213. Games People Play
In a town where everyone's dying to couple up...
...sometimes there's nothing better than being out of a relationship.
You have time to do your laundry...
...freedom to play your favorite bad music really loudly.
But the best part of being out of a relationship:
Plenty of time to catch up with your friends.
I feel sorry for Big. I really do, because if you think about it...
...I was the best thing that ever happened to him. Actually, I pity him.
Because I get to walk away and be me and he has to walk away and stay him.
Who wants to be him when you can be me? I'm smart. I'm funny.
I was this thing. I was it. I was this magic moment.
I was the abracadabra. I was totally the “poof” in the relationship.
I've got more poof in one finger than he could ever have.
Sometimes, I poof just hailing a cab.
So, I guess it's better to know now so I can go poof someone else.
Someone who deserves me...
...and not some screwed up, insecure guy who can't deal with a woman...
...who's got her act together.
Now, I'm gonna end up deliriously happy and Big is gonna die old and alone...
...and I pity him. Really, I pity him.
Al right. Who's gonna tell her?
You're obsessed with talking about Big and frankly, we can't take it anymore.
-It's out of our league. – What is it? Is this an intervention?
Yes, stop her before she obsesses again.
Isn't part of the whole breaking up process that you get free rein to whine to your friends?
Of course you do. But maybe you should think about whining to a shrink.
Why should I pay someone when we can talk for free...
...and then go get a drink or whatever?
I don't need professional help. I've got you guys.
For about another ten minutes. Then we're cutting you off, cold turkey.
Hey, I don't need therapy. I need new friends.
Look, we're as fucked up as you are. It's like the blind leading the blind.
Sometimes it helps to talk to somebody who's objective.
Okay, I understand why you see a shrink because you're always in your head...
...but I'm fine. I am functioning. Besides, I don't really…
To be honest, I just don't buy the whole shrink thing.
Neither do I. My parents believe...
...that any head problem can be solved with physical exercise.
That's why all of us are really good tennis players.
It's a slippery slope.
First you go once a week, then three times a week...
...and next thing you know...you start sentences, “My shrink says....”
My shrink says that's a very common fear.
Therapy is just so self-indulgent.
Ancient man didn't need shrinks to survive.
Ancient man only lived till 30.
Were my friends right?
Had I crossed the line from pleasantly neurotic...
...into annoyingly troubled?
I decided to seek my own professional help.
How can you not have a shrink? This is Manhattan. Even the shrinks have shrinks.
The fact was, Stanford was right.
The therapist was as ubiquitous in Manhattan as pirated cable.
I have three.
You do not.
I do: One when I want to be cuddled...
...one when I want tough love...
...and one for when I just want to look at a really beautiful man.
-That's sick. -Which is why I see the other two.
-Do you want a name? -No, Miranda's shrink referred me to one.
Dr. Ellen Greenfield.
Dr. G! My god! She is hot, hot, hot. Gwyneth Paltrow sees her.
Why does she go to a shrink?
She suffers from some high self-esteem.
While I was contemplating the couch, Miranda was enjoying hers.
Two nights later, she had another nocturnal rendezvous.
Soon, Miranda found herself with a nightly playmate.
A week later, I kept my date with Dr. G, celebrity shrink.
So Carrie, tell me why you're here.
Well, my friends can't handle me anymore.
You're like very expensive foster care.
What's bothering them?
They tell me that I talk about my ex-boyfriend too much.
But that's normal, right, after a break up?
I don't like the term ”normal.”
No, of course you don't, because you wouldn't have any patients.
So, tell me about him: the ex.
You know, I have to be honest. I'm not sure I really believe in therapy.
I'm more of a ”solve your own problems” kind of gal.
Okay. I don't know.
He was smart. He was sexy, just totally screwed up.
He was playing all these games, and I didn't know the rules.
You were playing games.
No, he was. I was just along for the ride.
What about you?
Was this the first time you dated a man who couldn't give you what you wanted?
Well, that's a little easy, don't you think?
Okay. Yeah. Maybe I've dated men who were wrong for me, but who hasn't?
The thing they have in common is you.
-What's your point? -Maybe you are picking the wrong men.
Well, of course you pick the wrong guys. Jesus, I could have told you that.
Frankly, I think I picked the wrong therapist.
She just did not get me at all. She thought I was a game player.
You have to be. It's the only way to deal with men.
That's healthy. Relationships are not about games.
They're about mature and honest communication.
This coming from a woman who plays peek-a-boo with her neighbor.
Games are empowering.
If you know what you're doing, you can totally control the situation.
The only place you can control a man is in bed.
If we perpetually gave men blow jobs, we could run the world.
At least our hands would be free to greet dignitaries and stuff.
I mean, even if you're in a relationship...you still have to play games.
Big and I played games. Look where it got us.
But maybe the game is not really over. Maybe it's just halftime.
That kind of delusional thinking is why you should be in therapy, too.
I do not pick the wrong guys. They pick me.
So what, you're like a fly strip for dysfunctional men?
Yeah, but one of those really pretty floral scented ones.
It's slim pickings out there.
You can't swing a Fendi purse without knocking over five losers.
Where did all the great guys go?
There it was: happy hour in the valley of lost men.
I've never seen this many of them rounded up in one space.
-What's going on? -It's sports night.
It certainly is.
Come on, girls. Let the games begin.
Sports night: Every female's fantasy...
...a room full of captive heterosexual men...
...all looking to be distracted during commercial breaks.
I'm getting a contact high from all the testosterone.
-We didn't order these. -They're on the house.
It's sports night. Ladies drink for free.
Forget Disneyland. This is the happiest place on Earth.
If you ladies will excuse me. I'm getting on the bench.
-Who's winning? -Knicks.
-Is that good? -You're not a Knicks fan, I take it.
-I'm Don. -Samantha.
Don Seglar was a very successful importer of Mexican handbags.
He was fanatical about two things: keeping the price of foreign labor down...
...and the Knicks.
-Maybe I can teach you a few things. -And vice versa!
It's 10 seconds left. Pass, you motherfucker!
We need to penetrate, drive to the basket.
Get it to Johnson. He's on fire tonight. Go L.J., go!
Which is exactly what Samantha did two hours later.
When I got home that night, I couldn't get Charlotte's words out of my head.
We spent our childhoods playing games.
Were they all just primers for the games we played as adults?
Were relationships just a big chess match: strategy moves, countermoves...
...all designed to keep your opponent off balance until you win?
Was there such a thing as an honest relationship? Or was it true?
Do you have to play games to make a relationship work?
I went out with this girl on Saturday night. We had a great time.
I didn't call her again until Thursday, so I didn't seem eager.
I went out with this guy on Saturday night. I thought we had a great time.
The asshole doesn't call me until Thursday.
I screened his call and didn't return it until Monday.
I gave my boyfriend an ultimatum. Propose by Christmas or it's over.
My girlfriends said that was a game. I think it was just smart.
Besides, if he doesn't come through, I can always secretly get pregnant.
The next day, I reluctantly showed up for my second appointment with Dr. G.
I was still a skeptic and I'd already read every New Yorker in the waiting room.
When you think about it, what was I getting out of this anyway?
And then, at five minutes to my last scheduled hour...I got my answer.
My third appointment with Dr. G:
I had come a little early to catch up on my reading.
Hi. I'm Seth.
I thought we could go on playing this coy game, or I could introduce myself.
Well, I'm glad you did.
Especially since I had worn my new dress for the occasion.
That New Yorker is from last year.
Well, this New Yorker is a little behind on her reading.
So, how long have you been a Dr. G convert?
Not very long, just three sessions.
I just had my one-year anniversary.
What'd she give you, a cake or something?
A really big bill.
Listen, this is gonna sound a little weird. Would you have dinner with me sometime?
Sure. I'd like that.
-Call me, all right? -Okay.
Maybe it was unethical making a date...
...with Seth Robinson, photographer, in my shrink's waiting room...
...but there was something about him.
Come on in. Well, you're dressed up.
He's a photographer.
-And you met him at your shrink's? -It wasn't a setup or anything.
Jeez, what if he's crazy?
It's the crazy ones that have the good pills.
That's it! Go, Marcus! Go!
Excuse me, but why is that on and who is Marcus?
Marcus Camby, Knicks forward.
Now that Ewing is injured, he really needs to pull it out.
When did we start caring about basketball?
Don is obsessed. I don't get laid unless the Knicks win.
Can I just say? They and I have been on a very long losing streak.
-That's awful. -No kidding.
The Knicks are the only ones getting screwed right now.
Come on, you fuckers!
Why are you staying with him?
Because the sex, what I can remember, was unbelievable.
Yes! They won!
-I've got to go. -Go. Have sex. Go!
The next night, Miranda got a pleasant surprise.
Her date thought it was time they moved past peek-a-boo to playing doctor.
Miranda wanted to play fair, so she gave him a little tit for tat.
All over town, people were getting lucky.
Seth and I were having a great first date at the coffee shop.
And what about the plant?
I know. She always has it in a different place.
Maybe it's some sort of Dr. G psychological test.
-That's it. It's Where's Waldo. -Yeah. And it needs to be watered.
-It's plastic. -Are you sure?
I touched it.
You touched Dr. G's plant?
I've been going to her over a year. I got bored. Then you came along.
-Well, that's sweet. -No, it's true.
There was something about him. I felt like I could talk to him about anything.
And in the spirit of psychological health and not playing games...
...I decided to be honest.
I like you.
I like you, too.
Later that week, Miranda went shopping for dinner.
Shopping quickly devolved into a game of hide-and-seek.
I thought I'd be an adult here and come over and introduce myself.
Hi. I'm Miranda.
You know. Across the airshaft.
Yeah, right. You're the girl who lives above the guy I've been cruising.
Miranda realized she was still playing with an imaginary friend...
...just like she did when she was five.
The next day, she called her shrink for an emergency session.
Meanwhile, Sam had decided she would celebrate...
...the end of the basketball season and the return of her sex life...
...by watching the final Knicks game at Don’s.
Baby! In a minute, baby.
The Mets are playing Chicago.
Now that basketball is over, I can give them my full attention.
They've been playing lousy ball this year.
The idea of lasting through another sexless season...
...was more than Samantha could take.
So, she forfeited the game.
Meanwhile, I was getting plenty of action.
Seth and I had just come back from another amazing date.
You want to come in?
I think I already am. This is great.
You have all the classics here: Clue, Parcheesi, and Twister.
I was the seventh grade Twister champion.
-Is that a challenge? -Yeah.
All right, buddy. It's go time.
-How are you holding up? -Feeling good, my friend.
Left foot yellow.
I guess that one's mine.
You're in a very compromising position.
I believe I'm in about 20 compromising positions.
I am not gonna lose my concentration.
In no time it was ”yellow pants off.”
So what do you think Dr. G would have to say about this?
Very bad. Bad patients.
I have to tell you.
I'm not really into therapy, I think it's kind of bullshit.
-I'm telling Dr. G on you. -No, no!
-Cross your heart. -Hope to die.
So why are you in therapy, seriously?
I'm really fucked up about women.
After I sleep with them, I completely lose interest.
What about you? What's your problem?
I believe in therapy, this moment is called ”the breakthrough.”
I pick the wrong men.
Although she'd made some good points, I stopped seeing Dr. G immediately.
I couldn't risk the humiliation of running into Seth in the waiting room.
My friends totally understand.