206. The Cheating Curve
They say that most New Yorkers will attend the opening of an envelope...
...as long as the champagne doesn't run dry.
But tonight's opening at Charlotte's gallery for Yael...
...a lesbian painter from Brooklyn Heights...
...actually transcended the bad wine, stale cheese routine.
It was lesbian chic meets art-world cool.
A surprisingly fabulous combustion that no one saw coming.
Charlotte was there with her latest fling, Gareth Davis.
A toxic bachelor and the owner of Thorn, a downtown restaurant...
...frequented by second-tier models and the men who buy them salad.
Miranda brought Ethan Watson...
...a documentary filmmaker she had met the week before...
...at a sparsely attended Harvard Alumni mixer.
And my date for the evening was Samantha.
Not entirely inappropriate given the circumstances.
Nobody told me it was B.Y.O. Man.
What did you expect? It's a lesbian art show.
I know. But don't straight guys follow them around to see what they're going to do?
Wait a second. You see that guy?
-Who? -I know him.
-Who is he? -He's a trainer at my gym.
And you should see his squat thrusts. I'm just gonna say hello.
You know what, honey? I think I'm gonna go home.
-Relax, I'll be right back. -I don't feel very well.
-What's wrong? -I have a headache. It just hit me.
-You want a Percodan? -I'm fine. I just need some sleep. Go ahead, make new friends.
-I'll call you. -Okay.
With Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte all suitably occupied...
...I figured there was no better time to make my escape.
The truth was, I had another engagement.
But I didn't dare tell any of my friends where I was going...
...or who I was planning to meet.
-You look sensational. -You don't look so bad yourself.
This old thing? I've had it for years.
Sure I knew it was wrong.
Seeing an emotionally unavailable man I had sworn off months earlier.
But the guilt worked like an aphrodisiac.
I had never felt sexier or more alive in my entire life.
By midnight, Charlotte discovered Manhattan’s latest group...
...to flaunt their disposable income:
The power lesbian. They seem to have everything.
Great shoes, killer eyewear and the secrets to invisible makeup.
-I want that one. I'm gonna take it. -Didn't I say I was buying it?
-I thought you were taking the large one when we came in. -I want both.
For God's sakes.
Charlotte had never sold out a show before in her life.
She was pleasantly surprised.
Unfortunately, there was a not so pleasant surprise in store for her.
We're out of champagne.
I'm sure I have an extra case or two in the back storeroom.
Relax, we're just kissing. I'll see you in there.
I can't believe he had the nerve to stand there kissing that woman…
…and still pretended he wasn't cheating on me.
Maybe he doesn't consider kissing cheating.
C’mon. It was only your second date.
So? Doesn't that guarantee me fidelity until the end of the evening?
Remember Ron, the married guy with kids on Park Avenue?
He didn't consider fucking below 23rd Street cheating.
Men cheat for the same reason that dogs lick their balls:
Because they can. It's part of their biology.
Instead of wasting all this energy condemning it...
...maybe it's time we all got in line with the reality of the situation.
That sounds very empowering, but you're forgetting one important detail.
I hope so.
-Women cheat. -But it's different.
We don't go around randomly attacking any man we're attracted to.
-Speak for yourself. -We're not driven by testosterone.
Then what does drive us according to you?
-Emotions. -You mean hormones.
No. I mean that little voice inside of me that says, "Mate for life."
You can't listen to every fucking little voice that runs through your head.
It'll drive you nuts.
The problem is that you two have very different definitions of what constitutes cheating.
I don't tolerate it.
And I'm more forgiving and realistic about human nature.
That's because you cheat.
I just don't think that you can define cheating in absolute terms.
You think it's okay to cheat?
I think maybe there's a cheating curve.
Someone's definition of what constitutes cheating...
...is in direct proportion to how much they themselves want to cheat.
That's moral relativism.
I prefer to think of it as quantum cheating.
The fact is, the act of cheating is defined by the act of getting caught.
One doesn't exist without the other.
I wondered, was Samantha right?
Is cheating like the proverbial tree in the forest?
That it doesn't exist if there's no one around to catch you?
In a gravity-free world of anything goes, what constitutes cheating?
Everybody cheats. That's the great thing about having a trainer.
Seven, keep your neck back. Eight.
Pisses me off seeing people train improperly.
I guess I better behave then.
I'm all about form and discipline.
Do it right or don't bother doing it at all.
Samantha realized that while purity of form exacted a price...
...it also had its own rewards.
So how do you feel?
You got me all wet. I mean sweaty.
Same time on Wednesday?
It's a date.
Later that day, Charlotte realized she was just playing tired of listening...
...to another man’s weak justifications.
You don’t understand. She's an old friend of my sister's from college.
She just moved to the city and her uncle died last month.
I was just trying to be supportive. Besides...you're the one I want to sleep with.
When she felt her life take a fortuitous turn.
Gareth, I've got to go.
Hi! Nice to see you.
I just came in to pay for my painting.
It's her painting for six months and then she's selling it back to me.
Excuse me. I'm the one with the big loft and all the empty white walls.
Look at it. I am so excited.
Excuse me. By the way, I love the Prada loafers.
Power lesbians and their shoes are like Wall Street brokers and their cigars.
Alice told me so many nice things about you.
How long have you been doing the art thing?
Ten years. No, 12 years. I'm losing track.
AImost five years at this gallery. What do you do?
I'm a V.P. at Warner Music. Eileen works on Wall Street.
How long have you been together?
Used to be together. Five years. We're just friends now.
That is so cool.
Want to join Melissa and Drew in about an hour for a drink?
Sure. Would you like to join us for a drink?
I wish I could, but--
The truth is Charlotte couldn't think of one really good reason not to go.
I'd love to.
One drink at G-Spot, the hottest new girl bar in town...
...followed by dinner and scintillating conversation at Luke's...
...a hot new French-fusion restaurant with an even hotter chef...
...followed by late-night dancing at Love Tunnel...
...left Charlotte exhilarated and happy as she'd been in ages.
There was something relaxing and liberating...
...in traveling in an alternate universe that contained no thought of men.
By the end of the night, Charlotte had truly made some wonderful new friends.
That night, Miranda was exhausted from her own night on the town.
She had spent the last four hours in the dark with Ethan...
...watching the classic holocaust documentary Shoah.
Shoah is so much better than that faky, stagy Schindler's List.
Narrative film can't begin to touch the horror of experience.
Only documentaries can really begin to capture the truth.
In fact, the entire concept of narrative film...is just bogus. You know…
Want to come back to my place?
Miranda was pleased to discover that Ethan was as passionate between sheets...
...as he was on the subject of non-narrative film.
But just as they were getting down to business...
...Miranda realized they were not alone.
What's that for?
Just something to get us in the mood. I think it's kind of sexy, don't you?
Yeah, I guess it could be.
Miranda realized that Ethan's passion for film...
...had taken on a new and interesting twist.
A few nights later, after a late show of Gimme Shelter at the Waverly...
...Miranda discovered that Ethan's new friends were hard to shake.
-Does that really need to be on? -No. It just really turns me on.
-Aren't I enough? -You're great. I can turn off the sound if it bugs you.
Could you move your head a bit to the right?
Yeah. That's great.
That night, in Mr. Big's kitchen, I performed an unnatural act of my own. I cooked.
You didn't cook. You just heated up cheese.
And tore up little pieces of bread.
-I'm touched by your effort. -Okay. It's the only recipe I could ever master.
All righty. Now...tell me you love it.
Now you tell me.
Can we go to a restaurant now? I take it back. You're an excellent cook.
I haven't told my friends we're seeing each other again.
Neither have I.
-That doesn't count. You have no friends. -I have interested parties.
-Why haven't you told them? -I sensed you didn't want me to.
What do you want me to tell people?
-Nothing. -Good idea. Let's keep it quiet.
-Why do you want to keep it quiet? -I just want to be agreeable.
The truth is, I wasn't sure why I wanted to keep the fact...
...that I was seeing Big again so under wraps.
All I knew is that it felt somehow illicit.
I didn’t even want to be caught waking up there.
That morning at 7:00 a.m. as I walked the Walk of Shame back to my apartment....
-What are you doing up here? -Teeth cleaning.
-At 7:00 a.m.? -I like to get it over with. How's Ethan?
-Aside from his porn addiction? -Still?
It was kind of sexy at first, but it's getting borderline humiliating.
"Move your head here. Move your head there."
Isn't the real thing more exciting than a tape?
Maybe it's a force of habit.
Sure, but I get the feeling he's more interested in the video than me.
Like he's cheating on me with them while we're having sex. I don't know.
Am I expecting too much?
No, you deserve his undivided attention.
Thank you. I have to go. I have a 8:00A.M. breakfast meeting.
-You're dressed up for the dentist! -Laundry day.
-Got it. -Bye, sweetie.
I felt horrible. I had never lied to Miranda before.
But I was embarrassed to admit that I was seeing Big again.
The truth was, I was cheating on her and all my friends with Mr. Big.
That afternoon, Samantha got very personal with her new trainer, Thor.
I feel like such a cliche. I bet you sleep with all your clients.
I really don't, but it's always been kind of a fantasy for me.
-Maybe I could train you. -Why don't we take a shower first?
You got great legs.
If I knew we were going to be doing this, I'd have shaved them.
That's all right. I'll shave them for you.
Are you a dirty girl?
I guess that depends on your definition of dirty.
And then to Samantha's surprise and delight...
...Thor kept right on shaving.
What is this thing guys have these days about wanting to shave your pubic hair?
It's obvious. They want a little girl.
Actually, in Thor's case, it was more like being branded.
What are you talking about?
He shaved me in a shape: a lightning bolt.
Where do you find these guys? Carrie, are you listening to this?
That very personal trainer of Samantha's...
...shaved her crotch in the shape of a lightening bolt.
Really. It's very creative. Sort of like X marks the spot.
You know, it's a very neglected area. But people are really starting to pay attention.
You can't just let it grow wild any more.
There's an entire business these days...
...devoted to the upkeep and management of pubic hair.
It says as much about you as shoes.
Congratulations, it sounds like you found yourself a very talented stylist.
What are you doing in there?
You know what? Can somebody get that? I'll be out in a sec.
Sorry I'm late.
You didn't have to get all dressed up for us.
Why not? You did your hair.
It's not for you guys. I'm meeting Lydia and her friends tonight.
-Who's Lydia? -Haven't you heard? Charlotte's a lesbian.
I am not a lesbian. I just have some new lesbian friends.
She's been out with them three times this past week.
They're cool and they buy art and their lives aren't complicated by men.
I was a major lesbian in the fourth grade. Wendy Kirsten. We kissed. It was nice.
They know you're straight, right?
I'm sure they do, but we don't even talk about sex. Believe me. It's a non-issue.
You have to tell them, otherwise you're just leading them on.
That’s right. You're nothing but a big clit tease.
Are you saying that a straight woman and a gay woman can't be friends?
Of course, they can.
But you can't expect to move to Wonder Woman's island and not go native.
If she doesn't get out of the bathroom, we'll miss the movie.
Is everything okay in there?
Actually, no. I need help.
This is embarrassing. I got a new diaphragm and it's stuck.
How long has it been in there?
Since last night.
You mean while you were out getting your teeth cleaned--
I'm either gonna have to make an emergency visit to my gynecologist...
... or one of you is gonna have to give me a hand.
I'd help you, but I'm not very dexterous.
You're the lesbian, go in there.
Go. And I just had my nails done.
You are so buying me dinner.
Wait a second. Aren't we skipping a beat here? Who are you sleeping with?
It's something that started again a few weeks ago.
I don't know if it's real so I didn't want to say anything. But, it's Big.
You're sleeping with Big? He was such an asshole to you.
Not really. Maybe sometimes.
Why do you think it'll be different this time?
I don't know. I'm not sure they are, but it kind of feels okay.
If it feels okay, why are you sneaking behind our back?
We've got this physical, chemical, kind of connection that's hard to shake.
So lay off, okay?
-Now it's gonna be a casual sex thing? -Maybe.
-That's gonna work. -Even I am not that naive.
I'm really not in the mood to see a movie anymore.
I couldn't sleep at all that night. The problem was, my friends were right.
Falling into this casual thing with Big, without a sense of what happened...
...or where it was going, suddenly felt like a huge mistake.
The next morning, Charlotte attended brunch at the home of Patty Aston...
...the ex-wife of a Hollywood television producer.
If power lesbians represented Manhattan’s chicest new social hive...
...Charlotte was about to meet their queen bee.
Patty is an amazing lady.
She's on the board of 100 charities and now she's taking flying lessons.
She's also got a gorgeous house in Telluride. We're all going there for Easter.
-You should come. -I'd love to.
She also has some very interesting art.
Diana the Huntress. I got her on sale.
This is Charlotte.
A pleasure. I've heard so many wonderful things about you.
I was telling Charlotte about your amazing house in Telluride.
I'm gonna get us some drinks.
Do you ski?
Yes, but not well. I guess I'm what you'd call a snow bunny.
You know, I just kind of hop hop hop, down the bunny trail.
It's not a prerequisite, believe me.
It's wonderful to leave the city and be in the mountains.
So, you should plan to join us the next time. I know Lydia would love it if you could.
That's very generous of you.
But before we get on a plane together, there's something I think everyone want to know.
-Are you gay? -No, I'm not.
But I do so enjoy the company of all these women. Everyone's so smart and funny.
After spending too much time and attention on men...
...it feels like such a safe, warm environment.
And while sexually, I feel that I am straight...
...there's a very powerful part of me that connects to the female spirit.
Sweetheart, that's all very nice. But if you're not going to eat pussy, you're not a dyke.
Later that afternoon, following a particularly grueling workout with Thor...
...Samantha decided to take a relaxing steam.
That day at the gym, Samantha discovered that lightning does indeed strike twice.
That evening, Miranda was treated to a double bill.
Nanook of the North at Alice Tully Hall...
...and Steady as She Blows at Ethan Watson's Porn Palace.
Hold it right there.
All right, that's enough! This is not a synchronized event.
Look, I like you. But this is getting ridiculous. It's either the women in the video or me.
Your choice, but you can't have both.
It's not that simple. I've only known you for a few weeks.
But I've been involved with some of those women for years.
I am so out of here.
That night, for the first time ever, Big took me out dancing.
It was like he knew I needed to talk to him...
...and decided to make it as difficult as possible.
Our attraction, or addiction, or whatever, was strong.
But I knew I had to be stronger.
Does this mean we're seeing each other again? Officially?
If you say so.
That is an infuriating response.
I don't know what "officially" means.
"Officially" means officially. You know, for real.
Every moment of my life is for real, baby.
Just answer me this: Why did we break up?
You tell me. You're the one who left me high and dry with two tickets to St. Barts.
You didn't say what I wanted to hear.
Oh, is that it?
No, not just that.
I wanted to tell him I was afraid he could never love me the way I wanted to be loved.
I was afraid that maybe he didn't really have the capacity to love anyone but himself.
I was afraid that, given the chance, he'd break my heart again.
But I cheated and just said....
I guess I was afraid.
I can tell you one thing. I sure did miss you officially.
Did you cry?
No. But I did listen to a hell of a lot of Sinatra.
And there it was. I guess we were back together officially. Whatever that means.