By ANDREA HIGBIE
Would you rather be condescending, dismissive, haughty and vile or be accused of wearing Herman Munster shoes?
On "The Real Housewives of New York" last night, Alex McCord invited the Countess LuAnn de Lesseps to coffee, and within moments they picked up where they'd left off in Morocco. Having had some time to marinate in their own furies on the flight home, they'd both worked themselves up and were ready to go.
"You tried to bully me in my own salon, where I was having a wonderful henna tattoo," the Countess said to Alex. "In front of my guests."
"I was being the host of this whole trip," the Countess said, which seemed the perfect time for Alex to set her straight on camera about this host business, but aside from sputtering that the Countess was delusional, Alex really didn't have much to say.
As you'll remember from last week -- as they certainly did, in their own "Rashomon" retellings -- Kelly Bensimon, Guest No. 1, yelled and screamed at Alex, mostly about a ruined tattoo, but also dragging in Santa Claus and repeating over and over that Alex was "weird and inauthentic."
Guest No. 2, Cindy Barshop, was as silent as she usually is unless she is conspiring against someone or talking to the camera, which has officially become her best and, perhaps, only friend on the show. And that was well before she got home, and discovered that Sonja had cut her out of all the camel pictures.
To set her own record straight, the Countess informed Alex that she'd been nothing but "friendly, kind and gracious" to her.
Yet as condescending, dismissive, haughty and vile as the Countess is, Alex really does need fighting lessons, along with a primer on facial expressions. Making threats you cannot back up, telling the Countess, "If you ever act that way again, I will not tolerate it!" while staring at her wide-eyed and open-mouthed is not particularly intimidating.
When the Countess said, "I didn't know this was an Alex class and you're the teacher," Alex could have countered te easily with a straightforward comment about enduring class with the Countess. But it didn't happen.
It all started in Morocco when Alex clomped loudly down the stairs to confront the Countess about how she'd been treating Ramona Singer -- that is, not nicely. The Countess correctly pointed out that it was none of Alex's business and that Ramona could take care of herself.
The one who can't take care of herself seems to be Alex.
"Those are Louis Vuitton," Alex said, sticking up for her shoes.
But when the Countess said, "Even Louis Vuitton makes mistakes," she won herself a point right there.
OK, what else?
Sonja "I have a taste for luxury, and luxury has a taste for me" Morgan had the unpleasant taste of being on the tip of everyone's tongues but, as she would say, unfortunately they were all women. By the time they returned to New York all the world, including her facialist, knew the ins and outs of her $19 million bankruptcy filing.
And, yes, she does need her facials because she's clearly set her sights on her dermatologist, who may not be much to look at but he's a New York doctor with the money to back that up. And all those facials can add up to a new husband.
The perfect time to discuss Sonja and her finances, was before Jill Zarin introduced the housewives to her new line of body shapers. Sonja said she really didn't understand the entire bankruptcy thing, and she didn't want to talk about it, anyway. She did gamely try to squeeze her bottom half into one of Jill's cinchers. Alex made fishlike mouth motions and contorted her eyebrows. Cindy sat silently while Jill said that if this were her money, she would know down to the last penny what was going on.
Sonja certainly didn't spend it on panties.
Where was Ramona? Jill said she didn't invite her or trust her, telling everyone that Ramona caused her to lose a deal with Kodak. When Alex scampered over to pay a call on Ramona, Ramona told her that was nonsense. She looked hurt that Jill had a focus group and didn't invite her; she thought they'd kissed and sort of made up in Morocco.
Alex wins the Worst Housewife of the Week Award for using Ramona as an excuse to fight with the Countess, which is similar to what she did last season, when she gave Jill a "message" from Bethenny. And for fighting so poorly.
The Countess told Alex to remember what happens to the messenger.
Bethenny's message to them all at this point would be "Get a hobby." Or, as the Countess less memorably told Alex last night, "Get a life."
Aside from the fight, the continuing Jill and Ramona competition, the free little commercial for Jill's shapers and Sonja's bankruptcy, there was some unpleasantness to endure when Simon welcomed Alex back home, lying on his back with a garment bag covering his front, topped with a basket of panties.
Alex tried on lingerie as Simon lovingly touched the fabrics.
Perhaps they can donate the panties to Sonja.