Lessons In Friendship From The Real Housewives Of New Jersey

Friendship tips from the big-haired ones.


by Daisy Buchanan |
Published on

We don’t just love RHONJ for the really big hair - it’s also one of the most educational shows around. If you can name a friendship dilemma, Teresa, Kathy and co. will have written the book on it, hit each other with the book and then tearfully hugged each other with the book, promising to never fight again. No matter where you live or who your mates are, there’s a Housewife moment to help you bond better with your buddies. Here are our faves.

1. Exercise a little cruise control (or you’re going to need a bigger boat)

Season four saw the gang hit troubled waters as a pleasant, relaxing cruise down the Jersey coast suddenly became an opportunity for a gossip session more toxic than the contents of a mysterious barrel covered in skull and crossbones stickers, labelled ‘HAZCHEM’. What started as a series of digs at absent friend Caroline Manzo became a boat based, WWE style Smackdown with more shouting and bigger hair. There were moments when we were genuinely scared Kathy and Teresa were going to tumble into the sea, if one of them didn’t push the other. Maybe a friendly, peaceful octopus counsellor or a relationship expert lobster could have talked some sense into them from the sea bed. Practically speaking, if you find yourself in a confined space with an angry pal and on the brink of hair pulling, take a deep breath, and try to keep calm until you’re in a bigger room/back on land.

2. If you think they’re lying, make them touch a horse

Unless you’re mates with George Washington, and in that case, you probably have your own set of problems, you and your pals probably tell each other the occasional fib. The RHONJ might talk endlessly about how much they value honesty, integrity and ‘realness’, but we all know that sometimes they don’t say what they mean, or mean what they say. Enter Mr Ed, the truth horse, who showed the ladies how to share in Series 4. Melissa and Teresa managed to overcome some of their differences - well, not really, but they tried - in the presence of a trained professional and a spiritual animal. You might not have access to a therapeutic horse, but you always get your mate to admit what’s really going on when you help her walk the dog.

3. Pass the peace pipe

Usually, friends don’t let friends smoke, and we’d never recommend a bonding activity that’s bad for your health. But when Kathy, Jacqueline, Caroline and Melissa hooked up over a hookah pipe in series four, they all loosened up, relaxed and managed to enjoy each other’s company. When the Housewives get tense and torment each other, it’s usually because they’re under a huge amount of pressure as businesswomen, wives, mothers and people in the public eye. They get on best when they stop pretending to be perfect and start having fun, and in this instance, their standard snideness vanished in a puff of smoke. You don’t have to pass a pipe to reach out to a friend - sitting down with a cup of tea will do. Take your shoes off (especially if you favour skyscraper heels, like the Housewives) and kick back. Your friends will thank you.

4. If you bitch, you’ll get bitten on the bottom

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. And if you can’t not say anything at all, write down what you’re thinking in all its not nice glory, then destroy it. Put it in the blender. Lock it in a wooden box and hurl it into the river. Ice it onto a cookie and then eat it. Don’t tweet it. Don’t put it on Facebook. Don’t email it to anyone and for heaven’s sake, don’t give an interview about it. If you’re tempted to do this, think about poor Caroline Manzo who ended up reading all the mean things Teresa had been saying about her in a magazine. Grim, no? If you think about how much your words could hurt a friend if you told them how you felt to their face, remember the pain will be ten times worse if they hear about it from another source. Either get everything out in the open or sigh, bite your lip and promise yourself to STFU forever.

5. Have a friendship sausage fest

'A friend is like a potato, and needs to be accompanied by a delicious meat product,' is a famous, legitimate quote once uttered by a genuine old timey anonymous philosopher dude. We think. So when the Housewives were hit by Hurricane Irene in series four, they knew what they had to do to stay alive and keep their friendship alive - they drove to California with a carful of dried sausage! A road trip can cause tensions to run high, and people will get overheated, but it’s all about managing your emotions with the thoughtful application of snacks. Thanks to their Italian heritage, the Housewives know that enjoying food with your friends is a non negotiable right. We’d always suggest sausages, but any food will do. If someone is planning on getting a little bit too forthright, they can’t say anything mean with a mouthful of meat.

Follow Daisy on Twitter @NotRollerGirl

The all new series 5 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey lands first on Lifetime (Sky 156 and Virgin 242) from April 22 at 9pm.

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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