They should have just called last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey “In Which Everyone Watching at Home Tries to Set Ashley on Fire with Their Minds” and been done with it. Because that’s pretty much what happened, right? Ashley came, she acted like the inveterate brat we all knew she is and we all fumed.
Some other stuff happened, sure. Melissa tried to sing again, and surprise, it didn’t go very well. Kathy and Rich talked about the possibility of having a talk with their kids on an uncomfortable subject. Teresa’s brood acted like we expect them to act. But the real story? That was the Lauritas.
We started with Teresa and her brood of hellbeasts (which includes her husband), who were gathered together in the family home to take some happy family photos for Teresa’s upcoming cookbook. Because Teresa has no manners or basic social skills of her own, and therefore has nothing in the way of civil behavior to pass down to her children, all the of assistants and stylists and photographers looked ready to dropkick all of them after only a few minutes.
The entire scene was utter chaos, and it got me thinking about how annoying it must be to be a reality show camera man. You follow around spoiled brats who are masquerading as adults all day, and when they manage to stop being vapid and insufferable for five seconds, they’re usually endangering your personal safety by starting physical altercations with their friends and family. What a job.
Anyway, after that very brief run-in with Teresa, we visited with Kathy and Rich, who were talking about The Talk. You see, they have a 16-year-old daughter, and they’re scared that she might know about S-E-X, and might even eventually do it one day. Kathy thought that they should talk to Victoria about it, Richie thought that it’d be better to just pretend sex doesn’t exist because his daughter is surely not only of those girls, and I thought that they were both about five years too late. Neither of them seemed to consider that perhaps the time to make sure you’re not going to end up as very early grandparents is when your kid starts learning the facts of life, which is way before he or she gets a driver’s license.
We then transitioned quickly to a Laurita family outing…to a bar. The bar where Chris slings drinks in Hoboken, to be specific, which is almost enough to make me cross the Hudson and go see him. Chris, I’m your biggest fan! You’re the best person on the show! I know how to make sauce, but I’m not Italian! Is that a problem? If so, can I just come over and hang out with Gay Roommate Greg and listen to Mariah? Would that be ok? I’ll totally bring over a six pack of whatever you guys like to drink. I’m guessing Heineken…
Anyway, Jacqueline, Big Chris and Ashley went to visit Little Chris at work, where we again had the conversation about how Ashley is a lazy, shiftless, underage drunk with no direction in life and even less respect for the people who have given her everything. Ashley is about to turn 21, and as Albie correctly noted, she’s already been so drunken and useless in her underage years that it won’t even be any different. Don’t we all remember those girls from college? And at least those girls we remember were actually in college, you know?
Suddenly, Ashley’s biological dad and stepmom (he was very hot, she was very Texas) showed up at the bar to surprise everyone, and although she was obviously very happy to see him, Ashley also seemed to sense that perhaps his surprise appearance didn’t bode well for her. And it didn’t! But we’ll get to that later.
Next we stopped at Melissa’s house, who was sitting with two friends (Was one her sister? All of these women look the same to me, they all have the same haircut.) who were relaying some story that some psychic had told them about Melissa and how successful she was going to be. They also said that her dead dad made sure to say hi. Ya got that? Second-hand bullshit! Because it’s positive, though, Melissa was more than happy to take it as gospel truth and burst into tears at her good fortune. It’s all because she threw a birthday party for Jesus, you guys. This is what happens when you remember Jesus’s birthday and put on a short, sparkly dress for him. Maybe take a few body shots off a life-size crucifix for good measure.
In a stark turn of events, we went to Caroline’s house to talk with her and Lauren about weight. Lauren is not a tiny girl, and neither was Caroline for the first two seasons of the show. As most women, no matter our size, tend to do, Lauren has some body image issues. Saddest of all of them, though, was the fact that she didn’t think she’d be happy with her appearance even if she lost weight. What a hopeless feeling that must be. And kind of heavy for Real Housewives, right?
Anyway, on to topics of conversation that are not at all heavy: Ashley wants to move to California. In addition to that, she doesn’t see any reason that she should work in Jersey and save money in order to get ready to move. She also doesn’t have any education or relevant skills, not to mention that she’s in possession of little to no meaningful work experience, and the economy is in the toilet right now. Don’t be silly, Ashley has no idea what the economy is.
Naturally, Jacqueline told her that perhaps it would be better to work a little while and save some money and get some experience before moving across the country to a place where she has no friends or family, let alone the life skills necessary to get an apartment, a job and enroll in college. Naturally, Ashley huffed and puffed and rolled her eyes at all of Jacqueline’s concerns, just like we all knew she would. We’ve all seen this dance before, we know how it ends.
Back at Melissa’s house, the producers that Bravo got at Central Casting came back to work with Melissa in her new studio, and guess what? Singing is like totally hard, you guys. Totally way harder than Melissa thought it would be! And she’s not very good at it! So she and Nonjuicy made some awkward jokes about how the producers were black to cut the tension, and the entire world cringed. Not to mention, does it bother anyone else that we’re supposed to believe that Melissa wrote a song about the pressures of fame before she ever actually spent a moment of her life on television? I mean, obviously Melissa didn’t write the song, because not only is she illiterate, but Non Juicy also doesn’t allow her to have a pen, but still. That’s the storyline that Bravo’s selling us, and they’re selling it poorly.
Anyway, after that (Maybe somewhat later after that? I kind of glazed over.), the producers finally brought us the Main Event: All four of Ashley’s parental units were ready to stage their Ashtervention. I’m not willing to call it an intervention, because Ashley doesn’t actually have any sort of vice – drugs, alcohol, gambling – on which to blame her piss-poor behavior and lack of direction on life. They’re trying to save her from her own personality, which in addition to being a losing battle, is also somewhat different than having a disease that messes with the chemicals in your brain.
At this juncture, it’s probably worth noting that Ashley acts this way because she was raised to act this way, and all of you prospective parents out there should take note of that. I have no doubt that Jacqueline is a very nice person who raised Ashley with the best of intentions, but when you work out your guilt for divorcing your kid’s dad by never making said kid work for anything a day in her life, this is what happens. She grows up and thinks she’s Paris Hilton.
Ashley, it seems, has turned out even worse than one might expect – lazier, dumber and more entitled than the average spoiled brat. That certainly seemed to bear itself out once Ashley arrived to lunch with the group and was seated in the center of a curved booth so that she couldn’t bolt. (Smart.) After everyone ordered, the tough conversation started, and we learned a few things: Ashley demanded that her dad pay for her move to California, she thinks that having had an internship and a part-time job means that she’s endured (that was the word she used, wasn’t it?) plenty in her life, and she wants some sort of prize for not being pregnant at 20.
That last part, of course, was a swipe at her mom for having her when she was young. It was amazing that Jacqueline didn’t reach out and ring her neck immediately, or knock that stupid hat off her head, at the very least. I could feel women all over American trying to reach through the television to do it for her, and if ever there were a good argument for sealing up your vagina and never, ever having children, Ashley is it. I’m sure that there are ways that Ashley could be a worse and more useless person than she already is, but I certainly can’t think of any at the moment.
Looking back on the scene makes me almost too angry to even form words, let alone entire thoughts. Jacqueline, for all of her flaws, seems like a genuinely kind-hearted person who thought she was raising her daughter correctly, and isn’t the outcome every parent’s worst nightmare? You do your best and your kid turns into a giant vortex of entitlement and dim-wittedness. She sucks all the air out of the room, so much so that Jacqueline actually had to flee and sob elsewhere. Sweet baby Jesus you guys. Someone take one for the team and light Ashley on fire. Do the world a favor.
So, here’s my completely unsolicited (aren’t all of my opinions unsolicited?), entirely uninformed (I have no children) opinion: Send the thankless little twit to California. Buy her the plane ticket, even. Just to get rid of her. And then MOVE, Jacqueline. Or change the locks. Get new phone numbers so she can’t call you and ask for money. Unlink your bank accounts so she is completely financially separate. Cut her LOOSE. Pretty soon she’ll be pulling the skank shift on Tuesday afternoons at Private Eyes Gentleman’s Club, and she’ll probably still be blaming it all on her mother, but at least she’ll have the kind of life she deserves for the amount of effort and thought she’s put in to it. At least then, her results will match her method. “Day-shift stripper” sounds about right.