(September 18, 2012) – In the protracted world of Bravo, where things that occurred over a few weeks, get stretched out into months – and in the case of Franklin Lakes, a full year – there is Aviva Drescher‘s vacation flip out and then there is the painful aftermath. And by “aftermath” I mean the fodder for endless kvetching about how St. Barths proved to be the location for the vacation from hell. (What a way promote a travel partner, Bravo!)
To loosely borrow Carole Radziwill‘s Carrie Bradshaw writing style, it got me wondering, what is a vacation from hell? When things go awry, whose fault is it? The host’s or the guests’? Mostly it makes me wonder, have these women ever seen how Caroline Manzo behaved in Napa? If they had, certainly they’d understand better what a truly hellish vacation is.
From this point forward, I will never underestimate what could happen when a woman born and raised in New York City goes on a lavish, all-expense-paid, working vacation to a lovely Caribbean island and discovers there are no party steamers awaiting her arrival. No marching band. No ribbon cutting. No ticker tape parade. No foreign dignitaries on the tarmac.
Perhaps worst of all, Aviva arrived and found the complete lack of a proper welcome from a “cheesy, cheesy, low class woman” and her downward spiraling sidekick, who failed to recognize the magnitude of Reid Drescher’s appearance on the island.
Instead Aviva, a phobic Manhattanite, and her heroic husband were met – not with open arms or a banner that read “Welcome Aviva. You did it. Rah! Rah!” – but instead by Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan, who were drinking and laughing on vacation of all things! The nerve of those Cuddle Twins who were too wrapped up in their pool noodles to organize or to join a receiving line in Aviva and Reid’s honor.
As a result, because apparently there is no other storyline we, the viewers, were subjected to a series of discussions with everyone in the cast that could only lead us to one proper conclusion: Aviva lost her mind in St. Barths and, for whatever reason, over-reacted to not having a fuss made over herself and her second husband when the gang went on a trip. Period. Nothing else happened in relation to Aviva.
Believe me, I know I am cranky now that I see what a sham the Real Housewives of New Jersey is. And I trust you will also believe I am normally just as willing as the next blogger, to Monday morning quarterback the minutia of a Housewives game, but come on! We could have put a fork on this story last week. The Cuddle Twins drank vats of wine in St. Barths; Aviva got very cranky and Carole and Heather Thomson were there to give us a play-by-play of everyone’s sexual exploits. That was all fantastic Reality TV last week and we loved it all. Why, exactly, am I asked to watch as the cast rehashes it all, endlessly? And yet I am, in many scenes. What did I learn? Truthfully, not much, but here goes:
* Sonja Morgan believes she does not insult people or call them names. As far as I can remember she has not, at least not while on camera. What she did say on camera is that Aviva did not pay for her own education, which implies that maybe her ex-husband, Harry Dubin, did. Because, apparently I am very bitchy tonight, I’m going to file that one under “Interesting but Not Very.”
* Ramona Singer believes that Aviva’s biggest anxiety – dwarfing the problems she has with subway trains, elevators, flying in general and particularly in small planes (not to mention her issues with Diet Coke and pink cigarettes) – is being anywhere without her husband Reid. I have a very strong feeling that Ramona is on to something here. But again, this little nugget is going to go under “Interesting but Not Very.”
* If you tell Carole Radziwill you are a runaway bride, who once cancelled a wedding one week before it was supposed to occur, you should not be surprised that she is going to blabber all of the details later. She’s also going to tell everyone that you were more “fucked up” than she was when she spilled the beans about the 250 guests and the Jamaican location that never was. But you’ll be fine. She’ll kiss you on the lips in front a bar full of gay men. And she’ll confess she’s a “size queen” when it comes to men’s penises. In the quid pro quo of embarrassing gossip, that’s a fair trade of blush-worthy information, I guess. I won’t file this under “Cool Carole likes Big Penises,” but I should.
* Heather Thomson is delightfully logical. She can hear a couple of quick facts and get to the meat of them. When she heard aero-phobic Aviva, the runaway bride, was supposed to travel from New York to get married on Jamaica, she joked, “Clearly she didn’t pick the location,” making a verbal nod to Aviva’s fear of flying. When all of this season’s new girls get together for dinner, she doesn’t think it’s fair when Aviva talks about Ramona and Sonja, “frick and frack,” like they are one person.
She correctly recognizes that Aviva has an axe to grind against them. And she really created a valid stake when in another dinner scene, she told Aviva that everything about their St. Barths’ trip was fun, until the Dreschers arrived. Heather honestly states that Cuddle Twins are party girls, who were having fun and living it up because they were on vacation.
Illogically, Aviva contends that what was really happening was that she was being “bullied.” Again, I have to ask what does this cast know about other installments of the Housewives franchise. If what Sonja and Ramona did on St. Barths seems like bullying to Aviva, I think she should tune into Franklin Lakes or Coto de Cazes.
Even if Aviva thinks she does understand Bravo and what Andy Cohen is up to, I’d like to introduce her to a petite little red headed bully, named Caroline, who would knock her socks off before blasting her verbally over a Napa hot tub or back over the the Hudson River. No H8; right Andy?
Getting back to Heather, I think she is right on the money that Aviva was “me, me, me” in St. Barths. I also think that Heather does not like Aviva, regardless of what she may say on Twitter. (Gosh would I love to pull a quote from there, right now, but alas Twitter is down…for the moment.
* On a purely amused note, I must mention that I like it that Sonja meets with friends in her bed. Eons ago I had a high fallutin’ client who always met with me while we chatted in her bed. No funny business. It was more like a fifth grade sleep over, for 45 minutes in the middle of the afternoon. while we plopped down in her bed and plotted happy events in US National Parks. Seriously – clothes on, Frescas in hand, no hanky panky.
Similarly, I think it is very cute that the Cuddle Twins bonded and discussed Sonja’s divorce settlement while lying in Sonja’s bed, drinking tea. I very rarely think that Ramona looks or sounds believable or empathetic on this show. But when I saw how horrified she was to consider that maybe Sonja would lose her townhouse, I believed her.
I also believed that Sonja was “excited” to see her ex-husband and had given great thought to looking exactly the way he’d find most attractive: beautiful with a little make-up and showing a little cleavage but wearing nothing racier than a business suit. I feel for Sonja, big time. And not because she may lose her house. Much more because I can see she loves her ex-husband and that he may not be doing the right thing to support her and their daughter emotionally and financially.
* I also learned that Aviva Drescher is not a nice girl. When she meets with Sonja she claimed she actually loves her. Now keep in mind this is AFTER she has already also called Sonja “white trash.” Okay, I get it, I guess. While this not my issue (mine are far larger), I can accept that people say horrendous things they do not mean, when they are furious. So in my book, it’s all good (because I am a sucker, if there ever was one). And because this scene inspired the cheerleader me to rear her silly head. Yay! A heartwarming bonding moment! Aviva tries to mend fences by claiming she loves Sonja.
Granted Sonja was not receptive to Aviva’s “apologies.” She made it perfectly clear that she is “over” Aviva. Aviva looks shocked and surprised by Sonja’s clarity. Sonja says that, “No one needs to be subjected to a barrage of ranting and raving.” Perhaps not surprisingly, Aviva goes on the defensive, in her signature “I am up here and you are down there” style. Toward that end, she warns Sonja not to mistake her anger with ranting and raving.
Hello? What was Aviva talking about? She freaked out in St. Barths. She was a buzz kill. She turned a perfectly happy vacation, like the anti-Mary Richards, into something wholely un-worthwhile. And now she wants Sonja and us to accept that she is allowed to express herself and be angry – without consequences for taking it all too far and calling her “white trash.”
When Sonja says she thinks Aviva is a liability, all of the love Aviva had proclaimed minutes earlier, flies right out the window. Aviva lashes back that she thinks Sonja is in a downward spiral, and that looking down her nose, it’s “sad to watch.’ More brutally, in her video diary, Aviva tells us Sonja is the “class drunk.”
Sonja, noting she never once called into question how Aviva raises her kids (I don’t remember Aviva saying anything about Sonja’s daughter) and never brought up Aviva’s character (Aviva definitely did the reverse), walks away from the conversation. Good girl Sonja. I am not sure that everything you said was true, but NOONE deserves to be spoken to as Aviva spoke to you in that “I love you but” conversation.
* What I am very curious about, what I am anxious to know, is how Cool Carole will write her blog about this episode in particular. I just checked, just short of midnight on Monday night, and I see nothing up yet. What I want to know is how Carole will address Aviva’s suggestions that Sonja is a drunk. I admit I love Sonja and I admit I am not politically correct. But Carole is nearly obsessed with pontificating about the politically correct way to discuss everything.
If she is consistent, she will recognize that the “politically correct” view of being the “class drunk” is similar to how one would recognize a diabetic or anyone else with a disease. Will Carole come to the rescue of the diabetic who is being mocked for exhibiting some of the symptoms of a medically-recognized disease? Or will she continue to play the omniscient who knows all, tells all, as she watches from above, knowing full well, that she enjoys a protected status, thanks to her good friend, the Wizard of Bravo, Andy Cohen.
But I’ll give Cool Carole a break. Maybe this is all Andy’s fault. Maybe she’s not the kind of person who would accept a paycheck to mock her peers and call them, “a group of narcissistic, self-absorbed drunk ladies.” After all, maybe it was just one isolated instance when she told us that her co-star was more “fucked up” than she was – even though, at that very moment, she and Heather were in visibly indiscernible states of mind, from the Cuddle Twins in St. Barths.
All photos are courtesy of BravoTV.com/
About the Author (Author Profile)
I am a New York City publicist who specializes in promoting luxury products and experiences and occasionally moonlight as a journalist.
Relatively new to the world of blogging, I have watched and enjoyed Bravo’s Housewives shows since the first season of the Real Housewives of Orange County. I created this blog over the 4th of July holiday of 2011 because I enjoy writing and love to figure out how to blend images and words to create something that is both visually compelling and interesting to read.