Change is in the air — in New Jersey, that is. On the Sunday, September 11, episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the women all struggled to adapt to new circumstances and mend broken fences. While some changes (like Dolores Catania trying to become financially independent) were routine life milestones, others (like Teresa Giudice's husband preparing for jail) were not. As is to be expected, some handled these upcoming changes better than others (and some didn't really deal with them at all).
It's T Minus 30 Days for Joe Giudice
With roughly one month of freedom left before having to begin his jail sentence, Joe Giudice was continuing to be on edge with his family. Teresa's lawyer stopped by to try to help Joe prepare for prison, explaining that sometimes he "let the wrong people" around himself (like the guy who went crazy screaming about the mob at Teresa's book party). Joe joked that, at the very least, prison would be good for his liver. Teresa didn't think it was a very good joke, though.
Instead of joining Joe in consuming copious amounts of booze, Teresa convinced him to go to yoga with her. In reality, their yoga session looked a lot more like a massage, but it did seem to relax Joe just the same.
When Teresa asked Joe if he had talked to their daughters about the fact that he would be leaving soon, he said, "They know what's going on. They're not stupid." He then broke the news to his wife that all of their girls had known she wasn't just off writing a book for work when she had been serving time. "They know where you were," he said. "Even Audriana knew."
Teresa seemed genuinely surprised by this revelation, but Joe just shrugged and said something about how they all have computers. Tears welled in Teresa's eyes just as the yoga-massage ended. It was unclear whether this had been the rejuvenating experience she'd hoped.
Dolores Still Doesn't Get It
Despite her insistence that it was time for her to take a chance and stand (financially) on her own two feet, Dolores still hadn't been showing up for work at the gym she co-owned. Needless to say, her partner in the business was not pleased. Dolores admitted she knew she had made promises and not followed through, but then vowed (again) to turn it around.
Joe Gorga Tells Melissa She Brings in Crumbs
On the other end of the spectrum, Melissa Gorga was struggling to balance the responsibilities of work and motherhood. Since she was spending more time at her boutique, Envy, she had less time to drive the kids around, make dinner and do other domestic tasks her husband thought should be her responsibility. (Yes, Joe Gorga had reluctantly made the kids' lunches and picked them up from school, but he was moaning about it to Melissa every chance he got.)
"I need my life! I need to go do what I do for a living!" Joe Gorga argued when Melissa came home exhausted from work one night. She screamed back, calling him "old-school," which was a label he didn't like. She then made the mistake of thanking him for "manning up" to help his wife.
"I think I manned up 10 years ago when I put you in a beautiful home and gave you nice things," he snapped. Melissa resented the way this sounded, but her husband was too angry to listen. "You bring in crumbs! I bring in the cake!" he shouted. "I don't need your money. I need my wife!"
To the camera, he added, "My job pays for this [points to their giant house], her job pays for, maybe I'll get a pair of sneakers."
Instead of bringing home crumbs, Melissa listened to some advice from Siggy Flicker, and brought home the pasta — or, more accurately, she made the pasta. Melissa decided that she would do her best to make Joe happy, so in between working at the store, she prepared a home-cooked Italian meal and invited some other family members over to enjoy it.
Her strategy worked and Joe was beaming as he watched their daughter help Melissa make meatballs. With all the guests gathered in the kitchen, however, Joe casually mentioned that he was "not gaga" about Melissa working. Just in case that wasn't clear.
Kathy and Rosie Confront Teresa
Dolores had been surprised to hear that Kathy Wakile and her sister Rosie had not been invited to Teresa's book launch event, because she had been under the impression that things were at least civil between them. It turned out, however, that Kathy and Rosie were ready to make peace with Teresa and thought that showing up at Teresa's book signing would be a good way to do that.
Dolores didn't seem so sure and she rode to the event with Jacqueline Laurita and her husband, Chris (probably putting some calculated distance between herself and the potential explosion). "Good news is, the cops are here, so if there are any problems, it'll get broken up," Chris joked.
Inside, Teresa was in top form, feeling reassured that her fan base was still intact, despite her prison stint, based on the turnout for this event. Melissa told Teresa how proud she was of her, while their husbands chatted about Joe Giudice's fast-approaching jail time. "I commend him to be the way he is. He's not sitting there crying," Joe Gorga said of his brother-in-law. In other words, things between these two couples were definitely on an upswing.
When Rosie tried to talk to Teresa's husband and apologize for some comments she'd made on New Year's Eve, he gave her the same chilly reception Teresa had given just moments before, when Rosie and Kathy approached her table to have their books signed.
Rosie suggested the three of them should have lunch together and asked Teresa if she'd be up for that. Teresa looked back at her like a deer in headlights. "My time is very precious right now since my husband is leaving soon," she finally managed. They continued to press her to reconsider, but she gave the same wishy-washy responses.
"My cousins never reached out to me when I was away," Teresa said to the camera. "Sorry if I'm not dying to go out to lunch with family members who stab me in the back."
Tell Us: Do you think Teresa will ever make up with Rosie and Kathy?
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Bravo Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
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