Luann has finally taken the plunge
The Real Housewives of New York City - Season 9
Credit: Heidi Gutman/Bravo

For all the girls’ sour talk about Luann’s relationship with Tom, the reality — amplified to the nth degree by their sad post-wedding celebratory gathering in New York — is that she’s in the most stable relationship of any of the Housewives right now. So, what does that say?

Think about it: Bethenny’s divorce is getting more bitter by the minute; Tinsley’s dating a man half her age with zero intention of taking it anywhere real; Sonja’s waffling back and forth between Rocco and Frenchie; Ramona’s got, erm, something going on with a fella named Jim, but her treatment of him indicates it ain’t gonna last; Dorinda’s been on perpetual pause with John and seems to be getting nowhere fast; and Carole just kicked Adam to the curb precisely because she doesn’t want a real future with him. By comparison, Luann’s marriage to Tom is the realest deal, which is kind of funny considering how much everyone has dogged on it all this time.

Let’s walk through what went down on this week’s romance-themed installment of RHONY, shall we?

The episode begins by pinning down the exact moment when Frenchie becomes more than just a bed buddy for Sonja… breakfast. She got into this thing thinking she was getting a “come at 11, leave at 7” (her words) sort of deal, but now he’s figuring out her favorite egg recipe and gabbing about Tinsley’s makeup regimen. They’re still not ready to call it a relationship yet, despite Tinsley’s judicious prodding, but they’re also not sleeping with anyone else. Oh, and Edgar? Yeah, he knows about Sonja’s relationship with Rocco, which means she’s got some deciding to do as to how she’d like to navigate these murky waters. Playing the field isn’t always pure fun, gals.

What is fun, however, is when Carole gets sauced on an ice luge. For Bethenny’s holiday party, the usual drama queens (that is, Ramona and Luann, but especially Ramona) are MIA, so the festivities go off without a hitch as she serves the ladies caviar and dazzles everyone with her custom caricature-themed holiday ornaments. The conversation isn’t completely devoid of salt and tea, of course. Dorinda’s still reeling about Ramona’s rude destruction of her room in the Berkshires, and everyone else shares their two cents about Ramona’s ridiculous behavior of late — Carole’s point about her being in the sophomore slump of singledom rings the truest of all, frankly. But overall, it’s an appropriately festive soiree that makes Ramona’s day out with her daughter’s friends seem especially pathetic.

See, Avery’s pack of fellow 20-something pals are generous enough in spirit to indulge her mom in a nice dinner out, and now that they’re of age and can speak her language (that is, naming different types of booze by heart), she seems to think these are her new besties. Seriously, though, she says they have a “synergy” that she doesn’t have with her own girlfriends and tries to invite them over for girl time at her place. Even if you don’t ordinarily feel sorry for Ramona, this is a pretty pitiful exchange she shares with these young women.
(Recap continues on page 2)

In other news, Luann surprisingly did not allow the RHONY cameras to attend her nuptials and instead only showcases portions of her union through her own personal footage. Not only did she look exquisite and happy and upbeat and all the things, but she got to edit her own narrative about the wedding with gushy asides like, “I knew the first week I was going to marry him,” and, “The pearly gates opened and my father dropped [Tom] into my lap.” Of the Housewives, present and former, only Dorinda and Jill Zarin were present for the Palm Beach ceremony, and Dorinda made a pretty strong case for why she shouldn’t have been invited when she showed up to the bridal party prep room late and tipsy. Whoops.

Two weeks later, Dorinda’s finally over her tiff with Ramona enough to invite her over for lunch. While Bethenny and Carole, who are ordinarily two peas in a pursed-lip pod, aren’t quite leveling with one another over their varying levels of cultural appreciation in Chinatown, Dorinda and Ramona are getting along swimmingly as they gaze up all the phone photos Dorinda took at the wedding. Ramona seems genuinely jazzed about how lovely her friend looked on her big day, and chances are, all that genuine affection comes from the fact that she’s stone-cold sober. Not that she’d ever admit there’s a difference between her pre- and post-drink behavior, of course.

And while Sonja might not have wanted to verbally label her relationship (or whatever you might call them) with Frenchie/Edgar before, her actions are speaking much louder than her words because look who’s just moved in! Yep, not only is he unpacking at her place now — much to Tinsley’s chagrin — but he’s also already comfortable enough to do some redecorating and to suggest that they should adopt some children together to resolve their age differences. Wowza.

All of these threads tie together, in the end, with Luann and Tom’s second reception function — a post-wedding celebration in the Big Apple where even the cast-offs from their original invite list get to join in on the fun. Bethenny’s totally uninterested in the event — even more so when she’s the first to arrive, even at 15 minutes late — and Dorinda’s had her fill of D’Agonisto wedding fun as well. She tries her best to recoup the terribly slurred speech she made at their engagement party but lands squarely on her face in front of everyone, proverbially speaking, of course.

But it’s not nearly as embarrassing as the man-parade the rest of the girls are putting on right now. (Well, except Carole. She says she and Adam are still in love, even after he moved out, but he’s a no-show for this event, so it doesn’t look good.) Sonja shows up with Frenchie and introduces him to everyone in rather despicable form — quipping about how she usually never lets him out of the bedroom. Meanwhile, Ramona’s got Jim on her arm, but she won’t go into specifics about what they are or are not doing together right now. And Tinsley’s still dating her 23-year-old bowling alley buddy who seems remarkably uncomfortable around everyone else, including her.

All in all, as weirdly as Tom cradles Luann’s neck to kiss her and as suspect as his stories about her homemade pasta might be, Luann and Tom walk away from tonight looking like the two with the strongest heads on their shoulders — which is a feat indeed, considering everything we know about these two.

The look-ahead for next week, however, looks a bit less promising for the D’Agostinos, as Luann’s gonna have to make nice with some woman named Missy whom he knows from the Regency … you know, the same place where all his smooching got him into hot water in the first place. Dun dun dunnnn…