience: I'm in the trenches, and I keep learning and making mistakes every day. Sonja doesn't have that experience, and, for her to succeed, she needs to get focused and start absorbing more information (that's how I learned-- mouth shut and ears open). Business is hard, and she needs to learn what it really takes to focus on one thing and see it to the finish line. "Accessible luxury" is a start. And--no--she doesn't owe me a car.

As for her fashion meeting, I think she front-loaded that staff for effect. I will bet everything that I hope to be that not one of those people is on salary. I happen to have an international brand and barely have that many people with those fancy titles, so there is definitely smoke and mirrors there.

That said, the boards looked great, and Sonja does have people working with her. I am betting on Sonja! It is a marathon, and I want her to succeed all the way through. There are many steps along the way. She has great taste, I loved what I saw, and I am genuinely here to support her. All she needs to do is focus, focus, focus. If she isn't putting up her own money, which she isn't, then no harm, no foul (time and reputation aside).

The timeline worried me. This meeting was in November--launch would be now (like six months away), and it made me nervous knowing they could not yet disclose retailers. Fashion is its own beast. I do have a Skinnygirl Shapewear and lounge wear line, yet I deferred to Heather as more of an expert in this area. Heather has way more fashion experience. I'm not sure why she decided to fire a random shot at me for going to the meeting. Maybe it was payback for my nap last week during our dinner conversation. In any case, it doesn't matter whether you're selling toothpaste or tractors, business is business, and business I know and understand. Sonja was smart to ask for my advice. There will be more to come on this.

As for the other ladies, Kristen has a fashion blog. Congrats on that!

The night out at World Bar was a little grating, and I was glad to not be there, getting myself in trouble. The yammering on from Ramona about Sonja not saying hi was reminiscent of past seasons--hashing and rehashing something completely inconsequential to fill up the airwaves. Check please.

As far as John goes, walk away. Big deal--he is touchy feely. If he were 6' 2" and chiseled, no one would care. It really isn't that big of a deal. There are a lot of guys who have a cocktail and don't understand personal space. There are women in our group who have this issue, too. His girlfriend was two feet away.

While I wouldn't want my boyfriend behaving like that, and while he may not be ultimately right for Dorinda, she knows who he is, and I don't think it is a massive big deal. A little icky? Yes. World Bar World War 3? No.
I Suck at Relationships: http://bit.ly/1GlkutZ
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