Elsa Patton, she of the unfortunate countenance and the quirky one-liners, the breakout star of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Miami and a poster child for that malady that afflicts too many plastic surgery enthusiasts — not knowing when to say when — is busting her daughter’s chops over lunch.
“Ay, Marysol, I don’t want you to sell me so cheap,” she says when her daughter brings up the new ringtones she created featuring some of Elsa’s most quoted quips:
“I’m not much of a dreenker but once I start dreenking I feel goood,” Elsa says during an episode last season, wine glass in hand. Now, for $2.99, you can hear her say this over and over, in her comically heavy Spanish accent.
Marysol Patton, who on and off the air plays straight man to her mother and is president of Miami public relations firm The Patton Group, recently developed not only the ringtones, but also a line of Cuban coffee in honor of her mother. Havana Elsa features on the package a black-and-white image of Elsa from long ago, back before a single scalpel had touched her lovely face. (The ringtones and coffee are available at www.HavanaElsa.com.)
“I mean, $2.99 for a reeeng tone? Is that all your mother means to you?,” Elsa says while savoring a few prudent bites of cheesecake with berry coulis at PM Buenos Aires in the Brickell area. Yes, Marysol suggested the lunch spot, and yes, she represents the place.
“Mami, I have to stay within the market price,” the daughter says with a sigh. “You can’t charge more than that for a ringtone.”
You get the sense that while Marysol is trying to be the responsible businesswoman, working on possible branding opportunities and tie-ins while she and Mami have this moment in the spotlight, Elsa is playing the whole thing for laughs.
Sure, she has seen the website posts trash-talking her looks. But she’s not sweating any of the chatter.
“No, I’m not upset that some people talk about me that way. Because it’s true,” Elsa says with a shrug. “My doctor destroyed my face. For example, I never asked him to touch my chin. But he did anyway.’’
Did she consider suing?
“I don’t believe in that. The doctor said he would fix it again, for only $7,000. I said, ‘You want to charge me $7,000 for what you did to me?’ But I really don’t have a complex about how I look. When I needed to be pretty and young, I was pretty and young. Now I’m almost 80 and I don’t need to be that pretty. I wish I looked a little better. But I accept that what happened, happened.”
The mother, a self-professed clairvoyant who over lunch tells you about a woman who will help take your career to the next level, has plenty of grit. But the daughter can be a lot less impervious to the slings and arrows inherent in a TV show that by way of conceit throws together a bunch of pampered ladies (to use a term loosely) and waits for them to engage in that ancient and not-so-feminist sport of scratching out one another’s eyes.
Take, for instance, the earth-shattering controversy unfolding on the second season of the show: Whether or not Marysol, in her role as publicist for the annual gala hosted by star defense attorney Roy Black and his wife Lea, straight up dissed one of Lea’s best girlfriends and perhaps Miami’s most in-demand drag queen, Elaine Lancaster.