On Saturday, July 18, I hopped into a van with Bustle Entertainment Editor Kelsea Stahler and made my first trip out to The Hamptons. Our destination? Douglas Elliman Presents Jill Zarin’s Third Annual Luxury Luncheon in Southampton to Benefit The Eric Trump Foundation, The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, and ITOG Group. Whew! What a title! The party was held at former Real Housewives of New York City star Jill Zarin's house, and I knew I wanted to attend as soon as I got an email that had the words "luxury luncheon" in the subject line. (I had to know what that meant.) Also, as an avid viewer of RHONY how could I resist the chance to see Housewives in their element? I'll attend pretty much anything with free drinks and snacks, so I sure as hell wasn't going to turn down free drinks and snacks that I could consume in the vicinity of Jill Zarin.
I had no idea what to expect, but if I had written a wish list of all the things I hoped would happened, it would've included: Ramona Singer bringing her own wine, Ramona Singer bringing her own air conditioner, Turtle Time, at least one drink getting thrown in someone's face, RHONY actually filming so that could I end up in the background of a scene, and, last but most definitely not least, Sonja Morgan being in attendance and thus proving that she is actually real.
Somehow, none of these things happened. (Well, maybe Turtle Time went down when I wasn't looking.) But still, Kelsea and I learned a lot about what a Real Housewives Hamptons party is all about. Here are 21 things you learn when you attending a RHONY Hamptons bash.
1. Jill Zarin's house is THE BOMB
We didn't get to see too much of the inside — what we did was gorgeous though — but the backyard was the real pièce de résistance. Infinity pool, hot tub, view of the bay, endless sweet potato fries — well, I assume the fries are always there. Why wouldn't they be?
2. SO MUCH WINE...
This wasn't exactly a surprise, but there was wine everywhere. Real Housewives really do like wine in real life as much as they do on the show. It's amazing.
3. But no Ramona Pinot Grigio
I felt like I should've snuck a couple of bottles in Ramona-style. In fact, I saw Ramona drinking rosé and that really kind of ruined the illusion for me. Isn't anything other than Ramona Pinot Grigio supposed to send her into a rage spiral??
4. This is what it looks like when you try to get a drink
5. The bar will run out of rosé...
It was a very popular choice! As I sipped a glass, I found myself wishing I had worn a caftan to this event. And that I owned the entire property. And that I could stay there forever. Rosé, take me away!
6. And then run out of wine in general
Which really didn't seem possible when this party started — again, SO MUCH WINE — but by the end we were drinking "bartenders choice."
7. Cookies with Jill's face on them are super normal
It's synergy, people! This very company was selling cookies at the event!
8. Jill uses the line "It's my house. It's my party. It's my call."
I'd expect nothing less.
9. Jill has the best time ever being a hostess
It should be stressful, but I guess with a mantra like Jill's, anything is possible.
10. The photobooth has immaculate lighting
It was as if Jill magicked a day perfectly overcast for photos into existence and then used her wizardry again to bring the sun and blue skies out later.
11. All of the Real Housewives' shoes are amazing...
Dorinda Medley had a pair with clear bottoms that somehow looked more like fancy crystal than what a stripper might wear. They were glorious.
12. And there's not a flat shoe in the house
Except for on Patti Stanger, who broke her own rules.
13. Real Housewives know how to turn every head at the party their way
It's like Where's Waldo! (P.S. Real Househusband spotting to the far right.) (P.P.S. It's Cynthia Bailey's husband Peter!)
14. Things are way less dramatic when the ladies aren't filming
RHONY was, unfortunately, not filming during the party, which meant everyone was getting along — or at least it appeared that way. I just wanted to see at least ONE wine glass thrown. Is that too much to ask? Apparently.
15. It's not a party without Sonja
Sonja Morgan wasn't in attendance. I can't say for sure, but maybe the lack of her presence was why we didn't get to see any wine glasses go flying.
16. A Housewives party really does always involve a speech
You know how when you host a party eventually things just kinda fizzle out until everyone's gone? Not the case with a Housewives party. As you've probably noticed on the show, there's always a speech towards the end of any Housewives event. At one point, Jill stood on up on the concrete side of her hot tub and thanked everyone for coming. Only after that, did people start to clear out. You will never see something like "3pm 'til ???" on a Jill Zarin invite.
17. Bobby Zarin is awesomely quirky
During Jill's aforementioned speech, I spotted her husband staring out of a second floor window. Eventually, Jill goes, "Where's Bobby?" and he steps out onto the balcony Evita-style. It was a quirky moment between the two, and it was actually really cute to see. (Or all the wine was making me extra emotional. One or the other.)
18. Luxury port-a-potties are a thing
You enter through here:
And find this:
Granite countertops in a port-a-potty.
19. Countess LuAnn is the coolest
Countess LuAnn de Lesseps wore white pants, a white vest with a visible navy bra, a white fedora, and large sunglasses. I bet she went to a million more unbelievable rich people parties after this and then had a wild night where she stayed out until 6 in the morning and took a million shots of mezcal.
20. Former Housewives and current Housewives still hang out
Former New York Housewives Cindy Barshop, Jill Zarin, and Aviva Drescher mingled with current ladies Ramona Singer, LuAnn de Lesseps, and Dorinda Medley. Also, Cynthia Bailey from The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Danielle Staub from The Real Housewives of New Jersey were there.
21. Bravolebrities refer to themselves as Bravolebrities
This was perhaps my favorite revelation. I thought us outsiders were calling the stars of Bravo "Bravolebrities" behind their backs, but they do it themselves! At one point Jill asked that all the "Bravolebrities" gather around for a photo. In addition to the Housewives in attendance, this meant that Patti Stanger from The Millionaire Matchmaker and Carla Stephens from Mother Funders also made their way into the lenses of a few professional cameras and more than a few smartphone screens.
While the party didn't take place while a season of Real Housewives of New York City was filming and I didn't get to make my Bravo debut at long last, it was still interesting to see how one of these things goes down firsthand. Do I wish it involved more Ramona Pinot Grigio? Of course, but I wouldn't be a real RHONY fan if I didn't expect more pinot at all times. What can I say? My girl taught me well.
Images: Giphy (12); Lia Beck (6); Kelsea Stahler (7)