Kristen is pouting and crying because Heather didn’t want to play with her. Sonja and Ramona think that Kristen is a bad hostess. Ramona has taken things into her hands, or the hands of the staff at Pawsup Ranch, and is putting out the trays of cheese, fruit and crackers along with cold wine, beer and champagne that she ordered. She wanted to leave Montana but didn’t think the ladies would like her flying off in her friend’s private plane again. This episode was made so much more fun just watching LuAnn and Ramona swigging Coronas straight from the bottle. Ramona either had too much to drink or really just tripped on a boot but she missed the ottoman she tried to sit on. Carole follows Kristen into the bathroom where the pity party is being held and Kristen is carrying on about how none of the ladies are showing any signs of gratitude for the wonderful trip she put together. Carole tells her not to let the other get to her – they huff and puff and try to blow you down but they forget all about it the next day. Kristen, in her talking head, wants the rest of the trip to be relaxing and drama-free. Too bad she didn’t heed her own words.
Here we go a’glamping
Kisten has arranged for a night of glamping but Sonja’s still in bed. Ramona goes into her room to wake her, something that the presence of a camera crew failed to do. Sonja starts packing and she thinks that one night in a tent is the equivalent of a week on a yacht off Monaco. Her bag is big enough to hold every pair of panties she owns – not wears, just owns. Her enthusiasm seems to build when she spots Adam and Eric, the two ranch hands at the glamp site. The ladies haven’t even chosen their tents when Kristen and Heather start a heated debate over the proper use of “bitch” – when and how it applies given the situation. This leads to another argument over Heather being bossy – Kristen thinks Heather is a bossy, control-freak and Heather thinks Kristen is projecting. Ramona is busily picking the tent with the King size bed and overseeing Adam and Eric. Now that she’s made herself the hostess, there’s no stopping her. When Kristen breaks away from her fight with Heather, she’s met by Ramona who lectures her about the fine art of hostessing. LuAnn thinks Ramona is acting like a diva brat and I’m finding myself agreeing with LuAnn, again. Who knew?
The group is sitting sdwn for dinner and Heather wanders in, obviously drunk. While Sonja and LuAnn bicker over candle wax, Kristen starts in again about Heather’s bossiness. Heather climbs up on her chair and announces “My name is Heather and I’m a bossy bitch”. So starts the meeting of Bossaholics Anonymous. Kristen won’t let it go, ignoring the fact that Heather is three sheets to the wind, because she’s determined to make her point. The problem is, while rattling off all of the things Heather is bossy about, Kristen says that she also bosses and controls her husband, Jonathan. Oh, Kristen – no, no, no, no no. You don’t bring up anybody’s marriage or husband unless they mention it first – and ask for your opinion. Heather is understandably angry now and Carole tells Kristen that it’s insulting to talk about someone’s marriage. Kristen loses it and starts ranting about how unappreciative the whole group is. She’s sick of hearing about the lack of butlers and points out Adam and Eric who are desperately trying to become a part of the landscape.
Husbands for Dummies, by Ramona Singer
Kristen leaves the table and Ramona follows her. This is where Ramona makes a fool of herself. You see, Ramona thinks that Heather’s husband is “vanilla”, that Jonathan hides in Heather’s shadow, all hunched over, meek and afraid of his wife. On the other hand, there’s Mario, who walks into a room like he owns it. Yes, we’re all painfully aware of how Mario struts his stuff. Kristen feels better having bonded with Ramona, even if it was at the expense of Heather and her husband. Perhaps Ramona should write a book about marriage and husbands.
The next morning, Carole and Heather, who’s hungover, talk about what Kristen said. Heather wants an apology and says that she has a hard exterior but she’s soft inside, like an M&M. Carole is the opposite, like an Almond Joy. I like them both. Kristen calls Josh to tell him about the Heather brouhaha. Her hopes that her husband will take her side are dashed, though. He tells his wife that Heather is a strong, successful, businesswoman and that being bossy and in control aren’t necessarily character flaws.
Rodeos and porta-potties
The women are off to the rodeo and they look more like Rodeo Drive – tourists… Sonja is in all her glory, eying each cowboy as if they’re her next victim. While some of the women watch the calf roping and bucking broncos, LuAnn decides to find the restrooms, only there aren’t any, at least not what she was expecting them to be. Bravo has filmed something that will live in infamy – the Countess using a porta-potty and asking for toilet paper. Priceless, really. Kristen thinks that LuAnn should write a new book about the experience and how to do it with elegance. Kristen and Carole are talking about Heather, and Heather and Sonja are talking about Kristen.
Hatchets, targets and apologies
Kristen has arranged a dinner for the ladies’ last night at the ranch. Before they can get into the wagon, Ramona and Sonja do their very best to insult more of the staff and embarrass themselves by discussing underwear. Sonja isn’t wearing any. No surprise there, so why doe she own so many pairs? Ramona is wearing a thong and lifts her skirt to prove it. When they arrive at the roundup wagon the women are greeted by Tom Black, a seven-foot cowboy and former professional basketball player. Kristen came up the brilliant idea that, before they have dinner, the women should learn how to throw hatchets and Tom is going to be their teacher. It shouldn’t be a tough lesson for any of them, given their skill at throwing daggers. It’s all in the wrist. While the ladies toss hatchets, Sonja is doing her best come hither routine with Adam, Eric and the two chefs.
Dinner is served and Ramona wants to negotiate a peace accord between Heather and Kristen. That seems a wee bit disingenuous seeing as how Ramona all but called Heather’s husband a wuss the night before. Heather doesn’t know that, yet and agrees to take a walk down by the river with Kristen. Kristen makes all sorts of excuses for what she said – “I had a really, really bad day”, “I missed the season finale of Game of Thrones”, “The ladies were mean to me”, “The price of a barrel of oil is ridiculous”, “I’m having another really, really bad day”. Heather asks her how she thinks Jonathan would feel if a group of women said that he was being controlled and Kristen says that he’d probably agree. Kristen doesn’t know that she’s digging a bigger hole. Heather just wants an apology in the form of two words – “I’m sorry”. Kristen says that she just did apologize. Heather sighs and says “Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Apology accepted.” She then tells Kristen that she can flip out on her anytime she wants as long as she says she’s sorry. See Kristen, that wasn’t so hard after all. Bossy, controlling women can have very soft centers.
Bravo went geo-caching and found Aviva, so she’ll be back next week. Get your doctor’s notes ready.
This week we’re off the Montagu estate – Mapperton in Dorset. In case you missed Julie’s explanation last week, here’s the ranks of English nobility (descending order from the crown): Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, Baron. Julie’s father-in-law is the Earl of Sandwich, a position created in 1660. Julie’s husband is the Viscount Hitchingbrooke, title given to the heir to the Earl of Sandwich. The manor house at Mapperton was built in the 1540’s & was acquired by the Montagu family in 1955.
This week begins with Julie & Marissa in a yoga session. We learn a little more about Julie. She’s from Illinois & didn’t know who her husband was when she first met him. She admits that her story is truly a fairy tale. Even though she’ll be a Lady, she’s still an American at heart. Julie is planning a weekend for the whole group at Mapperton. She tells Marissa that Annabelle has been friends with the family for twenty years. She’ll be the only one staying at the house. The weekend will include shooting, which Annabelle is very good at. Julie is a little worried that Juliet will not fit in with her aristocratic in-laws.
The Americans ride together, Caroline & Luke (her make-up artist) ride together, and Caprice & Annabelle ride together. Caroline hasn’t spoken to Caprice since Caprice turned down her baby-shower. She’s still upset with Caprice about that & knicker-gate. Noelle is still upset that Scot didn’t have things set to move on time. Marissa suggests that he probably wants to have everything perfect since this is their first place together. Caprice & Annabelle briefly discuss knicker-gate. Annabelle tells Caprice that she didn’t have to stick up for her, but that she appreciates it. Caprice was upset that no one was defending Annabelle, who wasn’t there to defend herself. Annabelle recommends that Caprice stop worrying about her relationship with Caroline & focus on having a good weekend. Juliet isn’t worried about seeing Annabelle. She jokes that she brought some panties to give to Annabelle during dinner. I really hope that was a joke.
The Americans are the first to arrive. As Marissa says, Mapperton is Downton Abbey. It is amazing! They are greeted by Lord Sandwich & Julie. Juliet immediately asks for the loo. I understand that she’s been in the car for a while, but it might have been better to wait until Lord Sandwich walked away. It’s apparent from the beginning that Lord Sandwich admires the history of the estate. Caroline arrives next. She’s familiar with the area because she grew up 20 minutes away. Caroline says that Mapperton is a formal estate, so you must have impeccable manners. She immediately tells the girls that Caprice called her out for not defending Annabelle. Juliet finds that inappropriate. Caroline tells Juliet that her message was correct, but that her delivery was wrong. I would agree with that. It’s pretty obvious at this point that Caprice is getting on Caroline’s nerves. Caroline notes that Caprice is always late & has to make a grand entrance. No mention of the fact that Annabelle arrived with her. Caprice & Caroline don’t greet each other. This is going to be a long weekend.
The first stop is the orangery for drinks. Caroline asks Annabelle about the ride with Caprice. Annabelle tells her that Caprice was upset that Caroline didn’t stand up for Annabelle. She describes Caprice as motherly, which Caroline finds amusing. She thinks Caprice is being inappropriate & patronizing. I liked these two better when they were getting along! Caroline explains her side of the baby shower story. She doesn’t think that you should ask someone to host a shower, then put parameters on it. Annabelle thinks that it’s stupid to fight over a shower & that they should both grow up.
Once they’re settled with drinks, Marissa jokingly asks if she can get adopted into the Montagu family. Annabelle points out that, in Germany, anyone can be adopted at any time in their life. Maybe Julie will adopt me? The orangery is a public space & is kept up by Lady Sandwich. The ladies meet Lady Sandwich for a tour of the gardens. Her love of the gardens is evident. Annabelle says that the gardens are some of the best in England. There are 15 acres of gardens on the estate, including the topiary garden & the rose garden. I am completely charmed by Julie & her in-laws!
Next on the agenda is clay shooting. Mike, the gameskeeper, takes the ladies out. Caprice & Caroline sit out. Caprice suggests that maybe Caroline isn’t a good shot & doesn’t want to embarrass herself. The claw are certainly coming out! Annabelle is up first & hits both clays. She gives the Americans some pointers. Noelle tries next, but closes the wrong eye. Lol! She looks like me trying to shoot! The ladies make fun of Juliet’s stance. At least she’s trying! Marissa is last. She hits a clay! In her TH, Juliet says that it’s typical for everything to go Marissa’s way. Hmm, jealousy? It was fun watching the ladies shoot. I have lots of friends that hunt, so clay shooting is something they do. I’ve been, but I’m a horrible shot!
After shooting, they return to Mapperton for champagne & snacks on the croquet lawn. Noelle asks about dinner & Julie tells the ladies that venison will be served. It sounds wonderful to me, but Juliet refuses to eat Bambi. Julie tells her that it’s not Bambi & that game is the best type of meat that you can eat. Caroline calls her out for inappropriately refusing to eat what her host is serving. Juliet likes to be honest & says that not everyone can handle that. I agree with Caroline – the polite thing would be to just eat around the venison. Later on, there’s a quick scene of the ladies playing croquet. They all seem to be enjoying themselves & having a great time.
After changing, the ladies arrive back at Mapperton for dinner. Caroline critiques everyone’s fashion: Juliet looks like a scullery maid, Marissa looks like she’s going to toga party, Noelle looks like she skinned Cruelle de Ville. Caprice says that Caroline’s outfit looks like she’s in St. Tropez & thinks that the dress is way too short. The ladies greet the Montagus & Steven, a very well-known cellist. Julie is taken aback when Juliet asks if he’ll play after dinner. I think it was an innocent question, but probably not the right time/place for a concert. This episode is all about who has the bad manners! When Caroline comments on Noelle’s dress, Noelle points out that not everyone would take the teasing as a compliment. Noelle tells us that, if Caroline didn’t like you, she wouldn’t bother teasing you. Annabelle tells Caroline that she looks like a bull fighter. As Juliet notes, it’s nice to see Annabelle relaxing a little.
The ladies go into the dining room for dinner. Lord Sandwich makes a brief toast, welcoming the ladies to Mapperton Manor. When the first course is brought out, Noelle realizes that she can’t eat it b/c she is allergic to shellfish. She passes her plate to someone else. Caprice isn’t having shellfish b/c she is a vegetarian. She explains that she receives soup b/c she informed her host of her dietary restrictions ahead of time. I can’t blame Noelle for not knowing that, I wouldn’t have thought to mention it to Julie either. Noelle heads to the kitchen to see if she can get some soup, but there’s no more so she asks for vodka.
Caroline & Juliet want a cigarette, so they pretend to go to the restaurant. Caprice, in her TH, calls out Caroline for preaching manners but leaving the table for a cigarette. Noelle joins them outside on a swing. Juliet & Noelle agree that they get Caroline’s sense of humor & sarcasm. Caroline gives Juliet some advice on her honesty – Juliet’s points are correct, but her delivery is wrong. Exactly what Juliet’s husband said. Caroline admits that she recognizes her own faults & can therefore see them in Juliet. Caroline advises Juliet to stop while she’s ahead, instead of making the same point over & over. Noelle sees Caroline forming a mini-me in Juliet. Back at the table, everyone is wondering where the ladies went. Marissa tries to cover, saying they went to the bathroom, but that doesn’t seem to work since 3 of them are gone.
Once they return, Juliet is shocked that she is served venison after voicing her opinion at tea. Caprice has a vegetarian meal, so she doesn’t understand why she wasn’t also accommodated. It probably has something to do with the fact that Caprice alerted Julie to her diet earlier, before the staff began preparing the meal. This isn’t a restaurant, you can’t just expect them to have whatever meal you prefer on standby. Noelle offers to trade some of her veggies for some of Juliet’s venison. Caroline is annoyed by the changing of food & that “prim & proper” Caprice is ok with it. Marissa also doesn’t think that passing food around at a formal dinner is appropriate. After dinner, Juliet asks Annabelle to speak with her for a moment. Juliet begins by telling Annabelle that she’s seen a different side of her today & may have misconstrued Annabelle’s actions at the 4th of July party. She feels that Annabelle was being judgmental. Annabelle tells her that she wasn’t trying to be judgmental & that they just don’t know each other well yet. She admits that she can be difficult to get to know. Juliet says that she doesn’t need confrontation, but that she will engage if her buttons are pushed. Annabelle says that she felt attacked when Juliet appeared on the street yelling. They agree that, in the future, Juliet will approach Annabelle calmly if she feels that her buttons are being pushed. They hug it out.
Marissa, Caroline, Juliet & Noelle return to the hotel, while Julie, Caprice & Annabelle have a night-cap. Caprice says that she doesn’t want to be part of a group that’s only about building up Caroline. Annabelle tells the girls that Juliet gave her a list of things Annabelle had done to her. Juliet tells her group that Annabelle acknowledged her fault. Typical housewives – one conversation, two vastly different stories. Caroline tells her group that she has pushed the Caprice drama under the rug for the weekend, but that it was very awkward. Caprice feels that Caroline has embraced the Americans. It seems that she’s feeling a little left out. Next week we’ll see some drama between Marissa & Juliet, Noelle gets put in the middle of Caroline & Caprice, & Annabelle may take a spill.
Happy Birthday NJBev