‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: Parent traps

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Growing Up Jersey”
November 8, 2017

Thanks to a horrific natural disaster and a criminally inefficient federal relief effort, we begin this episode with a title card noting that this episode was filmed in Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria and that you can help relief efforts by texting MARIA to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross. Nearly two months later, our fellow Americans still need our help.

But back in May, or whenever this was filmed, the island was a vacation paradise, where Teresa took her four figlie and padre for a little getaway. From what we see, despite all her big talk of zip lines and snorkeling, the famiglia never leave the resort pool except to take a photo shoot. There, the ragazze are terrors, mouthing off to Teresa and refusing to cooperate, while in the background, Nonno groans¬†like a wounded animal in disgust at Teresa’s parenting. Or lack thereof.

Later, Teresa asks her padre for some parenting advice and he tells her what EVERY OTHER PERSON ON THIS PLANET HAS ALREADY TOLD HER: she needs to discipline her rotten children more. And then he begins crying about how much he misses his wife. Again. Which is fine! and completely understandable! But it does not mesh with Teresa telling us to our faces that she grew up being taught to hide her emotions. I’m Italian, and I’m here to tell you we are not a stoic people.

Oh, and there’s a lot of Teresa trying to talk to Mortadella about her feelings about Meatball being in meatball prison but Mortadella would rather not spread her most vulnerable feelings all over TV, BUT THANKS, MA.

Back in New Jersey, Folletto has become unreasonably protective of little Stugats, now that she is rounding the horrible corner that is puberty. He won’t let her spend the night at her amicas’ houses anymore, he doesn’t allow her to go to parties where boys might be, he doesn’t even allow her to harbor private crushes. When Melissa points out that he’s being unreasonably strict (and all of this moments after cheering on his younger son for having 3 “girlfriends”), Folletto asks Melissa what she would have him do, give Stugats birth control pills?

Because those are your choices: never allow your 12-year-old daughter to go to another slumber party or give your explicit permission for her to become sexually active.

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Later, Melissa takes Stugats shopping and tries to encourage her daughter to talk to her, but Stugats is reluctant because she is understandably frightened of her padre’s response. Melissa, realizing that having her pubescent daughter keep secrets from her is not ideal, orders Folletto to hang out alone with Stugats and be nicer. And he does, promising Stugats that he will not be quite so strict so long as she promises to be honest with them.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Elsewhere, Siggy has hormone pellets embedded into her ass, which is a thing, apparently. Dolores comes along as Siggy’s support paisana where she spends her time bitching loudly about Margaret, Danielle, and Teresa having the coglione to talk merde about her relationship with Frank when Danielle has been engaged 79 times and Teresa’s husband is in jail and has been accused of cheating on her too many times to count.


Meanwhile, Margaret Sr. encourages Margaret Jr. to call Dolores to try to hash things out with her sans Siggy, which she does, and Dolores agrees to meet her for lunch to talk things over.

At lunch, Dolores is loaded for bear and opens by explaining that she is still angry at Margaret for calling Siggy “Soggy” in Florida. Margaret defends herself by arguing that it was a joke, and, anyway, Siggy way overreacts to EVERY. SINGLE. TINY. STUPID. THING. Take the tasting party, for instance: Margaret thought she and Siggy had made nice and the next thing you know, Siggy is screaming and sticking her tongue out at her, and for what?

To Margaret, Dolores refuses to acknowledge just how pazzo Siggy was acting, insisting that she sees absolutely nothing wrong with Siggy’s behavior. In her interviews, however, Dolores is like, “Yeah, of course Siggy is pazzo. She had to get butt plugs to deal with it. BUT I WILL NEVER ADMIT THAT TO MARGARET,” before then complaining that Margaret calls Dolores a kiss ass.

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Margaret wonders what set Siggy off at the tasting party, and Dolores explains that Siggy was upset because Danielle, Teresa, and Margaret were questioning and judging Dolores’ relationship with Frank. Margaret is like, “Let me stop you right there: I was defending you, and saying that your relationship with your ex should be emulated not attacked.” This disarms Dolores who opens up about her arrangement with Frank, and how she did everything she could to give her children a famiglia, even if it meant being neglected socially and having to watch Frank go out with his girlfriends.

In response, Margaret opens up about her relationship with her own ex: she married Jan when she was 24 and inherited three step-children whom she loved dearly, aged 8, 14, and 16. She and Jan also had a son together, but when everyone grew older and left the house, her marriage fell apart, and she met Joe and fell in love. As a result of leaving Jan, she hasn’t spoken to two of her children in six years, and it breaks her heart. Margaret cries in front of Dolores, and Dolores is like, “WHOA. MAYBE THIS MARGARET ISN’T A LIZARD DISGUISED AS A PERSON, COMPLETELY DEVOID OF EMOTION AFTER ALL.”

Later, Siggy and Mr. Siggy meet Dolores and Frank but not Dolores’ boyfriend — who is definitely real so stop asking about him — for dinner where Dolores tells the group about Margaret’s sad famiglia situation, and Siggy is all, “OH, SO SHE CAN CRY ABOUT A DECISION SHE’S MADE BUT I’M NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT ANYTHING?” Which, no, what? Dolores suggests that they all try talking to one another and clear the air, but Siggy declares that IT IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Dolores remains insistent and Siggy is finally like, “fine fine whatever let’s stop talking about her and talk more about my butt pellets.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays on Bravo at 8/9 CST.

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