104. Valley of the Twenty Something
Once upon a time...
in a kingdom far away...
a certain man...
and a slightly less certain woman...
kept bumping into one another.
They seemed to meet everywhere.
On street corners...
It was almost as if they were dating accidentally.
And then, after another chance meeting...
at a wealthy lawyer's new son's Briss...
they decided to pick a time to bump into each other on purpose.
Saturday, 10:30. The hottest new restaurant in Manhattan.
Samantha's P.R. firm was handling the opening.
So, isn't Brian great?
Charlotte had a new boyfriend. He had her big three:
Looks, manners, money.
Did I tell you he wants to buy a painting from my gallery?
Love and a commission. She couldn't have been happier.
- It's official. He's late. - Who?
Mr. Big, who else?
Carrie, that's great. Is it a date?
He called it a thing. He said, "Meet me--
Meet me for a drink thing."
- He never used the "D" word. - Well, "thing" is good.
- I mean, "thing" comes before date. - Let's hope so.
- I'm gonna go in. - Okay.
- See you in there. - Where did Skipper go?
I don't know how you can date that younger guy.
- They're so scattered and unfocused. - We're not dating.
It's a "fuck" thing.
Girls, isn't this fun?
I've turned away 20 so far. People are actually crying.
Oh, something came up. He's not gonna meet me.
Here, will you listen to this and tell me if you can figure out...
whether he's not meeting me as a date or as a friend.
Sometimes you need a second opinion...
with doctors, real estate, men.
I have no idea.
And I finished first in my litigation class.
How pathetic do I feel asking you...
if a guy kind of likes me?
There you are.
this is the hottest chef in New York, Jon.
Jon. J-O-N. No "H," no last name.
His blue crab strudel was so fabulous, he didn't need one.
And this is his very cute friend Sam.
Sam? Who's named Sam?
Me. Can I get you a drink?
Oh, good luck. The bar is packed.
No problem, 'cause the bartender's a buddy of mine.
- Miranda? - Martini.
Twenty-something guys always know the really important "B" people.
Plus, they have cute butts.
That's the Times critic. I'd better go.
Did I mention I'm sleeping with him?
He's lost. We gotta get him.
They stopped making martinis, so I got us two rum and Cokes. Is that okay?
Well, I hate rum and I hate Coke.
- But thanks. - Martinis, ladies.
- Look at you. - I was a waiter at TGIF.
They liked each other immediately.
You wanna see something?
Can you narrow that down a little bit?
Wait, I didn't--
No fair. Do it over.
- It's you. - I've been looking all over for you.
Here you are, holding a tongue.
Well, your message said you weren't coming.
I thought I said I'd try to make it for an hour.
Yeah, but then you said that--
- What did I say? - Never mind.
You're here, you have an hour. Let's have a drink.
I was outside trying to get in for 30 minutes...
inside looking for you for 20 minutes, leaving me with just enough time...
to tell you that I'm out of time.
You have fun.
Men in their 40s are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle:
and you're never really sure you've got the right answer.
This place is tired.
- Do you want to get out of here? - Sure.
A short cab ride later...
Samantha, Jon "no "H", Sam and l...
found ourselves at the nearby twenty-something club.
I can't believe you made Jon leave his own opening.
He is way too happening to be seen someplace borderline tired.
It was a tough town. Hot places had the life span of a medfly.
Samantha, everybody in here is in their 20s.
And so are we.
As I glanced around the room, I was amazed...
at the wide variety of great twenty-something guys.
The groovy guy.
The corporate guy.
The jock guy.
The underage guy.
There you are. How are you?
- I see you found us. - Big couch.
I'm not too heavy, am l?
Right. You weigh, like, nothing.
What's cuter than that?
As we took a swig from our pony-necked beers...
I remembered another type of twenty-something guy.
So, what's it like to kiss with that thing in?
You wanna find out?
The really good kisser guy.
- I am so fucked. - What's wrong?
No, I mean, literally.
I have been fucked every way you can be fucked.
If you keep talking like that, I'm gonna charge you by the minute.
As I searched for my morning Marlboro Light...
Samantha proceeded to give me a rundown of her night with Jon--
no "H," no inhibitions.
We did it with him on top, me on top, me on my side.
- Him on his side? - Oh, God, yes.
On his back, on his side, on his face.
- Have you ever done that? - It's too early to remember.
Well, do it immediately. It is fabulous.
These guys in their twenties, they are up for anything.
How did it go with you and Sam?
- We kissed. - Just kissed?
No. We just kissed for five hours...
at the club, in front of the club, on the corner of the club.
I forgot how much fun it is to just kiss, you know...
even if I did only get two hours sleep.
I didn't sleep at all.
As Samantha went on about her sexual escapades...
I glanced down at my arm.
There it was in Bic blue-- twenty-something Sam's phone number.
I had this sudden urge to call, but I'd just left him.
Hell, my lips were still swollen. Why this sudden craving?
Are men in their twenties the new designer drug?
Yes, Samantha, Miranda and I were all recreational users...
but were we getting into something we couldn't handle?
Okay, we were attracted to younger men for various reasons.
But I couldn't help but wonder: What do they see in us?
Women in their thirties are just so grateful.
It's like every bullshit nice thing you do...
is like throwing food to the starving.
Take your shot!
They give great head and know a lot about wine.
They remind me of my mom.
They know who they are and what they want, and I like that.
- Fuck! - Two words: smart pussy.
Later that week, Miranda and I compared notes.
Shouldn't we be dating men our own age?
Good luck finding one.
There are no available men in their thirties in New York.
Giuliani had them removed along with the homeless.
Then what's really going on here? ls it younger...younger men feel safer?
What's really going on here is sex.
Good old-fashioned, eager-to-please...
do-what-l-tell-you-to, Eagle Scout sex.
But I'm not having sex. It's a kissing thing.
So what's the big deal? It's just a fling.
It's not like we're throwing out our schedules or anything.
- Oh, sweetie, I gotta go. - Yeah?
I'm late for a meeting with my editor.
I didn't wanna tell her I cancelled lunch with my editor...
to go to Banana Republic and help twenty-something Sam pick out a shirt.
As I helped him try them on, I thought...
"He's sweet, he's fun, and I think he likes me.
Could he be more than a fling? Could he be a potential boyfriend?"
This isn't the Gap.
And speaking of potential boyfriends...
Iater that week the "crossword puzzle" asked me...
to meet him for a drink, blank.
Not quite a date, five letters, starts with a "T".
Whoever this is, I can't talk. I'm late for a drink thing.
I just need five minutes. I'm meeting Brian later and don't know what to do.
- About what? - Well, last night...
after a movie, we're walking down Second Avenue and just passed--
Four minutes, Charlotte.
I can't just blurt out what he asked me. It's embarrassing.
What did the perfect boyfriend ask?
Meet me in front of your apartment in ten minutes.
Okay, words are essential. Tell me exactly how he worded it.
"We've been seeing each other for a couple of weeks.
I really like you. And tomorrow night after dinner...
I want us to have anal sex.
Okay, next stop is gonna be 62nd and Madison.
- 62nd and Madison? - We're picking up Miranda.
- No, God, no. - Yes.
- And then we're picking up Samantha. - Oh, Carrie, no.
You need all the girl support you can get, and I'm late for drinks with Big.
Oh, that's great.
Even in her state of abject blackness, Charlotte was a dating optimist.
- It depends. How much do you like him? - A lot.
"Dating a few months until somebody better comes along" a lot...
or "marrying and moving to East Hampton" a lot?
I don't know. I'm not sure.
Well, you better get sure real quick.
- You're scaring me. - Don't scare her.
It's all about control.
If he goes up there, there's gonna be a shift in power.
Either he'll have the upper hand or you will.
There's a certain camp that believes whoever holds the dick holds the power.
Hello! You're driving.
The question is...
if he goes up your butt, will he respect you more or less?
- That's the issue. - No smoking in cab.
Sir, we're talking "up the butt." A cigarette is in order.
Front, back, who cares? A hole is a hole.
- Can I quote you? - Don't be so judgmental.
- You could use a little back door. - I'm not a hole.
Honey, we know.
All I'm saying is that this is a physical expression...
that the body was designed to experience.
And P.S., it's fabulous.
What are you talking about? I went to Smith.
Look, I'm just saying, with the right guy and right lubricant--
What was that?
Well, I can't believe it.
Same time, same place. Just you and me.
Well, sort of.
Meet my friend Jack.
Oh, hi. How are you?
Marvelous. Going through my second divorce.
Bitch is getting everything the first bitch didn't.
There he was, right in the middle of my drink thing...
Jesus. Look at that beautiful woman.
I'm gonna go ask her to join us for dinner. Excuse me.
He, uh, called me crying.
Do you forgive me?
Why don't you two have a guy's night.
You know, talk, cry, shoot bear.
I'm way behind on my column anyway.
Here. Next round on me.
We'll do our thing another time.
Are you sure?
I didn't know what I was supposed to feel.
Confused? Sad? Rejected?
I decided to walk to clear my head.
Also, I just left my cab fare on the table.
So I walked. I walked 48 blocks...
in four-hundred-dollar shoes.
I just needed something to take the edge off.
A little kiss to make me feel better.
But now, it wasn't working. I wasn't getting the same rush.
Tonight, I needed more.
Meanwhile uptown, Charlotte wondered...
when relationships had gotten so complicated.
She yearned for the time when dinner was followed by dessert, not lubricant.
I…I can't, Brian. I can't.
I want to, but I can't. I mean, actually--
No, that's not true. I don't want to. Or maybe I do.
I don't know what I want, but I'm afraid if I don't you'll dump me.
And if I do, then I'll be the "up the butt" girl.
I don't wanna be the "up the butt" girl. Because, I mean, men don't marry the "up the butt" girl.
Whoever heard of Mrs. Up The Butt? No, no, no.
I can't. I want children and nice bedding...
and I just can't handle this right now.
Can we fuck the regular way?
That night, they made love the Charlotte way--
polite and respectful on 300-count Egyptian cotton sheets.
That was really great.
when you lay like that...
you have the cutest little wrinkles in your neck.
Samantha realized as long as she dated someone younger...
she would always be older.
She gave up twenty-somethings right then and there.
As Samantha went cold turkey...
I got in deeper and deeper.
- That was-- - Totally awesome.
I was hooked. Gone.
Who cares about age, crossword puzzles...
the cab money I'd left on the table?
This felt so good, I'd do anything to keep this high.
And just when I thought I couldn't get any higher...
he spooned me.
I woke up wanting more, or maybe not.
In the gray morning light, everything looked completely different.
Candles from Urban Outfitter, dirty laundry, a pizza box.
Suddenly, reality hit.
I'm in a twenty-something apartment.
- Good morning, babe. - Good morning.
Fuck! I had this amazing dream.
My father and my ex-girlfriend were, like, dead or something.
How are you doing? It's good to see you.
- Coffee. I need coffee. - It's in the kitchen.
And I had these big hands, like big aluminum hands.
And I lived in this, like, big missile silo...
that was totally nuclear, and it was surrounded...
by, like, my enemies and shit.
And one by one, they'd run at me! They got inside somehow.
I don't remember, but they would, like, run at me...
and I would crush them to pieces with my big aluminum hands.
I crushed this one guy. He had no face and stuff...
but I crushed him.
I could crush anything with these big fucking hands, man.
You don't have any coffee--
- You don't have any coffee filters. - I'll make that. That's all right.
Oh! You were in the dream...
as this beautiful unicorn woman with glass eyes.
You, coffee. Me, bathroom.
That would make a kick-ass song, wouldn't it?
Oh, that's my roommate.
Every fiber in my thirty-something being was screaming...
"Get out! You're too old for this."
And just when I thought I couldn't sink any lower--
I need toilet paper!
I'm just using the last of it to make the coffee.
I decided the only way to break free...
was to move from one addiction to an even bigger one.
A couple of blocks and way too much money later...
I realized I had just entered an interesting chapter in my life.
I had outgrown the boys of my past...
and not quite grown into the men of my future.
Hi. How are you?
Why is it in a city of ten million men...
you always see the one you don't want and never see the one you--
What are you doing down there?
It's a wobbly table. Guess I have the touch.
Would you care to join us?
- What? - Your crossword puzzle.
Five-letter word. "To bring together." Hinge.
Nice seeing you. Bye.
- Bye. - Excuse me.
Hey, just so you know, I would've gotten hinge on my own.
- Maybe. - I have no doubt.
Now that I've got Jack hooked up, I'm single again.
Maybe we could have dinner sometime.
I don't know. I'm good at crossword puzzles.
I'm just not so good at people puzzles.
Anywhere you want.
Just you and me.
As I walked away, I had a thought: Maybe all men are a drug.
Sometimes they bring you down...
and sometimes, like now, they get you so high.
It would've been so cool if I hadn't looked back.