When Aviva -- it's me -- finally appears on screen – more than a third into The Real Housewives of New York City premiere, I was expecting a gorgon, some hideous beast that breathes fire and scatters destruction wherever it looks. I mean, what else could it be? For about 20 minutes, we'd been hearing about the Aviva creature -- and that's after the prior season recap that is like a highlight reel of "Aviva's Gone Wild -- Bitch Edition." Then we're treated to four of my fellow Housewives trashing the Aviva daemon. And that's not enough -- they warn the newest member of our coven -- Kristen, whom I haven’t even met -- about the Aviva. I’m watching this episode on the edge of my seat, ready to be terrified. I'm thinking it's going to be like that monster that pops out of the man's chest in Alien. I grip Reid's hand. I prepare to scream. I count the steps to the bathroom in case I have to vomit. Okay . . . let's see the FrankenAvivastein.
And there she is! OK, there I am. I don’t look scary at all. In fact, I look really good in that lace flamingo pink top and elegant black pant (but then, the girl in The Exorcist didn't look bad at first glance either). It's the beginning of a new season. I'm looking forward to mending fences and having some fun with the girls.
I think Bonnie and Clyde had it better when they were ambushed. Clyde was killed by the first bullet, and Bonnie wasn't far behind. The other 150 shots and shotgun blasts were just for fun.
Watching the episode, I now see the grimaces, eye rolls, and shudders as I approach. I hear Ramona quivering that as I entered she felt "this black cloud of smoke coming into the room." (I didn't see that on my TV; I think I need to get high def.) I flattered Carole about what a great writer she was and reached out to her to "help" me with my own book. Of course I didn't really want her help; I just wanted to let her know how much I admired her writing. Her response? She just totally dissed me. What, did she think I was going to steal her favorite pronoun – "I" – from her? Oh, and my book -- Leggy Blonde -- was just published without, it must be said, any help from Carole.
Then I went to tackle Ramona. No, not tackle, I went to hug her. Ramona's reaction was "Hug?. . .You're lucky I'm not stabbing you with a knife." It didn't go all that well -- unless your idea of a chat going well is being called "insincere, vicious, and mean spirited" in the first couple of minutes. And it went down from there. It was tough to hear -- one might even call it, to use Ramona's term, "mean spirited." But it wasn't insincere . . . and in that room, that kind of honesty, even if it's brutal honesty, was refreshing. Ramona is up front. There isn't the guile and plotting and gossipy back-stabbing that often seems to go with the "Housewife" territory. Ramona kicked the crap out of me. But I left thinking we could be friends. With Ramona, what you see is what you get. And I like that.
It took some campaigning to get Ramona to come out to dinner with me. And then it took a lot of wine and some shots for us to relax with each other. We’re not there yet, but to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, "Ramona, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
As the new season of The Real Housewives of New York City begins, I'm anticipating a period of realignment -– friends become enemies; enemies become friends; and frenemies become OMG! Hang on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.