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One of the primary reasons I chose to take the leap into the reality TV world and become a Real Housewife of DC was to showcase my charity, Labels for Love (www.labelsforlove.org). And yes, I did always want to follow my in Grandfather's footsteps and "perform" on TV! I believed that the national exposure it would receive from being covered on the show would help spearhead my efforts to raise awareness for our DC area women's and children's organizations.
Sadly, the sweet story of the fashion/art event that we as a family produced, was completely edited out of the show due to the need to cover other events, including the story of the White House State Dinner Debacle to close out the "Story That Rocked the World." This embarrassing incident was in fact covered worldwide on a very slow media day and took off virally even faster than the Double Rainbow Video! The incident offended a great many Americans, including the White House, Congress, Secret Service and others, and for it to happen on the very first State Dinner of the new administration was just too much! The fall out from what many continue to treat as "alleged" was a thoughtless, delusional, and selfish act on the part of Michaele and Tareq. There was nothing good that came from it, only harm caused to many, including the loss of employment in a few cases. I guess unless charges are ever pressed, we will never really know what happened that night after they were waived down to the next check point upon arrival at the White House despite being clearly told on camera they were not on "the list." The fall out from all of this had an enormously negative impact on myself and my events. There were many charitable supporters as well as political figures on board with my cause until that fateful November night. My "Real Housewives of DC" affiliation with the infamous couple being politically untouchable and "radioactive" caused 'me to suffer greatly. All of us affiliated with the show are impacted from the association that somehow we were a part of this "goat rodeo" fiasco! The rest of my cast mates are similarly now tarnished by the stigma of association with this couple on our show, as it continues to work itself out and the dust continues to settle. Our White House, the media, and our show were genuinely hijacked by this selfish act!
I was extremely disappointed the day that I received the call from the producers to inform me that my charity event that raised funds for Children's National Medical Center had been completely cut from the show. For me it was a dream come true to experience what felt like a princess-like wedding day that I always had wished for, which included prepping in the suite with my sweet mother and sister Emily. The entire day was flawless, I still have a big smile thinking about it! Throughout the show, we filmed the beginning concepts of the event, my children working tirelessly to help with its organization, to the delivering of the check to Children's National Medical Center. Along the way, there were long hours, stress, and late night family dinners, but all well worth it. At the end of the evening, that's me in the pink Lela Rose dress jumping for joy with pride and excitement! I could not have organized this event without the amazing support of many. I want to take the opportunity to thank all the sponsors especially our hosts, volunteers, people behind the scenes, and my family and friends for truly believing in me! I once again thank you all from the bottom of my heart as we truly did make a difference that night and showed DC a one-of-a-kind fashion and art extravaganza!
Please take a moment to watch this special day for me featured as a bonus clip.
The day of the reunion show was one of the longest, fun, full of laughs, yet exhausting days I've had in years. Stacie, Cat, Lynda and myself had a great time getting dressed and made up for the day. I am a bit horrified about how I looked that day (tranny alert!), as I had not slept one wink the night before, feeling terribly anxious about how the day would transpire! Oh well! We shared many laughs and made that 18 hour day one I will always remember regardless of what happens going forward. Having the opportunity to finally sit and speak out about the past year and all of the ups and downs of filming a reality show definitely was a bonding experience for the four of us riding this reality show roller coaster!
I can't begin to describe what an incredibly surreal and humbling experience it is to witness yourself living on TV over the course of five months, interacting with family and friends on a daily basis, to then have it all edited into 9 hours. I learned a tremendous amount about myself in how I behave, communicate, and interact with others and took copious mental notes on how to improve myself in areas that definitely need work. There were more than a few cringe-worthy moments including lugging around my bottle of wine like it was my security blanket (I promise I'm not an alcoholic, and I don't use drugs!), establishing a mission to "integrate salons" as well as many other "What was I thinking?" moments! There were some beautiful shining moments for me as well, particularly when I was interacting with my family. I'm so proud of my precious family for taking this great risk with me and for us. There were times when I questioned how I could ever consider putting myself and my family out for the world to see, running the risk of ridicule and judgments, but I knew in my heart that our incredible love, fun, laughs and struggles (warts and all!) would hopefully be easy to relate to and potentially helpful to those interested enough to watch.
In closing, I'm thrilled to announce an event called Modus Union Parisian Salon Party to take place on November 4th, featuring over 75 juried artist's works for sale to benefit charity, performers, trapeze artists, with cocktails, nibbles and more, all to help support Cancer Schmancer (www.cancerschmancer.org). It truly will be a one of a kind event for DC! It's my honor to partner with Fran Drescher in her efforts to educate all about the importance of early detection and prevention of female cancers. Fran herself is a 10 year uterine cancer survivor whose experience inspired her to make it her mission to see to it that we all educate ourselves on the warning signs, causes, and necessary treatments in order to find a cure!
Please see my website for more information: www.labelsforlove.org
See you next week for a farewell blog where I will address many of the inquiries received during Season 1...hard to believe it's already behind us....time sure flies when you're having fun! oxox