The ladies of The Real Housewives of New Jersey were back at it last night with a hot, convoluted, mean girl mess that most 7th grade girls would be embarrassed to take part in. Needless to say, it was–a lot! Let’s dive right in, shall we?
When we picked up with the ladies, they were on their way to the wine tasting Jackie had invited them all to attend at a local vineyard. Yep–they make wine in Jersey. Who knew? Anyway, call her insensitive, but Jackie was totally unaware that Jennifer was still angry with her over the article she’d written about “spoiled children.” Yes, we’re still on that. Granted, “article” is a strong word for what was a little more than a thinly veiled attack on Jennifer’s lavish, over-the-top lifestyle, and Jennifer had good reasons to be angry about it. Her feelings about that, as well as Margaret’s jokes about her brother’s “arranged marriage” and “mail order bride” would soon become painfully (and hilariously) obvious.
Jennifer was on the warpath from the moment she arrived. She immediately asked to go inside Jackie’s house before boarding the shuttle that was waiting in the driveway so that she could “use the restroom,” but really she just wanted to get a look inside Jackie’s home so that she could exclaim over how fancy it was, since that’s what Jackie had done to her. But Jackie still wasn’t getting it.
When they got on the shuttle, Jennifer announced that she had brought back gifts for everyone from her trip to Turkey to celebrate her brother’s engagement, and quipped that she didn’t have one for Margaret because hers had gotten “lost in the mail” along with her brother’s bride. Game on! Margaret said it was just a joke, but Jennifer pretty much just ignored her, and turned her attention back to Jackie, who was opening her gift–a beautiful, but vicious looking knife, which Jennifer announced she had chosen so that Jackie could have something tangible to use the next time she wanted to stab her in the back. OUCH! Jackie thought the gesture was pretty passive-aggressive (she wasn’t wrong), and she tossed the knife back in the gift bag it came in and hurled it across the aisle back at Jennifer, who said she ought to know all about being passive aggressive, and hurled it right back at her.
Jackie came back with the same lame excuse and said that her article had actually been very positive because she had filled it with backhanded compliments about how gorgeous Jennifer’s home was, and how she hoped her children would stay sweet despite the way Jennifer overindulged them. Surprisingly, this explanation was actually pretty effective at calming Jennifer down, but she warned Jackie not to mention her children again, lest she reawakens her mama bear instincts.
Once the ladies arrived at the vineyard, Jennifer became tipsy pretty quickly and turned her attention back towards Margaret, and that’s where things took a truly ugly turn. It started with Teresa talking about her daughter, Milania’s upcoming “listening party,” for her new song. Teresa acknowledged that it wasn’t a dream a lot of parents would encourage, but that she felt Milania needed a boost while her father was “away.” Margaret piped up to talk about her own less than traditional upbringing with her mom, Marge Sr., whom she said took her everywhere, including on dates. She mentioned a particular suitor, who had been married while Marge Sr. was seeing him. It was at this point that Jennifer saw her chance to pounce.
Jennifer quipped that Marge Sr.’s dating history seemed to fit a “pattern,” and when Margaret asked what she meant by that, she was more than happy to explain. She said that Marge Sr. had dated another woman’s husband, and so had Margaret, referring to the fact that Margaret’s husband, Joe had been married to another woman when they began seeing each other. Of course, she’d been married to another man, too, but why quibble? Margaret also pointed out that this did not constitute a “pattern” and was simply a “coincidence” Ehh–I’m not sure about that one. I think this point goes to Jennifer).
It was clear that Margaret was beginning to get angry, and Jennifer was clearly enjoying getting under her skin. She laughed wickedly, as she told Margaret that she’d just been joking just like Margaret had just been when she’d mocked her family’s traditions. Now, here’s the interesting part: Jennifer had been all the way in Turkey when Margaret made that comment, so how does Margaret think it got back to her?! Surely she must have known that her good friend Teresa was the only one who could have thrown her under the bus, and yet she didn’t even call her out. She just let herself get run over.
Margaret explained that she’d made the comment because “arranged marriages” were pretty uncommon in modern culture. Jennifer said it wasn’t an “arranged marriage,” and that her brother and his fiancee had simply been “set up” to get married. Is that different, somehow? Well, Margaret certainly didn’t think so, and she casually said “tomato, tomahto”. Either way, she said she couldn’t “relate culturally” to the concept, to which Jennifer responded that she couldn’t “relate” to people who have affairs with married people (Where’s the burn ointment?!).
Margaret seemed to be at a loss after this (who wouldn’t be?) and she told Jennifer to mind her own business, and never to bring up her marriage again. Furthermore, she said, Jennifer clearly hadn’t really “lived.” Because she hadn’t slept with a married man? Is that what constitutes living these days?! Not in Jennifer’s book. She said that she did plenty of living with her own husband. Margaret said that barely counted because Jennifer ‘made her husband sleep in the pool house,’ a reference to a joke (at least I think it was a joke) that Jennifer made when the ladies divided her home.
Jennifer told Margaret that she had taken “something beautiful”–her brother’s upcoming wedding–and mocked it. Margaret laughed, saying it was hardly beautiful, as the couple had known each other all for three weeks, to which Jennifer responded, ‘their marriage will probably last longer than yours.’ I told you it was pretty rough stuff. The other ladies were watching in awe until finally, Jackie emerged as the voice of reason. She told the ladies that this was getting them nowhere, and then raised her glass, and toasted all of their marriages–regardless of how they’d met their spouses–and wished them continued love and good fortune.
With the vineyard experience finally over, the ladies went their separate ways. Teresa paid a visit to newlyweds, Danielle, and Marty (what could possibly go wrong?). They enjoyed a nice dinner until Teresa extended an invitation to them to Milania’s listening party, and mentioned that the other ladies would be there, including Margaret, whose very name brought inspired ire in Danielle. Teresa asked her what was going on between them, and Danielle said she had been distant with her at the wedding festivities in Bimini, and felt she was disloyal, overall–and not just to her. Danielle told Teresa that Margaret had told her not to trust her or Melissa, and the truly crazy thing is that Teresa fell for the bait, that she’d started wondering about Margaret. She cited her treatment of both Danielle and Jennifer as reasons she’d been put off.
In the meantime, Jennifer and Margaret were both still reeling from their showdown, and they needed to let off a little steam. Margaret bonded with Jackie over shoe shopping, while Jennifer and Dolores chose to power walk in the park. Both still had a bad taste in their mouths left by the nasty words they’d exchanged (not to mention the Jersey wine) and neither was at all sure they wanted to be friends anymore.
A little later, Teresa and Melissa went to Milania’s rehearsal for her listening party, and Teresa, of course, wasted no time telling Melissa all about what Danielle said that Margaret had said. Melissa was a little more skeptical and became even more after speaking to her husband, Joe, who assured her that Margaret simply wouldn’t have spoken about her that way.
On the night of the listening party, no one was sure how the ladies would all react toward one another, but they started out pretty well, putting on a happy face for Milania’s big night. The performance went off without a hitch, and everyone was congratulating Teresa, who was so happy that everyone had behaved, that she announced the plans she’d made with Melissa the day before–a girls’ trip to Cabo to let loose after her bikini competition (and the strict diet and exercise regime) was over. They all agreed, but when Teresa announced that Danielle would be going, Margaret looked like she had bitten into a lemon. She said that she’d go on the trip, but would steer clear of Danielle the whole time.
And just like saying Bloody Mary three times in the bathroom mirror, the very utterance of her name summoned Danielle, who had been clear on the other side of the room. She joined the ladies and came face to face with Margaret for the first time all evening. As they stared each other down, Melissa decided enough was enough, and that if they were all going to get on a plane together, they needed to squash this whole thing. She announced that Danielle had told Teresa that Margaret had said that she shouldn’t trust her or Melissa, and demanded that Danielle tell the truth right now: had Margaret actually said that or not.
Margaret, of course, said she’d never said any such thing, but Danielle insisted they’d talked about it several times. She said that she told Margaret that she didn’t know who to trust, and Margaret had said ‘then trust no one,’ which is vastly different than ‘Teresa and Melissa can’t be trusted.’ Danielle knows this, of course, but she was simply trying to stir the pot (shocking, right?). At this point, Dolores came along, and upon hearing what was happening said that everyone should have listened to her when she’d warned them to stay away from Danielle last year, and just walked away.
On the other side of the room, Marty and the Joes were nervously watching their wives circle each other and argue like a pack of hyenas. Margaret’s Joe said that everything had been fine until Danielle started “throwing s***.” Marty said it was actually Margaret who had been throwing it because she was so “jealous” of Margaret, a theory he was floating for the second time. Joe scoffed at the idea of this, but Marty continued. He said that “nobody” looked as good as Danielle, which garnered a look of pure incredulousness from both Joes. But he wasn’t finished. Marty said that Margaret didn’t even want to be in the same room with Danielle because it meant no one would look at her.
At this point, Margaret’s Joe had had enough, and actually lunged at Marty, marking the second time the two men had nearly come to blows in less than a month! Luckily, Joe Gorga stepped in and held his brother in Joseph-dome back, but said he agreed with him, and that if Marty had said those things about Melissa he’d be leaving on crutches.
In the meantime, the ladies were still at it. Margaret, understandably angry, said that Danielle “sabotaged” every friendship she’d ever had and that she was done with her. Danielle said that her issues came from “a place of hurt,” but that Margaret was simply being “malicious” (good grief!). But oddly enough, Teresa and Jennifer agreed. They felt that Margaret was being mean, and had taken things too far. Melissa, on the other hand, stood by Margaret, saying she’d known all along that Margaret would never say such things about her.
The whole thing was exhausting to watch–and it’s not over. The battle lines have been drawn, and sides have been taken, which will make things pretty interesting when the ladies are wheels up to Cabo next week. Stay tuned!
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