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Jersey Belle Recap: Southern Fried Birthday [Episode 5]

I am so lucky to combine blogging with my guilty pleasure of watching reality TV. I read all the comments and respond to most. Feel free to reach out to me. If you like fiction, I have two published novels: Three Days in Purgatory and A Reason to Run.

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This week we join Jaime explaining to Luci how she finally told her husband, Michael, about the baby and his reaction to her desire to adopt. Race is not a factor for either of the mothers, they just want what is best for the baby. Michael is considering the adoption, but has asked for a hiatus on talking about it for now. Good thing Jaime’s birthday is coming up. It’s her 37th birthday and she’s not exactly ecstatic about turning another year older. Luci and Jaime discuss the dinner party that Danielle wants to throw. Jaime says it sounds “riveting.”

Jaime gets a video phone call from Mary, her New Jersey work buddy. Mary wants Jaime to move back to Jersey. Jaime wants to move back to Jersey. And Jaime is formulating a plan to make this happen. In a private interview, Michael explains that he is a state lobbyist and obviously moving to New Jersey would hinder this. Mary asks what Jaime is doing for her birthday. When Jaime tells her about the planned dinner party, Mary gets a confused look on her face. She doesn’t understand why they don’t go “poppin a club.”

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Arden and William are driving on their property in a convertible, classic car from the 1900’s to look at where they will build their new home. Arden wants 7,000 to 8,000 square feet and at least five bedrooms. William doesn’t want this at all. He grew up in a house where it took five minutes to get a glass of water. (I guess the help was slow?) Anyhow, William wants something sufficient for their family, but not excessive. 

Back at Jaime’s house, they are decorating for Halloween. The family is having a good time placing the severed heads, gravestones and giant ghosts in the yard, when Jaime shares a ghost story with the kids that is very touching/sad/somewhat scary. Her father, the kids grandfather that they’ve never met, died on Halloween, 10 days after Jaime’s 17th birthday. For years this holiday was terrible for her, but now she likes to celebrate it once again with her family. 

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This is partly why Jaime is feeling so homesick. She misses the security and ease of life that she once had in New Jersey. Jaime also misses the diversity. She wants her children to know that there are others in the world besides white folks.

Danielle calls Jaime to discuss the birthday dinner party. Danielle is thinking fine china, crystal and truffled grits. Jaime is thinking family style, turkey meatballs and garbage salad. After Danielle tells her she’ll work on the menu, Jaime brings up that Thursday night might not work for her. She’s going to New York on business. Is Danielle’s party date flexible? Danielle tells her that the invitations have already been sent out, which is a nice way of saying, hell no.

Jaime is back home going over the schedule with Michael concerning the kids’ carpools, appointments and activities. She has moved the NY meeting to the day before the dinner party. Michael has no problem with stepping in and taking over. Jaime suggests that they rent a house on the Jersey shore for a year to see how they like it. Michael would like to rent a house in Pebble Beach for a year and see how they like that, but says he’s more pragmatic, and tells Jaime “if she can work it out.” This is Michael’s way of not saying no, without saying yes. 

Luci and Danielle are planning the party, cooing over a tiny sugar spoon, looking at the linens that have just returned from the dry-cleaners, and discussing the seating chart. Hopefully lots of alcohol is on the party to-do list. Luci wants everyone to be seated randomly, instead of in couples. Danielle ponders out loud if they should call Jaime and see what she wants or should they just do what they want. 

Jaime is in New York meeting with Michael Skolnik. He is the Political Director to Russell Simmons and Editor-in-Chief of Global Grind. Jaime pitches the idea for “Breaking and Entering” a “kick ass television concept” she wants to produce. “It’s like Inside the Actor’s Studio for a younger, urban demographic.” Michael likes the idea. They discuss Puffy and Andre’s participation. Michael asks if Jaime likes Alabama. She tells him that she wants out. Michael seems surprised that Jaime would actually want to return to Jersey.

Arden and William visit an architect. She wants a French house. He wants a manly house. She wants to entertain. He wants a fortress. I’m sure the architect will have no problems designing this house and working with these newlyweds. 

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Jaime is getting ready for her birthday dinner party with the help of Shelby and Jonathon, her makeup artist and hair stylist. She is wearing a white, maxi dress with black butterflies, and of course, her black leather jacket that Arden loves so much. (Shhh. Not really.) But Jaime looks pretty, and after prodding Michael, he tells her that, too. 

Guests begin to arrive at Danielle’s house. She has the coolest cathedral-looking front doors. Jaime arrives and is overjoyed to see one of the menu requests she made: chocolate salted caramel cake. Ten seconds after Jaime tells Danielle she will not curse in her house, Jaime tells a women that she “dropped shit” on her dress. Several guests are discussing a contest for who can set up Luci better. Her criteria is that he must be taller and older than she. Sounds like a pretty easy contest so far. Football is on the flat screen and people are watching, much to Jaime’s dismay.

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As Danielle ushers everyone to the dinner table, we learn that the guests are sitting randomly. Danielle checked her etiquette book which said to mix it up. There are small chalkboard place cards set out by each fine china place setting so guests know where to sit. Jaime doesn’t like that she’s not sitting next to her husband and they can’t play “pocket pinball.” After thanking Danielle for a lovely party, Jaime opens some her gifts. She receives cowboy boots, engraved linens, and a four tickets to New Jersey. By the time we do the math that four tickets is not enough for the entire Sullivan family, we learn that Michael purchased the tickets for Jaime and three of her friends. (Best husband ever because he has to watch the kids!)

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Jersey Belle

Jaime invites Luci, Arden, and Danielle. They accept. Jaime is excited for her Birmingham friends to meet her Jersey friends. Luci and Danielle are excited, too. However, Arden, not so much. Apparently there was a conflict of some sort between New Jersey Tracey and Mountain Brook Arden. Tune in next week to see how these women work it out – the Jersey way or the Mountain Brook way!

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