If you look up the word exhausting in the dictionary, you are sure to find a picture of The Real Housewives of Potomac beside it. These ladies will argue about anything. They are easily the nosiest and most judgmental of all the housewives. These traits only become exacerbated when they’re on a girls’ trip. Case in point–the big trip to The Big Easy.
When we picked up with the ladies last night, Candiace and Ashley were still mid-argument. It had all started when Gizelle revealed to Ashley, and the group at large, that Candiace had her doubts about how hard Ashley was really trying to conceive a baby, considering the amount she had been drinking lately. Now, why on earth would Gizelle bring this up?! Especially on day one of their trip? Well, because she’s messy, and it’s not a party until someone calls someone else out.
But I don’t think anything could have prepared Gizelle for the level of squeaking and squawking these two were going to embark on. She got tired of it quickly, and she opened the door and told everyone to call it a night. They all stood reluctantly (no one wanted to miss the melee) and headed to their private quarters for the night.
The following morning, the ladies met in the lobby for coffee. Then, they divided up into smaller groups of two or three and went their separate ways for the day. Gizelle and Karen arrived first. Karen hadn’t felt up to going out with the others the night before and had chosen to stay in. Who could blame her? She thanked Gizelle for understanding that she’d been tired. She said she was still grieving the loss of her parents and simply wasn’t up for a night on the town (or the incessant arguing over minutia that was sure to follow).
But Gizelle hadn’t understood at all, although she smiled and nodded serenely at Karen as though she had. In reality, she’d been quite angry, particularly because Karen had spent the evening hamming it up with fans on social media, which didn’t seem like grief to her. But why not? Being active on social media, particularly when it’s part of your job to do so, and grieving are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to do both. Besides, sharing Instagram stories takes a lot less energy than dealing with these ladies. They’re taxing enough when they’re sober and in Potomac–add a few Hurricanes and an ‘anything goes’ vacation mentality to the mix and they’re almost impossible to tolerate.
Once the other ladies joined them, it was time for everyone to start their day. Gizelle and Candiace went to meet the Leah Chase, who was 95 years old, sharp as a tack, and one of the city’s most popular chefs. On the way there, Gizelle hoped that Candiace would make a good impression. After all, Candiace is A LOT to take. Not that Gizelle is a walk in the park on the first day of spring herself, but still.
She decided to give Candiace some sisterly advice. She told her that she was out of line during her confrontation with Ashley the night before, and she needed to tone it down. Surprisingly enough, Candiace had the wherewithal to agree. She said that she was the ‘opposite of all bark and no bite.’ Or maybe not, but either way, she was a “loud dog.” Well, you said it, Candiace, not me. Following their little talk, the two had a lovely time with the mayor and Gizelle’s father, Curtis.
Ashley and Katie were having a great time as well. They had their palms read, and the prospect had Ashley so anxious her palms started sweating–but not Katie’s. You see, Katie revealed that she’d “had surgery” and that, as a result, her palms no longer became sweaty. What?! I don’t believe I’ve never heard of palm surgery, but I supposed there’s a first time for everything. Also, this Katie chick is out of her mind, but I digress. Of course, Ashley had just one question for the psychic: would she ever have a child? And she actually got some pretty sound advice.
The man told her that she needed to relax because her constant worrying was ‘slowing down her flow.’ After confiding to him that she had suffered a miscarriage, and that her marriage had already survived a separation (facts an actual psychic would have already known, if you ask me), he told her that children were supposed to be the “culmination” of the parents–not the glue that held them together. Also solid advice.
After the palm reading, the two ladies headed to “The Trashy Diva,” a local lingerie store, where they talked and laughed. Ashley showed off her talent with tassels as she marveled at the judgment-free zone her no fuss, no muss friendship with Katie provided.
As for Karen, Robyn, and Monique (yes, a very odd combo), they decided to check out the local swamp life. They rented a boat, and a guide introduced them to the gators just beneath the surface of the water. They marveled at the size and ferocity of the creatures and even attempted to feed them. Their bravery soon devolved into shrieks of terror as the largest of the herd leaped in the air while trying to reach their food. Totally natural behavior for a gator, by the way, but one doesn’t see many gators in Potomac. The ladies were naturally quite nervous.
It seemed they’d cracked the code to a harmonious housewives getaway–stay in small groups of two or three. But that’s not how it works. Before long, the ladies reconvened and headed out for Gizelle’s father’s 80th birthday bash.
The evening started out remarkably well. The ladies took a trolley to the venue. Along the way, Ashley took a moment to apologize to Monique in front of everyone for the way she’d treated her last season. She said she’d been wrong to come at her the way she had. She said that she’d been insensitive to the fact that Monique had been grappling with a very profound loss following her own miscarriage last year. It was uncharacteristically big of Ashley to say these things, and Monique happily accepted the apology. She said, during her confessional, that the apology had meant a lot to her. The sincerity of the sentiment gave her hope for the future of their friendship.
Gizelle had gone all-out for the party. The trolley took them to a spot near the venue, and they marched along with a live band all the way to the restaurant. It was packed with Gizelle and Curtis’ large extended family and friends, which included her former boyfriend, Steve. But we’ll get into that a little later.
First, when Karen and Katie finally arrived (Katie had been so busy trying on what looked like fright wigs and tiaras that Karen had to remind her to put on underwear, so they got left behind), Gizelle suggested they all sit down and discuss their day. After Ashley told the group about what the palm reader has said about simply relaxing, Candiace, possibly inspired my Ashley’s mea culpa during the trolley ride, apologized for the night before. She admitted that she really knew nothing about Ashley’s journey, and therefore shouldn’t have judged her. Furthermore, she said that she wanted to be closer to Ashley and be a part of her journey to motherhood.
Now, you would think that since her own apology (for pretty much the same thing) had been met with forgiveness, Ashley would be able to muster the same. But you would be wrong about that. Instead, Ashley said that forgiveness and friendship would “take time,” to which Candiace replied with a surprised and affronted, “oh.”
Before things got any worse, Gizelle changed the subject. She introduced the ladies to Steve. Naturally, the ladies were full of questions about why they’d broken up and how long they’d dated. Steve explained that Gizelle had broken things off about a year into their relationship after hearing something about him that she didn’t like. Karen told Steve that ‘running a man off’ in a year was Gizelle’s M.O., and they all wanted her to “do better.” Then she told Gizelle to ‘get that date’ with Steve. She sauntered off looking for more trouble, leaving a shocked and fuming Gizelle in her wake.
She continued her reign of shade back at the table, where she announced to Ashley that Candiace felt that her whole spiel about friendship and needing time was a crock. This was true. In fact, Candiace had called the whole thing “cod liver bulls**t.” But I think you’ll agree that it certainly wasn’t the time or place for such a conversation. Be that as it may, the ladies were off and running again in no time. They picked up right where they’d left off the night before.
Candiace apologized but added that she ‘stood by’ what she’d said about Ashley’s drinking while trying to conceive. Ashley said she didn’t care what Candiace thought. But Candiace hadn’t finished yet. She went off, yelling that Ashley better not sit there and act like she didn’t “live her whole mother f*****g life” to judge others and be all up in their business. Candiace was getting louder by the second, and Gizelle’s family, most of whom were elderly, looked on in horror.
Even Karen, who’d started the whole thing, had the audacity to look away in embarrassment. Gizelle told Candiace that, once again, she was being way too aggressive and the conversation needed to stop. Monique also defended Ashley. She cautioned Candiace to be a little less harsh in her judgments.
Gizelle went on to toast her father and bring out his birthday cake. Candiace serenaded him with a sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday,” which Ashley chimed in on and attempted to drown out.
After the party, the ladies decided to call it a relatively early night. Well, except Gizelle, who came tiptoeing in about three hours later after “catching up” with Steve in the hotel lounge. The ladies were excited to hear about Gizelle’s rendezvous when they had breakfast the following morning. Ashley asked if Gizelle had called it an early night because of Steve. Gizelle demurred and said she’d just been looking after Monique, who was hugely pregnant and likely exhausted, and “this one” who was grieving, gesturing at Karen.
Karen didn’t appreciate the mocking tone in Gizelle’s voice when she said the word “grieving.” She asked why she’d said it like that. Gizelle pled innocence and asked what word Karen would like her to use instead.
Karen chose to change the subject and asked Gizelle if she was “ready” for a relationship. She brought up the demise of Gizelle’s relationship with Sherman. This wasn’t good. First, Karen had humiliated Gizelle in front of Steve, and now she was bringing up Sherman–again. She had only one more time to do this, Gizelle warned during her confessional.
And as it turned out, Karen went ahead and took that one chance she had left in a big, big way. As soon as the ladies sat down at the famous Cafe du Monde and ordered their beignets, Karen started asking more questions about Sherman. Gizelle managed to keep her cool. She reminded Karen about what she’d told her when they first made amends and started speaking to each other again. Any conversation about Sherman and the status of their relationship was off limits as long as Karen remained friends with his ex-wife, Kyndall. She then playfully held up the napkin dispenser and said “boundary up.”
The others laughed, but The Grande Dame does not like being dismissed. She lost it. She told Gizelle that it was “bulls***” that she’d been”attacked” just for asking a “simple question.” She said that Gizelle better never think of “f***ing disrespecting” her that way again and had better “learn her place.” It was a lot, and it came out of nowhere.
Gizelle, eager to keep the peace, simply said, “okay, Karen.” But Robyn wasn’t about to let her off that easy. She told Karen that she needed to calm down and that all the cursing at the table wasn’t necessary. Karen replied that she would say whatever she wanted and she didn’t want to be treated that way. But she also said she’d take Robyn’s words under advisement and discuss it with her therapist–probably a good idea!
Karen said she ‘felt better’ after letting off some steam, but Gizelle, not so much. She left convinced that she and Karen would never be the same again.
This is far from over, folks. Be sure to tune in to RHOP next week to see where these friendships stand!