We’re not going in any particular order this week. It’s late and order is not my strong suit at this point (that’s right, kids, I write these things the night before so that all the ridiculousness is fresh in my head). I think you have to be feeling at least a little bit addled to truly understand the Real Housewives of New Jersey, though, so really I just do this all for you guys. The theme of this week’s episode was the wretched (well, mostly wretched) children that all of these women have brought forth, so we’ll talk mostly about that, mmkay?
The first thing that sticks out to me…the balding, greasy, be-pinstriped a-hole that lonely, unstable, painful-looking Danielle is “dating” IS NOT 26. I am 23. I date 26-year-olds, and have for years now, I know what they look like. He has not seen 26 in the past decade. Maybe longer. Which is fine, since Danielle is middle-aged, but why in the world would they say that this guy is in his mid-20s when any one with two eyes that can think thoughts is going to realize that he’s not, even after a few adult beverages? And then she asked the guy to sneak in to the restaurant’s bathroom, and I almost threw up the 6 dollars worth of pizza that I had for dinner, and you better bet that if I had, I would be sending Bravo a receipt for it.
And I actually had a moment where I had a wee twinge of sympathy for Danielle. Weird, because she’s mostly loathsome, right? I do have a little grinch heart in there somewhere, I guess. But if you’re married to a guy, and you get divorced, and you get the kids, then you’re entitled to the assets necessary to support those kids. I feel like that’s pretty basic, even if the mother works, or even if the mother is a giant, walking pile of bad ideas like Danielle. A divorce doesn’t mean that the dad gets to stop being a dad to the kids and contributing to at least half of their upbringing, and it looks like he has checked out entirely. And that really sucks, and no one deserves that, because she does seem to give at least half of a crap about her kids. Even if to her, that means encouraging them towards skinniness with obsessive exercising. Hey, it’s working. She’s got nice-looking kids, and they didn’t aggressively misbehave on this episode.
And then whatever sympathy I had for Danielle went flying out the window when she had the most excruciatingly awkward interaction with Dina that I could ever imagine. The fake niceties made even ME uncomfortable, and I was just sitting on my couch in my pajamas, watching from a distance. Danielle had a past rift with Dina over God knows what and is now trying to repair it in hopes of getting into the social good graces of…I have no idea, since these people don’t exactly seem like society matrons. But she doesn’t have a job, so I suppose she has to entertain herself somehow, so now she wants to be Dina’s bestie and tries to do it with heaps of fake flattery and comments on her buhbbies. Dina, to her credit, is totally creeped out and makes a funny ‘Silence of the Lambs’ joke about being in Danielle’s basement and being made to rub lotion on herself. Dina? Quicker on the uptake than she seems at first, just like I said last week.
Another person I had sympathy for is Jacqueline. Jacqueline is PEOPLE. She seems like she has a heart, and a conscience, and thoughts about things other than her hair. She also really, desperately wants to have another baby and her womb isn’t cooperating, and that’s another one of those sorts of things that I wouldn’t want to wish on anyone. And you kind of even feel okay about her teenage daughter, even though her grades are in the toilet, because she goes with her mom for the fertility doctor to be supportive and then dutifully waits in the car as asked, probably because Jacqueline doesn’t want her daughter to see her upset when she gets the bad news from the doc. And, come on, awww. Even if her grades are bad, that’s a good kid, at least in part.
But then even Jacqueline, the least terrible of the housewives thus far, loses a few points by throwing her six-year-old at what might be the most forehead-slappingly extravagant kiddie birthday ever. What are the odds that, in 25 years, any woman is going to be able to make that kid happy? Slim to none, I’d say. I mean, there were ponies.
This party is where the fake-nice debacle between Dina and Danielle goes down, but Dina has slightly (and only slightly) more interesting things up her sleeves, like hiring a twee little teenage boy assistant in what may have been the most awkwardly innuendo-filled job interview I’ve ever seen. I think she realized what she was doing, because I think Dina is smarter than that, but she continued to make insinuations about non-cash payment and still loving her in the morning. I think we all know what kind of personal helper THAT is, ladies. She might as well just call him the pool boy.
Speaking of the Manzos, we also have Caroline. Her family actually seemed kinda normal this episode, and by normal, I mean dysfunctional. At one point, either Caroline or her husband full-on called their daughter stupid (which, granted, she might be), but then seemed to have some reasonable suggestions with what she might do with her life to take advantage of the talents that she has, and how she could then turn that endeavor into her own business, which they think she would be good at running. And isn’t that how everyone’s family is? Kind of undermine-y, but ultimately well-intentioned?
I thought that Caroline’s family’s whole interaction brought up an interesting point about this group of housewives – they’re much less class-conscious than any of the other three seasons, who all seemed to want to be considered socialites very, very badly. These women seem to have no such aspirations for themselves or their children, and aren’t concerned with how stuff like sending a kid to beauty school would “look” to polite society. Or even average, middle-class society, which now expects all of it’s children to go to college and obtain a degree, lest they spend the rest of their lives desolate and embarrassed by their lack of education. These women seem to expect their kids to find their own way, one way or another, and to build success on what they have. And that’s maybe…kind of refreshing?
Why am I thinking positive thoughts about these people? No more drinking for Amanda.
As for Teresa, I’m not even going over her part of this episode. I don’t suffer children well, especially at those ages, and watching her kids run through that store made me claw at my sofa. So she gets the shaft until she puts the kids away, or at least until she doesn’t make me watch them act, for godssakes.