Oh Bethenny Frankel… I can’t quit you. Or decide if I like you. I used to love you, when you were the heart and soul of RHONY and were hilarious and vulnerable. Then you made a shitload of money, went (still going!) through a horrible divorce and seemed to morph into the most bitter, hateful and neurotic woman to ever grace a Real Housewives franchise. PLUS you went for Erika Jayne on last season’s RHOBH. That won you cool points with ABSOLUTELY NO ONE.
But let’s be honest here. I have read a shitload of absolutely awful books by housewives I’m pretty sure cannot read or write. Bethenny is a lot of things, but she is not stupid. I believe she actually wrote most of this book as it is absolutely her voice. And I am enjoying about 50% of her new radio show on Andy Cohen’s Sirius station (omg I love it, channel 102 y’all). Half the time, she is so rational and empathetic and gives great advice and tells hilarious stories. The OTHER HALF she is so freaking high strung and rapid-firing questions at people and inferring crazy shit from their answers. It legit makes me so nervous that I find myself squeezing the shit out of my steering wheel. Take it down a notch!
But then again…
SO I am torn on Ms. Frankel. She has been pretty batshit this season on RHONY, going SO FREAKING HARD at Countess Lu at that horrible “party” in the Berkshires. I mean… wow. This book came out last year, but I am sure Bethenny will be sending LuAnn a copy to teach her how to stop being such a drunken whore. Something we can all learn!
Onto the book!
Right out the gate, Bethenny says she is actually terrible at relationships. She is good at business but bad at men. Then she lists all of the mistakes she has made with past boyfriends, and they are real mistakes, not like usual Real Housewife mistakes where the women claim their only faults are that they are too trusting, generous or successful.
However, then Bethenny jumps right into telling us how all women and all men are in the most generic and clichéd terms you can imagine. Women are emotional beasts who cry their way through pints of ice cream while men are dummies who only like sports and are as uncomplicated as a cardboard box. It’s like listening to Kelly Kapoor from The Office explain gender politics to you.
This book seems to be a mix of tired gross generalizations and good advice, which is about what I expected. It does jump all over the place, from anecdotes from Bethenny herself, advice from her shrink, her opinions and stories from her guy friends. You don’t ever really forget that you are listening to advice from a woman with no educational background in psychology tell you how people are wired. It basically listening to a long, complicated episode of Sex and the City told by a Miranda who thinks she is a Carrie, but wishes to be a mix of Charlotte and Samantha.
One thing that Bethenny REALLY focuses on is PMS. Like, so so much. She brings it up several times in the first few chapters and then does a whole fucking section on it. Basically, women be crazy when Aunt Flo is in town, amiright?! I wonder what secret murders or whatever Bethenny has committed on her period that makes her talk about it so much. Basically, women should just shut themselves away when they are PMSing and hide from the world until they can be rational and not fucking psycho again. So, ladies, 25% of your life, you are THE WORST and will ruin all of your relationships if you let your uterus get its way!
One point she makes repeatedly is to try to come from a calm and rational place when discussing relationship issues with your partner. Also, focus on one issue at a time and don’t bombard your person with a million transgressions all at once or he will feel like he is being attacked. Which, yes, that is all true and good advice, but seriously? At any point in the entire time Bethenny has been a household name, has anyone ever described her as being calm? Or rational?
Up next, we discuss picking a good partner. I wish Sonja wrote a chapter on picking a good partner for one night stands. That I could get behind. One can dream…