Part One of the explosive Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion show covered a LOT of, let’s be polite and say interesting, ground (and we still have another half to get through . . . I might have to buy some Depends – them’s are some scary ladies when they get fired up!). However, since I previously penned an article regarding the financial situation of Real Housewife Teresa Giudice (Teresa Giudice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Who’s Carrying the Purse?LINK HERE), I wanted to provide a mini-supplement addressing the comments Ms. Giudice made during the Reunion.
A lot of what she said we have previously heard in non-Housewives interviews: she confirmed that her husband, Joe, didn’t clue her in on their worsening financials because he felt as though he was protecting her, and that she wished he would have told her so that she could have adjusted her lifestyle – staying true to her statement on her View appearance that she “always lives within her means.”
Yet, this was, to my knowledge, the first couch upon which the lifestyle of Teresa and Joe’s children was addressed. Now, I am not one to advocate the media poking and prodding into the private lives of underage individuals. I’m not even sure I support them being on camera period. However, this is a valid question given the, um, let’s be polite and say precociousness, of the Giudice tykes when it comes to all things material. (Does anyone else have “Material Girl” stuck in their head right now? Just me? Okay.) Whether it be cleaning out a store or expecting a lavish birthday party for 200 of her closest friends, a Giudice girl seems to be one who would not take kindly to living on a budget. Teresa’s response to this question was simple: “They don’t get their love form material things. They get it from Joe and me.”
Now, whether or not you choose to believe this, I think that this is a positive message to be sending out to the viewers. Children get their expectations in the first place from their parents (cut to the spa birthday party scene where Teresa innocently, and I hope sarcastically, says: “They have no idea how much we spend on these things. I don’t know where they get this!”). Granted, at this point it may be hard to alter the expectations of these, again, precocious little ones. However, children receive the cues from their parents so if Teresa and Joe are able to truly restructure their family financial model, they should also be able to communicate this in a way that is accessible to their children. I believe that it is important (and possible) to provide your children with realistic financial boundaries without exposing them to the anxiety of the everyday ups and downs of running a household.
Teresa was accused several times of being in denial as to how desperate her situation actually is – she continued to deny that she was afraid her house would be placed in foreclosure at some point in the future, she admitted that she hasn’t looked at the photos online of the items in household that are up for sale at the bankruptcy auction. She claimed that this was because she didn’t want to give in to the “negative” energy. I completely understand that. Given the response of bloggers to her declaration of bankruptcy, to open up the internet must be to step into a virtual minefield. I don’t think that Teresa is burying her head in the sand – as Jacqueline pointed out, the second she found out about the money troubles her family was having, she went to work . . . with appearances every night. To not want to face the judgment of strangers who do not know you or the inner workings of your situation is not denial nor is hoping that things won’t get any worse than they already are.
Teresa ended the conversation by saying that if things did get worse, she and her husband would build themselves up again: “We weren’t born with a silver spoon in our mouths. Just like we did it before, we’ll do it again.” Now, for all those out there who contrast Ms. Giudice with the “real” Americans who are trying to pull themselves up from financial troubles, I suggest you let the power of that statement sink in. If being utterly destroyed and having the sheer willpower to begin again is not an encapsulation of the American spirit, I don’t know what is.