By ANDREA HIGBIE
If we could cross "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" with "Mad Men," all would be well for Lauren Manzo.
"I hate," the 24 year old said last night on "Real Housewives," "I hate the way I look."
That's an extra 40 pounds of hate the way she sees it, and to hear her slimmer brothers, Albie and Christopher, and her newly slimmer mother, Caroline, tell it, she's hell to live with every ounce of the way.
Lauren has seen a doctor and is trying to lose weight with egg whites and berries, and the whole thing is doing nothing for her mood, even though she's five pounds down already.
If only she could slide from Bravo to A&E, Henry Francis's mother would give her the name and number of that kindly diet doctor to whom she sent Betty, her barely tolerated daughter-in-law. And if the doctor didn't muddy up the visit with those silly questions about cancer, Lauren would be on her way to Slimsville, able to slither into anything in Megan Draper's closet, Don's skeletons excepted.
But Joe Giudice is no Don Draper, and so we must return to the real solutions espoused in the unfortunately real world of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."
And so Lauren complains.
Caroline consoles. "She's got a belly. So what?"
Down the shore, the Giudices, Wakiles and Gorgas go for a boat ride while all the kids stay behind. Of the four Giudice girls, the 6-year-old Milania is on overdrive, her usual. But she proves to be a great foil for the day's babysitter, Kathy Wakile's sister, Rosie, who thinks she is auditioning for Melissa McCarthy's part in "Bridesmaids." Wackiness and generous plastic cups of jug wine ensue.
Meanwhile, the ladies have their talons sharpened for a party thrown by Jacqueline Laurita's psychic, Tia. It's a summer solstice party, which, Teresa Giudice explains to one of the Kims who is, inexplicably, riding with her, means that you wear white.
It also means that guests are given rhinestones as a third eye to press into the space between their real eyes. How this will help matters is anyone's guess, but even if you get to see more, what good is it if you're processing it with the same old brain?
And it is the same old brain that triggers Teresa's longing for drama, and she manages to spread a rumor that she started: Melissa Gorga, her brother's wife, is a golddigger. Finally, the word "jail" -- in the context of Joe -- is uttered (Teresa allows only "going away"), and she storms out of the party.
"This is supposed to be a spiritual party," the hostess admonishes Teresa. "Nobody's supposed to be attacking anybody, honey!"
Well, everyone else seemed to be having fun, and even though Jacqueline's life coach was not present, surely he'd be glad that a good time was had by most.
And since excitement burns more calories than calm, that was a win for Lauren.