So I'm sure you tuned in to see The Real Housewives of New Jersey Preview (it's mandatory viewing so if you haven't go watch it now and in the future please, keep up). One of the housewives is New Jersey's finest, a vision of grace and elegance Mrs. Dina Manzo. She has a lavish life with her daughter (from a previous relationship) and her husband Tommy who spoils her madly. Tommy runs The Brownstone, a catering hall (sorry Dina, I meant to say "Banquet Facility") he owns jointly with his brother Al Manzo who get this, just so happens to be married to Dina's sister Caroline (a little weird right?) another one of the featured housewives.
The NY Times ran this little piece on Caroline's dog trainer (none other than the disgraced former NYC police commish Bernard Kerick) but, tucked away at the end they close with this..."Mr. Manzo’s father, who weighed 350 pounds but was known as Tiny, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Paterson before buying the Brownstone in the 1970s. In 1983, he was found dead in the trunk of his Lincoln Continental with four bullet wounds to his chest. The crime was never solved."
I know! That's what I thought too! Ah, this is going to be good. I can't wait for the season to start in earnest! O.k....back to Dina...
Here's the thing, the whole time I'm watching it I can't shake the feeling that I know her from somewhere. Maybe it was the distinctive way she calls her husband Tahmmy. Maybe it was the constant infomercial-esq way her and Caroline kept mentioning The Brownstone. Maybe it was the over the top display of wealth (not to cast dispersions on her for that since it's the basis of the entire Real Housewives Franchise). Maybe it's the slow sleepy way she carries herself. No joke, she could run an obstacle course looking totally nonplussed. Whatever it was it kept eating away at me. Until this morning, when I had this revelation...
This is one of the chicks that cried, obsessed, whined and most importantly SPENT her way through a half hour of my life on VH1's show The Fabulous Life Presents My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding. Remember that? No expense was spared to make Dina and Tahmmy's day the biggest, most over the top, lavish wedding that The Garden State (that's NJ) had ever experienced. She had to have "A huge ass cake". "I want da' layers fat and loadid with flowahs and buttuhflies and turtahls and all kindsah of good stuff. I want it roundid lookin maybe gold bawls". It'll come as no shock to find out she wanted an "obnoxious" amount of flowers. Tahmmy summed it up when he said, "Get out the checkbook out an' start writin' till it runs out of f*ckin' ink!" Everything had to be perfection for his darling Dina. He damn well better since Dina reveals that Tahmmy's cheated on her a couple of times. Tahmmy's take, "I got her back. I bullsh!tted her a little bit, right D?" That's right ladies, Tahmmy's a keeper!
Are you remembering yet? If not step back in time with me and watch Dina and the rest of The Manzo Family's first foray into the world of reality TV. You'll see Caroline, the sister during the "choosing the dress" scene. Al pops up when they're at The Brownstone (see that Manzo's? I'm trying to help out with the promotion) working on designing the cake.
The Fabulous Life Presents: My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding- Dina & Tommy
Chapter 1 is here, chapter 2 here, and chapter 3 here.