Boxers often embrace each other after a vicious fight. You see opposing team members hug each other following a brutal football game. Tennis players at least shake hands after an exhausting match. There's a certain gentility, respect, an acknowledgement that although we've been pitted in combat against each other, we walk away from the battle, the trash talking, and the competition when the game is over. . .even it we're going to pick it up again tomorrow.
That used to be the way with us Housewives. In the heat of the moment, we could say some awful things about and to each other, then in more clement moments insincere apologies would be issued and we'd air kiss and make up. Even without the calming influence of pinot, there was a glue (not the sniffing kind), an affinity, a consanguinity that maintained our tight little band/sorority/clique/gang/coven. We may not have been planning long walks through the heather or seaside vacations together, but we recognized our bond, and were civilized enough to enjoy each other. . .when we weren't scratching each other's eyes out.
Alas. This season seems to be the end of all that. The battles on the air have continued in these blogs and over social and traditional media where antagonists have planted stories, savaged their rivals though surrogates on Twitter, and even enlisted minions to plant unfavorable reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.
Yes, Carole and I had a spat about ghost writers blah blah blah (I won’t bore you with the details again) and, really, WGAF? As literary feuds go, it's not exactly Wordsworth and Coleridge. And for making an impact in modern terms, while our books are doing respectfully, J. K. Rowling vs. Suzanne Collins it ain't. (I just checked Amazon and neither Carole's novel nor my memoir Leggy Blonde cracked their top 10,000 in sales -- though Carole's first book hit number one in books about drawing. Yes, odd as it is, Amazon thinks What Remains is a book about drawing. And we both got our butts kicked by the The Berenstain Bears and The Easter Story, but that may just be seasonal fluctuation.)
Carole was shocked, shocked (as shocked as here) that there were rumors about her book having been ghostwritten and that I would ask her about it, and contracted terminal vapors about how my query to her has destroyed her career. She fought back with mouth and guns blazing, even releasing her Diddy-certified, street wannabe, attack pit bull Heather on me. This was months ago. And we're still fighting. Really? The Capulets and Montagues were more forgiving. (Sorry, was that too Vassar? OK, make it the Jets and Sharks.)
It would have been no small journey to come back from all the sniping. Nevertheless, in this week's fairly tame episode (to spice things up, Bravo showed you Heather calling me a "motherf---er" again like three times), I attempted to talk it out with Heather and try to get back to what passes for Housewife tranquility.
Heather was having none of it. She felt I had injured her patron Carole too much. She did tell me that she was having the rest of our merry Housewife band at her anniversary party. It's Housewife etiquette for all of us to be included in each other's events. At the height of GhostGate, I invited Carole to my housewarming party (I should have been more clear; apparently she thought it was a houseburning party). Heather said she was undecided about whether or not to invite me. Then later, a couple of hours before the event, she informed me -- by text -- that I didn't make the cut. She would have let me off the hook earlier but she was on a "conference call." Then, in case I might have forgotten how "street" she is, she ended the text with her signature "holla!"
It's odd, after all that, I was hurt. It would have been better, of course, if the night before Heather had just said something like, "OK, let's try again -- but after tomorrow." Instead she put me on the bubble ("I'll invite Aviva, I'll invite Aviva not.") then left me hanging until the next afternoon to burst the bubble. How do you make someone feel even worse about not being included? Well, that technique works.
I think she found it too defiant and provocative that I didn't curl up and die from her attack at LuAnn's. That's the way it is with bullies. I walked away. She couldn't get to me by going all thug on me so she did it this way. And dammit, it worked. So, yes, I was hurt. But I'm a big girl; I'll find a way to handle it. But I also mourn this new era in Housewife Town. The era where at the end of the day, we're not a group, but just individuals who can easily be dismissed and discarded.