Real Housewives of New Jersey: Bad Parenting 101

Hey y’all.  I’m behind on my recaps, partially because I’m lazy, but also because I was so angered watching this episode of The Real Housewives of Jersey that I didn’t want to revisit it to recap it.  Just to let you know, I don’t recap every episode – only the ones I have something to say about. So, I give you, Season 4, Episode 3 – or, more appropriately, Bad Parenting 101:

We open at another weekend at the shore.  Juicy Joe is doing pull ups in the doorway of his beach house and carving thick slices of sausage like a cave man.  All 5 feet 3 inches of him.

Jacqueline and Chris come over and Jacqueline, being the Bobbi Brown that she is, starts to do Teresa’s makeup.  And can I just make a request that Jacqueline stop dressing like Kelly Kapowski?  If it’s not the high ponytail, it’s the acid-washed jean jacket over a print dress.  C’mon.  The 80s are behind us, you are a mother and need to start dressing the part.  Pain in the ass…

Teresa, Teresa, Teresa.  I truly believe that she is mildly retarded, and I’m not saying this to be disrespectful to those who are mentally challenged.  But I think it’s the truth.  She did an interview for In Touch magazine about her husband’s incarceration and apparently…her brother.  Because everything in Teresa’s life has to come back to the relationship she has with her brother.  The woman could be getting her yearly pap-smear and she’d be complaining about the fact that her brother didn’t call her beforehand to wish her good luck.

Anyway, the article apparently asked Joe Giudice if he thought Joe Gorga would be there for his sister while he was away.  Joe’s response was that “Joe Gorga would not to shit for Teresa, no matter how much help she may need.”  Then Teresa claimed that in “looking out for her brother,” she decided to warn him that his wife would leave him if she met someone with more money.  How is that helping your brother, your relationship with him, or the situation?  To me, those are fighting words.  But Teresa’s too stupid to realize it, OR she believes we’re too stupid to realize she’s intentionally stirring the pot.  Sigh.

Now we make it over to the fat farm, I mean the Manzo house.  Little Lauren is mixing up her Perricone meal-in-a-bottle diet drink, and she’s not happy about it.  She tells Caroline that her hair looks like a big rag dog.  Diet or not, if I spoke that way to my mother, you wouldn’t see me for the rest of the episode.  I would be in my bedroom, with the door locked, in fear.  But I don’t blame Lauren for lashing out at Caroline – after all, she basically called her daughter  a big fat slob on camera.  I’d have anger issues too.

Lauren claims that she’s already lost 5 pounds and fit into 2 size 8s when shopping.  Since we’re playing the fantast game, if Lauren is a size 8, then I’m going to be a size 4 from now on.  She must have been talking about shoe size.

Then, Lauren drops a bomb.  In her talking head interview,  she says that she wants to be rich and successful because her brothers are becoming successful. She also says that her whole life, it’s been “Chris and Albie, Chris and Albie,” and she feels that if she were skinny, she’d feel more accepted by her family, too.  To me, that is a giant red flag.  Caroline, in a separate talking head, says that it must be hard for Lauren, having two handsome and successful brothers.  She then says – wait for it – that she doesn’t understand why Lauren feels she’s not worthy.

Are you kidding me?  First of all, Chris and Albie are not exactly Fabios (could you imagine sleeping with Chris?) and secondly, Caroline, have you watched your parenting over the last 3 seasons?  For God’s sake, Lauren is better of killing herself than subjecting herself to the constant belittling and passive aggressive digs that you give her.  Caroline tries to redeem Lauren, saying that she has “a spectacular personality and a great boyfriend.”  I’ve never heard Caroline tell her daughter that she’s beautiful.  That should be the first thing that a mother tells her daughter, even if she’s not a size 2, even if she doesn’t have Charlize Theron’s face.  Disgraziato, Caroline.

Back on the shore, we see Rosie (Kathy’s sister) babysitting the Giudice and Gorga kids while the heterosexuals go out for a sunset boat ride.  The kids are running around like wild dogs – riding bikes, picking their noses, saying they have to poop, and running in the streets.  Now if I were Rosie, I’d tell them all to make sure they stayed in the middle of the street, and go inside and pour myself a giant cocktail.  Instead, she chain smokes on the porch.  Good compromise.

Back over at the farm, Lauren is making dinner for her boyfriend and family: bread-stuffed chicken for everyone else, and plain chicken for herself.   And by the way, I don’t understand why, if Lauren is on a diet, the whole family can’t eat sensibly, too.  I haven’t seen the Manzos eat anything remotely healthy over the last 3 seasons, and they wonder why Lauren has been gaining weight.  Not rocket science, people.  Formerly Big Al comments that if Lauren and Vito have boys, they are going to be gigantic and will be able to kick the shit out of Chris and Albie’s future sons.  I think he initially meant this as a cute joke, but then he added on that “those kids are gonna be HUGE!”  This of course sets Chris and Albie into hysterics, with Caroline cackling like a hyena in the background.  Albie says that Lauren and Vito’s kids are going to look like koala bears who can’t control their arms and who breathe heavily. Nice.

At this point, Vito looks clinically depressed, and Lauren’s fur goes up immediately, as it should.  What a thing for a father to say, especially to a daughter who has just embarked on a grueling weight loss program.  Caroline, in another talking head, says that beauty is from the inside, and that yes, Lauren is beautiful, but she needs to lose weight.  Why the but?  How about “Lauren is beautiful.” Caroline – how about telling your ugly husband and sons to shut their mouth?  And for what it’s worth – you and Al took the easy way out for weight loss: you had the band surgery!  How’s that glass house holding up, you disgusting old shrew?  Don’t marry Luciano Pavarotti and expect to have children who look like Gisele!

Lauren says that she’s everything that Vito doesn’t like in a girl – Vito looks tall, athletic women and Lauren, well… isn’t.  She then says that she doesn’t mind if he looks at other women.  This is another red flag for me.  I mean okay, I wouldn’t mind if my significant other occasionally looked at other women, but I don’t think I’d initiate the sniffing around myself.  And for what it’s worth, from what we see, Vito loves her as she is.  If she doesn’t love herself, that’s one thing, but don’t project it onto your boyfriend.  Take ownership over your emotions, Lauren.  She is the textbook case of low self esteem, and it’s sad to watch.

Then, as if this scene could get any more uncomfortable, big Al decides to discuss Albie’s new beard – I mean, girlfriend.  Or, as he likes to call her, “a nice young lady.”  What 26 year old says that?  Albie busts out a picture of “Lindsay” to show to his father – which is basically a picture of her boobs in a very tight, white shirt.  After establishing his well-hidden hard on, Big Al passes the phone over to Vito, who proceeds to look at it for a good 10 minutes with his jaw agape.  I’m pretty sure that Lindsay was ordered from a call service or was found by trolling Myspace.  She looks like a Hooters chic.  Poor Albie.  Please, please come out of the closet.  Do you know how many hot guys there are waiting for you?  Hot, hot gay guys that I wish I could date myself!

I take such issue with people who are insensitive about weight.  I grew up with a very active mother who wasn’t skinny, but wasn’t ever heavy, either.  Unfortunately, I don’t take after her.  At all.  I, like Lauren, am my father’s daughter.  I’m big!  Everything on me is big – my feet, my boobs, my head – everything.  I gained a lot of weight as a teenager, and my step-father (who also hit the genetic jackpot in terms of weight) was less than accepting, and was never afraid to say so.  And I have to tell you – all the little digs really hurt.  Did it scar me for life?  No.  But it does hurt.  I feel for Lauren.  I secretly hope that she becomes more successful than her entire family, while Chris and Albie continue to breastfeed menopausal Caroline.

Anyway, then we get to the solstice party – Caroline, Melissa, Teresa, Rosie, Kathy, and Lauren.  Everyone is wearing white, and all the guests are given bindis to help opten their “third eye.”  It all starts when Rosie pulls Teresa aside and asks, in her baritone voice, why she’s been talking shit about  Melissa.  For once, I’ll agree with Teresa, who responds that it was a conversation between her and her brother.  I don’t know why Rosie had to butt in.  It’s none of her business.  The whole evening turned into, as Kathy said, “one big game of telephone.”

It’s not even worth recapping what happened – basically, Teresa and Melissa had a huge argument over what was said about Joe’s going to jail.  Teresa won’t acknowledge that her husband went to prison, at least, she refuses to use the word “jail,” which is funny in and of itself.  Kathy says that in Jersey, people don’t use the word “jail” – instead, they say “going away” because apparently, that’s “old school.”  To me, that’s like not being able to say the word sex.  It’s like “we did it!” “you did what?” “you know, IT!” C’mon.  These are all grown women and they all know that Joe went to jail – who the hell cares if you say the word?! Melissa wants an apology for Teresa calling her a gold-digger, rightfully so. Teresa, of course, won’t admit that she did anything wrong and therefore feels she owes no one an apology.  Lauren chimes in that “if you want something from Teresa, you have to suck on her ass before you get it.”  Um, interesting analogy?  And what a pleasant thing for a young woman to say at a party.  She must be really, really hungry.  This is the biggest problem I have with Lauren – not her size, but her attitude and mouth.  She’d be better off spending the time and energy she’s using on her weight loss to learn some etiquette.

All in all,  it was another dramatic fight in a parking lot with screaming and name calling, and nothing resolved.  The solstice party was anything but zen, and looked like a huge waste of time and money.  Teresa and Melissa argued in the parking lot for what seemed like ages.  I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for these people to just enjoy a nice evening.  I guess if they did, we wouldn’t have a reality show.

Now, I’m exhausted.  And I just had my wisdom teeth removed, which was far less painful than watching this episode!

Categories: Television

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