If you asked someone what the most painful part of watching this past Real Housewives of New York season they’d probably throw out a lot of really solid guesses. Aviva’s father’s grotesque behavior toward Ramona, Carole’s boho-desperate camping style, Ramona’s pathetic denial of her husband’s infidelity. Of course it’s all tragic, but the correct answer is and could only be the continued deterioration of Sonja Morgan.
For those who aren’t a fan of the series, Sonja Morgan joined the show in it’s third or fourth season (who cares?) and is an old friend of both Ramona and Luann who have been with the show since its inception. She’s the former wife of one of the Morgans (one of the oldest of the American old money families) and lives in a five story townhouse Upper East Side. She has a daughter from her marriage who has never been on the show. She likes to fuck. A lot. She’s completely broke.
Sonja likes to talk about her home in France and who’s been on her yacht and what heads of state she’s prepared dinner for in her toaster oven. She has a Colorado closet and an Ibiza closet in addition to her four seasonal closets. Of course she or one of her many unpaid interns will wash all of her clothing in the sink and hang it to dry in the shower or go over the scuffs on her Chanel purses with a Sharpie marker, but she has them.
She held on to her townhouse for dear life claiming that her only comfort in life is that she owns property, her “nest egg.” Her nest egg doesn’t have hot water much of the time. She unclogs her toilets with her own two hands (which wouldn’t be such a sin if she wasn’t doing it in a FIVE STORY TOWNHOUSE ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE.) She uses wee-wee pads so her ungroomed poodles won’t continue to piss all over the oriental rugs in her formal dining room. Yes, she now rents out her home (AirBnB I guess?) and sold her house in France, but if your tooth keeps falling out and you don’t have the money to fix it, maybe you need to let go of the nest egg. Oh, did I not mention that her front tooth falls out? Like, a lot?
Sonja has a zest for life. She’s starting about fifteen businesses including a yellow and white diamond line and some sort of fragrance with a Nigerian football team. She throws parties for her “staff” (free interns, plastic surgeon, lawyers, etc.) that she calls “Team Sonja”. She held a funeral for her dog, too. She loves sex and kicked off the season by trotting out her 23-year-old slam piece, the son of one of her friends. She has many lovers from all over the world including a stable of regular friend with bennies dick. Toward the end of this past season, she received a promise ring from Harry Dubin, ex-husband of Aviva and an admitted sex addict. Harry’s been with at least three women on the current cast of the show. They selected seven women in all of New York City to be on this show and Harry’s fucked three of them. BTW, the promise didn’t last long because within hours of giving Sonja the promise ring, Harry fucked Luann again.
All of this stuff considered, there is something kind of great about Sonja. Like Grey Gardens great, you know? It’s her zest for life that makes her kind of fabulous. The fact that she’s the life of every party even though she’s a complete drunk in ill-kempt Chanel from the 90s is kind of charming. She puts on female drag shows that she pretends are burlesque shows and gyrates on stage in front of her friends stumbling through freestyle beat poetry. The pressure of maintaining her home and looks and general lifestyle isn’t something that’s completely collapsed her. She’s not doing great, but most people wouldn’t be able to save face time and time again like that.
However, it’s this resilience that makes Sonja Morgan so painful to watch. Especially for some of us (read: me) more than others. It hit me last week when I was hand washing my thongs in my bathroom sink that I’m completely fucking delusional in a very Sonja Morgan kind of way. I’m 30 but I act like a 25-year-old on a good day. I’d blow my last $400 on a Helmut Lang dress before I’d deny myself of the luxury I’ve decided I deserve. God knows I’ve shown up haggard or unprepared before. But at the same time, I have fun. I don’t hurt other people. I’m no Ramona.
Yeah, it’s super uncomfortable to watch Sonja stumble through life seemingly unaware of the way she’s perceived, but maybe she is aware and she just doesn’t give a shit. Maybe being an eccentric weirdo who lives by her own rules and entirely outside of her means isn’t the worst thing you can be.
So what are your thoughts? Is Sonja sad or sensational? Or both?