Real Housewives of New Jersey – 3.12 Auld Lang Syne For An Eye

Caroline Manzo is not up for your monkey shines.

They’re really pushing it with the titles of episodes now; they’re working too hard. Lemme help out the folks at Bravo: “The One Where Teresa’s Kids Are Brats” or “The One With The Creepy Boob Polishing.” I got it, “The One Where Everyone Wears Way Too Much Eye Makeup.” Well, that last one could be all of them.

Not Caroline, though, she’s gone from eye makeup to massive jewels. Seriously, at one point she’s wearing a black Tahitian pearl ring that looks like a novelty gobstopper. (I’m a fan of pearls myself, so I was quite enchanted with it. In Texas we call those rings Intimidators.) She’s at the radio station and the topic of her show is Your New Year’s Resolutions: what are they?

As she listens to a caller explain how she has someone in her life that always tries to bring her down, the cameras cut to Melissa sitting in her car, listening in. Ha. Caroline’s advice: cut them in the throat. You ever try and bully someone with a slit throat? It’s nearly impossible. Melissa girds up her loins and calls Teresa. Tre fakes like she doesn’t have an iPhone with her sister’s phone number programmed.

“Who’s this?”

Melissa laughs it off and just starts the conversation, bring the kids over, winter break is almost done and there were promises of play dates, how about it? Teresa grudgingly agrees to follow through on her whole “Let’s be a family again!” thing, and I get the idea that she may have been hoping that the Gorgas wouldn’t have taken her up on the offer. Teresa, I gave you the benefit of the doubt in the beginning of the season, but mama mia, you are such a bitch.

The B word can only mean that it’s time to talk about WAHshley. Jacqueline asks her folks to maybe talk to Ashley, figure out what can spark some decency in her. (Fire? That’s how you cleanse a witch, right?) WAHshley’s PopPop carefully maneuvers through her room and pays her a few compliments for her artistry (she’s doodling a decent pencil sketch of Marilyn Monroe.) She doesn’t look up once the entire time he’s visiting with her. The editors flash some of her artwork, and while I do like the watercolors she’s done, it’s like the sort of thing on a $6 card at Papyrus. Nothing wrong with it, but – well, you’ll see. Hang in there with me.

She blathers on about how she only likes doing “art” when no one makes her do it, and she only finishes some things, and how she hates deadlines. Life is going to be a breeze for you, sweet cheeks, that’s a good attitude! PopPop rolls his eyes and remembers boot camp and the minced meat that new boots became when they acted like his granddaughter. Oh, how glorious would it be to make a spin off show for her where she has to go to actual boot camp! I love our Armed Forces too much to inflict that on them, though.

Caroline gives Kathy a call and invites the whole Wakile clan to her New Year’s Eve shindig at the Brownstone. She tells her that Teresa is going to be there, but hey, it’s a fresh start, not to mention they’re long-time clients of Albert’s. Kathy is gracious and happy to be invited. Caroline tells the camera, “I will not hate someone because you want me to.” Caroline Manzo, I want you to be my mom. I love her sense of fairness.

And like mother, like daughter, Lauren is also imbued with a sense of fairness and familial responsibility. She’s preparing to open a store for her makeup line, and has offered Ashley a job: design a face for a promotional tee-shirt. As Lauren says, she wants Ashley to know that someone believes in her. That’s nice!

And then Ashley gets there. She has a sketch book with a basic shirt outline, and has scribbled some words on it, telling Lauren that she could “play around with the font.” Good lord. And there’s another one with makeup brushes coming up from the hem with powders coming off, and Lauren says, “They look like dirty brushes.”

Lauren fixes Ashley with a stern look, but you need actual hellfire to penetrate that brat’s scaly hide, a withering glance is like a tickle to her. Lauren tells her that, uh, yeah, that’s not what she asked for, which is a face, and it looks like she scribbled those in her car. She reminds Ashley that she’s now her client, and she expects to be treated like one.

And Ashley says to the camera with complete seriousness, “I’m kinda mad at Lauren. I’m just like, whatever! When I’m a professional artist, I’m not going to be working with clients. It’s going to be my vision and what I think the general public would like.”

So you’re going to make Jeff Dunham bracelets for Hot Topic? Good to know. And now you want to be an artist? I like that Lauren says to the camera at one point that she’s glad to be her own boss, she doesn’t like taking orders from other people, which is what Ashley says, but Lauren channels that into making a line of cosmetics and running a store, where Ashley turns it into credit card debt and fighting with her parents.

Melissa has the house and kids ready for a visit from the Giudice family at four in the afternoon. Antonia is worried they won’t come, because it seems they’re already late. Mel tells her daughter, “They said they’d come, they’ll come.” Eesh, I hope so. Now, the Gorgas and Giudices only live five minutes from each other, it shouldn’t be an ordeal to drop kids off to play.

Oh, but it is. Milania, Tre’s third daughter, is a complete and utter monster. A lot of kids go through this stage, some don’t come out of it (I’m looking at you, Ashley) but for God’s sake, don’t just whine at a kid having a tantrum, do something. (Full disclosure: I have three. I have four other siblings. I know from tantrums.) Milania starts throwing her clothes all over the place because she won’t pick out an outfit (she can play in her pajamas, for Pete’s sake!) and Tre snaps back at her, as if they were contemporaries. This goes on for over two hours. I’m not making that up.

Rule number one: you are not your child’s friend. You are their parent. You do not argue with children, especially when they are four freaking years old. You tell them what it is, or if you want to be flexible, you give them two things to choose from. That’s it. Boom, done, out the door. Why is this so difficult?

Close to 7pm they arrive at the Gorgas, and Melissa has made up a little food in case the girls were hungry, what with it being dinner time and all. The kids are all glad to see each other, which is sweet, and Tre demands a glass of whine. I mean, wine. She then starts bitching about everything she can think of to Melissa, who tries to be a good hostess. Jesus Spice, I gotta say: I’m liking you. You’ve turned it around. Tre? You’re on serious notice. I need to Caroline Manzo you, stat.

Mel asks Tre about Kathy, trying to help mend that fence, and Teresa’s voice hits that high-pitched, I’m being fake and smiley when what I really want to do is table flip that prostitution whore. She starts ragging on Rich, how gross she finds him (but he’s the Lebanese Jeff Goldblum!) and Melissa, still trying to maintain dignity, has her chin jutted out and her head back and her voice high, and she’s about to lose it, you can tell.

Tre then tells her about her new book coming out, how it’s a “family recipe” book. Mel smiles and offers some of her recipes. Ha! That was a good dig, Mel. Teresa tells her too late, it’s already done, besides she said “family.” Which means her mother, no one else. Tre then tells the camera that “we all know that bitch don’t cook!” Tre? I’m officially breaking up with you. Also, she made your daughter chicken cutlets, so she cooks something.

Mel keeps on the “let’s keep it positive!” train and brags on Joe building her a recording studio. Teresa has never heard Mel sing, so she thinks this is left field. And because she fears things she doesn’t understand, she starts ragging on Mel. “Oh, you’re a singer, now? Well, I guess anyone can be a singer nowadays, even Kim Kardashian put out a song.” DAMN. Low blow.

It’s finally New Year’s Eve and the ladies are all primping for the party. Ashley calls the Manzos and says she wants to bring more friends. Now, Caroline and Albert provide a party for their whole family (she alone has 9 other siblings) and that includes spouses, in laws, kids, grandkids. Full meals and open bar. That’s a huge expense. And Ashley isn’t okay with being allowed to bring a friend, she needs a posse? Caroline: NO.

Tre is getting her makeup done by a professional (my god, the expenses this woman rings up! YOUR HUSBAND IS BANKRUPT. Learn how to put on some damn false eye lashes.) while her girls run wild in the house. Specifically, Milania is again acting like a little brat, teasing her sisters, calling her dad an old troll (okay, I’ll give her that one) and stomping around in her mom’s leopard print boots.

The editors are having a blast with this as they cut to Teresa telling the camera how proud she is of her daughters because she can take them to parties like this one worry free. You know, because they’re so well behaved. Cut to Milania making her sister cry and throwing things. Ah, she’s just like mommy!

Mel has also hired a makeup artist to doll her up. The Wakiles show up, they’re all getting ready at Casa Gorga. While Kathy gets “angelic makeup” on, Mel tells her about Teresa being bitchy about her new cookbook. She called to tell Mel that Tre was putting in a picture of Melissa and Joe, and “if I wanted to be mean, I could show a picture of what you used to look like.”

What the…what?! Teresa is just mean, good lord! First off, they’ve shown loads of older pictures of Mel, she looks like a curly haired, less blinged-out version of how she looks now. Oh, and with smaller boobs. So what? Kathy just looks sad about it, she’s trying so hard to be kind. I like Kathy, she means well.

PARTY TIME! The Brownstone is decked out with a DJ, flashing lights, but I see no sign of a pink chocolate fountain, so I feel cheated somehow. Teresa has a weird brocade-fronted dress on, and her hair is a side ponytail with a rhinestone clip jammed in randomly. Uh, you might want to look into having a hair stylist and skip the makeup artist, I’m just saying.

Albie and Christuhphuh tease their mom about her slicked back ‘do (it’s not her best look, but I bet it was easier to do than the other ladies) as Jacqueline and Chris flirt with each other, a la Phil and Claire from Modern Family. They’re a pretty great couple, those two. Too bad about that rotten kid tagging along.

The Wakiles get there and Kathy has made a huge basket of home-baked treats for Caroline as a thanks. Caroline is gracious about it, she digs in (someone raised her right) and Tre looks on, mildly pissed. She tells the camera that she thinks her cookbooks inspired Kathy to “try” cooking. Um, we’ve all seen Kathy’s food – she clearly has been baking for a while, god, why are you so petty? You are Tom Petty and the Bratmakers, Teresa Giudice.

Juicy Joe busts Rich and Bro Joe’s balls, but it seems that this is how they talk to each other. Juicy is so low-level mob, it’s not even funny. I have no proof, but it just feels right, right? Riiiiiiiight? Rich forces Juicy to hug him multiple times, they call each other “cocksucker” and “mother fucker” and “bro,” so it seems like all is well at that end.

Ashley tries to get shots at the bar, Caroline catches it and makes sure all the bartenders know she’s underage. They certainly don’t need photographic evidence of under-aged drinking. Speaking of underage girls… Victoria, Kathy’s 16 year old daughter who is sweet as pie and just as pretty as one, is out on the dance floor with her family when some older guy starts hitting on her.

In case you don’t remember, Rich Wakile is originally from the Middle East, but lives like an Italian. Either father would be intimidating, but to have both in one man? If ever there was a father you didn’t want to cross, that would be the one. He goes into full on protection mode, the guy is escorted out, and he tells anyone that will listen, “That’s my fucking daughter.” You can never accuse the Wakiles of not looking out for their kids. Kathy and Rich are doing it right.

Tre uses her high-pitched fake voice to tell the girls she’s okay with Kathy when Mel calls her out. “Enough of the fakeness.” Teresa isn’t used to people calling her out, I’ve noticed. She’s used to getting her way and being the one that makes everyone back down. I like Mel calling her on her bullshit. I wish Caroline would, as well. I really want to watch a Manzo smack down.

Caroline and Jacqueline shake their head at the crazy, and Mel says, “Look. You say you’re all about family. Well, the family is going on vacation. Come with us.” She even extends the invite to Caroline and Jacqueline, after Tre kinda-sorta insists on it. Even though she doesn’t agree to go, she’ll think about it.

It’s finally midnight, Albert and Caroline share a sweet kiss at the top of the stairs so they can see the whole party. That’s nice. Jacqueline and Chris kiss while holding their boys, there’s love to spare in the room. What a great tradition to have, all of your family and loved ones together? Oh, and Teresa and Joe? Maybe not so much with those last two.

Speaking of, the show ends with Juicy and Tre bounce-twisting to some music as Joe polishes Teresa’s boob (she twists from side to side smiling like a dope. It’s really, really weird.) and says, “Fuck Teresa, new year, same assholes.” Yep, you two still are. You can fix that, you know?


Next week’s episode is tailor made for me. Ashley gets dressed down by both sets of parents, and y’all get to see what a real Texas trophy bride looks like! I watched a clip and at one point, the Texas mom says, “OH, my god!” because of WAHshely’s mouth. Oh, I cannot wait for people to bitch at her. Oh, and Mel sings and some other shit will happen. But mostly Ashley is going to be told off, hooray!

[Right this way to the next episode!]