I want to begin by thanking all of Ginger’s fans for all of your get well wishes. I am pleased to say that Ginger (@realgingerzarin) is feeling much better after her knee surgery. I also want to thank @drcindybressler for taking such good care of her. This is her third surgery and I hope it’s her last. Special thanks to Peaceloveworld.com for all of the clothes you sent her. She was the fashion queen in the hospital!

I just came back from seeing the filming of one of the last Oprah shows. Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks were the guests. Can it get better than that? A few of the producers invited me and I brought my sister Lisa and my niece Jena. We stayed at the Trump Hotel in a gorgeous two bedroom suite. Bobby and I belong to Exclusive Resorts and this is one of the properties we can stay at.

One of the reasons I did the show was to use my fame to help people. I was able to do that this week. One of my fans shared with me that her mom was critically ill and in hospice care. She wanted to meet me in Chicago. I wanted to make that happen. I called Exclusive Resorts to ask if they had any suites available for one night. Without hesitation, they told me they did and would be happy to arrange a 2 bedroom suite for them. They drove 4 hours to Chicago and I checked them in myself. I took them to lunch, then took “mom” for a pedicure for Mother’s Day and tucked her into bed that night. I am so happy I was able to surprise her and make her “Queen For The Day.” I am so grateful I was able to put a smile on her face. “To those whom much is given, much is expected” and I have dedicated my life to giving back.

Australia was the most amazing trip you could ever imagine. The people, the places, were all so wonderful. I have included pictures in this newsletter from our trip. Next time I need to go to Melbourne to meet some of my most loyal fans. You know who you are! We will be back! I promise!

Coming back from Australia I felt incredibly refreshed, rejuvenated and truly ready to film this season. I already knew I did not want a repeat of last season, but what I realized while away was that I was the only one that could make sure that didn’t happen. I thought about how idle gossip is often taken the wrong way. I am often taken the wrong way, and I dedicated myself to working on being more careful with my words. When you are home or with close friends, people understand you, they “get you,” your personality, your sense of humor. They know you did not mean to say anything bad. But when you are dealing with a group of different personalities who are friends, but not your everyday friends, you have to be more courteous of their possible sensitivities. It took me two good seasons and a very difficult one to understand that, but now I do. I spent the rest of the season trying my best to be more sensitive to people’s feelings. Did I always succeed? Of course not, but I tried.

I also have to remember when I watch the show and “cringe” at some of my scenes, that the show is not to make us “look good.” I try to laugh at myself rather than cry sometimes. We sit in the “interview” chair and answer questions for three hours at a time and it sometimes feels an inquisition. I forget that I don’t have to answer every question and often tell a story for five minutes to see only three lines on the show and sometimes not in the context in which I said it or meant it.

The other thing that was on my mind when I came home was Alex. I very much wanted to make things right with her. I feel like Housewives is summer camp and we are all in a bunk. You have a few BFF’s and the rest of the girls “not so much”! You have to try to at least “get along” and that was my goal when I went to Alex’s house. We had our ups and downs, as everyone else does on the show, but Alex just wouldn’t let it go. She admitted to me that the “Bethenny situation” had spilled over onto her but of course that part was cut out of the show. I tried to listen. I have to say I was hurt when she said behind my back “I don’t trust Jill.” But I am letting it go since she said it before we made up just as I said “she is a F. B.” at the wedding, also before I went to her house.

We need a clean slate. Apologies need to be accepted. Why is it everyone else says mean things, apologizes and gets a pass or is forgiven; but with me, my feet are held to the fire? Last season I was surprised that she hurt me the way she did. But in retrospect, I see now that she had a lot of unsettled issues with me. Alex and I are just different people at different places in our lives. We are both good mothers and love our families. I hope our talk meant something and we can all get along again.

It was great seeing the other ladies and catching up on their gossip. It’s amazing how easily you can get caught up in the drama no matter how hard you try to steer clear. But I suppose that’s why Bravo chose this particular group of girls! Each of our scenes are filmed for a minimum of 2-3 hours yet you only see 2-3 minutes if the scene is even shown. I can’t tell you how many things we film that you don’t see. For example, Cindy and I both went to support Sonja at the softball game. It was a beautiful sunny day and I brought my father with me. I am so disappointed he was cut out of the show. My parents were only in one time this fall and this was one of the few scenes they filmed. We all had so much fun and I even tried to fix Cindy and Sonja up with the fire fighters just for fun. I guess we were all having too much fun and being nice to each other to make final edit. See what I mean? I say this to the viewers who think all we do is fight and gossip every time we get together. We only do that every “OTHER” time we see each other! Just kidding!

It was nice that Kelly and Ramona seem to have found a good place with each other. But why did Ramona have to say something cruel about her, again, in her interview? My mother always says, “you become more of who you are when you get older.” Ramona has become very mean and bitter this season. I think I know why, but I will leave it up to you to figure out. She attacked Luann about being a “weekend mom.” She judged Cindy because Cindy is not married.Then there was the fiasco about the lack of Pinot at Cindy’s birthday party. As for me? I am used to it but getting very tired of it. Ramona likes to pick a fight and push people’s buttons just for sport. Who does that?

I thought the Cindy and Ramona scene was very intense. I felt uncomfortable watching it. I certainly know what it feels like filming a scene like that and it’s not very fun. This is a storyline that is going to be big this season. Watch out for this one.

I will be in Short Hills, New Jersey and Pittsburgh, PA over the next few weeks with mom and my sister, radio show host, Lisa Wexler with our book Secrets Of A Jewish Mother. Last week we spoke to a sold out audience at the Sandra and Leon Levine Social Hall at Temple Israel in Charlotte, NC and they raised more money than any other year. If you are interested in us coming to your town for a personal appearance, contact us through jillzarin.com

Our book Secrets of a Jewish Mother is now available in paperback and has an added chapter on bullying. (You will see why later in the season!) It’s a great Mother’s Day gift. You can buy it at barnesandnoble.com. If you want an autograph, please contact me through my website at jillzarin.com and I will be happy to send you a book plate. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from our book. “Finding a friend is finding the best part of yourself and setting it free.”

Happy Mother’s Day,

Love,

Jill XO