By Brigette Flood and Sandy M. Tyler

The main event of last night’s episode was Ayden’s Dedication. Woowee, you had to be dedicated to get through it all. Phaedra likes any reason to pull out the pomp and the circumstance and to have Dwight decorate it. What is a Dedication, you ask? Well for Phaedra, it’s time you dedicate to watching your son be carried down the aisle of a church by a processional comprised of a couple of flower girls, 4 bell ringers, 4 litter bearers, 2 child wranglers and the proud parents. Now you wonder, what is a litter? Basically, it’s a throne that people use to carry someone somewhere, and those of a certain age find it most comfortable to make the ride with their favorite sippy cup.

Phaedra compares Ayden’s upcoming Dedication to a coronation, and it is. Although Prince Ayden couldn’t care less now, we bet that one day he’ll be plenty embarrassed about it all. Nevertheless, his Dedication will come with all of the fabulocity available. Meaning, Dwight swoops in to give everything his own brand of magical fairy-dust. No one can sport a floral porkpie hat or fluff a bowl of green tomatoes like that guy.

Kim is planning her own celebration on a much smaller scale, welcoming Kroy back from football camp with a home-cooked meal. But in Kim’s world, a balloon bouquet and a pan of lasagna requires a private chef and assistance from her hairstylist, not to mention her nanny standing by to help. But when you don’t know NOT to dry your wigs in the microwave in a plastic bag, maybe it is best to have other adults around. Luckily, Arianna is on the case, keeping the operation on schedule and making sure Kroy has a cold beer when he walks through the door. Her hard work pays off when Kroy brings home a hat signed for Arianna from fellow Falcon, Tony Gonzalez, bringing her to adorable tears.

The whole family seems thrilled with Kroy’s return, and Kim wants to make sure he feels at home, showing him that she’s replaced her usual solo, glamour shots with pictures of the two of them all around the manse. Most were taken while she was pregnant, and we do think the pregnant belly shot over the mantle was beyond overkill. But hopefully, they won’t ever make anyone eat in that room. One person not there to welcome Kroy – Sweetie who has recently been let go. No one seems at all surprised by the news even though it’s supposed to be the first time they’ve heard it. Maybe the family needed more rehearsal before they taped that particular scene? At least Kim was considerate enough to fire Sweetie off-camera.

NeNe introduces us to Miss Norris this week. She serves as Brentt’s nanny/substitute Mom, especially during Brentt’s parents’ separation and his Mom’s new “celebrity” schedule. Brentt seems to be dealing with his parents’ separation well – his Mom is more relaxed and his Dad isn’t such a grouch. NeNe says everyone has the right to find their own happiness, including Gregg. It still doesn’t seem like NeNe’s ready to make her divorce official, but at least Brentt is in a good place if she does.

When the day of Ayden’s Dedication ceremony arrives, Phaedra is in her zone and poor Apollo looks zoned out. But let’s be honest, he’s mostly there to look good, and hallelujah, he is excellent at that. The ceremony’s a family affair, as Phaedra’s Mom and Dad, both pastors, participate in the blessing. Nice to finally meet you, Pastor H-e-n-e-r-y Parks. Why has Reverend Regina Bell been keeping you so secret? Maybe not everyone in the Parks family is as happily quippy in front of the camera as Phaedra is.

The only housewives who made it to the dedication were Cynthia (on time) and then Kim (an hour and half late). Extreme awkwardness, so loved by Bravo producers, ensues when Kim and Kroy have to share a table with Cynthia and Peter at Ayden’s reception. There’s definitely an African elephant in the room, and Cynthia and Kim put it all out in the open after the ceremony in the church’s parking lot. Kim wants to talk through the whole “black baby” controversy once and for all. Cynthia says something along the lines of, “When I dig, you dig, we dig,” because at this point, what she actually said on the trip is a mystery to her. (And seems to be a mystery to anyone else who was actually there.) We’re not sure if the two cleared the air or just agreed to disagree, but at least they weren’t too disagreeable when they parted.

Let’s step back a life stage or two to catch up with Shereé and her future son-in-law Damon. Last week Damon told Shereé he was getting ready to pop the question to her oldest daughter, Tierra. This week, the two got lots of quality time together. Shereé volunteered to help Damon pick out Tierra’s engagement ring, which seemed like a bad idea. This week proved just how bad. Shereé basically serves as a “go-big-or-go-home” advocate for Tierra, who has never given us the impression that she’s much of a material girl.

Shereé, wanting to make sure Tierra gets “what she deserves”, takes Damon to an expensive, Buckhead jewelry store to look at multi-carat stunners in the $40,000 to $70,000 range. (They probably require a credit card number and a “like” on Facebook before you even walk in the door.) Shereé lights up at the sight of the expensive baubles while Damon  starts to gulp his champagne. When Damon reminds her he has student loans to pay back and works part-time, Shereé advises him to, “Go work overtime.” To which Damon responds, “Overtime? How about another person?“

Later, they head to Brio so Damon can plan his actual question popping. Do they live in Buckhead? They sure spend lots of time there. During their quality time, we get the impression that Shereé is not only wearing her own divorce heartbreak on her sleeve but also trying to live vicariously through Tierra. Ironically, the daughter she didn’t acknowledge on-air until last season. We guess Damon got that impression too and tries to remind Shereé that she’s not the one he’s getting married to. And yet obviously, making a lifetime commitment to Tierra, also includes a lifetime with Shereé who has lately has been putting financial considerations ahead of emotional ones. No wonder Damon is considering his options.

Another day, another discussion. Damon stops by for a chat with Shereé. Basically, he called for a meeting. Sweet. Welcome to the cast, Damon. He sits Shereé down and says, “At this time, I won’t be proposing to Tierra … I only get one time to do this so I want to come correct, and make sure everything is perfect – with money, feelings and timing.” Shereé, to her credit, seems happy that he’s choosing to wait until he’s less scared. All in all, it was a great way for us to get to know and like Damon. We’re sure his ring will mean a thing if only he can propose on his own terms and without the Bravo cameras, and money-grabbing Shereé, in his way.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

3 replies on “Real Housewives of Atlanta: Pomp and circumstance”

  1. Sheree’ and Damon actually chose a $6,500 ring that was a fabulous engagement ring at my jewelry store, Palas Jewelers, featured on this episode. We have jewelry that starts under $50 and welcome everyone with a smile and a glass of bubbly if they would like! No reservations required 🙂 We love being involved in any engagement or celebration and that is the important part to us, not the amount of money you do or do not spend. In this case, Damon was not quite ready to buy a ring but when he is, Palas Jewelers will be here for him! Hope to see you soon and of course we would like it if you “liked” us on Facebook but it isn’t required to stop by.

  2. I live in NC, and I loved that ring! I’m willing to travel to get it. I visited the engagement ring section of your website, but I didn’t see it offered. Am I mistaken about that?

  3. Gayle,
    I am not sure which one you loved but here are some that are similar. They filmed the show last June so several of the exact rings have sold. Let me know which one is closest and you can send me a direct email at krista@palasjewelers.com
    http://www.palasjewelers.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=p1&Product_Code=16095&Category_Code=Engagement
    or
    http://www.palasjewelers.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=p1&Product_Code=17241&Category_Code=Engagement
    We look forward to making your dream ring come true!
    Krista

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