314. Sex and Another City
LA, land of perpetual sun and perpetual sun bath, which also make this land of the perpetual bikini wax. After a week in LA, I made an appointment with the city's premier waxer to the stars, Alicia. She was known for her artful work, her lightning-quick hands...and her indecipherable accent.
All done. Beautiful. You look.
I got mugged! She took everything I've got.
It's called "The Brazilian Wax."
Why didn't you tell her to stop?
I tried. I feel like one of those freaking hairless dogs.
It's an aesthetic thing. Everyone goes there out of here.
Of course they do. LA men are too lazy to have to go searching for anything.
You can't hide your light under a bush.
Didn't she leave something, a triangle, a little landing strip?
No, I am totally bald and what I add, freezing.
I would have killed her.
I'm so aware of down there now. I feel like I'm nothing but walking sex.
Nothing sin about Brazilian. It makes you do crazy things. You have to be very careful who you invite to Brazil.
- I'm officially RSVPing, no. - Where are you going?
- I'm meeting Lew. - Letterman Lew?
He doesn't work for Letterman any more. He move down here and write that New York sitcom. The one about three twenty-something kids who live in a loft.
- Yeah, one's a feisty waitress. - What are you and Lew gonna do?
I’m sure we'll have a couple of drinks and bitch about LA. I can't believe he lives here now.
Maybe you should tell him to move to Brazil. I’m certain it’s quite popular.
You guys are on your own tonight.
- We're gonna go that movie premiere thing. - What's the movie?
No one sees the movie. We're gonna use my press pass and get into the after party.
- I love LA. - You two should get out of the sun.
Lew asked Miranda to meet him at The Flowing Tree. Surrounded by all these tanned, fit, happy people, she knew she would recognize pale, chubby, unhappy Lew immediately.
- Miranda. - Oh, my God!
- Do I look that different? - Good thing you still wear that hat.
- If you ever see me in a Lakers hat... – I know, shoot you.
- Exactly. Do you want to sit? - You look amazing.
Thanks. Wanna grab a drink?
Please. Yes, let's go. The sight of all these bleached teeth is blinding.
No, I mean grab something here. This place is known for its green tea infusions.
Please, infusions? Could LA be any worse? Take off that hat, I'm gonna shoot you right now.
Actually, I really like it here.
Hanging on. What happened to the guy I shared beers with and made fun of happy people?
I know. The thing is, I think I'm one of those happy people now.
Good for you!
I know it sounds crazy. But I think I was supremely unhappy in New York. I came here, and I let a lot of that old toxic anger go. I take things slowly, get outside... LA agrees with me.
Miranda realized, she was the one standing out that room. She was the only angry New Yorker for miles.
Let's go for a hike.
Later that night, two very happy New Yorkers prepared to hike up their first LA red carpet.
- Carrie Bradshaw, New York Star. - Are you on the list?
- I'm a columnist. That's me. - Press room is to the left.
Crinkle-cut cheese and fat inquiring reporters, I don't think so.
- Let me see your passes to the movie. - No one goes to the movie.
Everyone goes to the freaking movie. Could you please step off the red carpet?
- Do you know who she is? – I know she’s not on the list.
OK, OK. Let's just go.
I can’t believe this. This wouldn't happen in New York. People know you in New York.
- No one goes to the freaking movie. - We're out of here. I'm getting the car.
There I was, a Hollywood nobody, cast off the red carpet and standing in my proper place on grease stained parking lot.
We're talking in circles here. That's right. I understand. I heard you. OK, sure. You tell her that when she's ready to deal, she can go ahead and call me herself.
- Please tell me you have another one of those. - I thought I had a problem.
- Got a light for me? - Yeah.
Full tars, very nice. I thought they'd banned these here.
I taped them to my body on the plane.
- New Yorker? - Yeah.
- Keith Travers, representing Matt Damon. - Carrie Bradshaw, representing myself.
- Actress? - No, no. Writer.
- Too pretty to be a writer. - That's too cheesy line for you to be a writer.
It’s gonna take a fucking hour to get the car.
Samantha Jones, Keith Travers. He's representing Matt Damon.
- You ladies aren't going anywhere. - If you say so.
Let's go inside, just enjoy our evening.
Once we got inside, our magic carpet ride really began.
I can't believe they wouldn't let someone like you in. That's a total disconnect.
- A disconnect? - Yeah. It's like a fuck-up.
Yeah. You writers are word Nazis. You're gonna ride me with that.
Someone’s ass is ringing, and it ain't mine.
Yours would if it could. It would ring. Excuse me, I'll just be one second. Enjoy yourself.
That is one tall drink of water.
Samantha had worshipped Hugh Hefner ever since she was old enough to steal her father's playboys. To her, this wasn't a celebrity sighting. This was the celebrity sighting.
I'll be back.
Hugh, hi. I'm Samantha Jones.
- Hello. - I'm a huge fan.
- In that case, join us for a drink. - A drink?
- That would be great. - Thank you. Seriously?
Drinking with three blondes like… I guess that's a regular day for you.
A slow one, yes.
I'm pretty crazed this week, but I do have a lunch opening on Wednesday. Can I take you out? Linc, great table.
I had been trying to get into Linc for a week. He seemed smart and sexy, and this outsider was starting to like being inside.
- Yeah, OK. Sure. - Great.
Hey, Keith. There's a VIP room.
- Do you want to go there? - Yeah, I want to go to the VIP room.
- Let's go. - All right.
Back home, Charlotte had never felt more inside. she had just attended her first black tie doctors' benefit.
- We make a fine looking couple. - Yes, we do. So, how did I do?
Mrs. MacDougal, you did quite well.
Thank you, Dr MacDougal. You know, doctor, I have an itch. I hope you could help me get out with it. Trey? Maybe it's time we really thought about some options, like Viagra.
Viagra? Charlotte, are you aware that Viagra is a killer for men with heart problems? Let me remind you my father died of a heart attack. It runs in my family.
Trey wasn't the only one with heart problems.
- I'm just trying to help. - Now I'm tense. I'm going for a run.
It was the fifth time he'd gone running at bedtime in the last two weeks.
The next day, Samantha decided to get some exercise as well. Unfortunately her pocketbook was getting most of the workout.
She decided to give her old pocketbook a rest.
That day as Charlotte picked up my mail, she realized she missed a lot more than her sex life. She missed her single life. If Trey could run away from their problems, so could she.
- I can't deal with Trey. - Calling might be a little more economical.
- And I really missed you guys. - We missed you too. So Trey is...
It's not working. He refuses to even talk about it.
- I take it from really big bag you'll be staying? - I really need a vacation.
You came to the right place. I gotta meet this Keith guy. But Miranda and Samantha are down by the pool.
Charlotte glanced down at the glistening pool, and just like that, her marriage and Trey seemed very far away.
Before lunch, I agreed to go with Keith to see a house he was interested in.
This is not a house. This is an airport.
It's Lorenzo Lamas'. He's asking 3.4, but it'll go for 3.2.
There's a bargain!
In New York, a first date is dinner and a movie. In LA, it's lunch and seeing a 3.4 million dollar house.
What do you think?
- I think I should work in the syndicated television. - It's good, right?
It's really good. But does a single guy like you need this much space?
Probably not. But come on, it looks good.
So did he.
And there in the South American's living room, my Brazilian made me kiss him.
Wait till you see the hot tub.
- We should check out the hot tub. - Okey-dokey.
I'll have the omelet with no cheese, but tomatoes and mushrooms. And instead of the fries a side of fruit with no grapes, and a half decaf skim.
I suggest you should get the mushrooms steamed, because it lightens the calories but retains the flavor.
Great, thanks. I really like LA.
Who wouldn't? Keith wants to buy a $3 million house and I can't even afford new curtains.
That's where the guys here have New York men beat, real estate.
- Lew may be the perfect guy. - Letterman Lew?
Yeah. He's an ideal combination of the two coasts. He's still a New Yorker at heart, but he's lost all his angry neuroses and 30 pounds.
We're New Yorkers. Aren't we supposed to like neurotic guys?
The Woody Allen thing is so over.
I’m telling you he's a changed man. He's really spiritual and happy. He met the Dalai Lama.
So? I met Hugh Hefner.
One woman's pornographer is another woman's spiritual leader.
Maybe he's on to something. Maybe it's time I stop being angry.
How would you do to spend your free time?
- I'll tell you what you could do. Shop! - No, you didn't!
- That's like $3,000. - Or $150. Fake.
- No. - It looks so real.
- I know. - Give me that.
You'd never know it wasn't real Fendi unless you look inside at the lining.
I don't have that luxury. All my insides are on the outside now.
- I don't like fakes. - Who cares? All that matters is what it looks like.
It's good, pretty good.
We could get more. I got the guy's card. He lives somewhere called “the valley".
- Could you have more condoms? - I did.
I am just so happy to be out of that condom stage of life.
I thought it was called "my thirties".
It's nice to go to bed with the same man every night.
Please tell me you didn't come to LA to tell us the story about how much sex you're having now that you’re married.
Charlotte didn’t have the nerve to tell them her conjugal bliss was a conjugal miss.
So what should I do first in LA?
The first thing you'll need is a good bikini wax.
You should try Alicia.
That night, after hours of stress free pool time, I realized something startling. I was actually starting to like LA. New Yorkers are trained to hate Los Angeles. This is supposed to be the place where intellect is ridiculed and who you date and what you look like is revered. Yet, here we were having the time of our lives. The men were happy, the homes were huge, the bags looked great. Maybe that was enough. The weather moves from west to east. Was it a just matter of time before the truth blew across Manhattan? When it comes to bags, men and cities, is it really what's outside that counts?
The next day, Samantha and l went to the valley for Fendi bags.
- This is it, 45386. - Is that an address or a zip code?
- I don't know. - I miss Lorenzo Lamas' neighborhood.
- My God. - Oh, there he is.
We had found it. Fake Fendi paradise.
He should really work on his display area.
Seven for $1,000. You like?
I should have liked them. But staring into that trunk, they no longer looked like elegant Fendi bags. They just looked cheap. Even if everyone else thought it was real, I'd always know my bag came from a cardboard box in a trunk deep in the valley.
You know what? I don't think so.
- You don't want a bag now? – I’m sorry. They're very nice. It's just...
Please, don't smoke near the bags.
We drove for two hours in the valley...That's it. We’re going back to the hotel.
They just looked so sad staring up at me from that trunk.
They were waiting for some nice ladies to adopt them.
I was almost eaten by dogs. The least you could've done was buy a bag.
I guess I’d rather wait for the real thing. Then at least you know it's one of the kind special or something.
- My marriage is a fake Fendi. - Excuse me?
Trey and I look like the perfect couple from the outside, but on the inside it's all fake. It's not special.
- He can't get it up. - What?
- We've never had sex. - You've never had sex?
- You've been married for... - Over a month.
- You've never had sex? - It's not physical thing, it's emotional.
- You knew about this? - She told me at the wedding.
I was afraid you'd just say you'd told me so and I should never have gotten married so quickly.
Charlotte, who am I to judge you? We all have our own paths in life.
Apparently three days with Lew had changed Miranda from deeply sarcastic to Deepak Chopra.
- What am I gonna do? – Wait. You've never had sex?
- She’s never had sex. - It's only been a month.
He hasn't seen Brazil.
A second honeymoon to South America. That might do the trick.
I know how to cheer you up. A trip to the playboy mansion. Hef invited us over for one of those playmate pool parties tomorrow afternoon.
“Hef”? Did you say, "Hef"?
Why would that cheer her up? Does she look like a 21 years old frat boy?
No, but it wouldn't hurt to meet some.
- Sorry, not going. - Come on, it would be fun. We're in LA.
All right, fine, but I better be on the guest list.
Later that night, I was a guest at Keith's amazing house. He made sizzling scallops, and after dinner things got even hotter.
I like hot tubs. New York should have more hot tubs like on roofs and stuff.
Well, if you like that...
While I was going native with Keith, Miranda and Lew went back to New York, or at least to the New York strip steak.
- This looks great. - God, do I miss this smell!
So, you were saying?
You should read "Zen And The Art of Modern Living". It’s so coming.
I'm still trying to get used to bath beans.
- You are so New York. - Come on, don't you miss it? Just a little?
- No, I got to write about it every day.
That's not New York, it's a sound stage. 20-somethings with tiny salaries don't live in huge SoHo lofts, painted in white colors. It's totally fake.
I think 40 million viewers would disagree with you on that one.
- Is something wrong with your steak? - No, it's great.
- What are you doing? - I'm tasting my food.
- Why aren't you swallowing your food? - You think I look this good by eating?
Miranda realized Lew hadn't found inner peace, he'd found an eating disorder.
Are you serious?
Don't put your toxic shit on me. This is fucking LA, OK? You have no idea what pressure I'm under here.
Who cares what you look like? You're a writer.
For a hit show. Trust me. No one wants to hire a fat story editor.
All Miranda wanted to do was rip that Knicks hat off his head because no self-respecting New Yorker would ever spit out that good a steak.
Jesus fucking Christ. Now I've lost my appetite.
Waking up in Keith's sun-filled bedroom, I was starting to feel like 3.4 million myself.
I really like what you have going on down there.
- That would be a whole lot of nothing. - Yeah.
- Don't you have to work? - I don't have anything till eleven.
- Nice life. - Yeah.
What the fuck do you think you're doing? I told you, no prostitutes when you're house-sitting.
- You're a house-sitter? - Personal assistant.
I thought you were an agent.
Please, I wish I can get my agent to water my plants.
Apparently the life I was coveting wasn't Keith's, it was Carrie Fisher's.
You're so fired. Wait till I tell Penny.
Does this mean I’m gonna have to return her car?
And Penny Marshall's.
I'm going to...
- You might need these. - Thank you.
Are you going to bring prostitutes to Ben's new $3 million home?
And Ben Affleck's.
I'm not a prostitute. I'm Carrie Bradshaw. I'm a writer too. Actually I have a column in New York. I'm Carrie, you're Carrie. I write, you write.
I have a child. I really can't do this. Have you been smoking in here?
This was always on. The dry-cleaning and the cat food, that's all done.
It was the perfect ending to my week of make-believe, a visit to the playboy mansion and the playmate pool party.
Could our lives get any weirder?
Nothing surprises me any more. Apparently in LA, house-sitters are somebodies and New York writers are prostitutes.
- You're at least a high-class escort. - Thank you.
- Fuck Carrie Fisher! - Now we're angry again?
- Yeah. – Frankly I blame the wax.
That's it. Blame it on Rio.
After the sun went down, the party really started heating up.
Where are the girls in the satin outfits and the Bunny ears?
Yeah, I want to see some Bunny ears.
Meanwhile somewhere between the Italian grotto and the petting zoo, Charlotte found something real. His name was lan.
So that’s when I started collecting Hockney.
I love Hockney. The colors in his pool series are so LA. The blues and those deep greens.
God, it is such a pleasure talking to an intelligent woman for once.
I love talking to you too. It's nice to be with a man who talks. I love LA.
I guess that third welcome drink has finally kicked in?
This is bad of me. Is this bad of me? I'm drunk. I'm lying here with a man I hardly know.
It's the playboy mansion. Things could be a lot worse.
- You're nice, lan. You're really nice. - You're nice too. Let me buy you some boobs.
- Pardon me? - It's a gift.
I don't need any breasts.
Charlotte had forgotten how awful single life could be. And suddenly, marriage, with all its problems, wasn't looking so bad.
- Someone stole my fake Fendi. - Are you sure?
I put the bad down beside me. When I got up, it was gone.
Oh my God, that Bunny's got my bag.
- Give me my bag. - Excuse me.
- You stole my bag. - This is my bag.
- Are we having a problem here? - Yes. I’m sorry to tell you. This Bunny stole my bag.
- It's my bag. - She says it's her bag.
Look on the inside. You’ll see a label that says "Made in China" and there's a bunch of condoms in there.
Samantha was mortified. She thought everything on the Bunny was fake.
OK then. Innocent mistake.
Apparently, one nod from Hef, and the pool party was over.
- I'm not leaving without my friends. - I'm so sorry.
The fake Fendi ended up costing 150 for the bag, 2,000 in stolen credit cards charges, and unspecified costs to Samantha's ego.
And cross the compound Miranda and I took a wrong turn on the way to the buffet.
- Look at that, tit soup. - It's time to go home.
There you are. We have to leave.
We are. Right now. Relax. We're going, we're going.
What did she do? What happened? OK. All right.
The next day, four New Yorkers left LA a little lighter. Some of us had lost our hair, and all of us had lost a little dignity. Samantha couldn't wait to get back to the crime-free streets of Manhattan.
Miranda couldn't wait to get back to men who swallowed. Charlotte couldn't wait to get back to Trey. And as for me, I couldn't wait.
- You can't smoke in here. - Relax, we're going.
Six hours later, I was home. It looked even better on the inside than I remembered it, because inside it was all real. I was starting to feel like myself again. The rest of me would grow back eventually.