Melissa and Joe Gorga were on Watch What Happens Live last night, and when Andy Cohen asked Melissa about their relationship with Teresa, she said that it had been worse before the Gorgas became cast members. I don’t even know how that could be possible. To watch this family dynamic, and to have witnessed the argument between Teresa and Melissa Sunday night, I can’t imagine anything being worse. Whatever their issues, this has been going on for a very long time, and we may never really know when or how they began.
Teresa and her brother have a very different type of sibling relationship. It’s clear that neither of them likes the other’s spouse, and probably never would, no matter who it was. They are angry with one another and know every single button to push with the goal of hurting each other. This wasn’t learned overnight. In fact, I’m guessing that they have had a love/hate relationship their entire lives. If that’s the case, then the blame for all of this anger and jealousy lies squarely at the feet of their parents. Mama and Papa Gorga put this train wreck in motion, and their adult children have lost whatever feelings they once had for one another.
Joey has made comments, sometimes while drunk, that Juicy is to blame for everything that has gone wrong. He has said that his brother in law created a wedge between him, his parents and his sister. There may be some truth to that, but without the cooperation and help of the elder Gorgas somewhere along the way, it wouldn’t have happened. Juicy just isn’t that smart or powerful. I have nothing in the way of proof but, from what I’ve seen, Papa Gorga nurtured a rivalry, and a very skewed sense of family, between his children and the result is devastating. Somebody missed the boat when Teresa and Joey were supposed to be learning about loving and sharing and being happy for one another.
Both of the Gorga children married people who have no desire to fix this mess. Juicy makes no bones about his contempt for his brother in law, something he expresses regularly. He is honest about his feelings, something that demonstrates both his arrogance and ignorance. He doesn’t care if his wife is unhappy. He uses every opportunity to belittle his brother in law while undermining any chance of reconciliation between his wife and her brother. Teresa, for whatever reason, loves and respects her husband. She defends him at every turn, and given Juicy’s history, that’s a full time job. She doesn’t want to hear about Juicy’s many brushes with the law and the very real possibility of jail time. It is a knife to her heart and a truth she just can’t face. She is loyal and devoted, and it’s heartbreaking to watch, because he just doesn’t seem worthy of it – he certainly doesn’t offer Teresa the same thing in kind.
Joey’s marriage to Melissa is just as puzzling to watch. There may be some measure of truth to the gold digger accusations. Joey had a terrible history with girlfriends and one can’t help but wonder what Melissa in him saw that the others missed. Maybe Teresa did insinuate herself a little too much into those relationships, thinking that no woman was good enough for her brother. Maybe Melissa just saw a guy who could provide her with a lifestyle that she thought she deserved. I have no idea, and we may never know, because all of it happened before we were introduced to them by Bravo. What we do see, however, is that Joey and Melissa are about as committed to making amends as is Juicy.
There are other forces who are ready and willing to jump into the fray, when it is clearly none of their business. They, too, from what I’ve seen, are more than happy to keep Teresa and Joey at each other’s throats. These forces come by way of the Manzo/Laurita women. They have strategically, and very wrongly, positioned themselves to bring about more harm than good. Caroline and Jacqueline, for all of their talk about family, don’t have the first idea about how it should be. They run from one side to the other, carrying gossip and spreading dirt, while declaring themselves friends. It’s not their battle, it’s not their family, and neither one is a role model for relationship.
Caroline has made her daughter feel worthless and unattractive. She has told us that she can’t tell Lauren that she’s beautiful because she’s overweight. She saves all of her praise and places all of her hopes and dreams on her sons. She said last night that Chris and Albie “have it goin’ on”. The truth is that they have nothing going on that hasn’t been paid for and handed to them by their parents and their Uncle Chris. They believe that they have a right to pretend that they are successful businessmen, and that hot chicks should be tripping over themselves to keep company with the Manzo boys. Both of them, apparently, think it also alright to mock and demean their sister, something that they learned from and were given permission to do by both of their parents. The entire family made fun of Lauren’s and her boyfriend Vito’s weight issues, laughing about how huge their children would be. I’m missing something, because I just don’t see where any of that is okay within a family.
Caroline is not alone in her search and destroy mission against the Giudices. She has her sister in law, Jacqueline, right along side of her, and playing just as many angles as Caroline. She’s an easy one to manipulate and Caroline knows it. Jacqueline is no more mature than her rebellious daughter, and, at times, it seems that her husband Chris is raising both of them. Caroline is aware of the fact that she intimidates Jacqueline, and uses the family connection to work her magic. Both of them have let their own families down, and are now moving in on the Gorga/Giudice tragedy, as if they can somehow fix someone else’s problems without even realizing that they have enough of their own.
I wish Caroline would just stop it. I know she won’t, because she can’t see what she’s doing. She truly believes that she has raised the almost perfect children – Lauren’s still a work in progress – and that she has the perfect marriage. On her website, she has a place where you can ask for advice about marriage and raising children, “Caroline Rules”. I couldn’t think of one thing that I would ask of Caroline Manzo regarding those issues, not because I know everything, but because I would be afraid of her answers. Frankly, I haven’t met the perfect wife or mother – I don’t think she exists. That won’t get in Caroline’s way, though. Blinded by her own hubris, she believes she has all the answers, and because of that, she, and her trusty, but naive, sidekick, will continue to wreak havoc in places where they just doesn’t belong – all in the name of family.