Ramona Singer AveryIf there's one thing Real Housewives of New York star Ramona Singer is, it's herself. I recently caught up with her, and she was exactly as she seems on camera. Bold and sometimes abrasive, she knows who she is, what she wants, and despite all of the drama we've seen over the past five seasons, she says she has no regrets.

"Shit, yeah," she says when I ask her if she's had live-in help from the time her daughter, Avery, was born. "I couldn't have survived without it. I thought I could bring her with me to play in her playpen while I worked, but that wasn't practical."

And she's nothing if not practical. She admits that she did RHONY primarily to boost business for their family jewelry company, True Faith Jewelry. She said when the opportunity to do the show presented itself five years ago, they had a family meeting, which included Avery, and they decided to go for it. She hasn't looked back since.

But it's Avery, who's currently in the process of applying for colleges (she recently got accepted to the University of Michigan early action and is awaiting news from other schools), that I've often wondered about over the years. Ramona has been one of the most controversial cast members of the show, and plenty of people have blasted and berated her. So how has Avery -- who is seemingly a well-adjusted, happy kid -- dealt with seeing her mother in the line of fire so often?

Ramona says that for the most part Avery has enjoyed being on the show and knows that they have two separate lives. Sometimes she'll be upset when only one side of a situation is highlighted on the show. "That's not like you," she'll tell her mom. But she's come to understand that's part of the editing that goes with the show, and for the most part, she's enjoyed the ride.

As for Ramona, she says most of the drama and criticism that come with RHONY doesn't bother her, because she knows who she is. What really pisses her off though is when the other ladies don't confront her directly, talk behind her back, and say things that aren't true. "That's the bullshit that bothers me -- those 1:1 interviews in which they say things behind my back." She doesn't give any specific examples, but more than a few come to mind.

As for which ladies she's hoping will or won't come back for the next season, she's fairly tight lipped. "I'll embrace whoever is coming back," she says. But when pressed, it's clear the tension between her and Aviva Drescher hasn't quelled. "I don't dislike her," she says.

As for her true friend on the show, it's Sonja Morgan whom she speaks of with great affection. But she could use more like her. She says when Avery leaves for college she's going to focus on friendships with women more. She says she doesn't have many deep, deep female friends now, as she's been focused primarily on her family and career for so long.

As for her former castmates ... Jill Zarin? "We talk; I'm fine with her; no one is perfect." Kelly Bensimon? "We see each other, but you can't talk to Kelly. You know that."

No matter what has gone down, however, she says RHONY has been the time of her life. As for how long she sees herself on the show, she says she'll keep on doing it until it's not fun any longer. 

"It's been five years so, far, who would've thought," she says. Who would've thought, indeed.

Which ladies from Real Housewives of New York do you hope come back next season?


Image via Ramona Singer