417. A 'Vogue' Idea
Every morning, millions of New Yorkers leave their crowded apartments and head out to the even more crowded streets, on their way to work. Today, I was one of them. Sometimes, a girl just needs a new start. I had a new do, a new mortgage, and, therefore, a new job. I had just submitted my first freelance article for one of the most relevant and provocative magazines on the newsstands today, at least to me. Vogue. Also known as Mecca, where I belonged.
- This isn't Vogue. - You didn't like it?
- No one is saying that. - I am. I didn't like it. There, I said it.
- What Enid is trying to say, Carrie, is that you wrote a wonderful first draft. - That isn't Vogue.
There it was, the article I'd put my heart and soul into and it was bleeding.
Your spin on the idea is very clever. Different types of men as the new accessories for fall. A Prada... ''A Prada dress should always be worn with an investment banker.'' That's wonderful.
Julian, the assignment was 500 words on accessories, not men. And I'm not convinced she knows anything about purses. Or, for that matter, men.
Enid, for the love of God…
Ms. Bradshaw, what you've handed us here is essentially your newspaper column with the word ''style'' jammed in where the word ''sex'' used to be. We're not looking for Vogue according to your agenda. No one cares about your agenda.
That's not true.
Forgive me. I don't care about your agenda. I care about designers. Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Dior. I want less Carrie Bradshaw and more... ''Carry this bag with these shoes.'' Do you see what I mean? You're a writer. You should be writing this down.
I was trying to find a way to introduce the bags and the bracelets with a little humor. Kind of, ''Men are the new black.'' It was supposed to be funny.
- It was supposed to be bags. - I didn't really bring a writing implement. Okay. Bags.
An hour later, Enid had to leave for a lunch date, presumably to devour another writer.
Don't let Enid get to you. She just came back from Paris and apparently humor and irony are out this season. Billie Holiday, the only woman I can think of in more pain than you right now. Come on, cookie, chin up, in publishing you need two things, a tough hide and a dry martini.
Martinis in the morning, is this allowed? Is it Vogue?
Only in absolute emergencies. Last time I broke this out was when I heard that fun fur was making a comeback.
Look at this mess. Why was I even hired?
I'm afraid you've got me to blame for that. My daughter introduced me to your column about a year ago. I thought you'd be a natural at Vogue.
I guess you thought wrong.
Haven't been wrong yet. Vogue is all about vision. And you cookie have got vision. We just have to find a way to hide your vision from Enid's vision. A little less you, a little more purse. Come on. - Drink. - Cheers!
One and a half martinis later...
- And the sad thing is, this is what I do best. I mean, look at it. - Cookie, you're drunk.
Yeah. Cookie's drunk. I'm drunk at Vogue.
How can anyone get so drunk on one and a half martinis?
I didn't eat breakfast and I'm a size two, which should make me perfect for Vogue, but nope, I'm drunk and a failure at Vogue.
I feel awful. This is my fault.
Julian, I came in here today so cocky. I thought I knew it All. I had my men jokes and my purse puns. You heard her. What do I know about purses? Nothing. What do I know about men? Oops! I spilled. I spilled at Vogue.
- Okay. Maybe we better just take you home. - I can't go out there. I'm drunk. I'm drunk at Vogue.
Left, right. Now look at me. Pretend I'm saying something fantastic about corsets.
- Excuse me. - Please tell me that wasn't Anna Win tour.
- It wasn't. Now just... Left, right. - Right. So sorry.
That night, at a more appropriate Cocktail hour,..
Come on, there must be something you want for your birthday.
What I want for my birthday is not to celebrate it this year.
What if I want to celebrate it?
That would be celebration enough. Besides I have everything I need.
It’s not about needing something. It’s about wanting something just for fun. Something decadent, something naughty.
May I tempt you with dessert? How was everything this evening?
Delicious, Thank you.
Alexa. I took the liberty of preordering our Chocolate soufflé for you and Ms. Jones, if you want something sweet.
Always. Thank you for keeping an eye on us.
I couldn't help it. You're the most attractive couple in the restaurant.
I know what I'd like for my birthday. An all-night nonstop championship fuck fest with you...
Then consider your candles blown.
...and Alexa. You asked.
Is a three-way with a 21 year old a bad idea for Richard's birthday?
What are you gonna get him next year? A four way?
- He doesn’t wanna be monogamous. He'll cheat with or without me. - Happy birthday to you.
- He didn't ask me to get him a hooker. - These are the options?
It’s someone we know and at least this way, I'm part of the fantasy.
The fantasy being that he's attracted to someone young enough to be his daughter.
He is, Charlotte, that's the problem! Richard's in his fucking prime. Men look better as they get older and women get…
Three ways, apparently, or a Marc Jacobs ultramod little notebook. Evidently, I'm recommending it to Vogue shoppers.
Just be careful. Samantha. When a man has a fantasy and you fulfill it, there always is the chance that the relationship could blow up. Then you're the idiot who did it with him on the golf course, or something.
- Was it you and Trey? - No, it's a ''for instance.''
Sorry I'm late. I was shopping for a stroller. I shouldn't even be here. I should be out doing all the things I'm supposed to before the baby comes, and I'm unable to leave my apartment ever again.
Like what? Jujitsu and off-track betting?
Like buying a crib. Evidently, I'm to go to Crib World, because it's a whole world of cribs. I guess Crib City wasn't big enough. Why isn't there a store called ''This is The Crib For You''? And they just have one great crib. They deliver it and assemble it, and help raise the child.
You don't have a crib yet?
No, I have a job instead. I'm sorry, but when am I supposed to find time to prepare for this baby?
- I don't have a vague idea how I'm going to do any of it. - I don't have a Vogue idea, so hello.
Why don't you let One Ball help you?
Yeah. I tried that. He starts acting all father figure, and I get territorial, and the salespeople get confused. Trust me, it's too complicated for Crib World.
Let me help you. You said you didn't want a baby shower, but you can change your mind.
- I hate baby showers. - Who doesn't?
The games, the finger sandwiches, all that enforced oohing and ahing.
I don't know, and I don't care who's having a baby.
Think of the gifts. It’d be a great way to get all the stuff you need.
Without going to Crib World.
- Who would I invite besides you guys? - All the bitches that made you go to theirs.
It’s your shower. You can invite or not invite whoever you choose.
Would you really want to throw me a baby shower after all you've been through this year?
Yeah, I think it would be good for me.
Okay, but no cutesy, storky shit. Just an adult, dignified lunch with presents which I will open after everyone leaves.
You have to open the presents.
No opening of presents, no games, no crust less bread. And I want fried chicken.
- Fried chicken! But it's not Super Bowl Sunday. - It’s my shower, and I'll fry if I want to.
- What should we do for our gift? - Let's just stick to the registry three-way.
The next day, Charlotte decided if she was going to host a baby shower, she should hide the evidence that she had wanted one of her own.
Later that week, I had a meal with the perfect dinner accessory, Julian.
My wife is a former dancer. She was with the Martha Graham Company. And the first time I saw her on stage, I fell in love with her. She plied and I plotzed. It’ll be 24 years next September.
So you got married right out of grade school.
I knew there was something about you that I liked. What about your life? Is there a man in your life? Is it a great love?
I just broke up with somebody. And yes, it was a great love. But he went there. I went there.
And there you have it.
- So, the reason that I asked you to dinner tonight… - Was because you knew I would pay?
Besides that. I wanted to tell you that I really appreciate your interest in my article, but I've decided not to finish it.
So what are you gonna do, you're just going to quit? No, I don't let my kids quit.
Technically, I'm not one of your kids. I'm just a girl you get drunk sometimes.
All right, forget about me. What would your father say about you quitting?
My father wouldn't have a whole lot to say about quitting. He quit my mother and me when I was little.
- Sorry. - Thanks. I mean a long time ago. I was 5.
- Why did he leave? - No idea, never said. And that's the name of that tune. What?
No, it's interesting. Your father leaves without any answers and you spend your life asking questions about men. It’s 20 years of analysis. Forgive me?
Okay, Vogue. What if I could fix it so that you only deal with me, and Enid spends less time hating your writing and more time hating Tom Ford's line?
Come on, cookie, you're no quitter. And we get to work on this together. What do you say?
- Why are you being so sweet? - Martini guilt.
Later that night, I got to thinking about fathers, or the lack of them. Some say a daughter's relationship with her father is the model for all her subsequent relationships with men. Is that just pop psychology, or is there some truth to it? And if you were given a less-than-perfect model, does it mean a life of less-than-perfect relationships? I couldn’t help but wonder, how much does a father figure figure?
Gentlemen, I understand your concern, but I'm looking at the contract right now. I'm sorry, could you hold for a moment? I'm on a conference call here.
- Charlotte York says it's an emergency. - Charlotte. What's wrong, you okay?
I'm fine. I'm just looking at your registry. There are some things you forgot to include. Like a Manhattan Whoozit.
It’s a learning toy. Active toys make for passive children. There's a philosophy on it.
I don't have the time for philosophy. I'm on a conference call with our London office.
- What about a Peek Ball? - Jesus, I have to get back.
One more quick thing. I know you said no storks, but I saw the most gorgeous centerpiece in the shape of …
I'm at work.
- We have to order it by noon. Its feathers are white Fiji mum. - What did I say?
No storks. But these people are giving expensive gifts, and they’ll want to see a little baby.
No storks, no present opening, no cutesy baby stuff. We agreed.
- What about a marzipan baby carriage? - Charlotte!
It has a white chocolate peanut butter baby inside, and you can eat the baby. Miranda?
The next day, Samantha made a conference call of her own.
Ms. Jones, welcome. Will Mr. Wright be joining you for lunch?
No, Actually, it's Richard's birthday this weekend and I'm trying to put together a little celebration for him.
Certainly. Would you like to reserve one of our banquet rooms or…
That won't be necessary. It’s a very small party. A very small private party of three. Just Richard, myself, and a third, if you have any openings.
- I'm wide open. - Lucky me.
And now that Charlotte's house was ready for the baby shower, she wanted to make sure Miranda's house was ready for the baby.
The bassinet can go over here by the bed. So that when you get up for feedings, he's right there. See? Unless you're planning to have him sleep in bed with you.
Can't I go to jail for that?
No. In fact many cultures believe it's safer for the baby's breathing. Although you do run the risk of rolling over and smashing him while asleep. But that almost never happens. But almost it never, so if you want to err on the side of safety…
I'll just put him in the thing.
The bassinet? Great. And then when he's big enough, you can put the crib here. Is that what you were thinking?
I hadn't thought about that yet.
You need to start thinking about these things, ‘cause there are a million questions to answer before the baby ever gets here. Do you have a birthing plan? Do you know what kind of mother you want to be?
I plan to be a good mother.
But a marsupial mom or a stroller mom? Will you be breastfeeding or bottle-feeding? And what about baby proofing? 'Cause with all the sharp edges around here, I mean, this place is a deathtrap!
- Okay, you need to back off. - I'm just trying to help.
This is your idea of helping? Pointing out all the things I do badly?
- I'm not pointing out… - Yes, you are.
You need to try to let other people in a little, because once you have that baby, it's not just you anymore. You're not gonna be able to control everything.
Look, I just want to enjoy the fried chicken and be done with it.
I had to rethink the fried chicken because you’re the only one who wanted all that breading. So instead we're having mesclun greens and a lovely puttanesca with a Fiji mum center-piece.
A Fiji mum stork centerpiece?
One stork. I think you can deal with one.
Two storks. I saw the invitation! There’s a stork on the invitation.
That's not a stork! That is a duck. That duck is smoking an ''it's a boy'' cigar. That's not enough for children.
- That duck is fucked! This whole shower is fucked! - You can't have a shower without baby stuff!
- You keep this stuff, and you'll have a shower without a mommy! - Fine!
Fine! Miranda, you better show up. I am not getting stuck with a bunch of lawyers, who, if they're anything like you, won't even appreciate a beautiful puttanesca!
Watch out for the sharp edges!
Thanks for coming down and talking.
I really didn't have a choice. You couldn't make it up the stairs. There, you feel better?
- The back, yes. The other stuff, no. I'm gonna be a terrible mother. - Miranda.
I am! I have no maternal instincts, no patience. The way I yelled at Charlotte. She was just trying to point out what needed to be child-proofed. Oh, my God.
- What? - I'm what needs to be child-proofed.
You wanna quit? Come on, I'll quit the magazine. You quit the baby. We'll be two quitters. We'll live happily ever after.
- Can I tell you a secret? - You're not really pregnant? It’s water weight?
I dropped my niece on her head. I was babysitting when I was 13, and I got bored. I was doing my homework, she slid down the couch. Two stitches.
Get off my stoop!
How is this kid ever gonna make it? A type A mother, who works 50 hours a week, and no father figure.
- He has a father figure. - Steve.
- I meant you. - Really?
- Yeah. - I do like those Yankees!
- Second date, dinner and a movie. - I hate them.
Do you think it really can be as simple as, ''My father walked out, therefore I'll always be messed up about men?''
My father came home every night at 7:00 on the dot, and I have no clue about men either.
So it's a crapshoot.
- Do I have to go to my own baby shower? - I R.S.V.P.'d to a duck with a cigar.
- All right. - You're going.
- It’s late. I've got to catch a cab. - Wait, let me get you a forklift. When you're ready.
- Okay. - Go.
- Thank you. - You did good. - You, too.
The next day, Miranda decided not to duck her own shower.
You showed up.
Bring on the ladies in hats, and let's get this over with. Where'd you put all the storks?
- You said you didn't want any storks. - I know, but... What did you do?
It’s your shower. Can you get that? ‘Cause I have to get the sandwiches, which have all of their crusts. Nothing cute. No ridiculous, over-the-top baby stuff allowed.
Why are you opening the door? Shouldn't you to be sitting on a lily pad being worshipped?
- What is that? - It’s a four tiered baby cake made entirely of diapers.
- I baked it myself. - We ordered it online. - What am I supposed to do with it?
- How the hell should we know? Didn't you want one? - No.
We're not taking it back. We've already been seen carrying it down Park Avenue. Definitely not Vogue.
Charlotte said it was the shower gift.
I told you we should've gotten the massage certificate.
One hour, two platters of chicken, and 13 lawyers later, all talk had turned to babies. Almost all.
She may be 21, but I have 21 years of experience. I could fuck her under the table.
That’s good to know. Because in a three-way situation, it could come to that.
- I have tricks she hasn't even seen. - Those Trix aren't for kids.
- And no matter whatever happens, she's just renting him. I own. - Exactly.
- Although, I don't really own. - So it's more of an illegal sublet type thing?
- Yeah. - Wow!
It’s a breast pump. I didn't want you coming to my office to borrow mine. You know what? I have to pee. Wait. Here. You take Charles. Have fun, Mom.
All right. Keep it coming, ladies. Let's keep the presents.
- Miranda! - Yeah?
- Nothing. - Something tells me this one's Tiffany.
- That's from me. - That is elegant.
- Oh, my God. That's exactly like the rattle Trey gave me when we first... - You okay?
- I'm fine. Sorry, everybody. Excuse me. - What did I do?
- Charlotte? - I just need to be alone right now.
Okay. Except, you know, you've got 20 people in the other room.
I'm sorry I ruined your shower.
You didn't. And there wouldn't even be a shower to ruin if it weren't for you. Look, I know this is hard. And I really appreciate you trying to be okay with me having this baby, because I need you. I mean, let's face it. You're the only person in my life who knows how important it is to have a cake made entirely out of diapers.
There's lotion in there, too.
- Oh, yeah? - And baby bottles and a receiving blanket.
- See? I would never have known that. - You will figure it out.
And just like that, Miranda realized she might be a good mother figure, as well.
Hello. Somebody better go check on Mommy in the guest bath, 'cause little bits here has wet himself, and myself, I might add.
- I happen to have four tiers of diapers. - Good.
Ladies, can we cut the cake and get out of here? I have a three-way to go to.
- This? - That's my earring.
That night, at the birthday three-way, Samantha made sure it happened her way.
Just so we're clear, tonight is just about sex, not love. So there will be no kissing on the mouth. Richard's lips are off-limits to anyone but me.
- What if he kisses me? - Who's up for champagne?
- I'm up for anything. - Hey!
- Easy, Sam. There's more than enough of me to go around. - You tell her, Daddy.
The one thing Richard didn't want for his birthday was to feel older.
- Get rid of her. - I'm on it.
It was time for the fledging to leave the love nest.
- Anything else you want for your birthday? - No, this is great. Just you and me.
What about my three-way? I have a busboy arriving at midnight.
- Seriously, let's try this. Just you and me, nobody else. - Okay.
By giving Richard what he thought he wanted, Samantha finally got what she needed, monogamy.
The Following night, with a little after-hours help from my favorite editor, I finished the impossible, my first Vogue piece.
And now, my favorite part of the writing process...print.
Congratulations, cookie. Five hundred beautifully written words, and some of them even include the Carrie Bradshaw agenda. Cleverly hidden, of course.
It’s a literary Where's Waldo?
When I finish a piece, I usually celebrate by opening a bottle of Chateau La Tour. How do you celebrate?
By buying shoes and purses.
In that case, have you ever heard of the Vogue accessories closet?
Oh, my God! It’s too good! I'm sorry, but it's... it's too good!
You're just like a kid in a couture candy store.
- This is too much! How can this be? - Designers send these things, and we photograph them.
- Oh, my God! Do you know what these are? - We're not even supposed to be in here.
Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes. I thought these were an urban shoe myth.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be pillaging the men's side.
Okay. Oh, my God! These are authentic patent leather. And if they don't fit, so help me, I'm gonna wear them anyway. Crap. They almost fit.
Tell me what you think of these Versaces.
- Okay. all right! - What do you think?
- Oh, my... What are you doing? - I'm just showing you these briefs.
- Well, don't. Julian, pull your pants up. - Look at you in those Mary Janes!
Stop. What happened to your wife, the dancer?
She's having an affair with her friend, the chiropractor. Carrie.
- What? - I find you adorable.
- You're old enough to be my father. - Hardly. Would your father wear Versaces?
Pull your pants up, now.
All right. But, cookie, as someone who really cares about you, let me say, I think you have some serious issues with men.
I do right now.
An older man can help you work through some of those father issues, cookie.
Okay, don't ''cookie'' me, Freud. Pants up! Show some respect. This is Vogue!
It turns out Julian had an agenda, as well. But it was cleverly hidden, of course.
From then on, once a month, when I went to Vogue, I thought it best to work exclusively with Enid.
This new piece shows improvement, but still positively reeks of you. This magazine doesn't care what Carrie Bradshaw says about shoes. What does Carrie Bradshaw know about shoes?
With all due respect, men, I may not know, but shoes... shoes, I know.
- I'm walking. - I'm walking, too.
I admit it's tempting to wish for the perfect boss or the perfect parent, or the perfect outfit. But maybe the best any of us can do is not quit. Play the hand we've been given, and accessorize the outfit we've got.