Happy Holidays RHONY fans. It's Christmas in August in Housewives land. With LuAnn hosting a fete that required Santa head headbands and, apparently, a reckoning for Jacques' claims of love. Let's recap shall we.
The Queens of Business
We open with a toaster oven summit at Sonja's abode. But Heather's biz dream team (which is only slightly shorter than our Olympic version) is shocked to find another person has been invited to the United Convection Oven Nations -- Ramona. (Aside: did the photographer remind anyone else of Ted Mosby of How I Met Your Mother, or was it just me?)
Heather isn't exactly pleased to find this, but she'll move on if she must. Ramona, unsurprisingly, has questions about everything, and Sonja doesn't believe they came to a definitive decision at the last meeting. It's all very intense, with Ramona answering the phone and accusations about mind sieves and fights about brawny, shirtless men holding toaster ovens. Woof.
Later at Heather's shoot, the gals multi-task with LuAnn and Sonja stopping by to talk toaster ovens again. Team Heather questions Ramona's knowledge as a "lunch friend" and continue the stalemate of what's happening with Sonja's logo. Heather ostensibly tries to end their business relationship, but Sonja just isn't having it. It makes you wonder how she ever got divorced, since she can talk her way still into any relationship. At the end of the day Sonja gets exactly what she wants -- minus one point, she can't bring any curveballs/lunch friends/Ramonas to the set. Lady Morgan the master negotiator! What can't she do?
Over dinner at Le Cirque with everyone (minus Heather, Ramona's idea. . .) the ladies gab about Aviva's more blissful times with Harry, and quaff wine like the knowledgeable vinos they are. Sonja's hat here requires note. This woman has not met a fascinator that she can't dominate. Plus it provides a perfect distraction when talk of Harry gets out of control.
Thankfully the convo shifted away from former flames that have slept with half the table to LuAnn's heritage. However, some people (cough, Carole) were less than pleased with all the savage talk.
Also if times were different, and LuAnn was back in the scalping times, I would have been vastly afraid of her. The Countess would have made Pocahontas look like quite the pushover.
Turning the topic away from stereotypes and violent, Trail of Tears times, Mario brings out some fine wines. He turns the vino trick from Jacques trick around on the man himself, and forces him to expound on his area of knowledge. After he passes that test, Mario brings up the burgundy elephant in the room and goes right for the jugular -- he asks him point blank not to pull another trick like that on his wife. LuAnn takes that delightful moment to excuse herself. Thankfully some sort of peace treaty was brokered in her absence, effectively carrying our Native American metaphor over into a pilgrim/Thanksgiving situation for the rest of dinner.
Rumble in the Bronx
After a delightful glimpse at the man himself, Harry Dubin (who, as it turns out is a budding pig cartoon entrepreneur), it's time for LuAnn's Life and Style Christmas party. As LuAnn is handing out Santa ears (yes, those exist) Ramona has a little bone (or should we say bottle) to pick with her. It seems that whole pinot prank from the other night is still not vino under the bridge. Ramona still feels upset because people keep telling her to feel upset, and even though she's trying to be Ramona 2.0 (kinder, gentler, less vehemently angry with LuAnn), it ain't working.
It's not so much of a fight as much as it is Ramona loudly proclaiming that she's "letting this one go." Basically just let the record show that according to Ramona she's "holding the fifth." She is going to take that fifth and hang on to it LuAnn, so if you need it, she's got it. Or something like that.
No Sonja is a Staten Island
Babies. They're apparently the first thought that leaps to the mind of the divorced. Or so Sonja thinks. Over a casual lunch with Lu, the topic of offspring comes up. Sonja shares that she sadly had a miscarriage and you start to understand what exactly makes our girl tick. There's a soft core beneath our bawdiest broad.
Sonja has some doubts about the whole idea of Lu having a baby. She wants it to happen for the right reasons, as it's not all baby toes and soft fingers. The Bjorn LuAnn!?! Did you think of the Bjorn?!?
And so at the shindig, Sonja can't help but launch into some questions about the whole ordeal. When Jacques comes over to steal a smooch from his gal, Sonja sort of blows a gasket. That kiss! She's got some qualms about it. Sonja doesn't believe it. It being the whole love affair, his intentions, their future as parents. Do French people really want babies? TELL HER JACQUES. The Bjorn!?!
In the end Sonja is coming from a real, fragile place, and just wanting the best for Lu. Maybe it would have been better to have that little tete-a-tete in a private corner or just to have slipped a stern note into Jacques stocking, but the "Can you be serious" cat is out of the bag now. . .
Manhattan Major Moment
Besides fifth holding and childbirth interventions, this is a Christmas party of course. And we can't forget the reason for the season -- an excuse for a musical revue. LuAnn asked the ladies to sing back up for a rousing rendition of "Jingle Bells," and lyrical difficulties aside (Aviva, how can you not know the lyrics to that song, I believe even the Hanukah celebrators are intimately familiar) the whole gang climbs on stage to sing. And then things get weird.
Like "hoochie coochie movment" weird. I agree with Sonja. "I'm sure a part of The Countess died that night because that was definitely not in the book of etiquette." I know a childlike part of me died upon hearing that particular additional stanza to the song. At least it left me with my new reaction to anything unseemly: I'll do just as LuAnn did, yell "Christmas songs!" at the top of my lungs until it stops.
Next week it begins -- the planning for what will surely be the most epic RHONY trip ever, St. Barths. Until then, what do you think the band would have played next if LuAnn hadn't stopped them? "Up on the Housetop"? "Silent Night"? Leave your guesses for additional Christmas covers they could crank out in the comments.