We flyin’ first class up in the sky
Flyin’ first class, livin’ my life
In the fast lane and I won’t change
By the glamorous,
Oh, the flossy, flossy
This past weekend was a fantastic one! I spent Saturday shopping and dining with Tay and Kayla, had a very nice dinner that night, and headed to Charlotte on Sunday morning with Momma, Mace, and Sammy for the Southern Women’s Show. And let me tell ya, we came, we saw, we were fabulous!
Momma and I had been looking forward to the expo for weeks. None of us had ever been so we were not too sure what to expect. However, we knew who to expect… The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice (See photo below. She’s the one in pink on the end.)!
Now, I do not know if you, Bleu Ballas, are reality television whores like myself and Momma but we love, love, love some Real Housewives! For years, we have watched the franchise grow from Orange County, California all the way to Miami, Florida. Our fave, you ask? New Jersey! We have neva, eva missed an episode!
Every Sunday, at 10:00 p.m. EST (9:00 p.m. CST… for my more western readers) we religiously turn our television dials to Bravo! Every week, we tune into the latest juicy Jersey drama starring Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Kathy Waklie, Jacqueline Laurita, and Caroline Manzo. Every week, we fall more in love with their kids, their husbands, and their clothes. And every week, we read their blogs, pick up magazines, and follow their stories outside of the show. We just can’t get enough of Jersey!
Anyhow, as you can tell, we were kinda estatic. We left the house early, piled into Telulah (my car), grabbed a classy breakfast at the local Biscuitville (Ever had one of their honeybuns? Uhh can you say, “De-lish!”), and headed to the Queen City.
Teresa was not scheduled to show until 1:00 p.m. so we had plenty of time to make our rounds to most of the pink and purple themed booths. They had everything. It was like a trinket/junk food/costume jewelry/fake handbag/middle-end perfume and make-up/craft convention on steroids. I had never seen so many rhinestones in my life!
We wandered around taking in the sights.
Now, you girls have known me long enough to know two things: 1) I’m a label lover. I can spot a fake bag 30 yards away. And 2) I ain’t buyin’ your bull shit.
Momma and Mace, on the other hand, suckas.
The whole object of this expo is to corner people long enough to make them believe they just cannot live without that boudoir photo shoot, rhinestone embellished lanyard, alpaca Christmas ornament in the shape of a kangaroo, or tickets to the latest interpretive dance show straight outta China.
So naturally, Mace is an easy target.
She’s fifteen and at that point in her life where she’s in to what everyone else is in to. She’s a quick sell and easily amused. Take the fake-snow-hustler lady for instance; she had Mace at, “It grows when you spritz it with water. See?”
It was all down hill from, “Mom, ohmigah you can use this on one of your Christmas trees! Get it! It’s soooo cool! It’s just like real snow!”
She had used the eight magical words that fail-lessly hook Momma instantly, (to be read in super slow motion…) “…you can use this on one of your Christmas trees!”
Momma is a Christmas-crazy lady. Every year, an elaborately decorated Christmas tree is strategically placed in front of the best window in every single room of our house… she’s up to like 12. You could sell this woman shit if it were in the shape of Santa Claus’ face.
The next thing I know, my sweet Yuletide-lovin’ mother is handing Fake-snow-hustler Lady her debit card.
Ten dollars worth of fake snow was our first Southern Women’s Show purchase.
Is this how the rest of the day was going to shake out?
I hoped not.
Sammy and I moved on to the fragrance counters. We collected tens of smelly little white cards. I had them in my back pockets, my purse, and my hands. Delicate floral scents, heavy alcohol smells, and fruity perfumes wafted from the both of us.
At one point, a petite little perfume-counter-peddler lady nearly had me talked into buying an $87.00 Calvin Klein gift set. But it came with so much free stuff: a travel size Prada scent, perfect purse size Euphoria (my favorite) hand lotions, and other treats of the smelly kind came absolutely free if I just forked over the 87 bucks for the gift set.
She almost had me.
But I persevered.
Just for the freebies.
And then we found ourselves at, what I like to call, the “Fandora” (Get it? Kinda like Pandora but instead of beads made out of platinum and crystal they are made out of aluminum foil and plastic.) counter.
Dad gave Momma one of those bracelets for Christmas last year. You know, the ones with the interchangeable beads. Well, ever since, the woman has been collecting beads like a Spring Breaker at Mardi Gras. And lately, I have been eyeing her sparkly arm décor.
I am not a jewelry wearer per se but I enjoy a nice smattering of sparkle every now and again. Internally, I have been debating on buying yours truly a Happy Saturday gift similar to Ma’s but I am just not sold on the idea of wearing one on the reg. So, when Bead Lady advised us that each charm was $2.00 I thought, “Well, this could just be a test drive. If I like it and wear it enough, I can then justify buying the real deal.”
She had me.
Thirty-nine dollars later, I was a proud owner of my first Fandora bracelet.
Miss Clariss: 0
Southern Woman’s Show: 1
At this point, we were starting to slow down. I was beginning to get tired of seeing the same ol’ stuff. My eyes and nose needed a break.
Mentally, I peeked inside our plastic Belk shopping bag. We had collected: floss, a sex toy catalog, many small cards doused in an assortment of aromas, and a self-defense book. It was like a How To Be A Hooker Toolkit in there. Geez, how classy were we?
Luckily, an announcement was made, “Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice will be on the main stage in ten minutes.”
Ahh! The whole reason why we were here! The four of us girls hustled to the front of the building to grab a seat.
When we reached the stage it was already standing room only! My Lord! I elbowed my way to the front of the group; smart phone in hand (forgot my effing camera out in the car… dammit).
She made her way onto stage and we watched her charm the crowd with a thick Jersey accent and no holds barred honesty.
Teresa (See photo to the left. That’s her chattin’ up the host girl; givin’ us the skinny on Jac and Melis.) answered questions about the show, Juicy Joe (her hunky husband), her four girls (Gia, Gabriella, Milania, and Audriana), and the tumultuous real-life relationship with her brother (Joe Gorga) and sister-in-law (Melissa Gorga). She was funny, honest, and down-to-earth.
It was cool and all but I was ready to shake the hand of the lady who table-flipped her way into my bedroom every Sunday.
I was getting impatient.
Then it was time.“In the next few moments, Teresa will be signing autographs and taking photos at the table to your right.”
Everyone started shuffling to get in line.
Momma led our troop.
My mother lacks umph in the “pushing through public crowds” department. She’s polite, too polite to be leading the pack. Although we found ourselves toward the front of the line, had I been elected chief, we would have been front and center.
Oh well, it gave us enough time to touch-up our lip gloss and people watch.
I started to study the people in front of us.
What were they wearing? I looked at my cutely-clad cronies and said, “Did these people really look in the mirror this morning and say, ‘Yep, this little number is what I am gonna meet Teresa Giudice in today. Who has two thumbs and is lookin’ fierce? This girl!’ Seriously, what the hell are some of them wearing?”
We all agreed, the majority of the book signing line was a hawt mess of Southern style mixed with fanny-pack wearing expo goers reppin’ the Carolina’s worst of what-not-to-wear.
Teresa, please forgive us, for some of the South has a tendency to slaughter not-so-fashion-forward designs by accessorizing with even worse hand bags and shoes. Please do not think all of us are backwoods hillbillies with no sense of style. Remember me? The one with the big blonde hair, red Michael Kors skinny jeans, black lace tank top, and BCBG wedges? That was me, Teresa, Miss Clariss!
Anyhow, where were we? Ahh, the part where a Real Housewives celeb told us we were “beautiful”… twice!
Well, so, it was our turn to meet Mrs. Giudice. Momma brought the Fabulicious book I gave her for Mother’s Day last year and I had purchased Fabulicious: Fast & Fit at the show. The two of us handed over our books and we all shook her hand.
Teresa: Addressing Momma about us girls, “Ohmigah! Are they all three yours?”
Momma: “Yes.” (Sammy practically is our sister. We see her more than we do our brother and she basically lives at our house when she is home from college. She is a part of our family. We love her dearly.)
Teresa: “They are beautiful! And all so different!”
Thinking back on it now (because your best lines always come hours later), Sammy said one of us should have mentioned, “Yeah, well, could be because they all three have different daddy’s…” Now, that would have made an impression! Moving on.
Momma: Smiling, “Thank you.”
Me: Eagar to stand out from the crowd, “So, how long have you been in the Carolinas?”
Teresa: “Oh, I just flew in right before the show.”
Me: “Really? Do you have to head back right after, or are you able to hang out in the city some before you leave?”
Teresa: “I have to fly out as soon as we are done here. Why, is there a lot of things to do around here?”
Me and Sammy (in unison): Laughing, “Not really.”
Teresa: “Haha. Have you guys lived here, like, your whole life?”
Me: Always trying to grasp onto something bigger than small town living, “Yes. Well, sorta, we’re from Charleston, South Carolina.”
I was desperately trying to convince this woman that four of us were a little more cultured than the Bank of America Stadium and Bo’jangles chicken ‘n biscuits.
Teresa: “Oh, okay.”
The public relations lady (You know, the one with the job I’d kill for.) holding my phone squashed the moment, “Okay, is everyone ready for a picture,” all red lips (Yeah, I was sporting a ruby pout myself but her hue of red was just a tad too harsh.) and pants suit. I bent down beside of Teresa and flashed my notorious camera-ready smile. My very first famous person photo! Woooow!
Our time was up now. We turned to thank her and she thanked us in return. As Momma walked by her, Teresa said, “You have three beautiful girls.” Momma smiled, ever the cool-cucumber, and said, “Thank you very much. You do too.”
And that was it.
Our books were signed (See photo to the left. That’s her real signature. Double wooooow!), our hands were shook, our photo was taken, and one of the biggest names in reality TV said we were beautiful… twice.
I could not have asked for a better experience.
… well, I guess it would have been even better if I had one of my new snazzy business cards to give to her so she could: A) Like me on Facebook, just like I “Like” her B) Follow me on Twitter, just like I “Follow” her, and more importantly, C) Become a Blue Balla, just like yourself. But they haven’t yet made it to Hickory (Oh and don’t worry, I will let you know when they do!). Thanks a lot, Canada. And besides, I don’t want her to think I am one of those ruthless self-promoters (… because, really, I’m not).
Anywho, Teresa, if you are out there in Miss Clariss Land reading up on the latest happenings of a Real Non-Housewife of Hickory, thank you! It was a pleasure meeting you. I loved the purple sequined dress you rocked at the Posche Fashion Show. Milania cracks. me. up. And we love, love, love RHONJ!
P.S.: Today is Momma’s birthday! Happy 27th Birthday Momma! Peeeedro (What Momma calls my loveybug Sonny…) wanted me to announce that, “Thank you for always giving me treats! You are the bestest GrandNanny in the whole widest world!” We love, love, love YOU!
P.S.S.: Why yes, yes I am revealing my identity to you… dun, dun, duhhhh. I am sacrificing my anonymity and unveiling myself from a self-inflicted shroud of mystery in hopes that Teresa may remember us : ). Also, I just absolutely had to share this photo with you, Ballas! From the left: Sammy (the adopted child/Bubba’s girlfriend), Yours Truly (couldn’t ya tell), Mace, Teresa, and Momma.