I confess, I’ve distanced myself from the party scene a bit. I’m a person who doesn’t like things to ever feel too forced in my life, and I’m at a point when I need to quiet things down a bit, not out of necessity, just because at the time it feels natural for me. Honestly, as cool as getting dressed up and going out to parties can be, in the core of my heart I’m just a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who enjoys sitting on the floor with her three year olds.
On the flip side, as much as I believe in a natural flow to life, I also thoroughly believe in signs, and anytime I get too far off the course of this crazy “other life” I’ve fallen into, there are mystical powers that set me back on the road to wherever it is this is taking me. My story of the Real Housewives of New Jersey season 6 premier party is one of those cases.
I didn’t really intend to go to this premier. In the past my prime connections to the show have been Caroline Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita, and Kathy Wakile. This is just the way things have always worked out. Remember, I tend to follow the natural flow of things…I can’t do a lifestyle of resistance. With those three ladies uninvolved I sort of felt removed from the show. Then friends of mine bought me a ticket making it impossible for me to say “no” (don’t worry I got them back by showing up with a lovely gift for their recent wedding anniversary).
My expectations of this party were quite different from the, for lack of a better word, reality of it. Having attended Kristen Taekman‘s Real Housewives of New York premier party I’d assumed this would be similar. Passed hor d’oeuvres and a screening, but considering the RHONY party was invite only, and the RHONJ one was open to anyone who purchased the $100 ticket benefiting Dina Manzo‘s Project Ladybug and the Deborah Hospital Foundation I knew it would be on a more chaotic scale. Chaos, for sure ensued.
The party was hosted by Velocity 1 Media. The venue, Pure in Parsippany, NJ, was a restaurant lounge located in a Holiday Inn. I have to say, once inside it felt more like a city lounge than one in a chain hotel off of NJ’s Route 46. After waiting outside in the humidity (one staffer said the girl’s were “fashionably late”) the masses were finally let inside, but instead of the all out come one come all mingling I’d experienced at Taekman’s soiree, the feel was very segregated. One side were the masses, and the other, behind chains and very serious bouncers, were the Housewives and their guests. That’s where one could find Dina, Melissa and Joe Gorga, Amber Marchese, and Untying the Knot star Vikki Zeigler. Further back from that, in a private room, was Teresa Giudice. She spent the entire evening either in there or stepping out to take pictures with the fans who were lucky enough to get passed the guards…and those guards were strict.
Fortunately for me, I’ve been to enough events that I’ve made friends in this industry who were already passed the proverbial velvet ropes. They let the guards know I was safe to let in. Not that anybody looked menacing. We all know HW fans can be quite intimidating on Twitter, but in person we’re mostly regular housewives and fabulous gay men, hardly a threat.
Even with my ability to get into the VIP area and freely rub elbows with Melissa and Joe, there was something about Dina that made me wary of approaching her. For one she was mobbed by fans on the occasions that she did come out into the general admission area, for two, I’ve historically done much press with family members she’s notoriously on the outs with. I honestly was concerned about how I would be received. Then, that fate that I mentioned before took charge in the form of an old high school classmate who recognized me from 20 years ago. Was she a Housewives fan I wanted to know. Actually she works for Dina. Hello divine intervention! I got my Dina introduction. She is sweet and so petite. Really folks, she’s adorable!
When I asked Dina how it felt to once again be experiencing premier night as a Housewife she was enthusiastic. “Tonight it feels amazing!” she gushed. We’re here raising money for two great causes, Project Ladybug being one of them, and meeting the fans has always been my favorite part of this. Everyone is so nice!”
As the hor d’oeuvres eluded me (I don’t eat chicken so I kept trying to get to the sushi tray, to no avail), I knocked back my complimentary Fabellini. Feeling a bit more relaxed after my drink (I clicked glasses with Joe Gorga) I scored some interviews with a few of the Bravolebs (stay tuned for those in the coming days!) and waited for the big screening. I still was thinking about how during the RHONY party everything stopped and we all watched the show together (lucky me on the sofa with the cast). That moment never came. This was the big disappointment of the evening for me. As I was Instagramming party pics for you all, you were live tweeting the actual show that to this day I still did not get to see. Unless I wanted to watch it like a silent movie playing in the background it just wasn’t going to happen.
The other thing I feared wouldn’t happen would be some time with Teresa. I get terribly nervous about this all the time as I know many of you are die hard Tre fans. Honestly I always try my best to get to her. She’s not that easy to get access to. Fortunately when things got a bit calmer (meaning the general population was thinning out) I got a moment with the star. She looked absolutely stunning in a fitted strapless floral dress. However, the evening had taken its toll on her. She was adamant that though she would take a picture, she wasn’t doing any press. The scenes in the premier of her recently deceased father in law really got to her. “It’s been an emotional evening for me,”she said when she spoke of seeing him on the show. She also was looking for her cellphone, and anyone who has ever misplaced their phone knows what an “Oh sh*t” moment that can be. However, she was gracious and poised as she always is when I see her at an event.
Her brother on the other hand was willing to chat. Joe assured me that he and his sister are no longer feuding. “Things are good, very good,” he said about their relationship and though there will be friction on the show it will be the “young blood” against the seasoned cast members. “We’re back to normal.” And what is normal in RHONJ land? Well, when asked to describe the season in one word he said “You know how it is…DRAMA!”
What did you think about the Real Housewives of New Jersey premier episode? Share your thoughts below, your email will never be sold or publicized.