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Knock the Chip Off Your Shoulder

Caroline has faith that Ashley can change.

By Caroline Manzo

Oh my gosh, what an episode! I laughed, then I cried, then I laughed, then I cried again, then I laughed, then I cried! Do you all agree or am I crazy? Wait, don’t answer that!

Teresa’s photo shoot looked exhausting! I must admit that I understand what those kids were thinking; ask anyone who’s ever had to photograph me, I’m not a very good subject. It feels awkward. You sit for hours waiting as the technical aspect of the shot is set up and then on command you have to smile and laugh at nothing. It’s unnatural. I think I’m going to call the Giudice girls and ask for lessons. I’m amazed at how quickly those kids can turn a frown upside down!
Watching Melissa tear up when her sisters mentioned their dad made me realize that this was not only Melissa’s dream, it was her father’s too. I can’t imagine the emotions she was feeling as Ryan Seacrest debuted her song on national radio. Bittersweet to say the very least. Congratulations, Melissa, you realized a dream and something tells me your dad is proudly smiling down on his little girl.
How cute is my Christopher! He seems to be in his element behind the bar at Wicked Wolf. Christopher loves to laugh and talk to people, the more the merrier. He’s famous for mixing up original cocktails, you saw an example of one when he came up with “Windex” in the Boys to Manzo webisode series. It is so typical of our family to show up in a group to support (torture) each other. Did you all notice what a big spender my brother Chris is? Don’t spend that dollar all in one place, Christopher! Like I said, torture. Truth be told, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Matt and Jodi are nice people, and I loved watching everyone’s reaction as they surprised Ashley. All you need to do is watch that moment to understand how important it is to both families that Ashley realizes that she is loved. More on this later…
Kathy and Richie’s discussion regarding Victoria and “the talk” was hilarious. My favorite line: “Take a picture…” I have to hand it to Victoria; she listened to her mom and handled the awkward moment like a champ. Did you get that picture, Kathy?Lauren and I have an extraordinary relationship. We’re very close and spend a lot of time together. We talk about everything, and she generally takes my advice to heart with one exception, her weight. I have to be honest, I understand where she’s coming from. It’s so easy for me to say to her, “You can do it, Lauren,” when I never had to worry about my weight (until recently). When I talk about my weight issues, I speak from the mind of a confident adult; I don’t speak from years of feeling less than adequate as a teenager and young adult. It breaks my heart to hear Lauren say that she doesn’t like herself. Over the years we have had many discussions on self-image and confidence, and as hard as I try, and no matter how many times I tell her how beautiful she is, Lauren doesn’t believe it. The crazy thing is in every other aspect of her life she is very confident and strong. Thank God for Jacqueline, she relates to Lauren regarding body image and has been a tremendous, positive influence on her. I will love her forever for that. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jacqueline for picking up the slack for me, I owe you one. Xoxo!
On a lighter note, how fantastic was that gym scene? We had more laughs while filming that than anything else. I cannot express in words how much I love spending time with the kids; they make me laugh and keep me young. I said it then, and I’ll say it now -- kickboxing and I do not get along.  Bring me my treadmill, now that’s true love. Finally let’s discuss Jacqueline and Ashley. I have a wish -- I want Ashley to look at this episode and UNDERSTAND. I want her to feel her mother’s pain. I want her to see how lucky she is and know that she is surrounded by people who love and care for her. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE BLESSED, ASHLEY! Now show us what you’ve got… Knock the chip off your shoulder and show the world the good that’s inside of you, I have faith.

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