I love spending Thanksgiving in New York City! Nothing beats watching the parade, eating all the turkey and fixings, and then letting out my Spanx just to finish a second slice of pumpkin pie. The holidays are not only about overindulging; they’re about charity as well. Over the past few years, Melissa, Cooper and I have helped God’s Love We Deliver bring meals to homebound people all over the city. It’s a great way to help out and also to see some New York real estate. This year’s holiday at Chez Rivers, however, was a bit different because Melissa invited her new boyfriend (or as I call him, my pre-son-in-law) Duncan to join us. I don’t only like Duncan because he’s handsome and successful and English. The way I see it, if this guy can afford to fly from London to New York on a Thursday night for dinner, then he can afford an engagement ring! Too pushy?

After the failed “sister bonding” which turned into “sister drama”, Tamar has returned to her press tour by co-hosting Anderson Cooper Live.  However, all this comes at a price since Tamar won’t be able to make it to Toni’s big show in honor of Barry Manilow.  BFVQuote: “Everybody wants me to grow up, huh?  This is growing up.  Take your pick.”  It’s not like the sisters are making an effort to support Tamar while she is in NYC either, but after that blow up in Canada no one would expect them to haul their cookies anywhere near Tamar.

Back in the ATL, Towanda and Trina sit down to have a chat after not seeing each other for a few days.  BFVQuote: “I have almost lost all of my patience with Tamar.”  Towanda recaps the incident with Tamar for Trina since no one else has spilled the tea.  BFVQuote: “That’s the behavior of an ambitious diva.”  Beyond the “Tamar & Vince” secret, the sisters are also a bit fed up with Tamar’s criticism about their marriages and relationships.  It seems like the sisters all need to get together in one space and hash out their issues with Dr. Sherry before this gets beyond their control.

Trina, Ms. E., and Traci attend the Barry Manilow event to support Toni and Trina is getting all sorts of attention with those Erykah Badu inspired braids.  However, despite that short little number no one is paying her any mind once Toni steps foot on stage.  She is the epitome of a true fan as she goes through the story of how her love for Barry Manilow has grown from the first time she heard, “Mandy” on the radio.  BFVQuote: “Wow she’s still got it.  She is sexy.  I mean if I was into women I would kiss her in the mouth.”

It’s another long day in NYC for Tamar.  BFVQuote: “It’s like running a marathon except she is running in Louboutins.”  It seems like it is a lot of interviews about “Love and War” naturally, but also a lot of questions about Tamar’s success and its relationship to Toni’s success.  BFVQuote: “That’s ok.  We have the same DNA.”  It must be hard for Tamar to constantly field questions that make it seem like her success is directly based on her sister’s success and reputation in the industry.

BFVQuote: “Why we always got to eat when we depressed or happy?”  WE agree, Traci!  But don’t the happiest family memories revolve around food? #fatkidproblems.  The sisters are in L.A. for their Dr. Sherry session, although Tamar has a video shoot for “Love and War” scheduled.  Let’s all remain positive!  BFVQuote: “Whatever happens after that, then so be it.”  At least this lunch isn’t going to complete shit, since the conversation has now been focused on whether or not Gabe gave Trina an imposter wedding ring!  Juicy!  BFVQuote: “Fraud. Bitchass!”  And Towanda and Andre are having sex!  BFVQuote: “Ooo he stirred it like coffee!”

Tamar and Vince are on the set of “Love and War”, and it is going to be a marathon day for sure so Tamar can make time for the Dr. Sherry session with the sisters.  Tamar is a huge perfectionist and it is super apparent during the filming of this video (in case you didn’t catch it during the recording of her album on Tamar & Vince).  The precision is bananas.  Tamar will be filming in a bath tub, but before the Tamartians get their VS panties in a bunch Tamar will be filming in front of a stained glass window in the bathroom… not sitting in some stranger’s tube getting all soapy.  Get your minds out of the gutters, people!  BFVQuote: “She don’t do that!”  It does look pretty shasty.  Production could have at least cleaned their footprints out of the bottom before Tamar stepped in!

While Tamar wraps up her video shoot, the sisters and Evelyn start the therapy session with Dr. Sherry without the main source of discussion.  Toni volunteers to catch Dr. Sherry up on the sister issues with Tamar, and Towanda fills Dr. Sherry in on their recent conversation.  Kudos to Toni though for making sure Tamar’s feelings are still being heard despite her absence!  She is definitely all for making sure everyone’s voice is heard, and things are resolved.  Things quickly get a bit heated, and Trina gets extremely frustrated when Evelyn refuses to give a yes or no answer to whether or not Tamar neglected to involve the family in the filming of “Tamar & Vince”.  BFVQuote: “I don’t think I’m anymore protective over Tamar than I am over anyone else.”  With it being the best thing for everyone, Mama E decides to leave the session so the sisters can all talk freely.

Tamar arrives at the therapy session with the sisters, and WE are just hoping all five ladies can be open to each other’s feelings without being too defensive.  BFVQuote: “I’m a listening ear tonight.”  Tamar feels like she is at a dead end with her sisters, and she isn’t sure what has created the divide between herself and her sisters.  Towanda recaps her feelings to Tamar regarding how the news of the “Tamar and Vince” show was presented, but Traci adamantly denies that being the cause of all the problems.  Tamar gets increasingly loud and agitated when Vince’s name is brought up, and despite Toni’s best efforts to explain the sisters’ feelings on the matter, Tamar’s aggravation becomes too much and she walks out.  BFVQuote: “I should have never come here.  I should have listened to my gut.”  Toni is right.  Tamar needs to learn how to communicate better with her sisters.  This is not the forum to just say “F*ck you” to everyone and then walk away.  Unfortunately, this therapy session has turned into something even Dr. Sherry can’t control and poor Traci has just about had enough.  BFVQuote: “Don’t test me.  I am not the one. Don’t ‘Big Bad Wolf’ today.”  Dr. Sherry urges the sisters to let Tamar speak the “untruths”, but Toni can’t take it anymore when Tamar thinks all of this is over sister jealousy.  BFVQuote: “How they feel, how they feel about me I can’t resolve.”

Will Papa Braxton be able to resolve these sister issues? WE want to know what you think of all this sisterly nonsense!

 

First, I must say that I love the Braxton family. They are all really kind and genuine. Often times, their genuineness is expressed in a raw and uncut manner. This is what happened in my first session with them in Season 3. My initial and only response to the first session was… OMG! Did I miss something? Who are these people? What happened? It was apparent that everyone came to the session with a lot of issues and feelings that they needed to express. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was how those issues and feelings were expressed! It was like a ” Sh** Storm” and I was the only one not wearing boots! Once everyone started unloading their issues and attacking one another all at one time, no one was willing or able to listen. When this happened, the session was pretty much over! Yes, it was a wrap! This does not mean that they will not be able to process issues after some “cool down” time. It only means that they are all very passionate about their feelings and views! We will have to wait until later to see if they are able to regroup and bring back the values in the Braxton Family Values! I know they can but lets see if they will! Keep watching! Dr Sherry

I was so excited that my sisters were able to come visit me on the set of my movie “Twist of Faith” in Canada. It was my first leading role in a movie, so I was nervous, but having my sisters there was like a refreshment for me. I’ve always wanted to go blueberry picking, in Canada the blueberries are very juicy and organic! The people there are so very kind and made me feel at home, very hospitable. I am, however, slightly happy I missed out on the bridge my sisters decided to walk across! That looked like something out of Indiana Jones, I’m not sure that I would have had the courage to do so myself! Even though I’m not pleased with the way it ended, I think it was good for Towanda to sit down with Tamar one on one and express her feelings as a sister as well as for Tamar to hear where Towanda was coming from so they could come to some type of understanding. I’m not sure that they did at that particular moment, but it was still good for them to sit down with one another and at least attempt to make amends…as a big sister, I HATE seeing my sisters not getting along! I just want us to all to be one big happy family, is that too much to ask for?

I’ve loved England since the first time I visited as a young girl and stayed with two lovely families – the Anglos and the Saxons. Since then, I’ve seen almost everything that wonderful country has to offer. I’ve toured the British Museum, I’ve seen Parliament in session and I’ve even met the Queen – Elton John is truly delightful. The only thing left to do was a stand-up tour of the UK – I even had Tony as my opening act for one of the shows. Melissa decided to join me on tour. She and I had high tea with my friend Phyllis Sondes who’s an actual Countess as well as an oyster farmer! Talk about being a renaissance Lady (with a capital L). Then, Melissa and I attacked all those London stores like they haven’t been hit since the Blitzkrieg! Finally, I think Melissa put herself out there a bit while we were across the pond, and went on a couple of dates with a successful, handsome man named Duncan. With all the rain they have in England, why can’t lightning strike so Melissa can finally meet someone?

After Gabe proved to Trina he was willing to do what it took to win back her trust and her heart, Trina allowed him to move back into the house.  While Trina is packing for Canada, she goes through all the loose ends Gabe will need to tie up in her absence, including looking after the kids.  It seems like Gabe and Trina have made quite a comfortable life for the two boys.  BFVQuote: “What is he gonna do? ‘Oh, my mom will pick you up at 7.’  That ain’t hot!”

The sisters arrive on the set of Toni’s movie in Vancouver, Canada, while Vince stays back at the hotel to get some work done.  Does this still count as Velcro?  BFVQuote: “I’m just here for some sister time and some mommy time, and that’s it!”  When the girls get to Toni’s trailer, they immediately ask her about the stank smell outside.  Because she is on set with fields of berries surrounding her, the smell of manure is overwhelming.  BFVQuote: “That’s not blueberry, that’s poopberry.”  With the smell being a major deterrent, it doesn’t look like the sisters will give in to Toni’s plan to go blueberry picking.  BFVQuote: “No, Ton.  That’s stinkerization.”

Toni shows the sisters around set, and introduces them to the crew.  BFVQuote: “When you see your family and they’re all on one accord, that’s the greatest thing in the world.”  It looks like the sisters are really on their best behavior, and are trying their hardest to get along.  The church set even reminds the sisters of their father’s first church when he was a minister.  As they starts dancing in the pews of the church, they are immediately transported back to their childhood.

While Toni is working on the movie, the sisters will be checking out the sites and bonding with nature.  They start with a 450 foot suspended bridge that is 230+ ft in the air.  Someone really should have warned Tamar about this before the start of the tour.  BFVQuote: “Everyone knows that is not my tszuj.  She don’t do that.”  It looks like Tamar is about to lose her dang mind, and quickly bolts in the same direction she just came from.  BFVQuote: “She doesn’t have time to be losing her life or cracking this face because the girls want to walk across some damn bridge.”  The girls make it across the bridge only to be rewarded by a view of more trees.  BFVQuote: “Where is my reward? Where’s my glass of wine? There is no rain forest bar or something around here?”  Next is the cliff walk.  This day of outdoor adventure is turning into a day of outdoor complaining.  Tamar refuses to do the cliff walk at the first mention of “cliff” despite the coaxing and convincing of the girls and the tour guide.  BFVQuote: “Let’s go to drinks.  Let’s go to Neiman’s. This is not funners.”  At least the sisters can have a good time and break into random song when the mention of a “fertile tree” comes into play.

We don’t get to see the argument between the sisters and Tamar, but it must have been really bad for Trina, Traci, and Towanda to pick up and leave.  BFVQuote: “If I had known that was a sister moment, he wouldn’t have come.”  It looks like Vince’s presence may have been what set them off, and because of that it looks like Tamar and Vince will be on the next plane back to L.A.

The sisters go blueberry picking without Tamar, and Toni is still very confused as to what exactly happened to make Tamar back out of the sister outing.  Despite the clear absence of Tamar, the sisters are able to carry on and focus their energy on something productive… like making fun of Trina’s Canadian accent.  BFVQuote: “Trina is really Canadian.  I don’t know where my mom and dad got her from.  There, I said it.”  As the sisters pick their bushels of blueberries, they fill Toni in on what happened over drinks between them and Tamar.  BFVQuote: “You know, Vincent is the sixth sister.”  Toni is shocked to hear that Tamar and Vince are leaving after the argument over drinks, and wants to know exactly what happened.  Toni decides to call Tamar, but she is not budging.  She refuses to come to Toni’s house to hash it out.  Tamar’s lack of flexibility seems to now even be frustrating Toni.  BFVQuote: “Towanda is at her boiling point.  Tamar is at her boiling point.  All I can do right now is reach out to Tamar again and get her to join us for dinner with Mommy tonight.”

Toni still couldn’t convince Tamar to join the ladies for dinner, and it is very disappointing since it is unclear when they all will have an opportunity to clear the air.  Evelyn notices Tamar’s absence, and asks the girls to tell her the full story.  After the second recap of the episode, Mama E brings a little perspective to the ladies.  BFVQuote: “What is wrong with sister time? Nothing wrong with that.”  Evelyn agrees that she needs to find out what is going on with Tamar, but it’s “madness.”  It’s true that Tamar would have a fit if her husband wasn’t around, but one of the other sisters’ husbands was spending time with them on a “sister trip.”  BFVQuote: “Why are there double standards?”  Leave it to Trina to break the tension.  BFVQuote: “You have really small eyes.  Little baby ones. And little potato chip ears.”  As if the sisters need any more drama on this trip, Toni’s assistant, Alex has been arrested for talking on his cellphone while driving and for having glasses with alcohol remnants in the back of the seat.  BFVQuote: “I think Alex is about to find out what the inside of a Canadian jail looks like.”  Judging by that slow hand raise, WE think Trina had something to do with those glasses of alcohol.  Luckily, Alex’s charges were dropped but Toni wants Trina to sweat.  BFVQuote: “We are the Braxtons and you’ll see that we are full of confusion, drama and crime.  That’s us!”

Back in L.A. Tamar and Evelyn get a chance to go out to lunch alone and talk about the issues that have been going on with the sisters.  BFVQuote: “You’re acting like fools if I must say myself.”  Because of Tamar’s lack of attendance at dinner in Vancouver, it forced Evelyn to hear the girls’ side of the story.  Now it’s Tamar’s turn.  When hearing Tamar’s side of the story, it seems like the sisters are ganging up on her and she is being treated a bit unfairly because of certain feelings each of them may have.  BFVQuote: “When you sit down and talk, you will find out what they feel you have done.”  Ms. E is losing patience with this situation, and is giving the girls no other option than to fix the problem.

Towanda comes to L.A. to talk to Tamar, and hopefully this will help rectify the issues that have been plaguing the sisterhood.  However, it seems like Tamar’s attitude isn’t in the right place for this type of conversation since she has been on her phone as the two sisters sat in silence.  Tamar thinks the sisters have been very cliquey, and she is just not in that inner circle.  BFVQuote:”My issue is you haven’t been transparent.”  The spinoff show, Tamar & Vince seems to be the root of the issues, with the sisters feeling they should have been told personally about the opportunity.  BFVQuote: “Why am I on camera defending my character again? This is fuckin’ ridiculous.”  Tamar apologizes for getting her own spinoff, but that isn’t quite the issue.  The issue is that the sisters felt like Tamar didn’t want to work with them anymore, got her own show, and then wanted them to be on the show.  WE admit, that’s a bit confusing!  BFVQuote: “It’s not going to be resolved in this one sitting.”  When nothing can be resolved, Tamar gets up and walks out.  Clearly, WE have a long way to go before this gets resolved, fans!

Will the sisters resolve anything?  WE don’t even know what to speculate for next week.  What do you think?

 

In physics they taught us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Or in Mom’s case, an over-reaction. Case in point: There was an earthquake yesterday so today Mom wants to turn my house into a quake-proof, Doctor No-style lair. Mom’s like a fine-tuned sports car: she goes from zero to hysterical in about six seconds. Next thing I know we’re at End Timers ‘R Us buying 100-year supplies of canned vittles, I mean entrees, and portable toilets which, in a simpler time, would have been called plastic buckets with lids.

Maybe my Mom, my shrink, all my friends and that on-line psychic are right—maybe I have a social anxiety disorder when it comes to meeting guys. It’s time to stop walking around the dating pool and just dive right in. Apart from me drowning, what could go wrong? Plus it might take my mind off Mom’s latest survivalist scheme. Something about going off the grid and– hey, was that a live chicken I just heard in my back yard?

Quite often when you’re reared in a large family, everyone plays a specific role. The breakdown of the family dynamics can be very tricky and at times you can lose your voice. There is always one person in the family who has the biggest voice and the broadest opinions regardless if they are right or wrong. And seemingly on EVERY occasion this family member will find an opportunity to invoke their unsolicited advice or comment. The peacemaker will always try to make a way for everyone to get along; the fence rider is uncertain of what position to take; the comedian will try and make light of the situation; and the silent storm knows and observes the surroundings, and processes and locks it in storage for safe keepings. “The do as I say and not as I do” playbook is handed out and some members use it as a guide while others deem it as an unfair tool. Ultimately, we all need to understand it’s not about fairness or who’s right or wrong, it’s about creating boundaries and setting them for EVERYONE. If it feels right for YOU, don’t allow someone else’s subjectiveness to change your mind or make you feel that your way is not the best choice. Remember, you create your own destiny! Live the life your soul intended!

For a minute, I thought I had Parkinson’s disease! But all that trembling and shaking the other day was just another L.A. earthquake. It made me realize – I can’t believe how unprepared Melissa, Cooper and I are for a natural disaster. What would we do to survive if there was a landslide or a brush fire or if NBC extends Jay Leno’s contract again? Melissa’s emergency kit is ridiculous – a bottle of Evian water, a take-out menu and a glow stick…that’s a survival kit for a rave, not an earthquake. I’m going to make this family emergency-ready if it’s the last thing I do, which at my age is a distinct possibility. We’ll learn how to grow our own food, generate our own power… I might even learn how the toaster works. This way, when Armageddon comes, it won’t be the end of the world.

Amidst all of this disaster talk, I forgot the good news: I found out that I can perform my act and appear on stage as a hologram! This means I can make thousands of people laugh doing my standup in different venues, all at the same time. It’s every comedian’s dream.

Every year Cooper and I look forward to Grandma Week, a chance for just the two us to bond, laugh and explore. Last year we went to Europe, and I believe the year before we followed Ozzy around for a week but my memory of that summer’s still a little hazy. This Grandma Week we’re touring historic New England, but since we’re taking along Melissa, Cooper’s friend Julian, and my gay English friend Martyn it’ll be more like Fleet Week. We’ll be traveling in a tour bus once used by Willie Nelson, which I guess would explain the teeth marks. I can’t wait to stay at RV parks– whatever an RV is—use public washrooms, eat at local diners, and…wait, who am I, and where’s the nearest Neiman Marcus? The main thing is I’ll be with Cooper and Melissa and our friends, seeing where history was made and making memories of our own. Dear God, I was just told what RV means and it’s not Re-Imagined Versailles! Actually, I bet bus travel is not that bad. I just wish I knew what crawled up inside the bathroom and died. Anybody seen Willie Nelson lately?