Oy gevalt. This antisemitism story line has been going on way too long. And I’m Jewish. I feel the way 98 percent of the podcast hosts I’ve listened to do: Let’s not water down antisemitism by calling something THAT when it obviously isn’t.
Here’s what else happened in tonight’s episode:
Lunching Where We Left Off
Dolores, Marge, Tre and Melissa are lunching together and have just finished discussing Siggy’s annoyance with Marge. For some reason, production hastily ushers these ladies to their next activity and Margaret’s not thrilled since she didn’t finish her food. Tre says her stomach is bigger than her eyes, a nice followup to last week’s comment about Marge and Siggy mixing like “oil and vinegar”.
Tre, Dolores and Marge are off to cook with a professional Italian chef and first need to shop for “ingredientses.”
Get Your Cookie on a Bicycle
While the other ladies focus on food, Melissa is meeting up with Danielle and Siggy for a bike ride. There are only 2 days left to this trip and Mel wants them to be exciting and memorable. Since Melissa is operating her bicycle under the influence (of a glass of wine), this particular jaunt should be pleasant for her. Siggy declares that today she’s an “honorary Italian”. Seeing them take off on those outdoor bikes, I’m once again reminded that these broads have way better joints than I do.
Eggs In a Bag?!
Leave it to #ClassicMarge to highlight how eggs come in a bag here. Dolores needs to brush up on the language, so Alberto The Chef suggests they request items in Italiano at the local market. “I think in my other life I was an Italian lady who stayed home, cooked and cleaned,” says Dolores. Also important to note, I like what Marge is wearing, but is it negligee?
The Cutting Board Provides Fiber
Tre, Marge and Dolores are cooking with Alberto. He teaches them that if they create a flour funnel and put eggs in the middle, it makes pasta. Obviously, I don’t cook because I have no way of verifying the legitimacy of this first hand, but I’ll trust Alberto. “This is why I don’t cook for shit,” says Marge echoing my sentiments.
Alberto tells Tre that no, there are no machines for cooking pure Italian style.
“People really didn’t marry me for my cooking abilities,” remarks Marge. She adds that if she provides a little piece of finger in this Steak Tartar, people shouldn’t be upset, but it’s actually the cutting board that falls victim.
As the ladies are slicing and dicing and chopping, pieces of it crumble into the meat. Teresa is particularly into it and remarks “This is the only piece of wood I’ve seen in a long time!”
Wood fiber in food is not entirely exclusive to RHONJ. There has been news about wood fiber in bread...and even in chocolate! https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/07/10/329767647/from-mcdonalds-to-organic-valley-youre-probably-eating-wood-pulp
The fiber in wood - cellulose - is very different from the ‘fiber’ that we humans consume. Here is one guideline for fiber in humans: 30 to 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women between 18 and 50 years old, and 21 grams a day if a woman is 51 and older. Another general guideline is to get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet. - Harry Kiesel, MD, Internal Medicine, Hahnemann Medical College (answering the question on Quora.com)
Breaking from biking, Siggy, Melissa and Danielle are having a picnic. Melissa pops the cork on a bottle of wine and asks Siggy about the talk she had with Danielle. Siggy makes it clear: “I have issues with one person. Her name is Margaret” and she feels bad about attacking Danielle. Siggy explains to both Melissa and Danielle that she can’t get over Marge’s “meanness.” Siggy turns particularly Soggy at this point too.
Melissa tries to explain that Marge speaks sharply in general, but is not malicious. “She’s not an anti.....(what is the rest of that word?) sem....” stumbles Melissa. Siggy has found Marge to be insensitive and then uses the line Kim D. invokes in interviews: “She came at me first.” (Kim D. has notoriously stated “I don’t come for anyone unless they come for me.”)
Danielle has some new compassion for Siggy, but generally agrees with Melissa. “It’s never a meal unless we spill some wine” she says as she does just that.
Wine Spritzer as Pre-Dinner Shvitzer
Tre, Dolores and Madge are at Alberto’s house setting the stage for dinner with the rest of the ladies. They ar about to eat the Steak Tartar With Ground Wood Chips as entree. Tre wants to spray the other ladies with wine when they arrive. How pissed would Ramona Singer be if she were there. Remember how livid she was when water splashed her hair on RHONY?
Walking on Egg Shells (From Bagged Eggs, That Is)
Marge is anxious about this dinner in light of the anti-Semite accusation. “If I say, I think pasta’s delicious, Siggy might say ‘oh my god, I choked on pasta once, she’s trying to kill me.”
Raise a Glass to Tre-dom
Tre toasts to friendship but this is naively a too hopeful gesture. Siggy is uncomfortable and trying to put on a brave face, desiring to eat without confrontation. She sticks with what she unknowingly thinks is a SAFE subject, the food.
Danielle always has to discuss sex so she mentions that Marty (fiance number 20) eats really well and has a lot of sex. Siggy is perfectly fine discussing sex because she’s got MICHAEL CAMPANELLA!! (I mentioned in my last recap that I disconcertingly find him physically attractive.) In their testimonials, both Marge and Melissa sum up the awkwardness. “The last time we were together we were thrown out of a restaurant,” says Marge. “Margaret is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t,” explains Melissa.
Alberto presents the fibrous steak.
As “Trigger Words” Go, ‘Hitler’ Is An Understandable One
The tension in the air is so thick, you can cut it with the knives Siggy wants to remove from the table. Marge and Melissa step out so that Protege can consult with Mentor about the present situation. “Are you OK?” Melissa asks Marge. Margaret is understandably scared to be jovial because of the antisemitic thing. “Perk it up,” advises Melissa. The ladies reenter the dining area to Siggy discussing the situation. “I have my reasons to feel the way I do,” Siggy’s saying, “Hitler is a trigger word for me.”
Tre gets this and says “Jail is a trigger word for me.” Hence all the euphemisms: Being away. Going to Camp... Enjoying time to do yoga and get incredibly buff.
Marge internalizes that this is a trigger word and offers her own contrite sentiments. In a testimonial, she says: “I will never use that in her presence again.”
She says to Siggy: “I would never know that would hurt you to the core. That wasn’t my intention. Had I known it would hurt you, I never would have used it.”
To viewers, this is a heartfelt apology, yet Siggy will later say (in media interviews) that Marge never apologized. Hello, Siggy: We just saw the first of (what I predict to be) 5 apologies.
Siggy actually does the best thing she can possibly do in that moment and remains silent. Taking time to acknowledge an apology beats 1) hastily accepting it 2) blowing up angrily and temperamentally because you’re not ready to accept it.
Joe Gorga Takes Charge
Back at Teresa’s house where Nono’s watching the girls, Joe has arrived to fix a leaky sink. Milania has rubber gloves on and is in the kitchen helping Nono out, but when Joe asks her for a dry rag, she gives him her #BestMilania. “Get it for yourself!”
You think that’s cool? Joe asks, unused to a young girl mouthing off in this manner. Sorry Joe, but this is why we love Milania. I’m rooting for this girl.
Joe asks all the girls to gather in the living room because he has plans to step in and shape them up a bit. Tre is too nice to these kids. When I step in, it’s my rules. While Adriana bounces around in his lap and Gabriella looks like a terribly bored supermodel, Joe tells them “Listen to your mom. She’s going through a lot and working hard trying to support you guys. It’s not easy. There are days you guys are like the devil.”
He tells them that their mom’s birthday is coming up and they should do something nice for her. He’ll help out. They suggest a surprise party.
#ClassicMarge Gets a Classic Bath Scene
We’re given the beauty, self-care montage.
You know the kind: Dolores applying mascara, Teresa with eye shadow before the mirror, Danielle in pretzel-twisting yoga positions. In this montage, it is Marge who is bestowed a bubble bath scene. I’m cursing myself that I wasn’t able to snap a photo! At the same time, I would’ve felt creepy doing so.
Her hair is in rollers as she’s served coffee by a hotel staff member who appears all-too-happy being on camera in any capacity. Marge is taking a much-needed break from all the hormonal outbursts and she’s unwinding.
Discussing the #MadgePology
Siggy declares she slept like a baby and she’s with Dolores when Danielle walks in to the hotel room. “Are you off to a bar mitzvah?” Siggy inquires upon seeing the dressy Danielle.
No, the shoe factory with Marge. Danielle is obsessed with shoes and even broke out her kitten-heeled Manolo Blahnik’s for this trip. Furthermore, Danielle has a walk-in closet back at home that’s essentially a shoe shrine with the most enviable collection. (Reminder me again how Danielle became so wealthy...)
Danielle tells Siggy that she thinks Marge’s apology was really sincere and she was surprised Siggy didn’t acknowledge it verbally the prior evening.
Dolores rolls her eyes at Danielle’s attempts to “counsel Siggy”, but Dolores is going to finally cut Danielle slack since Danielle’s now on good terms with Siggy. For her part, Siggy can agree that the apology was a good one.
“Massimo, Call me!”
Marge and Danielle are headed to the little shoe factory that couldn’t.
Seriously, the place is teeny and takes 3 hours to produce a single pair. At a price-point too high for The Macbeth Collection. ...And severely lacking in good high heels to boot.
Before they arrive at this factory, they jointly recap the night before. “She aligned me with a hate group,” says Marge, “I don’t need an apology. I need her to acknowledge I’m not (antisemitic) for everyone else to hear” – AKA the viewing audience.
Once at the factory, Marge hits it off with a worker named Massimo. He says his long-term boyfriend is going to be jealous. “Do you think I can ‘turn’ you?” Marge jokes. At the end of their bantering, she says “Massimo, call me!”
“Ellow? Escuzee, Ellow. Bonjourno.”
The above statement is Melissa’s horrifying attempt to speak Italian. She’s out on the town with Dolores and poses in a phone booth so Dolores can snap a photo of her for social media.
Melissa says she can’t blame Dolores for wanting to hang out with men. After this crazy trip, she’d rather be hanging out with Joe herself. Dolores talks about how it’s a tad bothersome that her boyfriend David doesn’t seem to miss her when they don’t speak for a full 24 hours. What Dolores should remember is that this is the same boyfriend who is TOTALLY FINE with the fact that she lives with - and spends all her time with - ex husband Frank. It’s really not rocket science.
The Siggy I Used to Love and DO Miss
I’m candid about the fact that I used to love Siggy Flicker. She was an amazing addition last season and was an incredible panelist on the Wendy Williams Show prior to that. Every once in a while, the old Siggy comes back. I particularly enjoy when she’s a guest on podcasts because she’s captivating and endearing.
In this scene in particular, we get to see more of what I really love about Siggy. While standing before a picture of Jesus, she tells Tre to look at all that time she missed with her mom differently: It was time for her kids to spend with Nona. This is the Siggy that Tre loves too. She internalizes Siggy’s words. Tre has thoughtfully brought Siggy to this spot because of Siggy’s earlier rage over missing the wreath ceremony on the Boca beach.
Being Called “Soggy” is Better Than Being Called an “Adultery”
They discuss what’s going on with Margaret. Tre tries to explain that being called “Soggy” is nothing akin to being labeled “an adultery” by Kim D. At some point later on, the RHONJ producers tell Tre the term is actually “adulterer” because she gets it right in her testimonial.
At the end of this scene prior to the commercial break, I could swear it’s Jacqueline Laurita’s voice announcing “Coming up next...”
Siggy Addresses the Apology
In the episode’s final scene, the ladies are having dinner in a private hotel room with freshly-cut flowers on the table. It’s nicer than any restaurant we’ve seen them in. Melissa reminds everyone that they have an early flight in the morning (So, be on your best behaviors, she’s practically pleading) and proposes a toast to an enjoyable and memorable evening.
Siggy interrupts the meal to say “ Before we do, I’d like to say to Margaret that last night’s heartfelt apology was sincere and I thank you for that. I needed time to process it. I’m still upset. I don’t think anyone should ever reference Hitler outside of history class.”
Again...Exactly where was Siggy during the last election?
“I know you don’t,” Marge responds. “I said I was sorry, but do you genuinely feel I was anti-Semitic?!”
“I wanted to believe with all of my heart and soul you aren’t,” says Siggy (stretching) “But it’s not out of the sky. I was attacked by you and then the Hitler statement....”
She concludes with the following: “If I hurt your feelings, I apologize for that.” With that final thought, she dismisses the whole hurling of “anti-Semite” claim as something one does. She’s articulating that she’s only sorry this could have possibly hurt Marge’s feelings. It’s a foregone conclusion to Siggy that this amounted to character assassination.
For the first time ever, Margaret is really quiet.Then she proceeds to explain how damaging this sort of statement actually is, that she has friends and business partners who are Jewish, and that pretty much everyone she interacts with on a daily basis is Jewish.
Siggy finally concedes: “In the heat of the moment, I said that. I don’t think you’re anti-Semitic.” Siggy’s contention is that Marge is “anti-Siggy” which Marge may be after tonight’s dinner.
Marge asks Siggy if she thinks she’s always compassionate, if she always keeps to her own rules.
“I don’t if I’m being attacked,” states the self-appointed Relationship Expert.
To Marge, this is another excuse. “Everyone is human and if you give yourself a pass, give others a pass,” she says, “You should have known me enough to know I would not hurt you on purpose.” The reality of this whole situation may be explained well by what Margaret says next in her testimonial: Siggy has no choice but to say sorry because she knows the other ladies have bonded with Margaret.
For now, the ladies seem willing to call a moratorium on murdering one another.
“Who would’ve thought that you two would be sitting next to each other?” Siggy asks Teresa and Danielle.
Marge uses this opportunity to invite the women to her lavish 50th birthday party which will consist of a Studio 54 disco theme that is 70’s style. Siggy seems highly enthused about this, so she’s saying she’ll be there too. Which means that her bosom buddy Dolores will be there as well. I just have the oddest niggling of intuition that Siggy is going to pull something and NOT be in attendance.....
I hope I’m totally wrong here, but the only thing we can do is stay tuned!
Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays at 9 PM on Bravo.