It was the type of night where the Uber surge charge creeps past 300 percent, but the line kept growing. “Some people got here before five,” whispered one young woman squeezing the rain from her hair and the hem of her skirt before sliding into an empty pew. “That’s crazy,” replied her friend, swiping the sweat from her own forehead.
Frankel, 44, agreed from the synagogue’s greenroom. It is crazy. “Look at that!” said the reality TV star turned reigning high priestess of the Skinny Girl sect as she showed off a camera shot of that impossible line.
Before hitting the stage and after “zhushing” her new short hairdo, Frankel, who returned to “The Real Housewives of New York City” this season after leaving for her own shows in 2010, chatted with us about her public failures and her surprising pet peeve (Hint: glass ceilings are involved).
After your talk show, “Bethenny,” was canceled last year you said you were a little over yourself. Still true?
Sometimes I am. But I think I have a better sense of humor about it now. Just the other day Yahoo posted that I ate a pretzel. So, that’s big news.
Was it the biggest pretzel ever?
It was a soft pretzel in Manhattan. It’s just funny. I’ve always had a pretty good sense of humor, but now I just find it all really comical. Every day I wake up and I’m like, “Uh, I broke up with another boyfriend. I just can’t win.”
After a decade on TV, is there anything we don’t know about you?
I really can relax. If orange is the new black, nothing is the new everything. It’s interesting because, once you are known, everything you do and say is out there, and it seems so important. It’s not important, and most of it’s not true. That people think I just broke up with some guy that I met twice in my life in Boca Raton? Like, really?
So, do you combat all the misinformation?
No, that’d be like killing roaches in Manhattan. You just keep it moving.
Your new book, “I Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever After,” is about learning from your mistakes.
I’m going to help those women outside with those umbrellas not make the same mistakes. How lucky am I that I get to do that? By the way, I’m not complaining about all that other stuff about people writing about it — because if they weren’t then nobody would be standing outside. You can’t pick an a la carte menu of what fame and success mean.
So what’s your best advice for a town like Washington, where the “relationship” between politicians can be extremely dysfunctional?
It’s kind of like what my therapist Dr. Amador says “I’m right. You’re wrong. Now what?” It’s a zero sum game. Spend less time talking and more time listening. People love to talk in this town. They love to wax poetic and talk about how wrong everybody else is and how right everything is they’re saying. Talk about scrutiny. What was Bush’s word that he got wrong that went on forever?
Oh, god. There was another one that was really bad. It was something like nuclear.
See? We’re still talking about it.
Are you interested in politics at all?
I don’t get involved. It’s like wine: I like it and I know a little bit about it, but I’m intimidated by it, and I don’t really know all the intricate details. It feels like it would take forever to really know everything that’s going on about it for me.
What have you been extremely proud of in the last 48 hours?
The weekend I had with my daughter [5-year-old Bryn with ex-husband Jason Hoppy]. It’s a great, pure feeling.
What really terrifies you?
Time without my daughter. I just don’t like the idea of it, and the idea of most things is worse than the reality. I keep wanting to say the idea of not succeeding, but that doesn’t really terrify me. People think I’m so driven to be this big thing. I’ve kind of already overshot the mark, and now I just do things that I love.
Okay so —
— Oh, what terrifies me is not getting enough sleep. I don’t come from a long line of sleepers.
But you do come from a place of yes. How does one do that exactly. Saying it is —
–No, it sounds annoying. But it could be anything. It could be going through a nasty, nasty, nasty divorce and just saying: “You know what? Right now I feel miserable, and I’m accepting that.” It’s like getting through a Bikram yoga class. You just have to kind of breathe, almost throw up and know that it will be over. That’s your yes, knowing this too shall pass. Just keep going, and don’t complain about what men get that we don’t get. That’s a big pet peeve.
Yes. I don’t like all that what do they call it? The glass ceiling or whatever. I don’t like any of that talk.
So how do we change that talk?
We just be better than the men. You just do you.
What about women who might say they are better but still get paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes?
I know, but also women want men to pay the bill, and women want men to open their door. We can’t have it every single way. Again, life is not an a la carte menu. It’s like talking about an apple and an orange.
I did it. I went into a man’s business. Liquor is a male-driven business — it was before me. It was completely male-run, -driven and marketed to. And I just went in and said this is a good idea. You just make them listen. It’s harder for us, but then everything’s harder for us.