Hello…it’s me…I was wondering if after all these weeks you’d like to meet to go over everything…They say time is supposed to heal you, but I haven’t done much healing. Know what I mean? So let's take a trip down Housewifery Lane and recap a few things from the last few weeks. Sometimes in life you have to go a bit backwards so you can go forward, and MUCH has transpired since my last blog. SO much…
Jules found her voice at a dysfunctional dinner (But really, which dinner HASN’T been dysfunctional, come to think of it?) and Luann has announced (and re-announced) her engagement. We’ve celebrated it a few times, too. Meanwhile, Jules’ marriage seems to be crumbling before our eyes. And because of that dinner at Joann on the Upper West Side, I’ve been labeled the official sh-- stirrer of the group. "Dorinda Meddler," as B put it. And, as B also put it, Tom and Luann may be on the fritz due to some explosive revelation that may call the whole thing off.
Let’s start with Jules:
I am a very close and dear friend to Jules and, like the other girls that have had and enjoyed friendships, Jules and I talk a lot. We banter back and forth, review what’s going on in our lives and in our respective circles, and discuss them. Sometimes out of amusement, sometimes out of surprise, sometimes out of dismay. Let me clear about this, though: in NO way did I push Jules to confront Bethenny when we went to dinner at Joann Trattoria. It was truly a culmination of her feeling that Bethenny and Carole were constantly judging her, and I just think she got fed up with it. Wouldn’t you? I think Bethenny got the brunt of it, yes, which may have been a bit unfair, because Carole has done a good 80% of the judging and 50% of the shunning. Did I say to Jules that I felt she needed to confront it head-on and put it to rest? Absolutely. And I’d do it again. I didn’t tell her, "Make a scene and give it to them and really make it count." No…she did that on her own. I’m proud of her for sticking up for herself, even if she did come off a bit strong…I’m usually the one who goes a bit over the top because I’m always trying to make it so nice...But yes, Jules needed to. Look, the groundwork was there and I think if you watch back, you’ll agree that Jules was being unfairly bullied in a way.
She’s a young, fun-loving, exuberant girl and takes nothing seriously. I admire that…in fact, I can relate to it, too. Ultimately, Jules is a very strong girl. She’s a amazing mother; was a devoted, supportive, and unconditionally loving wife; a wonderful daughter; and a truly fabulous friend. She’s not failed at anything she’s tried because she’s never given up. And as Gabby Giffords said, "Strong women get things done," and Jules has always gotten things done because she’s always remained strong, even when she was at her weakest. I’ve tried to do the same, and I find Jules inspiring because she’s been doing it for 20 years….and she’s only 35! Unfortunately, you see that Jules is under a lot of pressure at home and needs as much support as she can get as she hits this next chapter of her life. She wanted to clear the air and draw a line in the sand and unfortunately, as it often happens with this group, it didn’t end well.
When it comes to her marriage, we’ve now seen what she’s been dealing with for a while. An absent husband is one thing, an absent father is something even larger. A wife never wants to believe that there is any monkey business going on. It’s hard enough to try and manage two small children, a growing work life AND be a wife. It’s a lot of work, and it’s a team effort that requires two willing and able participants. A wife can only hope and pray her husband is on the same page and working toward the same goals. It’s now clear that Jules didn’t enjoy that in her marriage, and that’s sad. They’ve been together for 10 years, and there are times when you can very easily disagree with one another, but that doesn’t give someone the justification to find a side fling. That’s the last thing you want to juggle when you’re already juggling so much. And the fear and paranoia of it alone is enough to paralyze you, so imagine how devastating and debilitating it is when you realize it’s the reality you’re living. Watching her make those two phone calls with her children and her now-estranged husband was heartbreaking. So dismissive, so condescending, like she was out of her mind for even asking where are you, what are you doing, why, for how long? It’s an awful position to be in — just awful. In this group, we’ve all gone through divorces or infidelities or deaths, and certainly heartbreak, but that is when your friends come through for you and help you through it. Strong women get things done — sometimes for one another, even if that means pushing some boundaries and crossing some lines for the sake of a friend. That’s the mark of a real friend, if not a real woman.
Which brings me to the next point: I have been labeled the sh-- stirrer, the "Meddler" of this group. I couldn't disagree more, though I do get it. Here’s the thing: I’m the mother hen in this group — the therapist to these "mean girls" or "children." There have been a lot of conflicting stories and, much to many’s disbelief, I was hearing them for the first time. Let’s review:
Ramona dated Tom at some point and Sonja was sleeping with him over the course of 10 years...or five years…or five months…or days, who knows with Sonja? Luann says differently…of course…but I promise this: I had no idea Ramona and Sonja even knew Tom. Ramona’s a discreet woman about her life — maybe not everyone else’s, but with hers, she’s very discreet. So when Ramona told me her story with Tom, and then I heard about the Sonja connection, and THEN heard a different version of both stories from Luann, I was so confused and I just wanted to know what was the real story. I wanted to find out who was talking crazy, and who was talking truth. That’s my nature — it’s not about gossiping, it’s about knowing what the REAL story is. To a degree, that does require a bit of meddling, but certainly not sh-- stirring. Maybe I shouldn’t care, but I wanted to know the truth and figured I’d help get everyone on the same page. It wasn’t for the sake of drama — it was for the sake of understanding. I wanted to help clear the air, not make it more congested, you know what I mean? That way, we could all enjoy the trip, the engagement party, and the upcoming nuptials.
Would it have been better to just sit back, say nothing, and let it all play out? I don’t think so. But I think that going forward, when these girls come to me with ideas, conspiracy theories, and gossip, I’ll just ask them to keep me out of it for the sake of either my sanity or the harmony of the group. (Maybe for both?) Believe it or not, I just wanted to clarify, set the record straight, get past the awkwardness of whoever dated, whoever hated, whoever FWB’d, and whoever doesn’t care. In conclusion, my intentions were good, and are always good, which is why I paved my own road to hell, which you’ll see at the reunion. In the end, I have no desire to be involved in Luann and Tom’s relationship, marriage, or BL/BT bedroom life. I have no skin in that game and should've just stayed out of it. All that history should just remain history — period.
So here we are, at last, in The Magic City, Miami. And within an hour of getting to our beautiful hotel, I noticed an immediate fracture in the group. We became disjointed, there were factions all of a sudden and the tension was bizarre, uncomfortable, and ultimately unnecessary, I think. Bethenny, Carole, Ramona (and by default, Sonja), then Jules, Luann and me in the dark. We had no idea all weekend that this had even developed, let alone that there was a plot to reveal it at the supposed "right time."
I wish Bethenny had told Luann the moment we got there so we could’ve been there for her during the actual trip, not just for the final hours and the plane ride home. The comments and questions were so uncomfortable and confusing at the time, but now, they’re just downright painful and humiliating in retrospect. The whole thing is difficult to digest, but as I’ve always said, I will advise someone about what I think and how I feel they should handle it, but after that’s said and done, it’s their choice. I can only be a sounding board for a friend — that’s what friends do. Ultimately, I’m a girls girl and I just want for them what I also want out of them: to be happy.
Hang in there for two more weeks. As Andy says, it’s all sorts of OMG WTF SOS GTFO STFU!