Jacqueline and the others said Teresa can “put a smile” on her face through the worst of times.
Yet, at the reunion show, Jacqueline Laurita proved to be the reality television star who masked the truth.
Jacqueline has hidden from Bravo fans that she and her husband Chris have joined the millions of American parents and hundreds of celebrity parents whose children are diagnosed with autism.
Jacqueline’s son regressed, like many of the more affected autistic children do.
Parents of nonverbal children know that raising a child who doesn’t speak is one of the more helpless feelings on the planet.
Instead of reaching out, Jacqueline kept the diagnosis within her circle of friends and family and away from television audiences.
Although Teresa Giudice has no room to call any of the housewives on their erratic behavior, Jacqueline’s unusual interest in Teresa’s troubles, the fatigue of her daughter Ashley who helped babysit and also drowned her sorrows in alcohol, may make more sense to viewers who understand how difficult receiving an autism diagnosis is.
Autism in a child tends to send parents off the deep end. Jacqueline’s meltdowns, breakdowns and fragility over the past two seasons may be tied more to the darkness parents of autistic children feel.
Jacqueline may not see it, but viewers think it strange that Jacqueline received texts from an anonymous friend who informed Jacqueline that Melissa would be set up on the season finale.
Jacqueline has been all over the place with Teresa for two seasons. Parents of autistic children are often uncomfortable with friends and family who have all neurologically typical children.
It takes years, if not a decade or more, for the average parent of an autistic or nonverbal child to accept a diagnosis.
Point blank, autism is exceptionally hard and just as the disease is hard on children, it’s equally hard on their parents and siblings.
Rumor has it (TMZ) that Jacqueline Laurita and Caroline Manzo won’t return to the New Jersey Housewives next season. Kathy Wakile, it is said, will return in a diminished capacity next season.
At the reunion show, Wakile boasted a new nose and buffered lips. Andy Cohen cautioned her against doing more cosmetic work.
Wakile said she wouldn’t. Wakile’s marketed her food and it’s all expected to hit grocery stores “soon.”
As far as reality television goes, Wakile likely disappointed producers for not doing her cosmetic surgery while filming.
Cosmetic surgery and housewives, particularly in the two most popular locations, Atlanta and Orange County, have come to represent the way of the wealthy wives.
If it’s true that Manzo, Laurita and Wakile are being replaced next season, their departure is aligned with departures we’ve seen in other Housewives franchises when the women’s divisions become irreconcilable.
Mean girl Jill Zarin and financially plagued outsider Alex McCord were unceremoniously booted from New York last season.
Neither Zarin nor McCord got along well with the other women, and Zarin notoriously went up against the show’s centerpiece, Ramona.
Sheree Whitfield couldn’t let go of the past or play nice with frenemy NeNe Leakes, the undisputed star of the Atlanta franchise. Whitfield is out and her replacement is already in.
After two years of divisiveness and a refusal to reconcile with TV’s newest reality villain, it won’t be a real surprise that Manzo, Laurita and even Wakile are out.
Teresa Giudice’s table flipping incident is so popular, the Season 2 DVD of The New Jersey Housewives is packaged with the women at a long table.
Although it may be hard for the women to stomach Teresa in real life, it’s the only way for them to remain relevant on reality television and on the red carpet.
And Melissa Gorga really likes that red carpet.