On the night I turned twenty-one, a nor'easter swept across the eastern seaboard and blanketed every single street and every single car in hills and heaps of stark white snow. When I fell into a heavy sleep tinged with just a little bit of vodka-influenced unconsciousness, it hadn't yet snowed even a fleck so when I woke up just six hours later and looked outside and saw a blizzard, I thought I'd been asleep for a year. It was jarring, the whole thing, but the actual snow didn't impact me all that much. See, I wasn't going anywhere due to a mild case of alcohol poisoning that I mostly blamed on the Mind Eraser I’d sucked quickly through a straw. What's in a Mind Eraser? I have absolutely no idea, but I'm pretty sure it's both Lucifer's and Donald Trump's favorite all-time beverage.
But even though I spent most of the next day curled into a fetal position on the tile floor of the bathroom, I wasn’t the one in the house who was having the worst time. Turns out that my friend Melissa was dealing with far worse because the random guy she brought home from the bar the night before was now snowed in with us and, because we weren’t living inside of a shitty romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson, she’d already realized that she hated him. His car, which I could see from the bathroom window I’d lift open now and again so I could convince myself through a freezing blast of air that I was in fact still alive, looked like it might need to be professionally excavated – and it wasn’t like anyone could come pick him up because all of the roads were closed. For the foreseeable future (which for me I thought only meant another hour or so because I was certain that I was dying), the guy was going to be our newest roommate unless we all banded together and murdered him – which would have been a very bad idea in real life but, now that I think about it, a very good idea for a movie.
I thought of that night and those snow-filled days that followed and that guy whose name I’m not sure I ever learned as I watched this last episode of The Real Housewives of New York. And if I had to make some casting parallels, I’d venture to say that Luann could play my friend Melissa in the movie and nobody I know could play Heather because, back during those crazy days, the only thing I don’t remember anyone bringing up was how dare Melissa let some random guy sleep over.
To be fair, we were very young and very foolish then.
To be even fairer, Ramona is a giant asshole.
To be the fairest of them all, I must admit that I could watch a hungover Countess wearing sunglasses in the kitchen until the very last second of time.
But first we need to back up because, before Heather discovered a naked stranger and Luann apparently had a brain transplant and woke up as someone who cannot even spell “etiquette,” Dorinda was still drunk and losing her mind over the word “fuck.”
Confrontational, emotional, and making little to no sense, Dorinda is not at her best over an alcohol-drenched dinner when Heather decides to get her out of there and take her for a walk while Kristen, still at the table, does the smartest thing I’ve maybe ever seen anyone do on this show – besides leave it – when she puts her finger to her lips and tells the others to keep quiet during Dorinda’s mini-meltdown. It’s not completely Dorinda’s fault, I guess; the dirty martinis have gotten the best of her. Heather manages to maneuver her to a private location near the bathroom to talk when, all of a sudden, Ramona exits that bathroom and walks right into an already simmering fire that she then throws kerosene, a polyester leotard, and two cases of Aqua Net on top of as she declares that she must give Dorinda a hug right this very second, that her friend is upset (and though I’m not eight, I feel the very real need to actually use the expression “No duh!”), tells Heather she has known Dorinda for fifteen years when Heather has only known her for six months, and then goes to close the door on Heather after Heather asks her nicely and then forcefully to leave them alone to resolve something of which she’s not a part. Ramona is such an asshole, you guys. But then Dorinda, still sweating vermouth, tells Heather that she loves her and that “all this” is fucking everything up (she said the “F” word!) and I really hope that by “all this” she means the reality show that basically has paid her to compromise her friendships and her life and her privacy. It’s never made too clear what Dorinda means, but Heather dries her tears and tells her the fight was over nothing and they hug and it’s finally over.
And that fight? It is over, but another one is ready to take its place by morning. After dinner, Heather and Carole decide to just go back to the house while the rest of them go dancing and Heather wakes up to find a random naked guy sleeping in the bed Bethenny had slept in and she becomes fucking furious. Was this guy looking at her and Carole while they were sleeping – an interesting fetish I might need to learn more about? Is any of Carole’s jewelry missing? How could their friends allow a stranger to sleep across the hall from them? Crazed with anger, Heather wants some answers and so she tears through the house looking for the people who might have some as Carole follows behind her like a mute lieutenant. The first one they spot is Dorinda who doesn’t seem to know anything that happened due to her maybe-blackout. Realizing she’s useless to them, Heather and Carole then move on to those probably far more likely to be guilty for the actual philandering with strangers and so they bust into Sonja and Ramona’s room. Sonja croaks out that the guy was someone Luann’s friend brought home – so now it’s a friend of a friend of a friend and that’s just not making any of this better – and Heather wakes up a still snoozing Ramona by ripping open the drapes to let the harsh sunlight in (it’s a very good chance Ramona no longer has working corneas) and Ramona tells them to just go talk to Luann. And why does she send them to the profanity-hating Countess? Because Ramona is sleepy and doesn’t feel like dealing with it.
I’m not sure that my reaction would be tears, but Heather’s got a point when she says that none of them really know these guys they brought home and they were all drunk and their judgment was, shall we say, less than impeccable. But when she confronts Luann about it, Luann mumbles that she has no idea what happened, though the most likely scenario is that the guy came home with Ramona, who I’m guessing crawled into bed with Sonja after giving the guy a tug in the bathroom over the bidet because she’s classy. Getting more and more angry each time she looks up to yet another blank expression and no real answers, Heather wants to know if Ramona will also blame this incident on the fact that she’s going through a hard time, and to that I say that everyone just needs to stop associating with Ramona at all. She sucks. She’s a bad friend if the moment makes it inconvenient for her to be a good friend. She shoots out viciousness like it’s verbal diarrhea caused by eating four of those Haribo Sugar-Free Gummi Bears (Google it – trust me) and then she apologizes later for being horrible and squeezes her way onto the lap of the person most annoyed with her in a manner someone who needs to be shot once convinced her was charming. And also, weren’t there rumors that Ramona wasn’t even going to be a Housewife this season? It’s not possible that I just hallucinated that story, right? So why is she on my television screen in a hot pink bikini and Lucite heels? Why, God? Whhhhhhhy?
Into the kitchen, already wearing a bikini under her robe, sweeps Luann. She’s awake now since Heather busted into her room to inquire about the naked stranger who has spontaneously disappeared. (Is it possible that Heather was just hallucinating the entire thing?)
“What’s the big deal?” Luann asks huskily, aggressively. “You’re upset – you’re crying – because a guy slept upstairs?”
“He’s a stranger,” Heather responds and she goes on to tell Luann that it frightened her. “Would you be upset if you woke up and there was a strange person sleeping next to you?”
“Not really,” tosses back the Countess like she hasn’t tried to build a cottage industry on shit like manners and decorum.
Honestly, let Ramona sleep off her hangover clear into tomorrow; it’s way more fun to watch a grown woman who is also royalty plummet to the depths of a fraternity house basement before ten AM.
And so what, Luann wants to know, if she brought some guy home? She can do whatever she wants!
“So be cool,” Luann tells Heather with an exaggerated shrug. “Don’t be all, like, uncool.”
And this sentence, my friends, is about to become a problem. It won’t be a problem for Heather and it certainly won’t be a problem for Luann. It will be a problem for society in general because there’s not a shot in hell that this expression of totally idiocy and assholery (I made up that word and I’m standing by it) won’t end up making Luann even more famous. It’s the Countess’ version of flipping the table and people will be quoting it to her until she’s eighty and she will probably show up in a banquet hall someday in a hotel in downtown L.A. where she will sit at a table beside Kim Richards and sign 8x10 glossies of her face with, “Don’t be all, like, uncool. Stay elegant -Countess Luann.”
Next on the itinerary to Lunaticsville is Ramona’s room and Luann enters and tells the slumbering one that the others are mad because they had fun. Can anyone over the age of twelve actually think this way? Who allows these women to behave so deplorably so continuously? (Is it usbecause we watch? Oh, Lord, I think it might be.) As for what actually happened and which woman those gonads belonged to for an hour or so, Ramona is not talking. But Sonja thinks she knows what happened: Ramona was upstairs with the guy and, because she’s new to this hooking- up-with-strangers thing, she left him there afterwards because she hasn’t yet received her copy of The Whore’s Handbook that states clearly right in the appendix that she’s supposed to see the guy out when she’s finished with him.
I’ll send her one of my copies so such a faux pas never happens again.
But the real news comes from Kristen who got the scoop from a very annoyed House Manager who didn’t much want random drunk men on the property last night. Here’s the Intel Kristen finds out and announces inside of the crowded kitchen:
1. Ramona and Luann insisted the guys stay.
2. Luann made out with the guy by the pool.
3. The guy is married.
After stammering for about a minute straight after that last nugget of information comes out, Luann obviously figures that it’s time to make someone else the focal point so she tells Heather that it was Ramona who told the guy he could sleep upstairs and all anybody knows is that they now feel very ready for the vacation to be over – except for Ramona who had the best time ever because she’s a monster.
Back in New York, Carole meets up for lunch with Dorinda and Bethenny and she tells Bethenny about everything she missed after she left the villa and that neither she nor Heather are speaking to Ramona right now. It’s not just that Ramona brought home some guy; it’s that she does such a thing and then acts like she’s never straddled anyone. But there’s not that much time to focus on the Ramona thing because there’s a brand new Bethenny/Kristen conflict floating around. Seems Kristen gave an on-the-record quote about Bethenny that Bethenny took badly. She doesn’t want to be in the press, moans the woman on a reality show who wears a microphone during lunch. She doesn’t need that. And since she has decided to hate Kristen again, Bethenny is really not all that interested in attending Kristen’s Diamonds & Denim charity event that’s coming up and after the trip they all just survived together, I’m pretty sure nobody wants to attend that event, especially Luann who has already RSVP-ed a “Fuck, yes!” to the Lockets & Latex party being held down the street on the same night.
Also, Dorinda has naptime.
A few days later, Heather, Carole, and Kristen meet to work out. In case anyone wasn’t sure, Carole is that woman who weighs less than nothing and talks about how much she avoids exercise. Listen: if she wants to say such a thing, I think she should have at it, but she’d better start following up that statement by talking about how much she loves starvation if she doesn’t want to experience a public mutiny.
Carole tells them that she has texted a bit with Ramona since they’ve been back and she is really angry at Ramona for referring to Adam as just some guy she’s fucking and, with all of the animosity floating like radioactive sparkles in the air, the women meet up to decorate the denim that will be sold at Kristen’s charity event because their Bravo contract states that they have to.
The room feels chilly when Bethenny arrives because she’s mad at Kristen, but it all turns into sheer lunacy when Luann shows up because, somewhere between Turks and Caicos and home, Luann has decided that Carole and Heather burst into her room with the intention of catching Luann in the act and she is offended.
She is also crazy.
Speaking of crazy, Ramona shows up and her skin looks like it was recently infused with something (besides sperm) and she dances around in her Yummie by Heather jeans and, for once, Heather is not falling for her shtick. She wants an apology – and so does Bethenny because she launches into a diatribe against Kristen for speaking publicly about her and, just as Kristen opens her mouth to respond, Ramona, like that mosquito that you just can’t kill and so you just end up slamming an issue of Vanity Fair against the wall over and over, appears instantly over Kristen’s shoulder. I actually laughed very loudly when it happened because it was so bizarre – and then I kept laughing as Ramona managed to all but make herself a hologram in order to tell Kristen that she should never talk about Bethenny in the press, that she has known Bethenny for six years and she hatesbeing talked about and now all I can see in my mind are images of Luann making out with some guy poolside and Ramona lying in bed late at night running down an Excel spreadsheet that catalogues how many years she has known every single person in her entire life so she can commit it all to memory and then break out that data on the spot to prove that she knows everybody best.
Also, Dorinda glues coasters onto the back of her jean pockets because she thought they were accessories.
And now it’s time for Luann to fight Heather! Revealing that she is livid, Luann explains that she knows that Heather was just trying to catch her in some inelegant act and that’s why she came busting into her bedroom and I’m starting to think an entire family of pigmies were under Luann’s bed and that things that maybe only happen in the tropics in the dead of night were going on in that bedroom because if there was nothing to hide, why is she acting so nuts? Carole comes over then and Luann claims that Carole apologized for Heather’s manic behavior, a charge Carole denies, and the screaming grows in volume and every bird in New York quickly hightails it to Canada and Kristen looks over at Ramona and asks if this entire shitshow isn’t actually her doing, to which Ramona just demurs and says she has no idea about anything.
I want Ramona to eat fifty of those Haribo Sugar-Free Gummi Bears and then watch what happens to her.
The only one who is really staying out of any of it is Sonja. Who would have guessed? But my amazement is short-lived because my focus immediately goes back to Ramona as she walks over to Heather to tell her that she is right to be angry and she’s so upset that she upset her and she’s all but twirling fiery chainsaws in an effort to get everyone to concentrate on anything besides what happened in that bedroom with that stranger.
Also, after having a fight with Heather about something, Dorinda goes storming off.
So, just to be clear, while I don’t follow the Housewives on Twitter, I have heard that there’s a huge gap now in the friendship between Luann and Heather. This incident is the genesis of the gigantic and unrelenting fight they’ve been having for months? Seriously? I think that maybe they should just go ahead and apologize to one another and the person who caves last should have to show up early for the most miserable charity event in the history of ever and then purchase every single pair of those hideous jeans and eventually be buried in the ones made by the delicate hands of Ramona Singer.