315. Hot Child in the City
They say if you live in New York for 10 years, you can officially call yourself a New Yorker. But the trained eye can always spot the ones who were born here.
I want it all, I want it now, and I want you to get it for me.
After firing her last two publicists, Jenny Brier, the daughter of a New York restaurateur, had decided that Samantha would be taking over the PR for her upcoming party.
I want "Vanity Fair", Carson Daly, "People", "Teen People", “Style”, NSYNC...
Jenny, sweetie, don't take this the wrong way, but how old are you?
- Hello. It's my Bat Mitzvah party. I'm 13. - You're 13?
What are you, like 45?
Just like that, the meeting was officially over.
I'm sorry. I don't do kids' parties.
Sweetie, my father has invited over 300 of his most powerful friends to this event. They are not all coming. The Clintons can't make it of course. I told Daddy we'll be lucky if we can swing this for under a mill. But what do I know? I'm just a kid.
We'll never get NSYNC.
After meeting her new client, Samantha met Miranda, Charlotte and me for the latest trend in Manhattan power lunching: haute cafeteria cuisine.
Coming in for a landing, sister?
Cute guy. Thought he was checking me out for a second.
- Where? - Don't turn...
- He's a cutie all right. - Definitely looking.
- Looking at you guys looking at him, like I asked you not to. - Take your tray over there.
- No. - Why not?
Because this isn't PS 147, we're adults now. She's married. For Christ sake, we have to at least pretend to know better.
- I finally went to a doctor about my headaches. - Still looking.
Which you're not helping. Because I've been trying to diagnose myself on the internet.
You can do that?
Sure, you just type in your symptoms, hit Enter, and wait for the word "cancer" to appear on the screen. Anyway, turns out I'm a tongue-thruster.
Now, if you were a man, that would be a good thing.
My tongue pushes up against my front teeth, so my bite is all off. My dentist thinks I have TMJ.
- Come on. You have to do something. - I'm going to the orthodontist tomorrow.
- No, I mean he's really cute. - She could write him a note.
- Even cuter. – You guys, I'm not writing him a note.
- Dear Mr. Cutie-Cute... - You did not write that.
- Just your phone number. - I'm not giving him my number.
- Relax, TMJ. You don't have to. I'll do it for you. - Carrie.
- Go, girl. - Oh, my God.
Hi. I'm sorry to bother you, but my friend Miranda over there...
- Oh, my God. - She thinks you're kinda cute.
Please tell your friend Miranda to call me.
On the way home from lunch, I decided to brave the afternoon heat to see if my favorite shoe repair guy could do anything about my tired old soles. But when I got there, there was no "there" there.
- What happened to Artie? - Artie?
My guy, my shoe guy. He fixed these the last time.
He moved back to Williamsburg. Brooklyn, not Colonial. He couldn't afford the place once they destabilized the rent. If the comic business doesn’t keep going the way it is, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to either.
- Comics aren't selling, huh? - No, especially mine.
Power Lad, by Wade Adams. Is this you? Did you draw this? Wow. What's so powerful about him?
He's a superhero, or he wants to be. His parents were superheroes. He's trying to figure out what his super-powers are. They haven't really kicked in yet. It's stupid. What do you do?
- I'm a writer. - That's cool. What do you write?
Turn to page seven of your newspaper there.
Yes, I thought you looked familiar. Did you ever think about writing comics?
Aren't comics more of a boy thing?
No, no way! There are all kinds of women superheroes, Batgirl, Supergirl, Black Canary...I know you've heard of Wonder Woman.
With the bracelets and the tiara. I used to love that even her accessories had super-powers. Oh, man. What's wrong with them?
To them, you are Wonder Woman.
- All right, stop. I'll buy some. - All right.
I never did get my shoes fixed. But the following week, I did get a new pair of boots. I don't know what came over me, but I suddenly felt compelled to call and thank him. Even as a superhero, I was powerless to resist.
That evening, inspired by Miranda's digital diagnosis, Charlotte went surfing for a cure for Trey's condition. There it was, in both the on- and off-positions. $8,000 worth of hydraulics that could turn Trey into the Bionic Man. Ordinarily, this was kind of something Charlotte would shy away from, but since her marriage was shy of wood...
That night, I met Wade Adams alias Power Lad at Bar Code, a Times Square bar that specialized in real drinks and virtual reality.
I can't believe this place, it's like ten bucks a game.
Yeah, but games come with beer.
They want you to play half as well and twice as much.
Sounds good to me. What will it be Bloodburst or Terrorfright ll?
Whatever happened to Frogger and Miss Pacman?
She got married.
No! To Pacman? Good for them. Man, where have I been?
I don't know, but wanna go to Mars?
- For ten bucks? It's a bargain. - Let's go.
Without leaving the building, Power Lad took me to the furthest reaches of the galaxy and right back to seventh grade.
- There we go. - Oh, God.
It was maddening. Bram and Pippin favored the '78 Lafite, which was entirely acceptable.
The implant's patented on/off-switch had Charlotte thinking about Trey's. She desperately wanted to turn his on, but she didn't know where to find it.
Tonight the joke was on him. We ordered both. How was your day?
I went to the gallery in the morning and the framer's in the afternoon. Then I found this on the internet. See?
What on earth is this? What are you getting at?
Just that...We've tried everything else and we still...You haven't...in my...ever...So I thought...
- You can't be serious. - What other options do we have?
Five beers, four video games, 102 degrees outside later...
You gotta be kidding.
What? This is fun. It's cheaper than taking cabs. Besides, all the kids got them. Wanna try it?
It's too hot to scoot.
Let's go to my place. I’ve got a terrace. I’ve got a great view. The breeze there is even better.
I'm not the kind of girl who scoots to a guy's terrace on the first date.
- I respect that. I have central air. - Give me that scooter.
- Ever been on one? - No.
- That's great. - Thank you. I'm scooting in heels.
You said you had a view, not the view. And this breeze, it's like there's even different air up here. How do you have all this?
Why don't I get us some beers? Then we can talk adventures and real estate.
How was it possible that mild-mannered Power Lad could afford a classic six on the Upper East Side with a terrace and a view of the park? Was he merely a Power Lad by day and secretly a millionaire playboy by night?
- Hello? - You scared me.
- I just heard voices outside and... - You're up.
- Did we wake you? - You know me. I'm always keeping the watch.
Did you meet Carrie? Carrie, I'd like you to meet my mother.
- Hello. It's a beautiful night, isn't it? - Yeah.
I'm off to bed. You two have fun. But don't stay up too late, dear. Good night.
- Night. - It's lovely to meet you, Carrie.
Lovely to meet you too, Mrs. Adams.
- He lives with his parents? - It's their apartment.
The next day at Commune, daddy Brier's latest restaurant, I asked Samantha about my prospects with Power Lad.
Not sexy. Dump him immediately here. Use my cell phone.
But it’s only because he put all his money in the comic book store.
Still not sexy. What's his number?
Because he's saving up for his own place. You know how tough the market is right now. Plus he's fun and funny.
Stop while you're still sexy.
There's no way you'd go out with a guy who lived with his family?
Maybe Prince William.
I'm sorry I'm late. This is what happens to tongue-thrusters. I have to wear them for a year. Am I hideous?
No. Hey, no. No, they don't look so bad.
- Really? Do you mean it? – That’s my story. I'm sticking to it.
Are you in pain? I'm in pain just looking at you.
I'm a 34-year-old woman with braces, and I'm on a liquid diet. Pain doesn't begin to cover it.
- Look, lunch. - We didn't order champagne.
- Compliments of Jenny Brier. - You always get the nicest compliments.
Do you realize a 13-year-old girl just bought us a $200 bottle of Dom Perignon? Do you know what I was buying when I was 13? Nothing. I couldn't afford anything. I was serving Dilly Bars at Dairy Queen. Where is she? Where is that little Brat Mitzvah beast? Jenny!
- Ladies. Is everything fabulous? - It is now. I didn't know you were here.
I don’t know you know Carrie Bradshaw? You are fucking fabulous. Your column about secret sex, hello, my life. Seriously. My ex was so completely about the sex when we were alone, but at school hallway, I didn't exist.
- They're all like that. - Or worse. Men suck. - What?
I'm sorry, are your braces blue?
No, they're sapphire. Oh my God! Look! You have the old-fashioned kind. I didn't even know they still made those anymore.
I'll be there. We have to dash. Enjoy your meal, ladies. You are so fucking fabulous.
Her braces are sapphire. I'm a 34-year-old nerd.
- How old are they? - 13.
- They sound... - I know.
- They're dressed... - I know. Just like us.
Were Jenny Brier and her friends dressed like 30-something-year-old women, or were we trying to look like teenagers? One of us was sending Dom Perignon, while another was touring around New York on a scooter. When you're a teenager, all you want to do is buy beer. But once you hit 30, all you want to do is get carded. I wondered, in today's youth obsessed culture, are the women of my generation growing into mature responsible adults, or are we 34 going on 13?
After a week of self-imposed seclusion, Miranda finally felt strong enough for solid food and table service with Lance Bloom, a senior editor at Knopf.
I started out wanting to be a writer, but it's a solitary life. I'm much more interested in collaborating with someone.
- What are you working on now? - You have a little...
I just got these. I guess they're taking some getting used to. Oh my God.
What's it like to kiss somebody with those things?
The doctor said it should be fine.
But a blow job is out of the question, right? I was kidding. That was a joke. I'm sorry.
He just didn't want your hardware getting too close to his software.
It's everybody. I can't open my mouth without the whole world looking at me like I'm a freak. It's like suddenly I'm back in Junior High. Believe me. I was lucky to get out alive the first time.
Maybe you should think of it as mouth jewelry. Your tooth bracelet.
I'm never dating again.
Of course you are. If the guy's worth dating he’s not gonna care about your braces. He’s gonna care about you.
That was so After-School Special of you.
In the After-School Special, you'd see him across the cafeteria. He'd smile, and he'd have braces too.
But the sick thing is, I would never date a guy with braces. Even now.
Are you kidding me? Don't you think that's childish?
- More lemonade, Carrie? - Yes, please, Mrs. Adams.
Yes, please, Mrs. Adams.
On closer inspection, it turns out this living with the parents thing wasn't so bad. It was like having servants you didn't have to pay.
Oh, and Carrie, can you stay for dinner?
Faced with the idea of having hydraulic cylinders placed in his shaft, Trey decided to pursue the less physically demanding option of couple counseling with a therapist he'd found through his college alumni association.
I sense you're both having difficulty verbalizing your sexual issues. With some clients I found it often helps to create your own non-threatening language with which to talk about sex.
I'm not sure that I understand.
For example. One client rather whimsically dubbed his anus The Chocolate Starfish.
Are you quite sure you went to Yale?
Charlotte, if you could rename your vagina, something completely non-sexual, something that didn't feel threatening to youself or Trey, what would you call it?
Rebecca? Why on earth would you...
It sounds nice, and I've always liked the name. Now you name yours.
- This is preposterous. - Something with positive association.
- Trey loves to sail. Don't you, Trey? - That’ true. I do love to sail.
- How about something like Canoe? - Canoe? Canoe doesn't go with Rebecca.
- What then? - How about...Schooner.
Schooner's good. Rebecca and Schooner. Schooner's good, isn't it?
It's very good. This is a wonderful beginning. There's still a lot of work ahead, some here and some at home. Tonight, as homework, I want you to lie down together, side by side, without touching, and share a sexual fantasy.
I'm a fairy princess in a forest. I'm riding on a unicorn. Suddenly I see you, a pirate in buckskins, a prince in disguise. That's when you pull me off my unicorn. You tear away my gossamer petticoats, and you put your Schooner deep inside my Rebecca. Now you. Where are you?
I'm in hell. I'm sorry, Charlotte. I can't do this. I'm a respected surgeon. I can't
Yes, you can. I know you can.
Charlotte, we've been dealing with this for weeks. Just accept the fact that I'm not that sexual a person. All right?
But we love each other and...we're married now. Rebecca and Schooner belong together. They need each other. Please.
You are a fairy princess. I don't deserve you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
That night, Wade and l had our very first sleep-over, at my place. I finally figured out what made Power Lad so powerful. He had the soul of a teenage boy in the body of a very grown-up man.
The machine will get it.
'Hi. I’m not here, but my shoes are. Leave a message.'
'Hi Carrie. This is Mrs. Adams, Wade's mother. How are you, dear?'
Oh, my God.
‘I’m so sorry to bother you. We never heard from Wade tonight about whether or not he fed the dog his medicine. Wade's father was just about to give it to the dog, but if he's already had it, that would be bad. So if you speak to Wade, please tell him l won't go to bed until I hear from him.'
Yes, Mom, I gave the dog his medicine. No, Mom, I'm not mad, I just... I told you not to call me here. Don't call me here. I love you, too.
- She wants to talk to you. - What?
Hi, Mrs. Adams. How are you?
Several blocks south, Charlotte's night was interrupted as well, by odd noises coming from her bathroom. Charlotte felt terrible. She hadn't meant to make Trey cry.
He told me he wasn't a sexual person.
It wasn't sexual. It was tension release. It helps me sleep.
I understand. This may be difficult, Trey, but I want you to tell me specifically which magazine you were using.
All right. I think we can try and see this as a positive thing.
How? How is this a positive thing?
Trey was masturbating to Juggs. At least we know he isn't gay.
Excuse me, what exactly is the problem here? It was tension release from magazine. It had nothing more to ever do with my wife.
Interesting choice of words, Trey. Maybe that's the problem. We have to find a way to integrate your wife into your sexual routine.
How are we supposed to do that?
Charlotte had no idea. She wished they were 13 again, before sex had made everything so complicated. When just holding hands and a good night kiss would have been everything she needed.
To pierce the corporate veil, the courts generally look at five factors, whether the subsidiary is wholly-owned or...
The 13-year-old girl inside Miranda wanted to disappear, but the 34-year-old woman who is partner in this law firm decided she wasn't going anywhere.
You think I'm funny, gentlemen? You think that I have a braces is hilarious? Let's just all take a moment and have a good laugh, shall we? Let's just get it out of our systems so we can get back to work like adults.
We were just laughing at the typo on page three.
Miranda decided that TMJ was a lot less painful than a second adolescence. The next day, she had her braces removed and resumed her life as a 34-year-old tongue-thruster.
That night Trey resumed his own brand of thrusting and discovered that tension release could be a turn-on. Charlotte discovered a way to include herself in Trey's sex life. And she also figured out what to do with all those wedding proofs not suitable for framing.
The following weekend at the Brier Bar Mitzvah party...
I'm not sure if I have your name. Let's see, Goldman, Goldstein...I’m sorry ladies, I just don't see it.
I'm sure I'm on the list.
I can't believe you still have actual albums. Oh my God, Styx. I love Styx. I had this album.
I loved "Renegade". Hated "Babe".
- How do you have this? - Are you kidding? This is a classic.
This song is so me driving my parents' Oldsmobile without them knowing about it.
- You know what would go with this song? - Roller skates?
No. Canadian super grass. Six times stronger than pot and 400 bucks an ounce.
It suddenly became obvious Wade was in no hurry to save up for his own apartment.
- And what is that? - My bong. I made it. At Camp Takatoka.
I'm sorry, Camp Takatoka?
I hadn't smoked pot out of a homemade bong since my eighth-grade boyfriend made one out of tin foil, a BlC pen, and a too little bottle of his mother’s lemonade Pepsi Light. I didn't even know if I'd remember how. Turns out it was like riding a bike... a ten speed.
Back at the Bar Mitzvah bash, Samantha heard some girl-talk not suitable for little ladies.
I'm gonna totally fuck at least three of those NSYNC guys after the after party.
I heard the other two are gay.
I'd fuck them and their gay boyfriends.
Ladies, aren't you a little young for that kind of talk? I'm serious. You have your whole lives to talk that way. You should enjoy being children, at least until you turn 15, and start having sex.
- I've given blow jobs since twelve. - Really?
- It's the only way guys will like you. - That isn't true.
Talk to the hand, grandma.
Samantha had been resenting Jenny Brier all this time because of everything she had. But then Samantha realized she'd had something that no amount of money could buy, a childhood. Suddenly, the Dairy Queen wasn't looking so bad.
- I'm thirsty. - There's bong water.
- Bong water! - Hold this.
- What are you doing? That's wet. - Attack of the spicy chicken wings.
- That looks like my parents' car. - Oh, shit.
- Shit, shit, shit. - It's OK.
No, it’s not OK. My parents said, if they caught me smoking pot in this house again, I'd have to sleep in the car in the comics bookstore.
- Wait. - What?
If they see billions of chicken wings, they're gonna know...we've been smoking no pot.
Fuck the chicken wings. Where did we put the fucking pot?
- You're home… early. - Is that marijuana I smell?
- No, ma'am. - God, no.
Then what is this? Your father and I told you, if you ever brought marijuana into this house again...
Carrie brought it.
I couldn't believe it. Power Lad would never have ratted me out like that.
Is that true, Carrie? Did you bring marijuana into this house?
There comes a time in everyone’s life you have to take responsibility for yourself. A time when l, like Jenny Brier, had to stand up and say to the world, "Today, I am a woman."
Yes, Mrs. Adams, I brought the marijuana into the house. And I'm taking it with me when I go.
Oh, baby! There she is.
In the end, I decided I was definitely 34 going on 35, but in a city like New York with its pace and pressures, sometimes it's important to have a 13-year-old moment, to remember a simpler time when the best thing in life was just hanging out, listening to records, and having fun with your friends, in your very own apartment.