Real Housewives of New Jersey – 3.14 Belly Up & Up

Tell me straight: am I gonna learn the meaning of going to the pokey, or not? Because I aint ready to wear lipstick, ya feel me?

Last week Ashley reminded America that she was the worst, that she was a Grandpa fart during church service. This week she does the same but – wait for it – I finally understand why she’s so awful. Revelations a-go-go up in this joint!

Jacqueline is down in the cellar of the restaurant sobbing, Chris tries to calm her down, and Matt and Jodi are upstairs with Wahshley elling her that she’s a little shit. She’s texting like her life depended on it, by the way. Matt finally tells her to put the phone down (that should have been one of the first things taken away from her, in my opinion.) Ashely starts tearing up, hoping Daddy will be sweet.

Jodi tells Ashely that they had the same problems that she’s having with her mom. I guess Ashley lived with them in Texas for a while? Or maybe it was just during visits? At any rate, Ashley has no respect for adults or adult women in particular. Matt tells her she shouldn’t be partying her ass off, she should be getting a job. She should also get off her lazy ass and go apologize to her mom.

Ashley says, “But Daddy! I don’t want to, I don’t mean it.”

Are you kidding me with this horrorshow of a kid??

Meanwhile, Chris tells Jacqueline that part of the problem is that Jacqueline is always ready for a fight. I understand why, but I also see his point of view. That Chris Laurita, he gets to the heart of the problem right off, huh? I like it. They both voice that they’re tired of helping this ungrateful little monster, and that they’re done.

And here comes Ashely down the steps, led by Matt. He’s telling her (like she’s four, which hey – she is mentally) to apologize, “Say you’re sorry. Get down on your knees to talk to her and say you’re sorry. Say you love her.”

Jacqueline hisses back that she doesn’t want an apology, it’s beyond that now. They’re just words. (She’s not wrong.) She also thinks Ash should go ahead, hit California and hit rock bottom with no family there, and she can see how easy it is to go it alone. Chris chimes in and says that actions are all that will mean anything to him at this point.

Matt tries to make Wahshley apologize anyway, and she whines, “But I hurt, too!” Child, this is about respect. You can go deeper later, you don’t need restitution right this minute.

And we learn that Jaq and Ash went to group therapy a ways back, and when the therapist started agreeing with Jacqueline, that’s when Ashley stopped going. Ashley believed them to just be “gossiping about” her. Ashley then tells us in a voice over that her mom stopped growing emotionally and mentally at the age of 20.

Do you see what I mean about being the worst?

Matt asks her where all of this anger is coming from, all of this vitriol, and I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for an answer. “I’m blamed for everything.” What, like rolling your brand new Jeep? The one you didn’t make payments on? The car given to you for the job you stopped going to? Because you were too busy partying? Which meant you were too busy to help around the house because of all of that partying? Because you were too hungover to babysit your brothers for an hour? Gosh, I guess you are blamed for a lot.

She stomps back upstairs and Chris tries to calm Jacqueline some more. She just wanted to be at the place Lauren and Caroline are at: mutual respect and enjoying each other’s company. It’s what all moms hope to have with their daughters.

Chris gets to the root of it: “You worked so hard for her, why don’t you get to enjoy the final product? You need to tell her what you just told me.” But Jacqueline can’t talk to her right now, she’s too angry and hurt. Chris leaves her to fix her face and goes back upstairs to pay the bill and put out fires.

He tells Ashley what Jaq just said, and she just can’t stop being an asshole. “I know I should change, it’s just not easy.” They head outside and Jacqueline and Chris hug Matt and Jodi, thanking them for trying. To the Texas family’s credit, they praise Jacqueline for doing the best she could with what she has. They all leave and Ashley hugs Chris. “I need a lot more than a hug.” He also says he’s imposing stricter rules, or “I’m throwing your ass out.” Whoa.

My revelation about Ashley: she only hears “I made awful sacrifices to have you, I could have been blah blah if you hadn’t been born” when her mom says how hard she worked as a single mom. Ooh, that’s not good. It’s not an excuse for Ashley’s behavior, but she obviously feels like shit about herself.

HEY WHO NEEDS SOMETHING FUN AFTER THAT? Kathy is going to have a Middle Eastern food/Inner Goddess party, and this is why I don’t have a lot of friends from the PTO. This kind of thing makes me itchy. Why the theme? Can’t we just get together, drink, eat, and laugh without the sitting on mirrors and writing notes to our spirit vaginas in sparkle gel pens?

Before she can have the party, though, she needs “Zen” Jen – Dina Manzo’s energist? THAT IS NOT A THING, wtf? – to clear the evil from her home. This hippie comes in, blesses Kathy’s bangles, and then pulls out a fatty (sage, or so they say) and “smudges” the house to cleanse it. Rich and the kids are horrified and amused at the same time, but Kathy gets emotional and just wants their house to be a sanctuary from the world. Rich tells the camera that he don’t believe in no voodoo or black magic, but if this is what his wife needs to make a catering business a success….eh.

Oh, and that the recipes she’s using are hers, not her mother in law’s or mom’s. Boom, Teresa! You feel that? Huh?

Ashley heads over to the Manzos to show Lauren all of the designs she’s not done. But she thought about doing it, doesn’t that count for something? I mean, guys, she’s been so stressed with the not having a job or and financial responsibility. It’s really hard, omg. Yeah, Lauren isn’t having it. She asked Ashley to give her designs a month ago. The opening is in a week, and she bets Ashley hasn’t even ordered the t-shirts yet, regardless of the design on them.

“Huh? T-shirts?”

GAH! Lauren hates having to be in the position of being the bad guy, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be it. On the contrary. She tells the camera in a voice over (and then tells Ashley) that she thinks her bratty cousin plays the “Poor me!” card all the time. And because there are just revelations and insight dropping like flies all over this episode, she tells Ashley that “You have no fear of disappointing your parents because you feel like you already have.”

But Ashley was too busy texting to hear.

Teresa and Juicy head to their lawyers to find out what Teresa can tell people, oh, and if her husband is going to jail or what. But mostly Teresa needs to know what she can “tawk about.” The lawyer pulls out all of his 50 cent words and man, if he’s trying to impress his clients, they don’t even know what those words mean. He tells Teresa that there had been an impression that she was a mini-Imelda Marcos. And we have that impression because we’ve seen her going shopping, Mr. Lawyer Man.

But! She isn’t involved in any of this, so she’s not liable (nor any of her book money, her tanning salon endorsement money, or whatever Bravo pays her.) That’s all she cares about. Then the lawyer looks to Juicy, who just wants to know if he’s going to prison. The lawyer straightens his tie, pulls out a boombox, and plays him this clip as an answer. HUH!

You know that fancy calligraphy font that people who want to look “elegant” use? Just get ready for Juicy to have that word carved in his ass by a Jersey version of Schillinger. He really shouldn’t have shown on national TV that he can do the splits, I’m just saying.

Nah, no jail time, he just has to pay the $260,000 owed on that fraudulent loan he pulled out of his ass. Yep, Juicy was found to be guilty of fraud. But Teresa tells the camera, “We won.” What, now? How is–? But you both–? Christ, I give up with these two.

Oh, and the attorney also said that the public auction (that Teresa claimed was never going to happen) will instead be a private sale of “items donated” by Teresa. Mm hmm. Tre tells us that she’d never leave Juicy over this, not like her cut-and-run Jewish friends. Wow, Tre. I think your Jewish friends would have been too smart to have married that mook in the first place.

We hear from the rest of the ladies on the verdict; it made the Franklin Lakes newspaper’s front page.

Jacqueline and Caroline: so he owes $260,000? Good. Pay up, hope you learned your lesson.

Kathy and Melissa: they both are glad for Teresa’s sake that it’s over, and if they still have food on the table, they’re going to be fine. They don’t want ugliness in her life, they both marvel that she’s been able to put on a brave face this whole time as well. See? They’re good people.

Time for the Inner Goddess party! Melissa gets there early in a classy Jersey Shore top (super tight, no bra – yep, those are fake tits, then – and backless with chains holding the sides together.) She compliments Kathy on all the food (there’s a ton, and it looks delicious.)

Then Melissa has to be kinda bitchy by telling Kathy that Teresa (who’s expected tonight) thinks Rich is into her, is “obsessed.” Victoria, Kathy’s daughter, is in the room. Come on, Mel. Kathy looks flabbergasted, but chalks it up to typical Tre behavior. She’s determined to not be bothered by weird things her cousin says. Rich has a container of holy water to give Tre, but the women all think that’s a bad joke that will make things worse. They’re probably right.

Caroline, Lauren and Jacqueline all get there, have drinks, and we have a rehashing of how awful Ashley is. Caroline would have popped Lauren in the mouth if she’d talked like that to her (and I think it’s easy for her to say that, as Lauren is a good kid, you know?) Caroline is also super excited about Middle Eastern food, as she loves it from her trips to Jordan and Dubai. (Dubai? Damn, that place is ex-pohn-sive.)

Jacqueline notices how good and sweet Victoria is and tries to not burst into tears, so she jokes about things, because that’s how she do. Caroline tells Jaq to knock the chip off Ashley’s shoulder with a clue by four. Caroline says she needs to be firmer, not argue back, but say, “Who do you think you’re talking to like that?” That’s my approach as a mom, too, so I agree with her. Never argue with your children. You argue with your equals, not your children.

They’re waiting for Teresa to arrive so they can eat, and of course, Teresa’s late. (Do like I do: perpetually late people get an early “arrival” time so they’ll get there when everyone else gets there.) Tre shows up, gives Kathy a cold greeting and starts bitching about the weather to everyone. They’re expecting a Norwegian to roll through this week, too. Ahem, a Nor-easter, Tre? Or are you really expecting a tall blond with smoked salmon, herring and capers? Because I’ll totally show up for that.

They all dig in, Kathy apologizes for things maybe being cold by now (hem hem) and Tre bitches to the camera about there not being “naked goddess men” to serve them food. So… is she asking for trans-gendered waiters? I don’t think she knows, either. She just wants to bitch about the party because it’s not hers.

Kathy passes out “goddess bracelets” (seriously, guys, I hate this kind of thing. Haaaate.) and then tells them each something nice about what Kathy sees as their inner “goddess power.”

Jacqueline: you always find the light in a situation

Caroline: admirable wisdom, strength, and you “tell it like it is.”

Melissa: talented and a great mom

(Teresa interrupts to say WE ARE ALL GREAT MOMS. Shut the hell up, Tre.)

Teresa: when things are crazy, you can put a smile on and bring it!

Teresa immediately takes this as an insult. Caroline talks REALLY LOUDLY OVER THIS TO CHANGE THE TOPIC, hey, Kathy? This is nice. And thank you. Also? Caroline apologizes for not giving her the benefit of the doubt in the beginning, because now she sees how likable Kathy is. (Pointed commentary for Teresa’s benefit, and I’m totally thinking that Caroline is going to 86 Teresa and befriend Rich and Kathy, because they don’t come with constant drama.)

Kathy takes the floor, thanks Caroline for this, says that opening a restaurant wasn’t the way to go, thanks to Big Al for the advice and Teresa cuts in with JUICY AND I ARE OPENING A RESTAURANT. Wait, what? Why haven’t we heard anything about this until now? And don’t you already have one? The one Juicy works at flippin’ the pizza pie?

Mel tells the camera, “If it’s not her moment, it’s no one’s.” And Kathy tells the camera that it’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with a fancy pizzeria. That’s a good one, Kathy. First, she’s right, Teresa having one doesn’t affect Kathy’s upstart business at all, and two, hahahahaha.

Tre then bitches to Jacqueline about the parsley in the “Shepherd salad” and how Italians don’t put parsley in their salads, that goes in the sauce. Can you just eat the stuff and shut up, Tre? Why don’t you have manners? They’re free, so there’s no excuse.

Tre tells them all about the verdict/judgment and then roundly turns on Kathy and Mel for befriending Kim G. Mel says look, I didn’t befriend her, I chatted her up when she was near me, but I never sided with her against you, I never talked shit about you, and besides you and I hadn’t talked in years, so how was I to know how you felt about it?

Teresa pulls out her Joe Pesci. “What do you mean we haven’t talked in years? Talked how, like long conversations? No, hush, yous guys, let her tell me, hadn’t talked how? Like you think that chatting at a Christening isn’t talking? Like, if words pass your lips that’s somehow not talking? Not talked how? Years what? What do you mean years?”

But instead of laughing and saying she’s just busting Mel’s balls, she means it. For Chrissakes, Tre, you are not buddies with Mel, give me a fucking break. Also, Mel’s right, here. Caroline starts the LOUD TALKING LET’S CHANGE THE MOOD HERE and Kathy tells everyone she has a final surprise: she pulls out a Tommy gun and mows Teresa down.

A belly dancer comes out to perform, hip scarves with jingle jangles are passed out, and Tre bitches about how this doesn’t turn her on. Caroline? Pop her in the mouth, you’re so fond of it. Also, Caroline, Tre, and Lauren don’t participate in the shimmy-shimmy shake, and I wouldn’t either because I’m allergic to that sort of “fun.”

The next day, Ashley graces the family with her presence, grabs CJ and forces him to hug her. They cut to them, and I’m telling you, CJ has his teeth gritted like I used to when forced to hug and kiss my great grandma that had a mustache and dipped snuff. Noooooooo! She tells CJ that she’s got big plans of moving, and maybe he could come see her? Because most kids her age move away, you see. UGH. Stop using the 7 year old as a shield, Wahshley.

Chris says, “So you’re going to California? What are your plans?”

Ashley replies, “I’m leaving in the spring. This was her idea first.” (Pointed look at her mom.)

“WHAT,” Jacqueline gets out. (Chris sends CJ out of the room, this can’t end well.) Jacqueline says, “I said you should stay here, go to school and work.”

Ashley, texting a thousand words a minute, says softly, “You’re such a bitch.” Text text text.

“You watch your mouth,” Chris warns. He’s not a big guy, but there’s a seriousness to him that makes me want to sit up straight, you know? Jacqueline says she doesn’t want to wait, go ahead and leave now.

Jacqueline leaves the table to sit a few feet away (out of slapping distance, I guess) and then continues to argue with Ashley. Ashley talks to her mother like she can argue with her. That’s Jacqueline’s #1 mistake, I think, engaging. Tell the child what’s what and that’s it. Walk away, enforce your words, but don’t bicker.

It gets ugly quick. There’s too much animosity, too much anger and hurt built up for anything productive to happen. Ashley starts sobbing when Chris tries reason, and she leaves. She goes to call her dad Matt. Jacqueline tells Chris that she’s ready to throw her out, and says they’ll give her two weeks, and Chris agrees. Ashley hollers from the other room, “MOM. Shut up!”

Oooh. Chris goes to her door, hears her slagging on her mom to Matt, and comes in. Ashley quickly hangs up.

“So call a friend to come get you. You got it figured out? Go.”

No one shits on a Laurita’s lady, even if it is her daughter.


Next Week: Hookah party! Good lord, how many episodes are they going to air? We’ve not even gotten to the beach party. Also: the Joes go at it, oh my god. That is going to get ugly fast.