Have you ever been invited to one of those parties where you’re expected to buy some really embarrassing lingerie, and you don’t realize it until you get there? That’s pretty much this week’s episode. Seriously, if it wasn’t bolted down chances are that one of the hausenfrau was selling it. Well, somebody’s got to pay for all that shopping.
As a shout out to Twunty and because I need something really strong this week, I’m going for Long Island Ice Teas again, with a straw. So sippity sip and join me after the jump…
JZ is throwing a cocktail party at Zarin Fabrics to introduce a new eco-friendly line of fabrics. Way to go green, JZ!! Here’s to hoping that dress she’s wearing isn’t made from one of their new fabrics. I’m all for eco-friendly, but girlfriend looks like her dog threw up a blueberry bush all over her. All the hausenfrau show up because cocktail parties in retail spaces are the in thing this season. Nobody quite knows how to dress for the event so they all pretend that they’re going to an opening at an expensive art gallery. Despite their dislike of JZ, Crazy Eyes and Mario have decided to come because Mario has developed a totally unhealthy obsession with cameras and body guards armed with uzis wouldn’t be enough to keep him out.
JZ welcomes them to the store and kind of awesomely points out that this is where she “works” complete with air quotes. But Mario is either a) too stupid or b) too deluded or c) too obsessed to recognize the jab. All of the above would work here, as well. OMFG, I can’t believe Mario is still blathering on about the tennis match. Seriously, what a yutz. Hey, Mario, that horse that you’re beating? It’s already dead, skinned, ground and processed into dog food, so stop kicking the frigging can around. No wonder Ramona is batshit crazy. Oh well. The poor serial killer is hurt. HURT I tell you, because JZ didn’t trust him and she should have trusted him, just like all those poor dead girls trusted him. You know, the ones that disappear every time there’s a full moon? Dead bodies aside, Mario wants JZ to know in no uncertain terms that next time he knows she’ll have a good time. JZ’s all like, ‘You say that to all the girls, but, fine. Whatever you say.’ Which, totally, had to give Mario a big old boner, because he moves on to Silex with the determination of a man in search of a glory hole. Sadly, he’s probably not going to find one in Zarin Fabrics, unless Brad’s been mixing work with pleasure.
Simon might be a pretentious, closet case, falling down drunken lush, but Mario is just a total prick, which doesn’t have nearly the same panache. Seriously, if this was high school, Mario would so be trying to stuff Simon into his locker or give him a swirlie in the boy’s room. As an adult surrounded by cameras, Serial Killer is limited to just picking on Simon’s really poor fashion sense. Unless it’s on an episode of True Crime, I’m going to be seriously bummed if Mario keeps showing up on my TV.
Lady B. is rocking a little black dress showing off long white legs. After weeks of Leather, it’s a little weird to see exposed flesh that’s not orange. Bethenny’s over the whole cocktail party thing before she even gets in the door telling us in a tired voice, “So yet again, Jill and Bobby are having another party.” I’m beginning to think that Lady B needs to put her inner diva on a starvation diet because that bitch is getting a bit big for Bethenny’s teensy tiny body.
Lately the tabloids have been connecting Bethenny to A-rod, which, if it’s true, has got to be totally pissing off Leather. But back when this episode was filmed Lady B was still single and coming up with her own dating rules to add to the ones Crazy Eyes gave her. 1) No textual relationships and 2) Think of her vagina as a vase. Hmmmm. Lets see, cold, hard, with a tendency to shatter upon impact. Tthat should weed out the boys from the men.
Leather has dressed up her pet gigolo, Maxie like a eurotrash version of the Fonz. Seriously, boyfriend is looking a little too good to be true. God forbid he stands in the wind or gets caught in the rain. It sounds like Leather has moved away from the meth and started popping those little blue valiums like they were M&Ms. She’s all “HI, hiiiiiiiii, heeeeeyyyy, hiiiiiiii. Thaank yooooou. Because her four year old voice just sounds so good and it feeeeelllllls so wonderful just to stretch out all those words.
Brad takes one look at Maxie and immediately gets a really stupid glazed smile plastered across his face, which I suspect heralds a massive erection. Then he just stands and stares, while JZ inquires if Maxie and Leather are just friends or more specifically friends with benefits. Max and Leather hem, haw and giggle while they frantically try to figure out how to explain that Leather’s budget isn’t really big enough to pay for regular sex with Max, but she’s got her Hamtpons’ house on the market so as soon as that sells they’ll be getting down and dirty a lot more often.
Meanwhile, Brad is subtly inching closer to Maxie and trying to figure out how to discreetly wrap himself around his leg, which is just uncomfortable for everybody but Max who seems used to the attention. JZ’s all like OMG when Brad drinks it’s just embarrassing and I’m like OMG when Brad’s on TV it’s just embarrassing. I think I like Leather better when she’s on meth and totally incoherent. On valium all she does is gush, and now she’s gushing about being spontaneous, while she and Maxie have a lame little pillow fight, because free spirits and their highly paid escorts always throw around store merchandise. It’s just the thing to do.
Oh look, Crazy Eyes is going to take up some camera time to sell her her skincare line. Awesome. All she needs is a call now message with a phone number to run across the screen. I’m feeling kind of bad for the design company she hired to create the logo and packaging for her product. When are people going to learn that marketing their business via reality TV is a crap shoot at best. Crazy Eyes think that the black label looks dirty and if there’s something Crazy Eyes hates its dirty, unless it involves ex playmates and sex. Another thing Crazy Eyes hates is anything that she doesn’t get to micromanage, which couldn’t have been fun for the design team.
Crazy Eyes has her own personal chemist, which should surprise no one. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the basis for Leather’s interest in her. But anyhoo, when her chemist isn’t helping her to self-medicate, they’ve been developing a skin care formula. Crazy Eyes is one busy shiksa. In fact, if she really started thinking about everything she does she’s pretty sure that she could have a breakdown. Personally, I’m betting that if she really started thinking about any aspect of her life she could have a breakdown. What with a serial killer for a husband, a daughter who’s being totally ostracized by her private school, and personal finances that are necessitating the rental of their Hamptons house for the summer, it’s a damn good thing she’s got the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing away in her head to distract her.
Good Lord, Bravo is so busy shilling that I have to wonder if they’re getting a cut of the respective hausenfrau business profits? I am getting more than a little tired of the infommercial fomat. Bethenny is at an A&P in Greenwich CT to launch her new whole wheat, healthy, cup cakes. I hope that they taste better than they sound. It’s nice that she’s offering a healthy alternative to Ho-Hos and Twinkies, but really, when I reach for junk food I want it to be junk food. I don’t want anybody sneaking whole grains into my bleached, ultra processed, heavy chemical, corn syrup laden bites of comfort, and it doesn’t seem like anyone in Greenwhich CT does either. The shoppers are steering their carts in circles to avoid Bethenny and the camera crew. Finally, a pleasant looking older woman approaches and there’s a moment of excitement, before she asks “where are the rotisserie chickens?” LOL. Seriously, beware of little old ladies when they approach. There’s at least a seventy percent chance they’re going to ruin your day.
Lulu is hard at work on her etiquette book, because what else does she have to sell? Personally, I think a line of Count bobble heads would sell like wild fire, but what do I know? I’m always interested in other writers’ creative processes. For me it usually involves my laptop, a large bulletin board, a lot of index cards, and a really big French press. For the Countess it seems to involve meeting with the woman who’s actually writing her book.
This whole scene brings back painful memories of a time when I was living in the Lower East Side and subsisting soley on mac and cheese made with water. I was pretty sure that I was going to starve or be evicted when I got a bizarre offer to ghost write someone’s life story. While the money would have been nice, I just couldn’t get myself to do it, and luckily for me another job came along. But to this day I still can’t look at mac and cheese without shuddering.
Lulu mentions that she’s been a Countess for a while. Really? I had no idea. She’s usually so reticent about these things. Over the last year she’s become more of a public figure so she decided to write a book, because, hey, 15 minutes of d-list fame generally heralds great literary contributions. Where does the Countess stand on the subject of cheek kissing? What about paying her own way on dates? It’s kind of too bad that Lulu’s writer is under contract to produce the expected etiquette book, because she’s got to have enough material to produce an excellent satire.
Oh look, Leather has her very own jewelry line. How cute!! Does Leather actually make or design jewelry? Don’t be silly. Nope, she just hires someone to design and make jewelry for her. Not surprisingly, he’s the same gentleman who designed Heidi Klum’s, Brittany Spear’s, and Nicole Richie’s jewelry lines. Not only does he have a proven track record, but hiring him has the added benefit that Leather gets to keep repeating “me, Heidi, Brittany, and Nicole” over and over again, with an occasional “me and Heidi” thrown in for variety. Working on offending at least one minority group, Leather explains that her jewelry is Indian inspired, and no we’re not talking about India or any specific Native American group, we’re talking about Disney. Leather explains that she’s yanking Pocahontas out of her canoe and putting her in jewelry.
Back at Zarin Fabrics, JZ and Ginger, her killer chihuahua, are working the floor. JZ is helping customers, Ginger is biting them. There has to be some bizarre synergy somewhere in there. A gay couple comes in to buy new drapes in honor of an impending mother-in-law visit. I’m betting it’s a Jewish mother-in-law. Seriously, I redo my whole house and yard before my mother comes. Not surprisingly, JZ instantly grasps the severity of the situation and finds them exactly what they need. I can’t help wondering if these two are really some random customers. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that they’re Brad’s neighbors. They’re all about gushing to the camera about how amazing JZ was. Of course, they might just have some serious Team Jill love, which is possible. After all, JZ totally got their “we’re not handy, we’re gay” statement.
And, now, for this season’s Darwin award.
Reaching a new pinnacle of malignant narcissism, Leather goes for her daily run through the middle of Manhattan traffic. Sure she’s running with the traffic, but she’s running in the middle of the lane like she’s a car. Girlfriend better be clocking 2 minute miles to get a way with that crap. Seriously, there’s a taxi cab on her ass and she’s running along like she has no worries in the world, because she knows that all of Manhattan is just dying to adjust to her pace. I’m guessing the only reason she didn’t get a good old New York bump was because of the camera crew filming from the car in front of her. I would so like to see her pull this crap on the Bronx River Highway.
I know I’m cranky when JZ starts irritating the crap out of me, but, really, the Jewish American Princess stereotype is surviving just fine without her added reinforcement. JZ is going shopping for her birthday present and she’s brought Leather and and her two daughters along to help pick out a purse. This should be a nice break from the unremitting selling that’s been going on in this episode, but when JZ comes out with “considering the economy right now, I didn’t think it was appropriate to spend a fortune of money” and then buys a $16,000.00 purse, I’m just grossed out. Seriously, not $1,600.00, we’re talking $16,000.00; close to one third of the average annual American income on a purse. I don’t care how much she loves her purses, there’s got to be a better use for that money.
It’s a damn good thing that Lulu is clear about cheek kissing etiquette, because it looks like her publishers at Gotham Books are busy kissing both sides of her tuchus. We get to watch them wave around the pictures for her book cover and discuss how her life is such an amazing fairy tale come true, while they pour out champagne. This all seems a little extreme for a book that has yet to be released, but the Countess is eating it up.
Of course, this was back when her life was still a dream come true, before Count No Neck lost 20 lbs, got a tan, and started boinking an Ethiopian princess. But there’s always a silver lining; now that the Count’s dumped her via email Oprah’s a lot more likely to talk to Lulu.
Traditional Homes is coming over to do a story on JZs condo renovation. Maybe under the title, “Golden Girls On Acid”? Ginger seems to think the apartment has been transformed in to a giant bathroom and is happily pooping on the floor, which is all kinds of hysterical. This is a dog with no respect. She must weigh about four pounds and she’s like the rabbit in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.
The Traditional Homes staff flew in from Ohio, and JZ immediately wants to know if they have their own PP, which is mainly funny because of the politely strained smiles of the staff, when JZ clarifies that PP is her humorous acronym for Private Plane. Brad is on a one-man mission to totally bitchotage the story, pointing out flaws in the design and babbling on in the most annoying way possible. I’m pretty sure that Divaman is totally POd that he’s not being featured in the pictures. He’s not above sniping away in a jealous fit that he thinks JZ looks better out of focus. On the other hand, it’s pretty obvious why he’s not being photographed:
Taking a cue from the Zarin Fabric cocktail party, Crazy Eyes is having her own little party to introduce her skincare and jewelry lines to her girlfriends. Leather was probably invited, but got scared that Crazy Eyes would try to use her face as a before picture. Lady B makes an appearance brimming with good intentions and unwanted business advice. Crazy Eyes doesn’t have time or any inclination to listen to Bethenny’s critique and really why should she? She’s got to listen to a thousand consulting voices shouting out their advice on a minute by minute basis. Not surprisingly, consistency between brands isn’t Crazy Eyes’ strong point.
Lady B moves on from a business critique to her other favorite topic: Why oh why is her vagina an empty vase? To give them credit, Crazy Eyes’ friends are really nice and spend a fair amount of effort stroking Lady B’s ever growing ego in their efforts to answer her question.
It’s kind of too bad that Crazy Eyes can’t resist ruining the moment by pointing out that her friends build you up unlike JZ who tears you down. OMFG, if Crazy Eyes brings up that damn tennis match I’m going to throw my entire slice of cheesecake at the TV and that would just be a waste. Not to mention that my dogs are getting fat from all of the scraps. Lady B comes to JZ’s defense stressing that JZ is all about supporting her. Sadly, she’s no match for Crazy Eyes’ deep psychological analysis of their relationship. Crazy Eyes explains that JZ’s interest in Lady B stems from Bethenny being the underdog and needing help. Personally, I’m thinking that Crazy Eyes’ time in therapy would be a lot more useful if she spent it analyzing herself. Lady B is looking around for a knife or any other sharp implement, but before she can find anything one of Crazy Eyes’ friends jumps in to defuse the situation. Not that it would have come to much. I’m pretty sure that successfully living with a serial killer means carefully hiding anything sharp. You know, just to avoid any unfortunate mistakes. Right on cue, Mario wanders in and slathers on some of the sample cream, while maintaining just enough condescending humor to keep himself from being compared to Simon. It’s really too bad that Mario has to take this attitude. If he could just get over himself, I bet he and Simon could be having a gay old time getting manis and pedis, and shopping for the latest in tennis fashion.
Not to be outdone by the Countess’ meeting with her publisher, Bethenny is having a photo shoot for her own book cover. It’s pretty much a non-event, except for two developments.
Best husband ever, Bobby, has gotten the most spoiled wife ever, JZ, a surprise. Just what she wanted; a black Mercedes SUV. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Bobby’s getting out of getting JZ a birthday present, because enough is never enough, and that commandment about greed only counts on Yom Kippur. I can’t even tell you how badly I’m squirming when JZ kvetches that the car doesn’t work with her Iphone and Bobby immediately offers to get her a different car. Oy Vey iz mir!! This is just wrong on so many levels I can’t even deal with it.
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually relieved to see Silex. At this point, they’re the only two not actively trying to sell me anything, or making me squirm with over the top, completely socially unaware, greed. It’s Alex’s birthday and that means a good old Simon surprise. Last year there was the yacht cocktail party where Bethenny got embarrassingly drunk. This year all Alex knows is that she needs to be dressed up to go out after work. Hmmm, with these two that’s a little vague, but I can only guess that she’ll be wearing an outfit that’s easy to move around in. After all, whatever party they’re going to crash might very well involve scaling walls and sneaking through windows.
Alex takes a car to fifth Avenue where Simon is waiting with a giant bouquet of flowers and I have to say that it’s kind of sweet. He escorts his wife to Ray Griffith’s jewelry design studio where they spend a pleasant little interlude drinking champagne and selecting her emerald drop earrings. But the night’s not over!! They still have people to see and secret destinations to arrive at, except that somebody seriously F’s up the surprise. Clever, clever Simon had designed a detour route to confuse his wife into thinking that their eventual destination was somewhere other than their house. Sadly, the driver skipped the detour and went straight home, which in Simon’s mind totally ruined his surprise. I don’t blame the guy for being upset. I hate it when events that I’ve planned go awry. But I’m not sure Simon has the manly explosion thing down. Sure he uses the word “fuck” a lot, but he kind of whines it between sniffles and you just know he wants to bury his head in Alex’s shoulder and cry.
Ruined or not, seeing the Van Kempen family huddled together in their little space with their party hats and cupcakes was definitely my favorite part of this episode.
I’m so sorry that I never responded to you guys last week. It was the week from Hades and I’m still reeling from it. I really appreciate all of your comments, and believe me they’re getting me through these last few episodes. I’m still holding out hope that this season pulls itself back from becoming a farce of the shopping network, but it better do it soon.
**To read chapter 16 of Yenta’s novel, The Traveling Prayer, click here.