Mar 22


BethennyAfterNow that’s it official (in the Wall Street Journal!) I can reveal all.

Fortune Brands (no relation, unfortunately) has bought Skinnygirl, created by Bethenny Frankel, one of The Real Housewives of New York, none of whom are “housewives” and few are “real.”

Who cares?

I am a secret fan of Bethenny. You got a problem with that?

Currently starring in Bethenny Ever After, our heroine is smart, funny, and quick-witted. Like Amanda in Sex And The City, she always had the best lines — but wrote them herself. True, she was very ambitious. In a good way! Forever going after it, whatever “it” was.

When we first met her, she wasn’t even married, let alone a housewife, and was merely looking for love, fame, and fortune. But before she got lucky, so to speak, she was trying to get her former boyfriend to commit, and some people (not I!) thought she was a bit pathetic, pursuing a guy who seemed awfully ordinary. Well, maybe he had hidden talents, but still.

BethennyJasonThen, lo and behold, when she and we were least expecting it, along came happiness, or Hoppyness, in the form of the almost-too-good to be-true-Jason Hoppy, who looks terrific, is not a mass murderer, and seems to accept Bethenny for who she is.

Who she is seems pretty damn good to me. And even though we have absolutely nothing in common except that when hanging around the house we both wear cotton pants with drawstrings, I am . . . drawn to the woman.

Might as well make a Full Confession: I was hooked on the series from the beginning . . .

I watched the original like a trainwreck, cheering for Bethenny, and marveling at the the macchinations of Queen Bee Jill Zarin, volatile, forthright-to-a-fault Ramona Singer, uptight Alex McCord and her ever present husband, the most visible metro- sexual since Tony Randall, and the lovely Countess de Lesseps. Yes, Countess. But you can call her LuAnn.

SixHousewivesThey were joined by the long-limbed, long-haired, long-faced Kelly Killoren, who immediately annoyed me with her unintelligent, inane, and contradictory comments, but really pissed me off when she attacked our Bethenny.

No room here for all the catty details, but once,  Kelly arrived a half hour late for a conciliatory dinner, then “explained” that she was on a higher level than Bethenny (demonstrating with her hands: you’re here, I’m here), so they couldn’t be friends. I wanted to smack her.

Bethenny also had a falling out with Jill, I forget why (help me out here, readers!) but I always suspected there was a smidgen of . . . jealousy at play. And now, with shows of her own: Bethenny Getting Married? and Bethenny Ever After, plus this new hot deal with Skinnygirl, I wouldn’t expect to see a rapprochement any time soon.

Meanwhile, the count took up with a younger woman, and LuAnn, who actually did have some class —on a show where the women constantly talked about it but rarely displayed it —got out there on her own and recorded an ill-advised single, “Money Can’t Buy You Class.” 

Along the way, The Fab Five Plus One were joined by Sonia Morgan, a stylish, sensual broad (if you can call someone who lives in a gazillion dollar brownstone on the UES a broad), so then there were seven. But now, alas, all the other Housewife Series began to eclipse the New York women and you hardly hear about them anymore.

BethennyGownBETHENNY_BabyExcept for Bethenny! She married her dream guy, looking radiant in a white gown that didn’t even try to disguise her pregnancy, and had a lovely little girl, Bryn, whom she seems to love to distraction. Not enough to distract her from business, but hey, isn’t that what the modern woman is all about?

Sure, there are a few issues, like the sweet, well meaning, built-in baby-sitters-but-smothering in-laws, and the problem of how to get her product to all the people who are clamoring for it. We all should have such a problem.

With the Fortune deal, that last glitch is history, and she is growing rich through her own entrepreneurial efforts. You go, Skinny Girl!

I have one last confession to make: I have never tried a Skinnygirl Margarita (at only 100 calories, ladies), but I’m sure they’re delicious.

Hint to Bethenny, as if she needed my help: I represent an untapped market to go happily ever after: The Skinnygirl Martini. And if you’re looking for another “housewife” (I do make a mean meatloaf), and you’d like to expand your business, I’m available as a consultant.

MartiniMisterThink of the possibilities for packaging: Olives. Cute little cocktail sticks. The “mister” — an atomizer that sprays just a wisp of vermouth to make a martini that’s very, very dry without being pure vodka. Adorable cocktail napkins.

A  minor detail: How do you make a 100-calorie martini? Is there such a thing as no-fat olives? Unlikely. Cocktail onions are probably better, but then it’s a Gibson, which would make us Gibson Girls. I don’t think so.

But Bethenny, I know you can figure this out! Any woman who can make a lo-cal margarita and sell it to Fortune Brands can do anything. You can’t argue with success — or the Wall Street Journal. At least this “housewife” can‘t.



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