212. La Douleur Exquise!
New York City restaurants are always looking for the next new angle...
...to grab that elusive and somewhat jaded Manhattan palate.
Last year, it was”Fusion-Cajun.”
Last month, it was”Mussels from Brussels.”
And tonight, it's “S & M.”
Samantha's PR firm was hired to do the opening party for La Douleur Exquise.
Translation: The Exquisite Pain.
Of course, we were all invited.
This is what happens when the Mayor shuts down the sex shops.
Pops up in your cuisine.
I know where I'm taking Mother for dinner the next time she's in town.
-Honey! -Excuse me.
Let her through!
-What are you wearing? -The invitation said “kinky.”
I kinked my hair.
The ladies are inside. Go have fun.
Excuse me, but when did wild sex come back in style?
I think it was the weekend you spent at the Barneys warehouse sale.
Three Cosmopolitans, a Diet Coke, and a vodka Martini with a twist.
I said olive. Bad waiter, bad waiter.
-What do you tip for that? -Anyone else want a whack?
How does he wait on tables dressed like that? It's humiliating.
The summer I worked at Howard Johnsons, I wore an orange hat.
Don't be so judgmental. This is just a sexual expression.
All these people have jobs and pay their bills. They're just having fun with fetishes.
I wonder what your fetish is?
Charlotte has a thing for Crabtree and Evelyn potpourri.
-I don't have a fetish! -We all have a fetish.
The difference between us and them is:
They're putting it out there where everyone can see.
I think it's healthy and fabulous.
It was lovely to see you all.
And remember ladies: Whipping on the first date is considered forward.
Sit your ass down, Mistress Carrie. There are drinks present.
No can do. Big's flying to Paris tomorrow for business and I wanna say goodbye.
Why not give him a goodbye he'll never forget?
Go get him, girl.
Laugh, it's a joke.
Wait, wait. Not so fast. Let me see.
Baby. Oh, baby?
I wasn't sure if it was the cap, the crop, or me, but it worked.
Meanwhile, at a fetish across town, Stanford Blanche had a secret sex life.
A very active secret sex life on the Internet as “Rick9Plus.”
It all started innocently enough as a goof on a lonely Friday night.
But pretty soon he was logging in hours and hours on his favorite website.
It was a comfort to know that others shared his underwear fetish.
Sometimes as many as 2,000 hits a day.
No sooner had Rick9Plus entered the chat room...
...that he got a message from his favorite on-screen pal, “Bigtool4U.”
Some fetishes can only flourish behind closed doors...
...in the very late night hours on a laptop.
While others are right out in the broad daylight where everyone can see them.
Charlotte, like every other normal woman in Manhattan, had a thing for shoes.
-Good morning. -Good morning.
-Beautiful shoes. -Just got those in.
-Would you like to try them on? -No. I'm just looking. I have way too many shoes as it is.
Size seven? Size seven.
You are bad. Ok, I'm just trying them on.
I can't even afford them. I'm saving for a summershare in the Hamptons.
Beautiful. Look at that craftsmanship.
-I love them. How much? -$400.
No. I can't. Please take it off before I start to cry.
-Why? -Shoes were meant to be loved.
You're gonna need a beautiful sandal like that in the Hamptons.
Thank you so much.
-Buster. -Thank you, Buster.
While one woman was uptown eyeing her artful new sandal...
...another was downtown eyeing Art of Scandal:
The Life and Times of Isabella Stewart Gardner.
Miranda was obsessed with reading historical biographies. In fact...
...she spent all last weekend in bed with Philip of Spain.
That's very good. Crazy Horse and Custer:
The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors.
Stephen Ambrose. Great writer.
I know. I just finished his...
...Meriwether Lewis and Thomas Jefferson: Undaunted Courage. Amazing.
I'll pick that up right after I finish F.D.R.: The New York Years.
And right after Miranda picked up Elizabeth I by Jasper Riley...
...Jack picked up Miranda.
Big and I stayed in bed all morning...
...which gave us just enough time for coffee and some last minute details.
I'm gonna miss you.
In a week I'll be back and you can sit there and watch as I unpack.
There. I helped.
Before I forget, Charlotte wants to do a share in the Hamptons.
Are we thinking about doing something or should I go in on that?
-Don't think I can. -Why, not a big fan of the $40 crab salad?
Actually there's a possibility I'm not gonna be here this summer.
I may have to move to Paris for work. Just for a while.
For how long a while?
I don't know. Seven months, maybe a year. Nothing's definite.
Wait! Wait, wait, wait. How long have you known about this?
It's been in the works for a while. I'll know more details after this trip.
When did you plan on telling me?
When I knew more. Nothing's definite. Don't get carried away.
There's the car. I have to go, or I'll miss the plane.
We'll figure this all out when I get back.
I wanted to kill him!
He's standing there giving me the “what's-the-big-problem” eyes.
I don't understand, like it's my problem.
Calm down. There are ways to make this work.
It's seven months. You can go visit in Paris.
-He can come back here. -It's not about that.
It's about the fact that I wasn't even a factor in his decision-making process.
-Totally. -Men do this all the time.
Women walking around thinking “we.” And their version of “we” is “me and my dick.”
Just tell me what's going on! Is that too much to ask?
“Carrie, I'm thinking about going to France for the rest of my life!”
-Am I right? -Totally.
One minute he's all over me, and the next he's pushing me away.
And I just cannot believe this is happening, again!
Yes, all right, calm down. There'll be no breaking of things.
Why do I keep doing this to myself? I must be a masochist or something.
That's when I first realized it. I was in an S & M relationship with Mr. Big.
In love relationships, there is a fine line between pleasure and pain.
In fact, it's a common belief that a relationship without pain...
...is a relationship not worth having.
To some, pain implies growth.
But how do we know when the growing pains stop...
...and the “pain-pains” take over?
Are we masochists or optimists, if we continue to walk that fine line?
When it comes to relationships...
...how do you know when enough is enough?
When you read The Complete War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle, get back to me.
On Tuesday night, Miranda and Jack had dinner.
In the biography of her life...
...this would go down as the best first date in history.
This is kind of what I wanted to show you.
Mark Twain lived here. Right around the time he wrote Huck Finn.
-It's private property. -I know. I'm gonna show you his little house.
Right there, number 27.
Just when Miranda thought she could read Jack perfectly...
...he opened an entire new chapter.
No. Someone might come by, we could get caught.
A chapter entitled: “I like to have sex in places I can get caught.”
With my one man out of town in Paris...
...I found time to have drinks with my other man.
I need your advice. But in order to get it, I have to confess something.
-I'm asking you not to judge me. -Who am I to judge anyone? I had bangs in the 80s.
I have cybersex on the Internet.
And this would be the nonjudgment part?
My name is Rick9Plus.
No, you didn't!
Rick9Plus: How sad is that?
I think it shows a great deal of restraint. You could have been “Rick11.”
So, I've been chatting with this guy and we have a really great time.
But now he wants to meet and I don't know if I should.
Let's figure this out. What do you know about him?
His name is Bigtool4U.
Come on, Carrie. This is serious.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Rick.
Where does he want to meet you?
At an after-hours gay club in the Meatpacking District.
Makes sense. Tell me why you want to go.
He seems hot. It's exciting.
I haven't had good sex since before Cats was on Broadway.
I say go. Have a naughty little adventure. Be safe, have fun.
What if he disses me? He said he's really great looking and has a really ripped body.
Well, are you Rick9Plus?
I'm so getting your point.
After Rick9Plus went home, I decided I was just drunk enough to call Big.
It's me. What are you doing?
I'm in bed. I think it's called sleeping.
So, you're funny in France?
It's 5:30 in the morning. What is it?
I would like to know how you could even think of going to Paris...
...and not even think about discussing it with me.
I think about you all the time.
What's he doing? What's he thinking? But you, no.
When were you planning to tell me? Are you still there?
Okay, because I think about you all the time.
No. Correction, correction. I think about us all the time.
Can we get into this another time? I was sleeping.
Look. It's never a good time for you. You're always sleeping, or you're going....
You're always going. Your fucking “Taxi!”
Then you're on a plane to France for maybe a year.
You're a freaking old man. You should be thinking about somebody else.
This is not fake us. This is real.
Even if you don't know it, it is. I am a woman. A wo-man!
Have another cocktail, Woman.
This isn't about cocktails. This is about basic human decency.
This is about taking responsibility. It's about being a grown-up. It's about being a man.
I am a man. I'm a tired man. It's 5:30 in the morning here.
You better get used to it because if you move there, this is how our relationship is gonna be.
You'll be sleeping when I'm eating and I'll be sleeping when....
Are you still there?
I'm going to bed. I have an important meeting at 9:00.
Fine, hang up. Don't call me when I'm sleeping because...
...I have a job here too, you know. Shit.
Even through my Cosmopolitan haze, I knew I had gone too far.
Take off your panties.
I want to give you head.
In the cab? You're not serious? The driver is right there.
Yes. Yes! Take Ninth Avenue.
A few days later on the way home, Charlotte couldn't help but notice...
...a gorgeous pair of Italian slingbacks in the window.
I just came in to look.
You have a very high arch.
-Are you a dancer? -No.
Such well-formed feet.
I was in Miss Debbie's Twirlers when I was a little girl.
They are so beautiful.
For anyone else, $500. For you, free.
What? No, Buster. Why would you do something like that?
Because these beautiful feet are tired and they need a little rub.
When a shoe fetish meets a foot fetish, all reason goes out the shop window.
I am way overreacting to this whole France situation.
I think Charlotte's right, there are ways to work this out.
What made you change your mind?
I completely lost my shit to Big on the phone.
And I realized how close this whole thing is to really blowing up.
Yes, it's painful sometimes, but it's worth it, you know?
I mean, the guy has to go there for work.
And really what is so awful about spending a week here and there...
-...with your boyfriend in Paris? -Nothing, it's so romantic.
Great, your love life takes you to Paris and I'm fucking in the back of a cab.
-That's lovely. -And not just there. We've done it in the bathroom at Bond Street.
I just ate there!
The elevator at the Marriott Marquis and a public restroom in Central Park.
How very “George Michael” of you.
We've actually never done it Iying down, or inside, for that matter.
This is supposed to be a relationship, not Outward Bound.
You've got to get him in a bedroom and find out what's really there.
I'm a little afraid to try. He likes the threat of getting caught.
What if being with just me isn't enough?
Excuse me, Miss Charlotte, what is happening south of your ankles?
-They're new. Do you like them? -I love them! $500?
No, not that much.
-The guy just kind of gave me a deal. -How much?
-Why? -And where is he?
He just really wanted me to have them. He just really loves it when people love shoes.
Sweetie, this is New York City, nobody loves anything that much.
Well, I let him hold my feet. Just a little.
The second she said it out loud, she knew what she had to do.
I can't keep these shoes you gave me.
-Why? -You know why.
You've already worn them, I can't take them back. Keep them.
No, thank you!
-Then I'll throw them in the garbage. -No, they're too beautiful.
I'd buy them, but I can't afford it.
What about a trade? Six new styles just came in. I've never seen them on a foot.
Charlotte looked down at the exquisite shoes. The smell of leather was intoxicating.
All I have to do is try the shoes on?
Charlotte felt like Cinderella.
Cinderella in a dirty, kinky, freaked out, storybook, parallel universe.
Big arrived on the 9:00 p.m. flight.
I was at his door by 10:00 to welcome him home in style.
Bonjour, voila le French hat, Voila, le French fry.
And it doesn't stop there. I have le Big Mac, and le Filet de Fish.
What is all this?
It's an apology for being le bitch.
I've been thinking about this. We can make this work.
We can, you know. We'll do le phone sex.
If things get really bad, then I'll move to Paris for a while...
...and write Le Sex in le City.
-That would be great. -Which one?
I don't care. But you'd be moving to Paris for yourself, right?
I mean, don't move for me.
Why would I move to Paris if it wasn't for you?
I'm just saying I don't want you to uproot your life and expect anything.
-I am such an idiot! -What the fuck?
I'm running around town in a beret, buying your greasy food...
...and you don't even care if I'm in your life!
-Would you calm down? -No! I'm so tired of calming down!
Look, I have to be in a relationship...
...where if I have to go to Paris, I have to go to Paris.
Fine, go to Paris. Then what happens to us next year...
...when you decide you just have to go to Brazil?
This isn't about us! This is about work!
This isn't about work. This is about us getting closer...
...and you getting so freaked out...
...that you have to put an ocean between us.
I don't want to talk about this anymore.
Why is it so hard for you to factor me into your life in any real way?
I guess old habits die hard.
Maybe I can't do this anymore.
I bet you do. You said you loved me.
Then why does it hurt so fucking much?
On the way home I was furious.
Not with Big, with myself. I was the real sadist.
He might be the one with the whip, but I was the one who tied myself up.
Tied myself to a man who was terrified of being tied down.
And downtown, in the Meatpacking District...
...another terrified man was preparing to face his fears.
Take them off.
Stanford panicked. He hadn’t been seen in his underwear...
...by a roomful of men since seventh grade gym class.
What's it gonna be, pal? In or out?
So, Rick9Plus undressed. It would have been rude to stand up Bigtool4U.
To her surprise, Miranda had no trouble getting Jack to agree to make love...
...in his bedroom that night.
Let's do it in bed.
Suddenly, her fear of his fetish ended.
Miranda realized that Jack's excitement wasn't about getting caught.
It was about her and she really began to let loose.
Something she'd been unable to do outside.
Jack? Is everything all right?
Who was that?
It's my mother. My parents are visiting.
They sound like they're coming in here. Are they coming in here?
At first, Stanford thought he'd be shunned for lack of the popular six-pack abs.
Never seen that kind before.
They're French! I bought them in Paris.
Stanford Blanche had never felt more special.
Another beer for you?
Stanford learned that sometimes a brief encounter can be quite fulfilling.
I went to bed at 1:00. I was still wide-awake at 2:30.
There were no words left. We'd said them all.
After we made love, I knew it was over.
Did I ever really love Big or was I addicted to the pain?
The exquisite pain of wanting someone so unattainable.
What are you doing over there?
Go to Paris. I'm not gonna come.
Let's not pretend we're something we're not. It's okay.
Come to bed.
I wanted to go to him, but I felt like I was tied to the chair.
Some part of me was holding me back, knowing I had gone too far. Reached my limit.
And just like that, I had untied myself from Mr. Big.
I was free. But there was nothing exquisite about it.