Last night it was Thanksgiving on the Real Housewives of New Jersey, which is strange since it seems like it was Halloween just last week! Wait, it was? I guess that gives you a bit of insight on how time elapses on the Housewives shows.
As far as family gatherings with this group go, it was fairly banal. And when the word “banal” covers the inclusion of a mechanical bull in Thanksgiving festivities, you know you’ve got an insane group on your hands. No tables were flipped, no drinks were thrown and no weaves were tugged. Yawn.
We started at the supermarket with Melissa and Nonjuicy Joe, who were doing the shopping for a proper Italian Thanksgiving for a couple of dozen people. They cook traditional Italian food like sausage and peppers on top of the regular turkey and fixin’s that the rest of us have, which requires even more careful food shopping; as you might have guessed, Nonjuicy Joe wasn’t exactly at an asset at the grocery store. Also as you might have guessed, he made some crude jokes about pork butt.
Elsewhere, Teresa and Juicy Joe were also making preparations for Thanksgiving, except that they wouldn’t be having one with their family. Teresa’s parents were out of town for the holiday and they had already celebrated with Joe’s family, so they were having a Friendsgiving, a portmanteau that likely took Teresa all day to come up with. Or maybe a producers “suggested” it to her.
Anyway, she and Joe were headed to a poultry farm to pick up a giant turkey to cook for everyone she knows (except the people who are related to her, they’re not invited), and just like on Real Housewives of Miami with the pig roast, the managers of the farm took her out to meet a turkey before the purchase could be made. Teresa got squeamish and bought a turkey that had already been killed and prepped instead of the one that was squirming in front of her, which is exactly the reaction that we all knew she’d have. Joe suggested that they put the turkey on the credit card, but all I could think of was how much I wanted some turkey and mashed potatoes.
At Kathy’s house, she was making desserts for Melissa’s Thanksgiving. Or more accurately, she was burning the desserts for Teresa’s Thanksgiving. You see, she’s still upset about what Caroline, a complete stranger, thinks about her. She’s not at all upset that she’s not speaking to her cousin or helping to drive a wedge further into her family. It’s Caroline’s opinion that’s really bothering her. So far, Kathy has only given us sideways glances of how awful I suspect that she is, and I’m really looking forward to her true colors shining through at some opportune moment later in the season.
Speaking of Caroline, though, we then accompanied her family to meet with the Lauren’s boyfriends’ parents. They own an Italian deli out in some apparently undesirable part of New Jersey that required the Manzos to drive past many trees and make jokes about mustaches, for reasons that I can’t entirely explain. Once they arrived and gotten all their yuck-yucks out in the car, the families got together to talk awkwardly about being self-made and how their kids have good instincts but probably wouldn’t do very well if they were poor. A Chanel bag was awkwardly passed around. Some other stuff might have happened, I’m not sure. I was focused on the thin-sliced prosciutto of which we had a momentary (and all too brief) close-up. This entire episode made me want to stuff my face in ways that I can’t even explain. Note to self: Eat a full dinner before watching Real Housewives of New Jersey.
In other Manzo family news, Ashley went to visit Albie and Chris at their new apartment, where she proceeded to whine about how difficult her life is. She has to commute into the city, you guys! It’s so hard! And she’s the only one ever who has to do that, EVER, which means that commuting from Jersey is a special pain all her own that no one else can understand. Wait, what’s that you say? Literally millions of people commute into Manhattan from Jersey every day? And the lady who works at my local coffee shop for little over minimum wage takes two trains to get there at 6 a.m. from Queens six days a week? And she has two kids to take care of? Well. I guess Ashley isn’t such a special little snowflake after all. That didn’t stop her from pouting and crying like a toddler when Albie and Chris pointed that stuff out to her, though.
We then visited the dueling Thanksgiving presentations, at which Teresa was lecturing her daughters about how things don’t have to be perfect while tying chair covers at her house, and Kathy was stacking individual pies and giant canollis on dessert trays that looked straight out of the Martha Stewart show over at Melissa’s. When she was done, everyone ran outside to see the surprise that Nonjuicy Joe had conjured up to make sure that his Thanksgiving bested Teresa’s, and it was…a mechanical bull.
And I tell ya, nothing says family togetherness and Thanksgiving cheer like your middle-aged ladycousin flying off of a mechanical bull in the front yard while wearing a minidress and knee-high leather boots. I know we do that every year at my family’s house, so why did the show seem to think it was weird and funny? It comes right before the family-wide pole dancing competition, and we like to round out the night with body shots off of grandma.
At Teresa’s Thanksgiving, things were a little more normal. Everyone gave Vito a hard time and continued to pressure him to propose to Lauren, they all talked about how none of the women would ever accept a proposal if the man hadn’t asked their fathers first (those gagging noises that you hear are me) and Ashley cut out early because apparently she had other plans for Thanksgiving. Who knew last season that that crew would be the normal one?
Sort of normal, anyway. We’ll call them normal relative to a mechanical bull. After everyone ate, Teresa got out a passive-aggressive card from Melissa about her “redone” home, which had to be at least a year old, but that didn’t stop her from reading it to everyone. When she was done (actually, when Caroline was done, since we all know that the Gorgas aren’t big readers), Teresa said that she had grown because the only thing that she had done to retaliate against Melissa for the card was insult the cookies that she had brought to Christmas. To Teresa, graduating to passive-aggression from regular aggression constitutes growth. Just think about that for a second. Caroline, predictably, was not amused by any of this and didn’t have any problem telling them all to shut up. At the other and of the table, Jacqueline nearly dropped her baby.
The exact same cookie incident came up at Melissa and Nonjuicy’s house, where conversation had turned to Teresa, as the conversation tends to do with that group. As far as I remember, they continued to go back and forth about whether or not they could make up with Teresa and how sad it was for the family and yada yada yada. I glazed over after a few minutes of the conversation because I think I’ve heard it in every episode of the season so far. If Bravo makes us wait until the end to get a resolution between Teresa and Nonjuicy so that we can all move on, I am going to be one very irritable recapper.