Mandy butting heads with Frank’s mom, Susan, provided the biggest source of conflict so far on A Basement Affair. How strange, then, that she was let go so soon! Below, Mandy talks about that rivalry, the misconceptions about her life and character suggested by this show and whether she had anything to do with the vodka in the water bottle.
Frank’s mom Susan gave you a hard time on the show. Why do you think that was?
I have no idea. I think because I went in there not like, “Oh my god, Mrs. Maresca, Mrs. Maresca. Your son is so amazing. He’s my sun and my moon.” Those girls were so obnoxiously over-the-top. I just wanted to be myself. I’m a sarcastic person. Some of the girls were like, “Mrs. Maresca, you’re so much more beautiful in person.” It was like, oh my god, somebody stick a pencil in my ear right now. I can’t take it! When I told her, “Lucky you,” about me rejoining the family, I was trying to be funny. I winked at her. You saw me cleaning and putting the food away. I did so much in that house. The next day, I woke up at 6 in the morning and was making like 20 pots of coffee for everyone in the house, and I said to her, “Mrs. Maresca, I don’t know how we got off on such a horrible start, but whatever it is that you think I said, it was because of sarcasm and my nerves. All I meant was that I’m so giving and loving that most of my boyfriends’ parents want to adopt me.” She was like, “Oh honey, no problem. Today’s a new day.” That lady is nuts. She’s crazy!
I thought when you said, “Lucky you,” you were being self-deprecating.
It was so sarcastic. I was also being sarcastic when I said, “If it doesn’t work out in your basement, my parents will let you live in their attic.” When I said, “I have a gift for you,” my present for that challenge was the best ever. Of course they didn’t show it to make it look like I had some 15-inch dildo somewhere waiting for him.
What was the gift?
I had a picture of me and my girlfriend out in a nightclub with her arm around me, and I had a guy in one of those kiosks at the mall Photoshop her out and put Frank in so it looked like he had his arm around me. I had it engraved on dog tags and on the back it said, “Frank Maresca, My Entertainer.” I also had music notes engraved on it. It was the nicest, most thoughtful gift ever. I didn’t go down there crushing beer cans with my t**s. He was such a douche about the martini, complaining it had too many f***ing calories, blah blah blah. But then when he drank it, he said, “Oh my god, this is so good!” He loved the dog tag. He said, “This the nicest gift ever.” And then, here comes Godzilla down the stairs with her glasses. She looks at it, and then just walks away.
What did you think of Frank going into the show?
Little did they know that I’m friends with one of Frank’s friends, so I knew about this show the day that he got it. I tried out for Rock of Love like three years ago, and I made it to the very top but I backed out because I couldn’t go to L.A., or I’d lose my job. Every time a show comes up, they always ask me if I want to do it. With this one, I figured, “I’m going to do it” because number one, it was shooting in New York, and number two, my friend went to school with Frank and raved about him, saying he was the coolest, funniest guy ever. So I figured, “Screw it, I’m going to meet him.” And then I get there and his mom is calling my phony. She walked up to a half-empty water bottle on a counter. There were 30,000 people in that house and before she even smelled it, started screaming about it. It was so fake and cheesy. And then she comes outside telling me to kill myself? That lady has a screw loose! Maybe her not liking me off the bat was real, because she thinks she’s so cool. But I think she went way too far with it. Look, the first rule when we got in that house was, “Clean up after yourself,” and I’m the only one who did it. Not because I’m a kiss-ass, but because I was raised by an Italian lady and that’s what we did at her house. But yeah, she was nuts. She told me to sleep with one eye open! Don’t you think if I was as awful as she said I was, VH1 would have aired a clip of me being mean, or talking s*** or starting a fight?
So you’re saying that you had nothing to do with the water bottle?
No! While those girls were getting bombed in the hot tub, I was upstairs spray-tanning Renee and Melissa, because they were too pale to go on camera in bikinis! Then I scrubbed the bathroom because everything was orange. And like I said, I had a flask. You never know when you’re gonna go on a road trip! If I really wanted to keep that vodka, I wouldn’t have put it in a water bottle and left it where somebody could find it. Don’t you think I would have hid it somewhere? You know what I think? I think she was one of those kids that they made eat crayons in the sandbox and because of that she grew up to be a bully who likes to yell at people. I should buy her a Bible and tell her she needs to hang out in grandma’s room and reflect.
What did you think of the way Frank dismissed you?
I thought it was cool. I mean, I thought he punked out, but he’s a man. There’s like 15 chicks willing to get naked in his basement, and then there’s me, who his mom already hates. So what’s he gonna do, fight with that crazy lunatic for the rest of his life so that he can date me for five minutes? No. But the way he did it, I thought was cool. Standing there with no key when everyone else has one – I’ve been there. It sucks. Who even knows what his mom would have said to me? I didn’t know that his mom gave him an ultimatum until I watched the show. I mean, I knew he didn’t think I was ugly because he told me I was beautiful twice. I thought maybe I was too much like his mother, although when I thought that, I didn’t realize she was the devil. I figured, maybe I’m too old-school Italian and he wants a crazy, naked stripper chick. There I was walking around cleaning and taking care of people. I did think it was weird that he said he felt no love connection, because we probably said about eight sentences to each other the entire time I was there. Like, how do you not know there’s a connection after 30 seconds? Annie was there! Annie, who was hiding behind bushes and under bunk beds. I wanted to see her green card to make sure she spoke English, because she didn’t say a single word to any of us. It’s like, you didn’t feel a connection with me, but this chick went into your basement with chicken wire, a plunger, and a hot glue gun. Did she put the chicken wire around your neck, the plunger up your ass and glue your balls together because you’re into S&M? Is she in the plumbers’ union and you think you’re going to get good benefits by marrying her? Why is she still in this house?
What do you think of Frank now?
I have no problems with him at all. He was everything his friend said he is. I know he’s cool, and I know he liked me. He said it, and I know he loved my gift.
So after the show, it was back to the attic for you?
No, I have my own apartment! The attic was a joke! I know the show made it look like I was being serious, but I don’t care, it’s hysterical. My friends make fun of me: “Mandy, wanna hang out in your attic?” When I came on the show, I’d just broken up with my fiancé, and I moved back home before I got a place. So I had an apartment in my parents’ house. They made me look like a 45-year-old lesbian alcoholic who tries to kill people and who lives in a cubby hole. Quite the catch, right?