Even though I know the drunkenness is going to rear its head like a pimple on picture day, I have to admit I’ve been anticipating this episode. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a Housewife’s mask slip from the image they want us to believe is real into their true Toddlers & Tiaras tantrum throwing form. Our girl Ramona does NOT disappoint in giving us this very gift, so it feels like all of our birthdays rolled into one.
As the show opens, we’re six days away from the Standing-Room-Only (too cheap to rent more than one couch) event. Ramona has brought Leah along to the venue, because in her mind Dorinda and Sonja were obnoxious at Larry Scott’s warehouse. In other words, they revealed her Insta-promoting motives, so now they must be punished. As she describes the vision for the party to Leah, she also lays down a dress code for Leah. Boobs must be covered. After all, it wouldn’t be right for Ramona’s longer in the tooth friends to be subjected to viewing young, perky breasts all night. That would be déclassé. She also implores Leah to be her protector in case Sonja and Dorinda act up. Whatever would give her that idea? Aside from every other episode this season, I mean.
Sonja’s got other things on her mind at the moment, the biggest of which is finding new tenants for her townhouse. She claims to have had a five year deal for over a million bucks, but that it was too long term for her taste. For those of you who aren’t as petty as I am and didn’t do the math, it averages out to around 17,000/month which is a far cry less than the monthly intake she had expected, but I digress. As she does a walk through, she comes upon a giant leak in the basement. She expresses that had she been living there, she would have caught it that day. I love you Sonja, but we all saw your water-stained curtains in your bedroom and the plaster crumbling from the walls in the bathroom. Spotting faulty plumbing has never been your forte’.
Later, across town, she stumbles in like a bag lady to support Luann at a meeting with the charity Fortune Society. It actually seems like a great organization that gives assistance to people transitioning from the prison system back into life on the outside. Efforts like this can go a long way toward combating recidivism rates, and I applaud Lu for bringing exposure to the charity. I was not prepared, however, to give her an ovation for crying over her one night in jail after just hearing from former inmates who had been in for thirty years. The cringe that overwhelmed me when she talked about knowing what it was like to be in shackles was akin to full body lockjaw. It seems her tone deafness extends well beyond her singing. I felt the same way about her offering spa days to the inmates too, but was proven wrong when the women who accepted seemed truly excited about it. Shows what I know.
We’re whisked off to Come Prima, an Italian restaurant in the city and are welcomed by Salvatore who Ramona and Mario have been following from restaurant to restaurant for years. A family dinner is in order as Mario is in town to visit. He’s living in Florida year round now, I’m guessing due to the weather there being more conducive there to endless tennis and tête-à-têtes. Either that, or wanting to be as far away from Ramona as possible while still being on the East Coast. The three musketeers stroll down memory lane, and then focus on Ramona’s upcoming soiree. I know a lot of people aren’t happy with Avery lately, but I found it amusing when she told Ramona that she doesn’t talk to fifty women regularly, so why was she inviting so many. At least we’re getting back to more realistic numbers after hearing them grow in all of the weeks leading up to the event.
Family time continues as Leah and Sarah head back to that disgusting Russian Spa. I could’ve sworn I saw that cartoon Lamisil fungi peeking around one of the dimly lit corners. Leah insists that it’s one of the top places for people watching in the world. As a professional in the voyeur realm, I’d offer that Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport is far superior. And don’t get me started on Dallas/Ft. Worth. She and Sarah settle in where they can best show off their bathing suit bods…on the edge of a jacuzzi instead of in one. Probably for the best anyway, because there isn’t enough chlorine in the world to make that sanitary. They talk briefly about Tinsley and Scott and we get photo evidence that Tinsley was a Disney Princess all along.
Talk then turns to Leah’s relationship with her mom Bunny. During the Berkshires trip Ramona and Leah shared a sweet moment where she encouraged Leah to repair the relationship with Bunny while she still could. Leah took it to heart and realized that she did need to move forward into a more adult relationship with her mom. At 37, I’d call that a bit of an understatement, but at least it shows growth. Growth that is immediately doused with herbicide when Sarah shares that Bunny told her on the phone that she doesn’t really like Leah. She then went on to add that Bunny said she didn’t really like Sarah either, but at least Sarah tries. While admittedly it might sound harsh, Leah’s over-the-top reaction to it might give us a glimpse into why Bunny feels that way. Leah’s explosive, and Bunny seems…well, like a bunny. Not liking our kids in a given moment doesn’t mean we don’t love them.
Later on we are treated to a montage of two different settings that are combined to try and figure out what exactly is going on with Sonja. She’s barely been back in the townhouse for 10 minutes and she’s already in a full blown spiral. I sometimes think that she needs a shaman or priest to exorcise everything Morgan-related from her life. In my estimation, that’s the only way she’s ever going to snap out of it. These moments of madness are juxtaposed with Dorinda expressing her concern to Elyse and Leah about Sonja’s mental state. Leah reads an article about Sonja being kicked out of a piano bar in Philadephia for singing Hello, Dolly. Just that blurb gives me all of the visual I need. I’m envisioning Sonja (going commando, of course) stretched uninvited across a black Steinway without Lu there to play snatch-guard and the gay men running for the hills. Once their obligatory concern is on camera, talk shifts to Ramona.
Dorinda is incensed that Ramona was telling Leah what she could wear and retreats to immediately bring out a bondage bra and leopard lingerie shorts. Not to be outdone, she dons what I can only deem a Dolly Parton special with giant built-in bazongas. As funny as it was, Dorinda is friends with these women too, and I doubt she’d ever show that vindictive of a view of herself to them. As much as she tries to come across as down to earth, that lady loves herself some social circles.
We finally get to the party and I am a pig in slop. From the licorice filled phone booth to the giant tacky decals and photos of Ramona, I swear I’m transported back to MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen. Although we’ll have to change it to Sixtyteen for Ramona. I half expect a new BMW with a big red bow to show up in the exterior shots of Scarpetta. The editors go on to give Super 60teen shade as they ding a bell and number every friend of Ramona’s. When it finally gets to fifty, we’re rewarded with a Price Is Right style DING, DING, DING. She did it! I’m laughing now just thinking about it. Deli counters have less accurate numbering systems, so thank you, Production.
You may think the mood would be light at such a gloriously tacky affair, but Sonja is doing her best Eeyore impression bemoaning Ramona’s so-called friends. She name drops the guests and catalogs them with events of hers they’ve attended. She’s coming off very ungrateful, as we’re reminded of other times in the past that Ramona has shared her day. Considering Ramona and her usual selfishness, even once should be surprising. In what I can only assume is her attempt to get revenge, Sonja chooses this venue as the perfect spot to air her troubles to Dorinda and Luann. When Ramona excitedly approaches them to show off a new pocketbook, she’s immediately berated for being superficial while they’re being spiritual. The operative part of that word being spirit, of which Sonja has appeared to have consumed several, evidenced by the fact that she arrives with tags on clothes from her own collection.
Leah is feeling snubbed as Ramona flits between friends and decides to make friends with some Tito’s and soda instead. Soon she’s gyrating and grinding all over and Ramona is mortified. How dare Leah not remember what Ramona taught her about propriety? Incensed, Ramona bellows for producers to shut down the cameras while Sonya tap dances on a mirrored circle on a table top. I don’t know who’s cracking up more…me or that poor mirror. I don’t know if production really stopped or not, but they stopped this episode there. We’ll have to wait to see if we get any more of this madness before the women head to Cancun next week. Hope you’ll join me.