RHNJ: “On Tuesday it’s supposed to rain and we’re supposed to get a Norwegian.”

August 23rd, 2011

Teresa really wanted to be the most annoying person on Real Housewives of New Jersey last night, didn’t she? It would seem to me that pursuing that title when Ashley is around would be all for naught, but Teresa went after it with a single-mindedness and ferocity that is generally reserved for cage fighters and Washington lobbyists.

At the very end, though, Ashley fought back against Teresa’s advances and managed to get herself kicked out of her house by her stepdad, which takes a particular sort of skill since he seems to be far more tolerant of her uselessness than her mother is. Let’s hope she stays kicked out next week.

How do we even start with all this infuriating Ashley bullshit? I don’t know. It was really just more of the same: Jacqueline was crying in some dark corner of the restaurant, Ashley was staring off into the middle distance while her other three parents tried to explain to her how she can stop this stuff from happening in the future. Chris eventually went down to comfort his wife, and pretty soon, Ashley’s dad and his ultra-Texas (I’m obsessed with how Texas she is) wife marched her down to apologize against her will.

Forcing someone to apologize against her will is problematic for a lot of reasons, and it’s a personal pet peeve. Particularly when a conflict is long-standing, forcing anyone to smooth things over on the surface just means that the meat of the problem never gets addressed. Jacqueline needs to feel her anger and Ashley needs to continue being the awful, insipid dullard that she is so that Jacqueline will cut her off and send her to California so that she can be the day-shift stripper that we all know she was always destined to be.

But that’s not what happened, at least not yet. Ashley absentmindedly apologized while playing with her phone, and because everyone was exhausted with the whole thing, they all begrudgingly said ok and shuffled off to the car in a big ball of awkwardness. During the argument, Bravo cut to clips of Ashley saying that her mother is emotionally immature and loves to play the victim, the irony of which Ashley is not anywhere near smart enough to understand. And really, that’s kind of tragic, because irony is awesome.

Next, we visited Kathy’s family while they met with Zen Jen, the energist who was going to “smudge” their house with sage so that the tasting party that Kathy was going to throw would go well. If you had only ever experienced American culture through Real Housewives, I bet that you would think that energism is the fastest-growing industry in the country and that half of all people consult one regularly. In reality, they’re grifters that live off the stupidity of others, which means that they’re drawn to reality TV stars like moths to flame.

We then moved from one kind of dim-wittedness to another, as Ashley met with Lauren to discuss the designs for Lauren’s t-shirts…which did not exist. Remember last week, when Ashley and Lauren met the first time and Ashley hadn’t bothered to actually draw out the design that Lauren asked for? Well, this time she hadn’t bothered to draw anything, at all, period. Because even when family is involved, Ashley can’t be bothered to do anything but check her Twitter and wear stupid hats.

When Ashley tried to pull out the “woe is me” card to somehow blame Jacqueline for the fact that she’s utterly useless and narcissistic, Mini Caroline wasn’t having it. Not in a mean way, just in a no-nonsense way, just as Original Recipe Caroline would have done it. Once shut down, Ashley became suddenly unable to form full sentences, which made me think that Lauren should follow her around all the time and prevent her from speaking. Not just for my enjoyment, but for the benefit of all humanity.

In still further stupidity, Teresa and Joe got together with their lawyer, who more or less told them that a judge had decided that Joe was still on the hook for well over 200 grand to his ex-business partner. Teresa somehow seemed to think that the ruling was a victory for them, but that word? “Victory?” I don’t think it means what she thinks it means. It almost never means that a judge has decided your family owes someone a couple hundred grand, that’s for sure.

In what may have been a poorly conceived ruse to distract attention from Joe’s exceedingly sketchy business dealings, Teresa then said something fairly anti-Semitic about how all her Jewish friends would have divorced their husbands in the same situation. I mean, if your husband commits massive fraud and puts your family millions of dollars in debt, isn’t divorcing him the appropriate response? If being raised a good Catholic girl means that you’re not supposed to give the heave-ho to your ‘roided up, deadbeat baby daddy, I guess that’s a reason to be glad I wasn’t raised Catholic.

Pretty soon, it was time for Kathy’s tasting party and the all-housewives gathering that it necessitated. Melissa got there a bit early to dish about what had gone on at the playdate with Teresa last week, and even though some gossiping was done, it was all completely accurate to what Teresa had actually said about Kathy and Rich. If she didn’t want it repeated, she shouldn’t have said it to someone who doesn’t like her that much. That’s like the cardinal rule of Housewifery.

Eventually, everyone arrived at Kathy’s house to see her perfect children and her perfect food and perfect life, and things were actually sort of…pleasant. Except for Teresa, of course, who was like a hammer looking for a nail. Kathy was very clearly trying to be nice to her, but it didn’t matter. No matter what was said, Teresa took it as some sort of slight or insult or negativity, and she also had a problem with the fact that Kathy put parsley in the salad. It tastes too much like grass, she said!

Have any of you ever eaten a salad that didn’t taste like grass? That’s a basic salad flavor, in my experience. Don’t tell Teresa that leaves are a main ingredient in salad. Grass? Grass is also leaves. Although I have a feeling that trying to explain to Teresa that leaves sometimes grow out of the ground instead of on trees would be an exercise in futility. The woman has no idea what the difference might be between a Nor’easter and a Norwegian, so all hope was lost with her long, long ago.

In order to ensure that any and all conversation would revolve around her instead of focusing on anyone else, Teresa picked a fight over Kim G., a person whom no one had brought up in conversation and about whom I was frankly trying to forget. She also announced plans to open up a restaurant with her bankrupt husband and be the hostess and wear beautiful gowns, which should give you some sort of idea of both Teresa’s intellectual aptitude (low) and her relationship to objective reality (tenuous).

Suddenly, the party was over and it was time for what we all tuned in to see – Ashley getting put out on her ass. The entire conflict started in a rather benign way: Chris, Jacqueline and Ashley were sitting around the kitchen table, and I think that we were supposed to understand that the whole thing was casual because of Jacqueline’s hair. (I really do like Jacqueline – not many Housewives would show us their real around-the-house hair.) They talked a bit about plans and Ashley said that she planned to move in two months, which is hilarious because she doesn’t have any money (or any concept of how hard and expensive it is to make that big of a move. Or any concept of anything, really.)

Throughout the episode, it became very clear that Jacqueline is terrified that Ashley will move away before their problems are solved and Ashley will go on irrationally hating her forever from an entire continent away, which seems like an understandable fear in the parenting situation in which she’s found herself. Ashley doesn’t care, though. Ashley only cares about her cell phone and stupid hats, remember?

After the requisite arguing, Ashley stomped off to her room like an angry, hormonal middle schooler and immediately called her dad in Texas to complain about how her mom is JUST THE WORST, and obviously dad is the best because he moved to Texas and hasn’t ever had to enforce any rules on her or deal with the tough parts of her upbringing or do anything but show up at Christmas with presents. It’s easy for the non-custodial parent to be the good guy.

You know who’s usually the bad guy? The step-parent. Chris seems to have the patience of a saint when it comes to Ashley, and he’s certainly more level-headed when dealing with her than Jacqueline is, so watching him get pushed over the edge was interesting. Ashley was sitting in her room, laughing on the phone with her dad, and as soon as Chris came into the room, the crocodile tears started. Apparently Chris has been taking lessons from Caroline, though, because he was not impressed. Not only did he tell Ashley to pack a bag and get the hell out, but he told her to have someone come pick her up – she’s not taking the car with her. SHE’S NOT TAKING THE CAR WITH HER! I pronounce that today shall be Chris Laurita Day on PurseBlog, and we shall all celebrate him and his willingness to really stick it to that ungrateful little brat. Hopefully, his seriousness will continue next week.

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