BravoTV.com: What did you think about Charrisse asking if Candiace’s mom bought her wedding ring? Was it a shady bitch moment or a fair question?
Ashley Darby: In this group, it's shady more than not and the sun rarely shines. Charrisse was following in the normal Potomac initiation pattern of sugar and spice to get to know Candiace. But if you take a step back it does raise a few eyebrows - your man can buy you a shiny rock but not pay to keep the roof over your head? Those just don't add up sway.
It's quite a shift for this generation of women to hear that a sugar mama bear is providing for a family. I learned that is a common occurrence in the south, but it's still foreign around these parts.
BravoTV.com: Tell us more about the differences between you and Michael and how they affect your relationship. How were you feeling at the end of this conversation with Michael?
AD: I was so thankful we had that conversation doing an activity we both enjoy like biking, because inherently there are many differences between how Michael and I view life. I was raised in a very close knit family. When my mom and I were down and didn't have a place to live, both of my grandparents were right there to help us.
So many times I would be riding with my Papa (grandfather) around our neighborhood, and we'd see one of the town alcoholics on the street. Without question, Papa would stop his pickup truck, I'd slide over, and the (funky) man would hop in. We'd go back to our house and Papa would find work for the person to do, feed him a good meal, and pay him a few dollars. That sense of community and closeness has been instilled in me.
I cannot speak for all of Australia, but Michael did not come from a tight family. He, as well as his mother and brothers, suffered abuse at the hands of his alcoholic father. Consequently, Michael worked hard to leave home as soon as he was able. He came to America when he was in his early twenties and made an impressive name for himself in a very competitive industry. Michael developed the no excuses mindset - fall in line or get run over.
An extreme of either situation isn't ideal, and it makes for a difficult hurdle in a relationship. I am still optimistic there's a way we can find the balance about how to love family. It just requires compromise on both sides.
BravoTV.com: What did you think of Gizelle’s trailer park question?
AD: See how I didn't even feed into that? Just as quick as she spews a snarky comment is how fast it flies by. Indian Acres is a beautiful property in Virginia where families own trailers and vacation during the summer. My amazing Papa taught me how to fish, ride a two wheel bike, and drive a golf cart on that gorgeous land. The best memories of my childhood.
BravoTV.com: What did you think of Candiace saying Shady bitch moment and Charrisse and their clash on the way to the resort?
AD: It was bound to happen between Charrisse and Candiace, whether Monique and I intervened or not. Ever since bubble soccer where Charisse was playing 20 questions about Candiace's fishy finances, the air had been mighty thick between those two. They finally called each other out, making it clear where they each stood. You can only make progress when you get all of the stank on the table!
BravoTV.com: Tell us about that lunch. You seemed to take Candiace’s side in this battle with Charrise and Gizelle?
AD: I felt bad for Candiace because the questions had been intense and chock full of judgment since Gizelle and Charrisse met her. It's the nature of the beast in a tight community like Potomac, but it's still tough. I'll defend Candiace if I feel it's unfair, until it doesn't make sense anymore.