In Celebration Of RHONY's Unconventional Relationship Statuses

Photo: Patrick Ecclesine/Bravo. Sam
The Real Housewives franchises have been mired in a baffling amount of lifestyle shaming for quite some time. After endless mommy bashing and sexuality dragging, The Real Housewives Of New York finally gave a non-judgmental look at two of their stars’ less-than-conventional relationships. And, boy, was it refreshing. The ladies at the center of this very modern love are Carole "We’re Just Shacking Up" Radziwill and Sonja "I Wash My Lingerie In The Bidet" Morgan.
A lot of Season 9’s "The Politics Of Friendship" follows Carole, as the episode is centered on the 2016 election. The former journalist is our resident Pantsuit Nation leader, canvassing in swing state Pennsylvania, throwing an election viewing party that ended up feeling more like a funeral, and writing a would-be speech for Hillary Clinton’s almost-win. The trip to Pennsylvania is the first time in "Politics Of Friendship" we’re reminded of just how wonderfully unconventional Carole’s relationship is.
While out for lunch with her mom, Helen, Carole starts explaining she’s "shacking up" with her younger handsome boyfriend Adam "for a couple months." She stresses the couple isn’t living together or moving in together permanently, and she definitely hasn’t moved out of her own apartment. "It [has] been actually nice, you know. He’s so good with the animals," she tells her mother, mentioning her multiple pets, all named Baby. "Don’t take this the wrong way or anything, it has nothing to do with you, but I don’t regret not having kids." Thankfully, Mother Radziwill doesn't take her daughter's understandable comments the wrong way.
Then the more surprising bombshell is dropped, when Helen says, "I have to meet Adam." When that scene was filmed, Adam — who was Luann de Lesseps's chef and an ex of the Countess's niece — and Carole had been together nearly two years. It’s nice to see the Bravolebrity is letting herself meet relationship milestones on her own time, as opposed to society’s, especially after she’s already been married once. "I don’t know why it never occurs to me to introduce my parents to my boyfriend," the widow shrugs in a talking head. "I’m not a girl who feels the need to take that next step and introduce her parents."
Appropriately, the episode shifts to Sonja, who explains she’s seeing two men at once, with completely different aims. She’s going on so-called "outings" with a restaurateur named Rocco, who’s "planning for the future and settling down," and says sweet things like he missed Sonja during her latest trip. On the other hand, the Grey Gardens queen is also spending time with a man she calls Frenchie, who’s "living in the moment and jetsetting."
Sonja is sleeping with Frenchie. Sonja is not sleeping with Rocco, whom she sees as marriage material. For once, no one is criticizing the mom of one for her non-committal choices, which she’s totally entitled to have.
Keep this up RHONY, please, keep this up.

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