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New Jersey Housewives Turn On The Heat

By Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Posted On Jul 22, 2016
New Jersey Housewives Turn On The Heat

By Ruchel Louis Coetzee

Teresa Guidice, may be the anointed leader of the New Jersey housewives gang and Melissa Gorga, her chief conspirator, but in the new season on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, two new housewives may very well steal the spotlight. One old friend, Dolores Catania and one new friend, Siggy Flicker, come armed with shared secrets that will cast interesting twists on Bravo’s hit reality show.

Dolores is not your typical Italian housewife.  After 15 years of marriage and two children, her very Catholic marriage to Frank Catania dissolved amidst great shock and awe. Through the years, she slowly learned to understand and love herself, while still maintaining a close relationship with her ex-husband and business partner. But don’t expect to see this corrections officer-turned surgical technician- turned Realtor and owner of multiple fitness centers sugarcoat anything on the show. To her friends, Dolores is the “real deal” – someone who will bring loyalty and blunt honesty to the table.

Siggy, on the other hand, comes armed with impressive credentials to dish out relationship advice to her fellow housewives. As a relationship expert, professional matchmaker and TV personality, Siggy practices what she preaches every living moment of her life. Her debut novel, Write Your Own Fairytale: The New Rules of Dating and Relationships and Finding Love on Your Own Terms, ratifies the fact.  After eight years of marriage and two children, her divorce from her first husband, Mark Flicker involved no lawyers, no bitter arguments and no traumatized children. According to Siggy, there was zero drama and on the next go-around, she made sure her new husband, Michael Campanella, understood the terms of engagement before walking down the aisle. Look to Siggy to encourage her new friends to use her to help them out of a pickle.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Bravo on Sundays at 8 pm ET/PT

And then there is, Jacqueline Laurita, the long suffering on-again, off-again friend of Teresa. Will she continue to extend that olive branch to try and fight to save her friendship with Teresa or will that friendship end in a sad goodbye? This season, Jacqueline also continues to focus on those moments that are important to her. Whether it is helping her autistic son reach new heights in his development or finding balance in her everyday life, one thing is for sure, Jacqueline is on an energized new journey this season. Did we mention she is going to be a grandmother soon?

So who will be left out in the cold or shunned from society this season? Will anyone usurp Teresa’s crown? Time is a great leveler so we can only wait to see what actions, secrets, and conspiracies unfold this season. I caught up with Dolores, Siggy, and Jacqueline to talk about their friend Teresa, and the meaning of family, friendship, and health.

Has Teresa changed in any way since her release from prison?

Dolores – No, she has not changed.  What can I say is, and I speak for myself, she and I have this Italian temper, not so much temper, more like passion so inherently, the core of who you are will not change. Has she become calmer? Yes. It was a very tumultuous time for them in their relationship. There was a lot of pressure for both of them and relationships are hard enough without the pressure of the world on your shoulders. One’s away, one’s coming home, there’s four girls, bills, bankruptcy, attorney fees – it’s enough to make anybody snap. It’s a testament to how strong they are that they stay together through it.

Jacqueline – I think people can make some changes but the core base of someone, I feel, is always there. I think it is possible to make changes if you are sincere about making those changes and it’s not just for show.

What do you think you bring to the show?

Siggy – I really do have this wisdom and this great energy about me and if you’re a smart and open person, you’re going to want me around you. If you are a closed person or an envious person, you’re not going to want me around you. So to me, I feel like I’m a gift. You have me, so use me to help you out. If you don’t have me, that’s fine. I live a great life. I’m very happy.

Dolores – For me it’s a platform I’m standing on here to say to the rest of the women who are in my position. I’m 45, I’m single, my children are grown, and I’m saying you cannot just give up. You have to reinvent yourself. You have been taking care of other people your whole life but you have slacked on taking care of yourself.  For me, it was a diversion from not having the right love in my life. Maybe I didn’t love my job once I graduated from school, but I did it anyway and it was hard, but I always used that as an excuse to find a hobby or do something for myself. I want women to know not to give up, to pick themself up, and find something for them. Go to the gym, go to a park, go for a walk, get a dog – there are so many dogs who need homes.  You have to be happy with yourself. Find your own place and establish yourself there – it opens so many doors to meeting people.

What do you think is the overriding success of the show?

Jacqueline – It’s a very authentic cast, especially this season where everyone is so organically connected. You have Teresa coming home after being away in prison for a while and everybody on the show is fighting their own journey that’s very relatable to someone. The cast, as a team, really makes the show because you can’t have one with the other and everybody brings something different to the table. We are family friends and I think it just fits.

Siggy – Five years ago, I got into this industry. I met a very, very famous big, big shot in Hollywood and he said to me –‘Siggy Flicker, I want you to listen to me. You’re doing that TV role (Why Am I Still Single – VH1) the favor, they’re not doing you a favor’, but getting back to the question, I would say Bravo hits everything on the head. This was a perfect fit for me. Bravo to me is like the lottery ticket of lottery tickets.

How important are friends in your life?

Dolores – Friends are more important than I ever thought. I grew up in a very tight-knit Italian family and I had a lot of sisters and one brother and we are all very close but they were not divorced. I’m the only one in my family that is divorced. At the time, Jacqueline kind of forced herself into asking if I was ok. I was embarrassed of my position. I didn’t want to tell anyone how upset I was because I was supposed to be this tough girl. So when I showed my vulnerability instead of being embarrassed, I found out that it helped me come out of it sooner than I thought. Hiding what you’re going through only makes it last longer.

Siggy – Dolores is my best friend. She had to end that marriage because obviously he cheated on her. For me, there’s no coming back. If you insert your private part into another girl’s private part, you’re not coming back to my house. It’s disrespect on the highest level. I said to Michael when I met him, ‘Never disrespect the Sig. If you are going to disrespect the Sig, you will not be with the Sig.’ And he was like – ‘Are you really referring yourself in the third person?’ I told him I wanted to tape record this conversation. I can never be with a man that I know did something intimate. With me, sex is a very holy thing – I wasn’t “loosey goosey” ever. I lost my virginity at 23. For me, if I’m going to be intimate with someone that means I’m giving it my all.

Jacqueline – With Teresa, yes, I was hurt deeply, but to me, because there was so much history and love there, it’s still worth trying to fight to save it. I like how we see the other person’s point of view and I’m very good at admitting when I’ve done something wrong. I’ll be the first to say it. I’m guilty of overanalyzing a lot and I want to talk about it. Some people like to sweep it under the rug – I like to get down to the core. I will forgive someone 100 times, but once I’m burned enough I can shut you out. Two people have to take accountability for what they’ve done to break the relationship and if you can’t see eye to eye on that and you can’t see each other’s point of view then it’s not going to work. I’m not interested in TV friends, I’m interested in a genuine relationship so if you can’t bring that to the table then goodbye.

What about health and happiness?

Dolores – Sometimes I was so tired that there was no time to watch after myself and I just wanted comfort food. Other times I was in the best shape– it was dependent on what I was going through in my life. I’m back full circle to this part of my life that is very crucial to me probably because I’m planning the finale of my life. I take thyroid medication. Most women have a thyroid issue and it just goes undiagnosed because the doctor will tell you your thyroid is perfect for a 43 year old – well, I don’t want a 43 year old thyroid, I want a 20 year old thyroid! I became very sluggish and tired and I thought it was age, or weight, or everything else.  Then I went to Canyon Ranch and they did a bunch of tests that no other doctors would do for me and I came to find out there were issues.

Jacqueline – I always start the day off with hot water with lemon and turmeric. I will add a green tea in there and a little bit of raw honey – it’s my downtime before the day gets a little crazy. I will also do a little meditation in the morning just to get my head in the right place. Everybody in the family is on a different eating schedule but we make it work. My husband helps a lot with the cooking now so we’ve really learned to balance that while finding time to multi-task. I might have an arm curler or a dumbbell or I’m doing walking lunges because I like to pace when I talk.

Siggy – My book, Write Your Own Fairy Tale, inspires people to not wait around for anyone to change their lives and to just go out there. It has stories upon stories of clients that I had and also personal stories of my husband and I, so people get a perspective from the man’s point of view.  It’s a delicious book to remind yourself to love yourself first, not hang out with other toxic people who drain your energy and try to bring you down, and learning how to not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. If a man is rejecting you in the beginning of a relationship, it’s God saving you from the end of the relationship. It all comes back to strength from within, having the right attitude and not being afraid to be alone.  Being single isn’t going to kill you and being with a man isn’t going to heal you.

Dolores – I was lucky to work with doctors (plastic surgeons) that really cared about their patients and each one of them always told their patients that the procedure would not make them feel any better about themselves. Cosmetic surgery is something you do when you feel good about yourself and know that what’s inside isn’t going to change when you change the outside.

Jacqueline – Being a grandma is just pure love. I love seeing my daughter come full circle and how well she’s taking care of herself. I just want to smell and hug and kiss it! I keep joking, saying that I can use her uterus now!

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Bravo on Sundays at 8 pm ET/PT