With the Real Housewives of New York back on our airwaves after the snoozy season of Beverly Hills (did anyone else find it to be SO boring?), I figured it was time to dip my toe into the pool of crazy that is Ramona Singer, she of the crazy eyes and drunken heart.
Ramona has been entertaining us all since the first season of RHONY, back when she was still smugly married to Mario, the Countess was still all uncool and Alex and Simon made viewers hide behind their throw pillows in second-hand embarrassment. I love the bat-shit crazy housewives the most. Their lack of self-awareness (even after like seven seasons where they look like legit lunatics) makes me SO happy. So of course, the perfectly titled Life on the Ramona Coaster sounded fantastic.
So imagine my surprise when, 10 pages in, I turned to my husband and said, “well, I hate it.” The first part is all about Ramona’s awful childhood, which is sad and terrible and the worst. Her father was verbally abusive to Ramona and her siblings, and both verbally and physically abusive to her mother. In a very odd writing style (LOTS of present tense, which is awful), Ramona details these horrific events, while jumping back and forth between the last time she saw her father in the early 2000s and her childhood.
BUT this sad section is not without its charms! Ramona blames Mario’s VAIN (her words) mother for the reason she never had another child because she was ill and lived with them. She was “as much work as another baby.” How DARE SHE. In a very odd stint of seemingly misplaced anger, Ramona is also VERY MAD at her abusive father for not complimenting her holiday decorations during their last Christmas they had together. She mentions this over and over again. It’s the only time I’m really getting any ramotion from her.
We jump ahead into Ramona’s career, where she is EXTREMELY successful, which we know is true because she tells us. She does something with fashion, where she buys unsold clothes and re-sells them, or something. I don’t really know because apparently I am not a business genius, like Ramona.
Onto the part of the story any of us really give a shit about (and the most Ramona-y part of the book so far): how did she end up on RHONY? Well, she isn’t totally clear on that, but she basically throws SO much shade at every other original cast member. One thing I have learned about Ms. Ramona Singer is that she literally cannot say a nice thing about another person. If she does, it is either a back-handed compliment or couched in her really saying something wonderful about herself. There is a still a lack of self-awareness, but it’s a lot less fun when it’s less pinot grigio-soaked. I would do anything for a mid-book chapter written by fellow RHONY cast member Sonja Morgan.
Ramona basically says Jill is needy and shrill and wants to be included in EVERYTHING. Bethenny is smart but cold and hurts poor Ramona’s feels a lot. The Countess is a try-hard who was unhappy in her marriage. Originally, Ramona was so uncomfortable around Alex and Simon that she could hardly look at them, which, amen sister.
Like Teresa Giudice before her, Ramona claims that she didn’t want to do the show and quit, but realized it would really help Mario’s business, Cheap Plastic Jesus Crap Inc. or whatever, if she was on tv. I don’t understand why the most obvious fame-hungry monsters always claim they didn’t even WANT to be famous, but they just HAD TO. Which… thanks, I guess?
That takes us to the middle of this story, which took me approximately 35 minutes to read. I REALLY wish this were an audiobook, I feel like I would get a lot more Ramona-ness out of it. The writing style is very straight forward and basically just very boring. Here’s hoping that the next half actually brings some Ramona Coaster magic.