Lorraine Duffy Merkl Lorraine Duffy Merkl
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a freelance writer in NYC and author of the novels FAT CHICK and BACK TO WORK SHE GOES.

'RHONY': ‘Carole’s Rise From The Ashes’

7/29/2015 9:07am EDT
“Life doesn’t work out the way you plan it.”

So says Carole, who has arrived in London with Dorinda as her travel companion. Carole goes to the soon-to-be gutted church that has her husband Anthony’s ashes, and meets the priest to get the urn. She is in good spirits and speaks very eloquently about Anthony, then breaks down when says she wishes she had “one more day” with her husband. The priest tells her that having the urn returned to her is a great opportunity to be with him again.

It has been fifteen years since Carole has held the urn, and is impressed with how beautiful it is; even...

‘RHONY’: Carole Embarks On London Journey & More

7/22/2015 8:40am EDT
Real Housewives Of New York City Season 7 Episode 16: 'London Ca
Every now and then, a reality show actually gets real. This is one of those times, with a very poignant episode that has Carole embarking on a trip to England -- with castmate and fellow widow, Dorinda by her side -- to retrieve her husband Anthony's ashes from the church where the urn has been housed for the past fifteen years, because it is being torn down.

Carole was married for five years to JFK Jr.'s cousin and best friend, Anthony Radziwill. Carole eventually became best friends with John Jr.'s wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.

Carole and Anthony met as journalists at ABC News. She c...

'RHONY': The Turks And Caicos Vacation Comes To An End

7/15/2015 8:54am EDT
“Be cool. Don't be all, like, uncool,” commands the Countess.

What led up to this royal directive?

The Turks and Caicos vacay is coming to an end. We pick up where we left off at the “to curse or not to curse” dinner where Dorinda starts to have a meltdown and Heather takes her to a different part of the hotel so they can have a private talk -- because after all, they're both Berkshire girls.

Sonja tells Luann the discussion, which got out of hand, is all her fault because she started the “It's not countess-like to curse,” ball rolling. Luann denies, denies, denies.

Ramona trails Dori...

'RHONY' Continue Their 'Turks And Caicos' Vacation

7/8/2015 9:34am EDT
Are there no friends of Bill W. on these islands? I think all these ladies -- not just Sonja -- need a meeting and to take at least 12-steps down the beach.

We pick up where we left off last week with Bethenny telling off Ramona. "It's Ramona's world, we just pay rent." She says she doesn't know where her soon-to-be divorced friend's entitlement comes from. "She comes from nothing," said Bethenny. "If she'd grown up with money and servants I would understand why she thinks everyone should do her bidding, but she didn't, so I don't get it." After ranting while chopping ingredients for the m...

Real Housewives of New York City Season 7 Episode 13: 'Crazy Time In Turks And Caicos'

7/1/2015 8:27am EDT
"She's just so much work," says Carole to roommate Heather about Sonja aka Lady Morgan.

This thought is seconded independently by Bethenny and Ramona at the pool."She's her own worst enemy," says the blonde of her longtime pal.

Then the two frenemies start talking about Mario, and Ramona breaks down crying hysterically. "I want to fix this so badly." In a touching moment, Bethenny holds her and cries for her. (Or is B thinking of her own marriage and crying for that?)

The next morning at breakfast, the ladies get a visitor who will conduct a private yoga class for them. Sonja and Dor...

'Real Housewives Of New York City' Season 7 Episode 12: Chaos Comes To Turks And Caicos

6/24/2015 8:52am EDT
Real Housewives Of New York City
"Shut the f#%k up!" Wow, that Bethenny sure knows how to take command of a room.

Before she does that though, we return to where we left off last week: at the launch party for Luann's fashion line.

Sonja asked Heather what she missed by not attending the pre-party: "Ramona ripped Kristen a new one." Always keepin' it classy.

Bethenny confronts Kristen and tells her that she has a sourpuss face and always looks like she's coming for her. They actually talk it out -- in a really loud way -- and actually sort of make up.

Sonja assesses Luann's clothing line, saying it's for the masses not ...

'Real Housewives Of New York City' Season 7 Episode 11: 'Bethenny Vs 'Dumb' Blonde Kristen'

6/17/2015 8:53am EDT
Blondes vs brunettes. How cliche. How New York Housewives.

Bethenny invites Ramona, Dorinda and Sonja to a cupcake decorating party. Ramona shows up with her Ramona Wine so they can set buzzed as they frost and sprinkle the desserts.

Since Sonja is about to settle her 7 million dollar judgement, she invites the ladies to vacay on the Turks and Caicos Islands. (You'd think she'd need to start saving her money, no?)

Kristen meets Luann at a designer shoe store for a little shopping and gossip. They discuss AOA and don't think a sports bar is very Ramona. Then they discuss Bethenny and how...

'Real Housewives Of New York City' Season 7 Episode 10: 'Skinny Girl VS Yummie Tummie'

6/10/2015 8:21am EDT
Heather and Bethenny
"Have a meatball." That was Heather's straw that broke Bethenny's back last week in the Berkshires, prompting the two of them to scream across the table at each other.

And so this week, we pick up where we left off with the Skinny Girl and Yummie Tummie yelling at one another. Heather is a fixer and genuinely wants to help Bethenny, who is not in the market for a new mother.

After Bethenny breaks down, she calms down and decides to hug it out with Heather. "I'm over myself," she says, much to my agreement -- I'm over her, too. "I don't want attention. I'm holding on by a thread," adds B...

'Real Housewives Of New York' City Recap: Berserk In The Berkshires

6/3/2015 8:51am EDT
Let Dorinda’s Berkshire Birthday Bash begin.

The ladies show up at Dorinda's upstate home to celebrate her for the weekend (husbands will follow). If you recall from last week, Bethenny can't attend because it's her weekend with Bryn. No one is sure whether or not Sonja is coming.

Everyone is in awe of Dorinda's palatial home that her late husband bought her. Ramona has asked her AOA business partner, Pete, to be her guest, but needs advice about whether it’s a date or not. The consensus is that indeed it is a date.

Ramona takes Kristen aside and tells her about the evening that was host...

'RHONY' Dishes Out The Drama With Champagne And Caviar

5/27/2015 8:50am EDT
Now that we have finally finished celebrating Ramona’s never-ending birthday, we get to commemorate Dorinda’s.

The two friends go for drinks and talk about the party weekend Dorinda is throwing for herself at her home in the Berkshires. Because no story can’t be topped by Ramona, she shares that Mario has been contacting her. Now that he and Avery have made up, he wants Ramona and his family back, but she did not elaborate past that.

Carole is running for the board of her building. Anyone who knows about the process knows that basically you throw your hat in the ring, write up a summary o...