In case you missed part one, you can read it here
Where were we?
So now Tre is on the inside, and honestly, the book gets ten times more interesting. If I had to hear about how her “friends and family” were the most important people in her life one more time… I mean, aren’t friends and family the most important people in everyone’s lives? Doesn’t that cover basically everyone you care about? Who would say “acquaintances, enemies, accountants, and dentists” are the people they love the most? That’s like people who say that “having fun” is something they love. O rilly, is it? You are so unique! I don’t know anybody who loves having fun!
The rest of the book basically sounds like Teresa is reluctantly reading letters she wrote to her parents from this prison summer camp she didn’t want to attend. She was scared at first, but the women in her bunk were nice to her and helped get her set up. Mostly she was just worried about talking to her kids and Joe as soon as possible. Because friends and family are important to her. I will say, when Teresa talks about her kids, it is the only time she really gets some emotion in her voice. Who wouldn’t miss Milania?
I guess this part of the book is more interesting even though it still sounds like a list rather than a narrative because HOLY SHIT Teresa Giudice is actually in prison. When the Real Housewives of New Jersey started in 2009, if you would have told me that one day, Teresa and Joe would both be headed to the big house… well, now that I think about it, she did pay for all that furniture in cash in the first season and Joe’s crappy office looked like it was a Tony Soprano-esque front for some money-laundering scam. So maybe I wouldn’t have been as shocked.
While in prison, Teresa vows to workout as much as possible and… eat as cleanly as possible. I mean, Jesus Christ. I know that next time I want to really go ham on Whole 30, I’m going to knock off a liquor store so I can do it in prison, the Whole Foods-mecca that I know it must be. She (SHOCKINGLY) has a tough go of the healthy eating, although she does have a workout partner who sometimes makes her salads. Tre does manage to workout THREE times a day, for about 5-6 hours. She does yoga, exercise DVDs, jogs, walks and does exercise classes?!
Her job in prison was to wipe down tables after breakfast twice a week, for like, two hours. I don’t know about you, but does this seems kinda… alright? I know it’s prison, but goddamn. Teresa also literally lists the television shows she watched on the inside, which (naturally) was pretty Bravo-heavy. It’s hilarious, actually- she drops them a lot in reference to big events that happen, like “I was watching an episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County when the big fight broke out over the remote.” Somebody is working hard to keep those Bravo checks rolling in.
One of things that grossed Teresa out the most was how much sex all of the other inmates were having with each other. She said she knew it went down in men’s prison, but didn’t assume it wouldn’t happen in a women’s prison? Um… what?
Even with the hardships of the lack of quinoa and legit marinara sauce, Teresa managed to make a lot of new friends, including her bunkie, Tanya, who Tre knew was a Jersey girl because she had a spray tan when she arrived at prison. Because that alone should solidify a friendship for life. It’s like when I show up places with earrings made out of corn cobs because I am from Iowa.
Teresa credits herself with breaking up lots of fights, being the voice of reason during heated moments and always standing up for herself when other women challenged her (or sold stories about her to the tabloids).
I think Teresa’s lack of introspection and empathy really shows when she talks about the “worst parts” of prison: it’s dirty and gross and the food is awful. While I don’t doubt that all of that is true, she misses a lot of the overall problems with prison and what happens afterward. In Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman talks at length how the system fails to help the former prisoners once they are released, especially with finding housing and legitimate jobs. There is currently not a lot of help when it comes to reintroduction to society, and a lot of prisoners return due not to new offenses, but for violations of parole and other technicalities. Teresa’s worst part of prison? The pipes above her bunk were really dusty and she couldn’t get up there to clean them.
So, in the end, Teresa served nearly a year of prison and lived to (slowly) tell all of us about it. I am looking forward to Juicy Joe’s book in 41 months, now that he has started his sentence. But, what did we really learn?
Dear lord, I just read that there will be a sequel to this book. brb going to drown myself in Fabellini.