Real Housewives of New Jersey – The Story of Margaret Josephs is a Story that Lives in All of Us
A day late and a dollar short, I finally finished watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey which aired earlier this year. Now I did blog on the first episode when Theresa was eloquently going around whispering in people’s ears about Jackie’s husband’s “infidelity”, in Jackie’s home celebrating her husband’s birthday.
I wouldn’t care if it was reality television or not, I will say this, anyone who did shit like that at my own personal party would not be a friend ever again. Some actions are just unforgivable.
Needless to say, as the season played out, Theresa apologized to both Jackie and her husband about her behavior and misinformation.
Now before I even get started with Margaret, let me just mention the comment Jackie made about, Gia, what if rumors were circulating that she was doing coke at a party.
While it may have been a bad analogy to use – I completely understood where Jackie was coming from, as she wanted Theresa to understand the severity of spreading malicious rumors. Maybe she should have used Theresa as an example and not her daughter.
So, let’s talk about Margaret Josephs.
Margaret has presented herself to be a practical business woman, hardworking, with a variety of different projects and those projects have given her much of a platform to promote via the Housewives of New Jersey and her social media (no offense to anyone else on the show).
But when Margaret made her first appearance in 2017, it seemed one, “a la Siggy”, showed her ugly head of jealousy when she gifted Theresa a beautiful reef in an acknowledgment of her mom’s passing. Seems Siggy didn’t like that, I guess because it wasn’t her who initiated the idea. Not too long after, Danielle showed the same resentments when she felt Margaret wasn’t giving their friendship the “attention” it deserved. Both had no problems throwing jabs about Margaret’s past in her face and both no longer on the show (thank goodness).
In 2015, Melissa Gorga paired up with another person to open up a fashion store called Envy, however, due to some disagreements, which also played out in 2017, Envy temporarily shut its doors while Melissa regrouped and prepared to buy new merchandise for the store. After sharing with Margaret what happened, not only did she take the time out to advise Melissa, but to also help her pick out products for the reopening of her store.
I will say this, in my experience of having my own business, Margaret was so giving to Melissa. You don’t find many people like that to help you in that way unless they just want to steal from you which has been MY personal experience and it was refreshing to see this collaborative relationship form.
And while drama is still very much the main ingredient when it comes to the Real Housewives franchise, this past season, as Margaret was working on her new book, “Caviar Dreams, Tuna Fish Budget: How to Survive in Business and Life”, renovating her house, seeing her relationship with Joe flourish beautifully day by day, she disclosed something she never mention on the show before. When she was working within the fashion industry and her boss made sexual passes, suggesting she sleep with him, and she did.
Let me just say, Margaret Josephs’ will not be the only woman to tell a story about sleeping with a boss to keep a job or to move up within the corporate sector. What I didn’t like was Jennifer Aydin’s response and reaction towards Margaret and the choices she made at that time in her life. For her to even suggest this is something you don’t share out loud defeats the purpose of why Margaret said it in the first place.
Jennifer has been on the show now, what is it, three seasons? I think two – I mean I can recall her drunk scenes more than she’s accomplished on the show.
Needless to say, for Margaret to open up in such a way, is brave on her part and to also share this personal experience, it’s a reminder we aren’t alone in having similar experiences.
Besides wanting to play the slap game with Jennifer (it’s a “How I Met Your Mother” thing LOL), I thought about my own experiences when I first started working. I won’t say where, but it was a government job, I was able to acquire as a summer employee and thereafter becoming permanent, once I was able to pass the exam.
I was working a bit late on this particular day and as it started to get dark outside, all of the sudden the building lights went out. There were people still on my floor working late as well, so we called out to each other to find one another.
I reached out for my lighter (I used to smoke back then) and not realizing my acrylic nail was melting as I was making my way towards another employee, a much older man who worked on my floor. I stood nearby him as we called out to others, and I turned off my lighter when all of the sudden I felt him grab me by my shoulders and kiss me right in my mouth.
There was so much going through my head in that moment. I was shocked because this was a person I worked with for several years, and he never ever disrespected me or spoke to me in a demeaning manner.
Other thoughts seemed to swirl pretty much immediately and all jumbled in my head, like what about his wife and children, and why, like why?
I pushed my hands on his chest (he was pretty tall) to get away from him, still in shock of what just happened, the lights came right back on, almost like a freakin sign and I looked at him and said, “why did you do that?”
I will never forget his response.
“It seemed like the perfect moment.”
I was shocked and didn’t know how to react. I was 19 years old and here was a man, had to say maybe in his late fifties at the time, just thinking the building lights go out so let me grab you and make out with you because it was a “perfect moment”?
I can’t remember seeing him too much after that other than at that moment walking away and feeling dirty and disturbed like I did something wrong.
That wouldn’t be my last experience with another manager who was doing real estate part time. I was in a bad living situation with an abusive boyfriend, and my friend suggested I should move to Staten Island because the apartments were cheap and she was living there too, so we wouldn’t be alone. I’m not sure and can’t recall how he found out I was looking for an apartment and he offered to help me. We drove to Staten Island and he showed me a great studio apartment, which I agreed to take (I have to tell you this is bringing back super uncomfortable memories). After he shows me the apartment, as we are getting ready to walk out, he turns around and starts kissing me.
Another one who didn’t care he was married?
I asked myself why did men get married if they were going to do things like this? Was this normal behavior, or did I miss the memo it was okay to cheat on your spouse?
But as I was asking myself why was this happening, I was learning something new about what it meant to be a young woman in the eighties, “pussy is power”.
And while I didn’t jump at any opportunity with these men, it made me think about myself in a whole different way.
So, you mean to tell me, that if I give up pussy, I can have whatever I want?
Let me put this on record, I was not in a good way at that time in my life. I had a really bad drinking habit which escalated to drugs (that will be in my book) and my choices were altered.
It wasn’t until I became clean and sober was when I entered back into the work force and sex in the work place was at an all-time high and “normalized” in some sort of bizarre way. I remember in 1992, I had gotten a job, I can’t even remember exactly what these people did. I remember one of the women I worked for was nasty to the core, everything I did, she took it personal, like I was out to attack her at any given moment.
There was one day, one of the owners asked me to give him a folder of some papers he was looking for to review. I went into his office and handed him the folder and as I was walking out of the office, he slapped my butt with the folder. I remember looking back and seeing the smirk on his face and I said nothing and just walked out.
In my career of working for different companies, if an affair was going on in the office and you knew about it, you didn’t talk about it.
If you did talk about it, you were the one who became the problem. Backwards thinking at its finest.
Sex in the workplace isn’t an unusual story, hence the reason why I wrote the book, “An Illegal Affair”, which by the way, I want to complete the rewrites by the end of the year, so I can post it back up on Amazon next year.
Margaret sharing that private part of her journey, should only be encountered with respect, but not many will see it that way. Especially someone like Jennifer, who lives in a bubble and doesn’t have to work for her money.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s clear her husband loves her. If he didn’t, most likely he will just be an absent husband. So, I give him kudos for loving her unconditionally, while knowing the nasty things that come out from her mouth.
There will be women in this world who will blame other women for these types of situations which are truly out of their control. If you’re a career woman, looking to climb up the corporate latter, you still had to prove yourself in one form or another, because sadly, your education and experience weren’t enough.
Take the industry of banking, for example, how many women versus men drive that sector? How many men will still believe a woman can’t do as great of a job as a man would? How many men sit there and badger women for not being good enough to do a “man’s job”, or even have the ability to “think like a man”, in order to survive the world of financing. Trust me when I tell you, they are out there, even if you don’t see them or hear them talk about it.
Back in the 80’s the work world was a very different place, and in my mind set, I wanted to climb that corporate latter but I didn’t know exactly what career path I wanted to take. I didn’t have much of a desire to be an administrative assistant for the rest of my life.
I wasn’t interested in sales, however, I was exploring the opportunities of working in the magazine or fashion industry. Sadly, in order to get any of these interviews, you had to know someone who knew someone in order to even get in the door of the damn building.
When I think about Margaret’s story, between her career and her relationships, she makes every effort to make time for them, regardless of what is going on around her. If anything, she is the reason why I tune in to the Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Margaret is a woman who doesn’t have a problem speaking her mind. And who knows, perhaps from this experience, she was able to find her own voice and to teach others, if they want to succeed, they don’t have to succumb to sexual suggestions on what they have to do to get ahead in their careers or to land a dream position that doesn’t require them to be on their knees.
Her story are reminders that we are not perfect and we don’t live perfect lives. And sometimes, our love stories may not be the most ideal situations in how we meet our partners, granted I can tell you love stories that will leave many in disbelief. It’s not our place to judge. To see Joe with Margaret is to understand true love. That’s all that really matters.
To sum this up, we all have a ‘Margaret’ story within us in one form or another. We understand our experiences ugly or beautiful are a way to learn and be productive in handling the next situation. But stand firm on this, if we didn’t give permission, it’s a violation of our personal space (not to be confused with politics or anti vaxxers who are not too fond about their own personal health and the health of others).
Of course, I don’t want to politicize the shit, I’m just making it clear, that statement doesn’t relay to our current situation. This is about a violation of personal space, when someone feels they can touch you in places you didn’t give them permission to do so. It also means no one has a right to use their position of power to get you to heed to their unrealistic demands in order for you to get ahead in your career.
Your merits, the time you put into educating yourself in that field is the only thing that should matter.
Thank you Margaret for sharing your story.
What more can I say? As drama filled as these shows can be, there’s always a lesson to be learned for watching. I’m just here to break down some things, not everyone will talk about.
Until then. Take care of you.