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Party Time

Jeana Keough thanks Tamra Barney for being a fabulous party host!

By Jeana Keough

Gretchen and I decided not to bring dates to the party. Her choice would have been her mother and mine a close girlfriend. But we talked about it and figured it would be easier to just have fun and not worry about entertaining our guests. In hindsight, mom should have been there! We walked into Tamra's sparkling clean, beautifully decorated home and her backyard was just over the top. She was the perfect hostess — remember she had never had all of us to her house because she was nervous about having us there. Vicki and I are seasoned of party givers and I think Tamra was worried that she couldn't do it as well. Tamra worked so hard for this event to be perfect, taking classes, and meeting with Chef Brian Malarkey. After 3 years of us ribbing her about never being invited over, she jumped in with both feet.

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This is the part that gets tricky — my favorite little housewife has a very nervous digestive system, and from the moment I walked in I knew it had been too stressful to her. Tamra and Simon had worked and planned all day for the event and by party time they both were exhausted. The flowers in the pool, fire and waterfalls made her backyard look magical. Tamra hadn't eaten all day and she was really on edge. One cocktail later she was starting too loosen up and have fun. She held it together for the 3-hour dinner, but then she just was drunk and ready for the night to be over. She was the perfect hostess until she and all the others drank too much. The camera crew seemed to delight in how drunk everyone was. I had words several times with them to wrap it up and leave but they wouldn't. Even I felt the effects of wine tasting — it is hard to judge how much you drink when you keep getting a new glass with each of the 7 courses.

Tamra and Simon threw a great a party. We all had a great time — I hate to let a few drunken comments ruin what was the best party we have had together. I loved the coziness of all of us sitting together. At Vicki's and my parties people seem to just mill around and never get to spend much time with each other. Simon was the perfect host, ordering cars for everyone and not letting anyone drive. His tequila is lethal, as all will attest to. Gretchen doesn't remember half of the things she said, and neither does Tamra. Normally cameras aren't recording your drunken comments. When they all woke up the next day, all that was remembered was a great party. Until we saw the episode, none of us realized there was so much drama.

Earlier that day Gretchen had been told that Jeff wanted to come home to die, and that he had given up his will to fight his cancer. Gretchen needed to let loose and have some fun and take her mind off her troubles. She was very needy that night — she was the center of attention and maybe the attention should have been on our hostess, who had worked so hard for us. I am giving a very drunk Tamra the benefit of a pass on this episode — editing and alcohol made it look a lot worse then it was. It was a great party and we all had fun. We have all been together several times since then and are all on friendly terms. We may not all be best friends, but this year — with cast members being in and out of hospitals, rehab, kids in college, traveling to New York together, and Jeff's death — we all became closer.

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