416. Ring a Ding Ding
A girl in pigtails once said, ''There's no place like home. '' But then her home didn't have a toilet that flushed for no reason...and a boyfriend who was moving out for one big reason.
- That's the last of it. - Okay.
- You want me to fix that? - No, it's okay. I can get someone to come and fix it.
Just let me get in there for a second. Hold the Ball Cock. This thing right here. Right there. That should do it. I should go.
You can't leave. Our last words to each other can't be ''Ball Cock.'' You should definitely stay...at least for another day. Or forever.
We've been through this. I can't.
- Are you sure? - I am.
- Aidan... this is difficult to say. I left the ring on the clown table. - That's yours.
No, I should never have accepted it in the first place. I'm sorry. Please take the ring.
I want you to have it.
- Please take it. If you do or say... one more nice thing... - I got to go.
I can't watch you leave, so I think I am gonna... I'm better... I'm gonna stand here. Could you just... could you just shut the door? I know. Go.
Three hours later, I peeled myself off the bathroom floor. Apparently, there were things that were difficult for Aidan to say, as well. I curled up to read Aidan's last words to me, also known as the goodbye letter.
Aidan's evicting her?
He's not evicting her. He's giving her 30 days to decide what she wants to do.
That's just tacky.
Look, life gets complicated. Steve and I are drawing up papers to time-share our kid.
Great love stories are supposed to end with tragedy and tears, not papers from the law firm of Gold and Vogel.
This is more than fair. He's asking you to buy your apartment for the exact price he paid, or you can vacate and he'll sell it.
Vacate? I'm homeless. I'll be a bag lady, a Fendi bag lady, but a bag lady.
You should think of buying your place.
- I am not a buyer. New York is a town of renters. Everybody rents. - I don't. I don't. I don't.
- You got yours in the settlement. You did not have to pay for it. - I paid for that apartment.
I'm pregnant. I can't control it.
Honey, you better learn, because that is unappetizing.
I know. I am so swollen and gassy. I am like a flotation device.
I'll get this one, and I don't want a fight out of you. Save it for your down payment.
- Excuse me! You bought the Chanel wallet? - No, Richard gave it to me as a gift.
- Nice. What was the occasion? - No occasion.
- He is in love with you. - He is not in love with me.
- You don't know that. - I do. Take a look at the card.
- ''Style for style. Best, Richard.'' - ''Best.'' Yikes.
- ''Best'' is the worst. - Even Gold and Vogel give you ''sincerely.''
''Best'' is like signing ''Not love.''
It’s the thought that counts. He bought you something he knew you'd love.
- He's a pretty generous guy with money. - Aidan wanted me to keep the ring.
- You did, didn't you? - Honey, you're a fool.
No. It was the right thing to do. Do you ever think about giving yours back?
- No, I love that ring. - I couldn't keep it. Every time I looked at it, it would break my heart.
- This ring is worth a lot. - Tiffany. 2.17 carats, platinum setting.
Beautiful cut, very few inclusions. So, what do you want to do with it?
I was thinking maybe I'd turn it into a necklace.
- A floating diamond necklace would be to die. Very now. - So, a lot of people do this.
These were my baguettes. Because it turned out by husband was a faggot, now they're earrings. But he had good taste. So, a necklace?
I'm not sure.
Maybe a pendant. We can melt down the platinum setting and turn it into spectacular earrings.
Melt it down?
There, in the wedding band boneyard, Charlotte started to melt down.
- I don't think I'm ready for this. - Just don't take it to the gypsies next door.
Okay. Let's look at your assets here at the bank. You may be able to use them as collateral for the loan.
Linda, Line 1.
It says here that you have $700 in your checking account.
- I just paid my credit card bill. - And $957 in savings.
Look, Linda. You're single, right? I'm sure you can appreciate my problem. I just broke up with my fiancé which, trust me, is traumatic enough.
Linda, Line 2.
And now I have 25 days to either find the money to buy my place or I am out on the street.
Do you have any other income, besides the column?
No. But I was chosen as New York magazine's best pick for city columnist. I was the pick over Pete Hamill.
- What about your assets outside the bank? Property, stocks, bonds? - No.
I'm sorry, Ms. Bradshaw, but you are not a desirable candidate for a loan.
After assessing what little assets I had, I realized I would have to change my lifestyle.
- Excuse me, could you tell me how much the bus is? - $1.50.
Really? Wow. Last time I took the bus, it was like 75 cents. You know, for $3 more, you could take a cab. For crying out loud.
- Why do you have to take the bus if you're on the bus? - My thoughts exactly.
So here I was, a 35 year old single woman with no financial security but many life experiences behind me. Did that mean nothing? After All, heartbreak and breakups are the hardest kind of work. So shouldn't there be some sort of credit for enduring them? And if not, how do you retain a sense of value when you have nothing concrete to show for it? Because at the end of yet another failed relationship, when all you have are war wounds and self doubt, you have to wonder, what's it all worth?
Let me just say again, I love your gallery, so if there are ever any openings, you have my resume.
Meanwhile, a woman with far fewer financial worries was also contemplating her worth. Charlotte knew the ring didn't mean as much, now that she wasn't with Trey. But on that particularity low Thursday, she put on her 2.17carat diamond and wandered around her 2.17carat Park Avenue apartment.
That night, at Richard's...
- Another gift. Are you trying to spoil me? - That's the plan.
- La Petite Coquette, my favorite. - I know. I pay attention. Wait a minute. There's a card.
Oh, the card. ''Sexy for sexy. Best, Richard.''
- Why don't you slip into that, while I pour us some Crystal? - I'll do my very best.
Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink. This is torture. Why are you doing this to me? I can't buy shoes.
I have to buy shoes. None of my old ones fit. Even my feet are fat.
- These are pretty. - I'm looking for comfortable.
Then I'll try these for you. Excuse me, sir, could I try these please, in a 7.5? And these. I guess, just all of these. But, sir, no matter what happens in the next 20 minutes, under no circumstances am I to buy these. I'm just trying them on for fun.
How fun for me.
- Could I try these in a nine? - Sure. - Thanks.
- What is that smell? - Sorry. I've learned to control the sound now, but not the activity.
That's just mean. Damn! How'll people know to scatter without a warning?
Although, maybe it's not that I control the noise as much as my ass is so big the sound is now muffled. Look at my fingers. They're like sausages. I can't even get my ring off. I'm telling you, the fat ass, the farting, it's ridiculous. I am unfuckable and I have never been so horny in my entire life.
Yeah. That's why you should be married while pregnant, so somebody is obligated to have sex with you. I'm an undesirable.
No. I am. The lady at the bank said I was an unattractive candidate for a loan. Where did all my money go? I know I've made some.
- At $400 a pop, how many of these do you have? Fifty? - Come on.
- A hundred? - Would that be wrong?
- 100 times 400, there's your down payment. - That's only $4,000. - No, it's $40,000.
I spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes.
I pulled my own finger. I'm a walking whoopie cushion.
When a girl gets backed up against a wall she can't afford, she has to consider renting others.
That's the closet? Where do the shoes go?
You get one of those racks that hang on the door.
I'll hang myself on a door if I have to live here. Do I smell curry?
There's an Indian restaurant downstairs.
Delia, I ask you, how can this apartment be $2,800 a month? I pay $750 for something that's twice the size. It don't smell like takeout.
You have a rent-controlled apartment. I suggest you stay there.
Unfortunately, that's really not an option. What other shit holes are you showing me today?
I have to be honest. With your attitude and price limitations, I think you should consider Weehawken.
Get back to me when the numbers are in. Look at you, all dressed up. Applying for a job here?
So this is where you work. It’s cute. It’s smaller than I expected. I always imagined rows and rows of blondes in tight sweaters, typing.
They're at lunch.
I am here in an official capacity. Aren't you going to ask me to sit down?
By all means. Pick a chair.
Faced with the prospect of Weehawken, I decided it was time to call in the big guns.
Now, what can I do for you?
I once read that you took something like $3 million and leveraged it to build a $100 million building. How did you do that?
What's going on?
I want to buy my apartment but I have no money. I'm worth nothing.
You're worth a million bucks, Bradshaw.
Maybe you should go work at a bank. Aidan and I broke up.
So it's not just money troubles. Why didn't you call me?
- I got enough troubles. - What happened?
Apparently, you were right, I am not the marrying kind.
Or the timing wasn't right. You're going to be ok, kid.
So I need money. You know money. I need to know what you know about money.
Simple. I'll tell you how to get the money.
Big offered me the money for my down payment. But I could never take it. Could I?
- No, you couldn't. - He just gave you $30,000?
- As a loan. I would pay him back. - Take the money.
When a man gives you money, you give him control.
It’s just money. Man, woman, who cares? It’s fluid. Someone needs it, you give it. You need it, you take it.
I'm uncomfortable with this conversation. We shouldn't be talking about money.
Why not? We talk about everything else.
People are funny about money. Like Richard, he's happy to buy me gifts, but…
- Still no ''love''? - No, but he continues to send his best.
Don't cash Big's check. I'll loan you the money.
You're about to have a baby. I can't take your money. And furthermore, do you have that much?
I have about half that.
- What? Does no one else shoe shop? - I could loan you the rest.
Look...that is really...sweet of you two to offer. It’s really sweet. But I'm gonna do this on my own.
So I can't tape it back.
I have news. Looks like I have gotten a job as a docent at the Museum of Modern Art.
- What does that pay? I can docent. - It’s a volunteer job, but they're very coveted positions.
- You’ll come back. - I have no fortune. I didn't need a cookie to tell me that.
- These fans only cost $1. I'm going to save a lot of money on air conditioning. - You okay?
No apartment and no Aidan. It’s been a rough two weeks. Just give me a block. I'm going to be fine.
As I thought about leaving the apartment that I had lived in for the past decade, I realized how much I would miss it. Through everything, it had always been there for me. And suddenly, I was irrationality angry, and I knew just where and who to take it irrationality out on.
- Hi. What are you doing here? - I was just in the neighborhood.
- Come on in. You want some iced tea or something? - Why didn't you offer me the money?
- I knew you were going to say that. - I wouldn't take it.
Then what does it matter if I offer it or not?
Because I would have offered it to you. You're my friend.
Money and friendship don't mix. My father and his friend Paul were never the same…
We're not talking about your father and his friend Paul. We're talking about you and your friend, me. And for the record, I am aware that I have some financial messiness hat I have to clean up, and to that end, I am looking into some freelance magazine work. I have been offered $4 a word at Vogue. That is a lot. Most people get $2. So, yes, I have made some mistakes, and, Charlotte, you have made some mistakes. When you were making those mistakes, I was sitting across from you at the coffee shop, nodding and listening and supporting you. I was not sitting at a Chinese restaurant, turning away when you should have been looking at me. And what kills me is, you don't even have to work. You're volunteering.
I love you. But it's not my job to fix your finances. You're a 35 year old woman. You need to learn to stand on your own.
- What is that on your finger? - I just wear it when I'm alone in my house.
And you're telling me to be more independent?
It’s my ring. I can wear it if I want to. And so what if it makes me feel better? And for the record, the only reason I'm volunteering is, no one will hire me. I've called seven galleries. Apparently, I have too much experience.
You're right. It’s your ring, it’s your business. I got all worked up on the walk over here.
No, I took a $5 cab ride, seven blocks. These shoes pinch my feet, but I love them. I am in a financial cul-de-sac. But I'm going to take the bus. I just hope I'm not on it.
Meanwhile, in the lap of luxury…
- It’s okay. I'm Richard's assistant, and I'm gay. - Okay. Turn around and give a girl a moment.
I'm Roger, and you weren't supposed to be here.
Richard left, and I decided to take a nice relaxing bath, but now that's shot to shit. Okay. Decent.
I am so sorry, but if it's any consolation, wow!
Pilates. So, why haven't I seen you around the office?
He has three assistants. I run his errands.
His errands! Is that an errand gift wrapped on the bed?
All right. I'm his personal shopper. He's a very busy man.
I'll bet. Exactly how many women are you buying gifts for?
- What do you mean? - You've seen my bush. We're a little past acting coy.
Since you came into the picture, a lot less. And he's never sent me to Chanel before. That was fun. Great wallet. It also came in red, but I couldn't decide…
So, Richard didn't pick out any of these gifts?
Technically, no. But he really likes you. I can tell.
Yeah, he thinks I'm the best. Wait, the cards. ''Style for style''? ''Sexy for sexy''?
- ''Me for you.'' Please, don't have me fired. - I'll tell you what. I'll pretend you don't exist.
- Thank you. - If you do one thing for me.
- Oh, Richard. - I thought you'd like it.
You did? I forgot the card. ''Gorgeous for gorgeous. Love, Richard.''
- I love you, Samantha. I do. - You do? And I love... this.
Samantha could have said, ''I love you. '' But she was afraid it would cost her too much. So she did what she did best.
So every other Saturday and Wednesday at 5:00 p.m, you take him.
- I was thinking 4:57 p.m. would be better. - You think this is stupid.
No, I just was thinking that things are gonna to get off schedule. I mean, we're talking about a kid, not a train. I'd offer to do that for you, but I don't think it's in the contract.
Don't give me a hard time. I could fart you into oblivion right now. That feels so great. Thanks. Steve, am I ugly?
- What? No. You got that glow. - But would you want to have sex with me?
What are you talking about? You're pregnant.
Yeah, and another charming side effect, aside from flatulence and bloating, is all I can think about is sex. And who would want to have sex with me?
I'd like to have sex with you, but I'm pretty sure it's not allowed. I've read section B14 in the contract and it said nothing about sex.
- Fuck the contract and please fuck me. What? - You're squishing me.
- I'm sorry. - No.
That night, Steve gave Miranda multiple orgasms for what it's worth.
Just to be clear, this doesn't mean we're a couple. This is a mercy fuck.
I'm sorry about the other day. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.
You were right. I didn't want to let go of being Mrs. Trey MacDougal.
- I think you are coping amazingly well. I'm just scared. - I know. Me, too.
- Wow! We're alone again. - Yeah. I want you to take the ring for your down payment.
- No, I can't. You love this ring. - No, I love what the ring represented.
No, you're right. It would make things too complicated.
This is a straightforward business proposal. Clean and simple. Why do I have all this money if I can't help out a friend?
- But it would be a loan. I'll pay you back. - I know.
- I want you to think really carefully about this. - I have.
- Will you be comfortable knowing that it will take me time to pay you back? - I will.
I really appreciate this. I'll pay you back. You know that, right?
- I do. It’s ok. I trust you. Will you take the ring? - I will. Thank you.
Charlotte had taken her painful past and turned it into my hopeful future, and that made the ring priceless.
I start work at the museum next week.
That's great. Guess what. I got Vogue up to $4.50 a word.
I fixed the toilet, and should be done with this by the end of the afternoon.
Okay, great. Thank you.
It wasn't quite as easy as clicking my Manolo Blahniks three times, but it was worth it. I was home.