We’re going back to the Berkshires! Remember all the fun we had there last year with Ramona’s meltdown? Now she claims to love the Berkshires. And the fashion! There where moments during this episode when I didn’t know what era we were in. Kristen and Heather definitely need to learn the art of conversation, specifically when to STFU. The only disappointment this week is this was only part one of Dorinda’s birthday party.
The estate is gorgeous, expansive and decorated for Christmas. There are purple couches and teal couches and rooms that are painted in bold, shiny colors. The house without a name was a wedding gift from Dorinda’s late husband, Richard. Later in the episode, Carole comes up with the name, Blue Stone Manor, that Dorinda likes, though Ramona tried to say it was her idea.
The girls begin to arrive, Luann and Ramona are first, successfully not killing each other during the limo ride over. Carole, Kristen, and Heather arrive next. Dorinda says she hasn’t heard from Sonja and we know Bethenny can’t make it…or can she?
Ramona asks Kristen dating advice: if a guy accompanies her somewhere is it considered a date? Kristen says yes. Ramona doesn’t like this answer. A clip is shown from four days earlier when Ramona asked her business partner, Peter, to come to Dorinda’s birthday dinner party. Carole inquires if they have kissed, but Ramona doesn’t kiss and tell. Carole then offers the cliché, don’t mix business with pleasure, but Ramona is insulted by this advice. She was born knowing this rule.
Ramona and Kristen sit down in the teal room and Ramona regales the slightly altered version of Dorinda’s other birthday dinner last week. Kristen agrees that John is too flirtatious and makes her uncomfortable. Ramona’s question is why would Luann bring this up at a beautiful party, because Ramona would NEVER do that. Kristen recommends settling this privately with Luann, but leaving Dorinda out of it.
Having heard her name, Dorinda pops in the room and asks what’s up. Kristen tells Dorinda that she and Ramona were discussing John’s touchy-feely hands-on approach with women. Dorinda gets mad and calls Kristen out by reminding her she seemed perfectly happy doing the shimmy-sandwich with John and Sonja. Dorinda blames Kristen for being coquettish with John and making her look like an ass. Kristen is shocked that her innocent little comment has caused so much strife. Really, Kristen? Pretty is NOT smarter than you think!
Heather walks in the room and asks what’s going on. Ramona’s nervous energy kicks in, she starts dancing and informs Heather that everyone will touch bodies tomorrow night. Dorinda explains for the 19th time that John is a good guy with a kind heart who didn’t mind when she cried over Richard. John even cried with her. Choked up, Dorinda says that it sucks being 50 and starting over. Ramona makes a personal promise to try to like John for the sake of Dorinda.
The ladies go to dinner at the swanky Red Lion Inn. Everyone got the “wear black” memo except Luann who is wearing a royal blue ensemble and black choker, similar to a saloon girl from the old west. While dining, the conversation shifts to Bethenny, and what is her damn problem anyway? Ramona says that Bethenny isn’t a girls’ girl. Luann says that Bethenny had to scratch her way through life. They all deduce that trust is Bethenny’s main issue. After Carole tells of the teary-eyed furniture shopping trip, Kristen asks if they were real tears or crocodile tears like Ramona cries. Kristen has now successfully pissed of two people in two hours. However, Heather is just not feeling it. Plenty of people have crappy parents and everyone is going through something, including her. Heather recently lost her nanny of nine years. The horror! The horror! Heather just compared a nanny quitting to a terrible childhood. The takeaway is, according to the ladies, everyone endures tragedy, but you’ve got to get up, get out of bed and take a shower so you don’t smell like a goat.
The next morning, Sonja arrives overdressed and without Dominik. Heather and Ramona are twinkies in matching leopard-fur vests. They go to town to shop and so Ramona can bring up Luann’s poor timing from last week’s dinner party. Luann handles it with class and says it was the champagne talking and apologizes for pulling a “Ramona.” Sonja is telling Dorinda and Carole that men don’t like it when you pull out a penis shaped vibrator. Go figure. Dorinda isn’t interested in the conversation and walks off. Carole says she shouldn’t knock it ‘till she tries it.
The men start to arrive. Sonja greets John with a kiss in Dorinda’s bedroom wearing lingerie. John asks Dorinda if it’s all right that he touch Sonja. Yay! He’s learning. Dorinda says okay, but no boobs. Sonja forgot her dress and borrows a silver, silk charmeuse dress from Dorinda, but doesn’t wear it. Luann’s outfit has moved her from the 1800’s to the 1920’s, black lace gloves included. Surprise, surprise! Bethenny shows up. Dorinda is honored Bethenny made the effort. Everyone is happy to see her except Heather. Heather quips that Bethenny should have arranged to keep her daughter with her kids at the Red Lion Inn even though all the children are asleep. There might be nine ways to skin a cat, but Heather only knows one way, her way.
Carole goes to Luann’s room to show her an article the producers she found on the internet. It says that Peter used to date Mario’s mistress. Awkward! They share this private and upsetting info with Heather. Peter is last to arrive at Blue Stone Manor. He has know idea what he’s in for.
After Dorinda is lovey-dovey with touchy-feely John at the dinner table, John informs Bethenny, wanting to impress her, they have a sushi chef preparing dinner. Bethenny explains that she can only eat shellfish, and Heather goes into helicopter mom mode, trying to solve the problem. When Heather’s attempts to “tend” to Bethenny are rebuffed, Heather becomes offended by the snub. Heather complains to Carole about Bethenny and Bethenny complains to Sonja about Heather.
Clearly an attempt to normalize the room, Dorinda asks Peter how he and Ramona know each other. Because he’s nervous (I hope) Peter says that Ramona used to take care of him when he was a young boy. Congratulations, Peter. You’ve just called out your date as older. Heather tells Peter that they have a real journalist in their midst who looked up the goods on him, but wants to save it for dessert. I hope they’re serving something in a cold dish for Heather.
Peter tries to continue the conversation on his life, but Bethenny interrupts by telling each of her wine glasses how much she loves them. Peter tries again and explains that he used to be in construction, but then switched to the restaurant business. Bethenny then asks the gentleman sitting next to Sonja if he would like her to stab him with a butter knife. Heather tells Sonja and Bethenny that she’s going to separate them if they can’t behave. Bethenny asks why, there are like 20 people at the table and more than one conversation can exist. Heather tells Bethenny it was joke and to lighten up. Note to Heather: the definition of a joke is that more than one person must find it funny. Even Jason looks baffled by his wife’s behavior. Birthday girl Dorinda explains succinctly that Heather goes from teacher to preacher in a New York minute. Heather tells Bethenny that she can say whatever the “eff” she wants. So there.
Bethenny, with misty eyes, explains that she doesn’t want the attention. Bethenny would prefer to curl up into a ball and cry, but can’t because she’s at a dinner party trying to make an effort – and for what? Heather gets up from her chair and tries to extract Bethenny from hers, but Bethenny is having none of it. Heather goes back to her seat, sits down in a huff and says, “Fine!”
Tune in next week for part two of Dinner for Shmucks: Berkshire edition.
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.