Real Housewives of New York City: Beating Around the Bush

After last week it’s crystal clear that none of the ladies are going to pull an Eva Gabor and move to greener acres, so it’s back to the city we go. Leah, Luann, and Tinsley are meeting for lunch while Ramona, Sonja, and Dorinda get together for a work out. Despite being completely different venues, the topic is the same…the orchard trip.

We could all clearly see that Sonja was drunk, but until we saw the van trip home with her throwing up, I’m not sure it was clear just how drunk she was. When Ramona and Dorinda bring it up to her, she’s actually very receptive to what they’re saying. She realizes that it’s one thing to behave that way when it’s just the girls, but it’s a whole different barrel of apples when they’re in public. Kudos to her for being one of the few people who takes constructive criticism in without turning it back around and deflecting.

The melodrama is like bad community theater.

Tinsley, whose side I was totally on last week, manages to take some of my support away by doing exactly what Dorinda accused her of which is screeching and tantrum throwing. Luann and Leah weren’t even attacking her, yet she felt the need to jump up from the table, raise the decibel level and make a scene. I don’t know if I agree that Dorinda’s attitude has to do with Tinsley having been born with a silver spoon in her mouth. I think it has more to do with the fact that she’s still being fed with it and it’s made her emotionally stunted. Dorinda likes to bond over deep things, Tinsley like things more sparkly. There isn’t a right or wrong there as far as friendships go, it’s just a case of them being totally different people. There is a wrong here when it comes to expecting someone to be the person you want them to be versus who they are.

Leah thinks that Dorinda would respect Tinsley more if she stood up for herself and gave it back a little. Tinsley isn’t comfortable with that, because it’s not who she is. (Which is pretty much the issue.) Leah then brings up the idea of an intervention for Dorinda. Luann and Tinsley both nix that right away. Luann offers up that a spa day might work, and they joke about shoving Dorinda into a padded room.

The walls aren’t padded, but some level of therapy is involved as Dorinda visits her life coach. She’s been seeing him for about three months when life started to overwhelm her. Losing many of Richard’s belongings in the flood at Blue Stone Manor became a physical representation of the loss she never really dealt with when he passed. Now that John is out of the picture, she’s starting to realize that she didn’t let herself mourn enough. She’s decided to remedy it by going into a mode of complete selfishness. I’m no life coach, but I think a 180 is a little extreme and jarring on the senses and relationships. A 90 degree shift to caring for herself and still being a nurturer might have been a better way to find balance.

Maybe the orchard wasn’t so bad.

Fast forward to a few days later and Leah took Luann’s spa idea an ran with it…all the way downtown to the Russian Bathhouse. Just from the B roll shots of the amenities, I can tell we’re in for some snobbish blowback from the other ladies. Between the bell hats and low ceilings it feels more like a Moscow YMCA, which is fine for me, but after Luann’s reaction to Leah’s apartment, I’m sure the women will have more than a few digs to offer.

True to form, Dorinda and Luann are complaining in the car before they even arrive. Apparently that part of town in their minds only involves a summons. Dorinda proclaimed that even the weather seems different and it’s much grayer. Tinsley refuses to put her valuables out of her sight, and Ramona announces that she read the reviews and brought her own towels. Even Sonja, who I’ve always seen as more accepting remarks that she’s in graffiti central. A small part of me hopes that Leah chose this place specifically to make these women squirm a little bit.

We witness them go quickly from treatment to treatment, my favorite of which was seeing them beaten massaged with wet leaves on branches. I couldn’t help but to have flashbacks of Luann in the bushes in Mexico while she chuckled through hers. Tinsley was the only one who didn’t participate in the bush beating, which for the second time this episode makes me feel like there are small adjustments she could make to not feel so ostracized.


After the treatments they sit down for lunch. Ramona immediately wants to discuss plans to go to Newport, RI, but Leah wants to address the elephant in the room first. She shares that she went home and cried after the orchard trip. The fighting was all too much for her. Ramona attempts to gently (for Ramona anyway) tell Dorinda that sometimes she goes for the jugular when she feels she’s being attacked. That backfired like a car with dirty spark plugs, and Dorinda immediately proves Ramona’s point by deflecting and pointing out Ramona’s faults.

For me it’s pretty simple. If you’re going to have a go at every person who you feel isn’t being their best self (like Dorinda expressed to her life coach) then you need to be prepared to get it back in kind. No one is perfect, but Dorinda seems this season to think she should be free from reproach because she’s finally grieving. Life doesn’t work like that. The world never stops because of what we happen to be going through. You just have to find a way to get through it without napalming everyone else’s lives around you.

Dorinda doesn’t want to hear any of it though, and instead opts for a cease fire with Tinsley, before walking off to the bathroom. The rest of the ladies just accept that at least it’s a baby step in the right direction.

We get to meet Leah’s sister Sarah when she drops by Leah’s apartment for a visit. They’re six years apart, but sometimes Leah feels like they’re twins. Talk turns to a guy Leah’s seeing who she refers to as “pita chip.” She shares that she’s not into hot guys and prefers to be the beauty to a beast. Her current beast meant to send a nude selfie of her to one of his friends though and accidentally sent it to her, so I’m not sure that level of beast is the way to go.

Hall Brawl

We wrap up the show at one of Ramona’s networking parties. Linking up girlfriends with other girlfriends is the goal and most of the faces seem remotely familiar, but the names are a blur. Elyse, Dorinda, and Sonja are the faces I do recognize, however Sonja’s attitude is one I don’t. Bringing Ramona a replacement dress and announcing to the group that it’s a large was pretty passive aggressive. We find out soon though that Ramona had suggested that Sonja lose 10 pounds when they were at the spa, and now it all makes perfect sense. Although, not that it excuses it, Sonja was pointing out that Dorinda had put on weight just a few seasons ago. Not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot and doesn’t have a family crest on it.

The spa water continues to spill over as Dorinda dresses Ramona down in front of the ladies who lunch. First for not being supportive, then shaming her for fat-shaming Sonja, and wrapping it up by telling Ramona that she can’t land a boulder. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that Ramona’s one marriage lasted longer than all three of Dorinda’s relationships combined. So the boulder joke fell flatter than Dorinda would have been if it had landed on her. At that point Ramona tells her to leave, and she does with Sonja in tow. Ramona chases them down the dark hallway and does her typical tearful apology. After loudly talking over each other (the poor neighbors) they go back inside and have a group hug.

Next week we’re heading to Rhode Island, and we might just find out why Leah stopped drinking for 9 years. I hope you’ll join me!

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