As someone who has always believed heartily in the concept of evolution – you know, since I value shit like logic and I wasn’t raised a Duggar – I find it fascinating sometimes to trace how one moment in life can directly lead to the next. It’s not always possible, of course. The passage of time and the slugging down of wine can blur those once clear linear patterns, but one thing I know for sure is that writing recaps of reality shows caused one of my sweet readers to recommend to Kate Casey that I appear on her podcast. For those of you who have yet to hear of Casey, she’s a phenomenal interviewer who manages to snag every single reality participant you have ever heard of (including those, like Spencer Pratt, you are trying desperately to forget) and then she pounds them with direct and probing questions People and US Weekly would never even think about asking because Casey’s legitimate inquiries in no way involve how Kylie Jenner’s lips might change due to her unplanned pregnancy.
Here are some really nice surprises that have happened to me just recently:
I ordered something that usually comes with a pickle and then – as though I was smack dab in the middle of a glorious dream – two pickles showed up on that plate.
I realized that the way the Jewish holidays fall this year means that I don't have to teach for a full week all September long. As a result, I have never felt so connected with my heritage in my entire life.
I couldn’t sleep one pre-dawn and I was scrolling desperately through channels on my TV and on every single one was Cindy Crawford trying to sell me moisturizer that comes from inside of a melon and then, just when I was about to break and buy that moisturizer, I stumbled joyfully upon a Dateline: Mysteries marathon. (It’s probably worth noting that this happy surprise eventually backfired on me. By the time I finally got tired, I could no longer fall asleep because I couldn’t stop myself from worrying about the prowler who would surely sneak into my house.)
I dug maniacally through my purse and triumphantly pulled free gum, a tampon, and a twenty.
When last we saw these grown women, they were decked out in sequins and strange necklines and discussing incredibly private matters while being filmed by cameras. The battle royale about Carole dating Adam is still going strong tonight and leading the charge against the relationship like she’s a born-again suffragette who likes wearing turquoise, taking moonlit walks on the beach, and shaming other women is Luann. I do not understand Luann’s behavior. Does she not realize that the demise of Carole and Adam’s relationship could lead to the vegan cookbook they collaborated on (she wrote the text and he prepared things made entirely of kale) never seeing the light of day? Can Luann not even imagine the scenario where she performs her hit songs at signings for that cookbook atop a stage made entirely out of heaps of quinoa? Do they not teach “Thinking Ahead” in Countess Class or was it on the curriculum but Luann missed that lecture because she was banging a twenty-three year old in the bathroom?
We should probably start by talking about the outfits, right? I’m guessing that dressing for a reunion show has got to be quite the endeavor. You need an outfit you can sit in for nine straight hours as you discuss events that have already transpired and have already been discussed ad nauseum, but it can’t be too binding because you might need to bound off the couch at a moment’s notice to tear a fellow Housewife limb from limb. And whatever you wear, you know that it can’t be something classy and simple because studies have shown that the rest of your coworkers will out-sparkle, out-sequin, and out-plunging-neckline you if you deign to go with basic black. No, you have to go next level with your reunion outfit because the reunion is exactly like the Oscars for a Housewife – except they leave without a gift bag and most of them have absolutely no talent.
If I have to listen to one more human being – or whatever species wants to claim Ramona Singer as one of its own – so much as murmur that Sonja Morgan has any sort of right to claim that all of the other women around her were wrong and innately cruel to have had doubts about the validity of Sonja’s clothing line and that it would actually become a reality and was not instead simply a long-running hallucination festering in the mind of crazy woman, I’m going to strangle that person with one of Sonja’s jodhpurs, which I’m imagining are being sold on her website and will be eventually shipped to my home by her Mailing Intern, Francois. Let’s just look logically and empirically at all that’s gone down. Was there clothing on the bodies of the models at Sonja’s fashion show? Yes. Was the clothing decently designed and styled well? Yes. Did every single person with whom Sonja had interacted with prior to that event have several exceptionally good reasons to doubt that those clothes existed in the first place due to the fact that Sonja seemed to have no clear idea of what her line was about or where it would be sold and because nothing else she has ever attempted on this show in the name of business has ever fully come to fruition? Fuck yes.
It’s Fashion Week on The Real Housewives of New York and that means that we will all be privy to exquisite beauty and unadulterated elegance and we will gain access to the elite of the elite and…I’m sorry, what’s that? Oh, Ramona Singer will be there? Then fuck elegance and class because all Fashion Week on this show really means is that it’s time once again to tread through the bargain basement of blonde muck, but we needn’t despair because once we emerge, we’ll be treated to a New Beginning.
It finally happened.
I feared this day. I lit an abundance of abundance candles and I recited incantations in shadowy rooms to stop this day from ever arriving. I contemplated how I could tunnel my way to another astral plane just in case this day ever appeared on the hazy horizon, much like those prisoners from upstate New York Shawshanked their way to freedom before they were shot. But I suppose a part of me didn’t believe any of it could really happen so I ceased my prayers and stopped my chanting and discontinued the exhausting practice of mailing out warning letters to publishing houses that were addressed with little letters I cut out of magazines in my own form of a ransom note and so part of me now blames myself for the single most horrible thing to ever happen to the written word since a Kardashian earned an A in penmanship in the third grade.
Please grasp the hand of the person closest to you – and if you’re currently alone, grab onto a wall – as I relay the hideous news that Ramona Singer has written a book that will be released into a world that’s still dealing with ISIS and global warming and relationships formed on The Bachelor that won’t even last as long as a penicillin cycle. The book is called Life On the Ramona Coaster. Ramona’s face is on the cover. There are people out there who will buy the book and then display it on a bookshelf. And if someone even thinks of buying me a copy, I will strap that person to a chair and make him listen to every single word of Ulysses as it’s read by Jill Zarin while her scrawny and shaky dog scurries around his feet.
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.
Let’s just – for the sake of nightmares – imagine what life would be like as a citizen of Ramona’s World. The temperature on the perimeter of that purgatory would probably hover somewhere around ninety-two degrees day and night. Men and women both could be hauled off to jail for committing the transgression of getting the Queen’s hair wet. The national anthem would be performed with an accompanying choreographed dance that ends with a few random spasmodic swivels before requiring that the performer then straddle the woman closest to her. The currency is in the shade of Ramona Blue and a picture of her with a massive curler in the front of her hair is splayed across it. The flag, hung high outside of every government building and day spa, has Ramona’s face on each side, but they are two very different pictures with two very different expressions so that the way the wind blows actually dictates the Ramona one gets to see at any given moment. And over on Turtle Time Avenue, behind the gates made out of melted down religious jewelry and over the moat where the Prime Minister of Ramona World, Sonja Morgan, likes to take in some sun while she’s hung way over, the Queen resides and each Thursday she addresses her loyal subjects from a balcony while wearing the Herve Leger dress she once stole from Bethenny Frankel, the woman she had to permanently banish from Ramona World after Bethenny finally realized that Ramona is not actually a seven year old and therefore shouldn’t be pardoned for acting like a total asshole.