Bravo TV, Reality TV

#RHONY Sneaky Sonjas: Friends with Detriments

This season of Real Housewives of New York (RHONY) has just begun and already, Dorinda is dealing with the same problem that reared its ugly head at the beginning of the last. She and Sonja had made progress with regard to their social dynamics at the end of last season, but we’re back to Dorinda having to process the jabs sent her way. They are the type of remarks one only feels the impact of later on. Dorinda compares this to realizing she’s been stabbed after the fact when the blood is dripping. Sonja has this down to a science: She knows how to slyly throw something seemingly subtle out there that one only slowly begins to process as a biting insult. In the coming attractions for the next episode, we see that Dorinda has hit her boiling point and like Mount Vesuvius, she erupts.

While Luann is also quite peeved with Sonja, she seems to have more patience and the ability to move on more quickly. Then again, Lu and Sonja may have a more balanced dynamic, so Lu’s able to take the good with the bad. What’s been “bad” for Lu – and cast mate Tinsley Mortimer as well – is that Sonja says ludicrous, speculative (untrue) things behind her back. Sonja’s penchant for gossip and tendency to shoot her mouth off to press members makes her a difficult person to trust.

Many of us have had that friend – or frenemy –  who brings more stress to our social lives than joy. A member of my high school group gave off the impression of being sweet, but she knew exactly what to say: “I should tell you this….but….” she would frequently begin. It was never anything you would really want to hear that ensued. She also could be really kind to your facem but then you would quickly discover all of the awful things she said to others about you. When she tracked me down on Facebook years later, I warily accepted her friend request only to discover she was gossiping unkindly about my posts and pictures to a mutual acquaintance. I could have let this go, but once I bust someone for gossiping unkindly, I don’t excel at dismissing it. Instead, I promptly de-friended (that Facebook term) and had no further contact. She reached out via email to see why I had taken those measures on social media and I decided to skip the reply process.

While it is easy to cut out crummy friends from our social lives, we’re not filming a reality show that requires we spend time with people we’d prefer to abandon. I’ve heard critique of Dorinda’s impatience with Sonja, but after interviewing Dorinda last season for Huffington Post, I’m well aware that she has reached a breaking point with her passive-aggressive, cunnning cast mate. I look forward to Wednesday’s episode to hear Dorinda speak more of her mind. I truly wish she had been by my side in high school.


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