S6 Episode 14: Liars, Gossips & Hypocrites, Oh My!
“There's a name for you ladies, but it isn't used in high society -- outside of a kennel.” – The Women (1939)
The three kinds of people I dislike most are Gossips, Liars and Hypocrites. Hmm. This episode doesn’t bode well for some.
Sonja is a Ding Bat
The Women is one of my all-time favorite movies, you really should watch. It's based on a play by Clare Booth Luce about a group of high society women (one is a Countess!) in 1939 New York. They're all socially friendly. They lunch and shop and get facials, and seem content in their champagne bubble until a manicurist at a salon starts a rumor about one of them. It leads to the divorce (and downfall) of nearly all of them. There follows cattiness and martinis. You get the idea.
Gossip should come with a Surgeon General's Warning: “Caution: Gossip can be hazardous to your health. It can ruin careers, and break marriages. It's known to complicate a friendship. It really pisses people off.” This episode is all about gossip. I find it nearly impossible to watch. I spent a large part of my adult life in and around one of the most gossiped about families on the planet and saw first-hand how it can destroy reputations, wound friendships, and hurt families. My threshold for mean gossip is nearly intolerable.
The thing about rumors is that everyone believes something about them, even if they are completely unfounded. There have been studies about this. As a rumor travels, it grows shorter and more concise and then it is much more easily told. After five or six retellings, regardless of how untruthful it might be, a rumor sounds completely plausible. (Remember the childhood game Telephone?)
So. Did I believe Sonja was drunk in a bar one night in Los Angeles? Absolutely. Did I believe she and Russ, my ex-boyfriend, hooked up? Either while we were together or after? Nope. But Sonja sat in her hangover robe on that rooftop with her trademark “dingbat” look and proclaimed that Russ did "flirt with her” in St. Barth's.
And that's all it takes to fuel a rumor. (It's hard to imagine she even remembers St. Barth's. She was drunk most of the time. In fact, just after meeting Russ, she did a strip tease with a floor lamp, who was probably flirting with her, too. Lol.)
I’m not the kind of girl who fights over a man, especially an ex, but I am a girl. So even though Russ and I had broken up nearly a year earlier, when I hear this rumor it’s still ... peculiar. So I did what any normal girl would do, with Kristin’s mouth still agape, I called Sonja.
I asked her what any normal girl would ask, what the f**k? Because where I'm from, women have each other's backs. They don’t perpetuate gossip about their friends. Sonja denied that it happened but didn’t apologize for letting Sotoko repeat it while she giggled.
I also called Russ. He didn’t remember meeting Sonja at all until I reminded him she was the drunk-er blonde in St. Barth's. He thought it was ridiculous.
Then the reporter in me kicked in. I wanted to get to the bottom of this rumor so I paid a visit to the Sotoko. I booked the appointment under my maiden name hoping to get some info before she recognized me. Picture me with a scarf tied around my head and sunglasses. After this gig's up, I'll be a spy.
Sotoko was open and charming and we had a nice chat about friendship and gossip. She told me Sonja already knew what she was going to say and I told her the story of The Women. When she asked me in her charming broken English, “Am I manicurist?” I said yes and when she asked what happened to the manicurist I told her a white lie to make my point: “She was never heard from again.” Her eyes got big, and I left her a great tip: “Don’t repeat gossip. It will hurt your business.”
Russ says he never banged Sonja and I believe him but hey, things happen. If that rumor is even partly true it says nothing about me and everything about Sonja. None of it good. Sonja says people are always taking advantage of her except, well, when she is taking advantage of them.
And Kristin, whether it's true or not, what’s so funny about Sonja sleeping with my ex-boyfriend? What’s so titillating about implying Luann cheats on her boyfriend? I’m curious if I would find it just as funny if the rumors were about your husband? About Sonja’s infamous Ex?
Another “#WTFbyBravo” Moment
No, Aviva is not disgusted by her father’s behavior as she claims to be. If she were, she’d keep him off television. She'd be horrified, he'd be in a closet. Instead she celebrates him. She thinks gross sex talk makes an interesting storyline. Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee, with a sex-addict crazy father!
The problem is he’s so over the top, it's uncomfortable to watch. I love a good drama -- whether a screaming match or a hair pulling -- but I’m with the audience on this one: get George off the TV. It's sickening to hear an old man sexually degrade women in all kinds of vile ways.
George isn’t a pedophile, (still I wouldn’t want my teenage daughter anywhere near him). He might be a necrophiliac; he’s definitely a pervert, and also a liar. Last season George swore on his daughter’s good leg that he never had a boner for Sonja, that it “never happened.” This season we hear differently; that he did but it was Sonja who backed into it. Now George swears on his daughter's good leg and her children, and his story once again turns out to be untrue. You all heard the young lady at lunch. She didn't go back to the house. She looks absolutely perplexed talking to Ramona. I believe her and I feel for her. She has no idea what damage has been done to her reputation by Aviva and her dad. Word on the street is that Miss USA didn’t take the news smiling…..stay tuned.
Oh yeah, and George? Get off our TV.