505. Plus One is the Loneliest Number
There is one day, even the most cynical New York woman dreams of all her life.
It'll be fabulous. Everything white. White flowers, white tablecloths, white food. W-H-I-T-E. White.
She imagines what she'll wear, the photographers, the toasts. Everybody's celebrating the fact that she finally found a publisher. It's her book-release party.
This is a sexy event, so don't be afraid to use color.
- I'm not afraid of anything. How about pink? - Hot pink.
- Pink! - Isn't it perfect?
- It's huge. - Huge space, huge book.
- Who's coming? - Everyone.
- Okay, this is cuckoo. - Guest list!
When your career is going better than ever, it's hard not to get a big head.
Meanwhile, Miranda was back at the office and she was politically incorrectly happy to be there.
I have Walker Lewis calling.
I'll take that.
Miranda and Walker had shared one night of great sex B.C. Before Child.
- I'm so glad I wasn't waiting for your call. - I'm so glad you remember me.
I remember you.
I remember you, too. I remember you naked. So, how you been? What's new with you?
Nothing much. How about you?
I was hoping to take you on a very belated second date.
How about Thursday?
She invited him to be her plus one at the book party since she knew she'd be conveniently minus one. Magda had already agreed to babysit.
Meanwhile, Charlotte was working on her perfect plus one: Justin Anderson III.
Thanks for another lovely lunch, and for walking me home.
Justin was just in time because Charlotte was finally ready for a new relationship.
- Good afternoon, Mrs. Collier. - Yes, it certainly was.
- And she's one of the friendly ones. - I think I'd better get back to work.
I was in a new relationship, too, with my publisher.
Okay, bye-bye. I am so freaking excited about this party! Seriously, Carrie, we are so golden. People actually want to come to this book party. All of Cond Nast is coming, including GQ, which is actual straight men. Someone better kiss me at this thing.
So, it's not about selling books. It's about finding you a boyfriend.
Courtney... I didn't know you had somebody in here. I'm sorry.
- What are you doing here? - Using the Xerox machine.
You finished your second book?
- No, my suicide note. Would you like a Save the Date card? - Please.
- You know each other? - No.
Carrie Bradshaw. Her book of essays comes out this week.
Jack Berger. We published his first book last year.
And your name is Berger?
Never heard of me. What does that say about your publicity department?
- Not your primary market. - Because she's not in my immediate family.
Jack wrote a hilarious comic novel that speaks to men the same way your column speaks to women.
Except men don't buy hilarious comic novels. That's the flaw in the plan.
What's your book?
Half-off. That's what it's called now. It's just half-off. Sometimes it's 75 cents on a card table on Sixth Avenue.
- Next to the incense. - Exactly.
You two should talk, because he knows the whole deal: The party, the signings, the reading, the tour.
Minutes later, Jack Berger and I slowed down for a little fast food.
- I'm not so much feeding them as I'm hitting them. - Yes, I see that.
"'Did the man have a little repressed anger? "'Or did he just dislike pigeons? ' The woman wondered."
The woman is tripping over the term "repressed."
I'm not really bitter. I'm just trying it on for size.
- I think it fits. - It's a little tight in the crotch.
- You're saying "crotch" to me? We just met. - Long in the sleeve?
- Not as funny. - See that? It had to be "crotch." How's that strawberry shake?
It's very tasty, thank you.
I can't believe that you ordered strawberry. Who orders strawberry after the age of 11?
You have so much to learn about women.
That's what a few reviewers said. All right, what's next? How long do I have you for?
I don't know. What else is on your agenda?
I gotta pick up some dry cleaning. Would it be weird for you to come with me to pick it up?
No. It would be weird for you to send me.
It's a nice place. It's right around the corner. Family joint. They have an actual abacus.
We were having one of those great first dates you can only have when it's not an actual date.
- What's that? - It's stupid. I collect found playing cards. They're all over the city.
- Really? I never noticed.
Well, you will now. That's how it works. I'm hoping to get a full deck. Insert the obvious joke here. And I didn't have a two of hearts. It's a good day.
- Yes, it is. Berger. - We're on a last-name basis now? Okay.
Would you, by any chance, want to be my plus one on Thursday? It's my book party, and I don't have a date... and you'll have the clean shirt and all.
I would love that, but my girlfriend's parents are coming to visit, and they are staying with us.
It was like a bomb that just kept exploding: "I have a girlfriend. We live together. This whole flirtation's in your head."
He should have mentioned her earlier.
But not too early. I hate it when men do that. "I have a girlfriend." Calm down. I just asked if that seat was taken.
That guy's a jerk.
Thing is, I don't think he is. I sparked with this person. I never spark. I wonder how happy they are. This is not a good side of me. Seriously, what's the point of meeting someone like that if they're not available?
It's the universe telling you they're still out there.
Maybe the universe is telling you all the good ones are taken.
I'm telling you, all the good ones are coming to the party.
What did he look like?
I can't remember, which is what happens when I really like someone. I just remember a feeling. Or he was a dating mirage. I was so hungry for a spark, I hallucinated a man.
Stop. You're the toast of the town. Finish your salad, and I'll treat you to a little mani-pedi-botox.
You say that like everybody does it.
- Everybody will. - I think I'd rather just crawl into bed.
Honey, a little perspective! You have a fun, exciting, intellectually stimulating career, and there's about to be a huge soire thrown in your honor.
- And I'll be without a plus one. - I'll be your plus one.
He should have said "we" something. "We go to this dry cleaners." "We might be breaking up soon."
- I didn't tell Walker I had a baby. - How could you not mention it?
It didn't come up. If he'd asked me directly, "Have you given birth recently?" I would have said, "First of all, define 'recently."'
You have to tell him.
I know. I will. I just don't want it to change everything. If I didn't have a baby, this is a guy I'd be dating.
If Carrie's guy didn't have a girlfriend, then he's a guy she'd be dating, but he does.
Thanks for bringing that up again.
In New York, they say you're always looking for a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment. So, let's say you have two out of three, and they're fabulous. Why do we let the one thing we don't have affect how we feel about all the things we do have? Why does one minus a plus one feel like it adds up to zero?
Samantha didn't need a man to make her feel positive, but she did need a man to inject her forehead every so often.
We like to warn our patients that some people find it difficult to register emotion on their faces after the injections. So you might have to say: "I am so angry."
- Miss Jones is familiar with the procedure. - New ones?
Like most high-powered women, Samantha could handle the stress of her job, but not the stress lines.
Before we do the botox, have you thought about a freshening chemical peel? It takes 15 minutes, and it can make you look 10 to 20 years younger.
15 minutes later, Samantha seemed to have it all...peeled off.
There are times when a woman relishes being alone.
Oh, my God!
And those are the times you usually run into someone you don't wanna see. In my case, it was Enid, my editor at Vogue, also alone.
- Carrie. - Enid. Hi. How are you?
- Good. - Are you meeting someone?
- No, I'm just grabbing a quick bite. - Would you like to...
- Oh, no. Not if you're working. - It's fine. I was just reading.
- Hello! - Hi.
- Hello! is what you're... - Oh, reading!
- So, do you really want company? - Sure. I just ordered.
- I guess this way I can expense it. - Right.
Enid and I ran out of Vogue stuff to talk about midway through our salads.
- Do you live in the neighborhood? - No. But the man I'm seeing does.
- So, there's a man. - Yes, there is a man.
That's great. You have a wildly successful career and a relationship. I was worried we women, only get one or the other, but you have it all. You gotta give me something here. I'm working my ass off.
All right. To speak in magazine copy, yes, I have it all on the East Side. He has someone else on the West Side. Luckily, the park provides a buffer.
You're okay with that?
Yes. I don't have time for a full-time man. I have a full-time job. That's the key to having it all. Stop expecting it to look like what you thought it would look like. That's true of the fall lines, and it's true of relationships.
Her little tip earned Enid one invitation to my party. That night, Charlotte let her perfect plus one have it all.
She even let him stay the night in her perfect pre-war apartment.
- Oh, yes, I ordered breakfast. - You're too good to be true.
Unfortunately, Charlotte was about to get much more than she ordered.
- Is anybody home? - Yes. I am.
- Hello, Charlotte. - Bunny, what are you doing here?
The question is, what are you doing here? I'm hearing things from the co-op board.
They're spying on me?
Mrs. Collier saw you kissing a male caller in the hall in the middle of the day.
I believe that kissing is allowed.
And Mrs. Pierce said a gentleman. We assume it was the same one, but who knows came home with you last night. And according to the doorman, he hasn't left yet.
- What I do with my life in my apartment... - That's the thing, dear. It's not your apartment.
Trey gave me this apartment.
It's not Trey's to give. And this apartment remains in the MacDougal name whereas you, Charlotte York, do not. So, you see, it's rather a sticky subject made stickier by the fact that you're still married.
- You're married? - I'm not married. I'm separated.
Aren't you missing a pair of trousers?
- You have to go. - Don't you hustle me out, young lady. This is Chanel.
Charlotte discovered that a plus one, plus one ex-mother-in-law equals disaster.
Meanwhile, I was manning Party Central.
Anthony is going to be my date to the party.
What happened to this perfect plus one we all had to meet?
- I don't wanna talk about it. - Sweetie, what... That's my call waiting. Hang on a sec.
No, I can't. That's the locksmith. Bunny's back.
- I'm definitely on the list, correct? - Of course you're on the list.
- Good, 'cause I'm bringing my boyfriend. - Yes, I heard.
I don't want to seem like a nobody, now that I have a somebody.
It's okay to be a nobody when you have nobody?
Apparently, you're nobody till somebody loves you.
I can't believe I used to like that song. It's the co-dependent national anthem.
Methinks someone's a little jealy.
I just miss having you as my plus one. The gay guy is the single gal's safety net. Even Charlotte has a gay plus one, and this is my big night.
- Her little boy bitch Anthony is coming? - Yes, he's coming. He styled the event.
Good. I'm glad he'll be there. 'Cause he's bringing a woman, and I have it all.
- I have a call. See you tonight. - Okay, ciao.
- Hello? - Honey, I've had a little something done and it's not as bad as yesterday, but I've looked better. I'm not sure I should go to the party.
You have to come. You're my publicist. Thanks to you, there's going to be 8,000 people there. I would like to see at least one familiar face. I need you. I can't talk to the press. I can't keep everyone straight. And you said you'd be my plus one.
- All right. Don't worry about a thing. I'll be there. - Okay. Thank you.
The party was one of those amazing events that would definitely end up on page 6. The fact that it was my party was just icing on the beautiful little cakes that were being passed around by beautiful little waiters.
Congratulations! Carrie, one more! Carrie, right here!
Oh, my God, Carrie! Can you believe this?
Is it a bad thing if the party is better than the book?
I've been turning people away. Not the straight men, of course.
Have you seen Samantha? Vanity Fair doesn't have a table.
Not your problem. Enjoy. Cute guy.
Hello, Carrie. I'm Harold Keenan of The New Yorker. I've been following your career. Let me just say congratulations.
Carrie, I'm here! You look amazing.
Harold Keenan from The New Yorker. This is Samantha Jones, bee-keeper. What are you doing under there? Talk to the man. Let him see your face.
There she was. My plus one. Minus one layer of skin.
Hi, I've had a chemical peel. I'm Carrie's publicist.
Could you at least separate the two thoughts, chemical peel, Carrie's publicist? Why did you do this?
It was an impulse purchase.
Gum is an impulse purchase. This is more than gum.
I wanted to be super-fresh for the party.
Well, you are. You look like Beef Carpaccio. Veil down, I think.
No. If you knew how many dinner parties I've sat through across from one of these.
- And you were able to eat? - I'm entitled to a chemical peel.
Wait! No! The hat was good!
Women shouldn't have to hide in the shadows because they've had cosmetic surgery, which society nearly demands of them.
Make that political statement elsewhere. This is my party, and you're scaring people.
- I've had a chemical peel. - And she's not afraid to say it.
When I had my nose job, I stayed in for a month.
Excuse us. We have to go find Charlotte and her tiny little friend.
We were just getting to know each other. I was planning on telling him.
You can wrap it up in a Tiffany bow, but the point is you wanted to get laid first.
- Charlotte, hello. - Hi, Stanford. You remember Anthony.
You tried to fix us up at the fashion show. I didn't know he'd be here. This is Marcus, my boyfriend.
- Really? How long you two been going together? - Four months.
- Four whole months. Good luck to you. - We don't need luck. We're in love. - Shrimp!
For some people, having it all is not enough. They need someone who missed out on it all to be jealous.
We're getting a house in the Hamptons.
Friggin' coconut shrimp! What do you do with the tails? Mr. Shrimpy!
And he has a large penis!
Where in the Hamptons?
From a pair of queens to a hand still not shown...
- Maybe you and I should go somewhere a little less crowded. Like... - Anywhere in Manhattan?
- Your apartment? - Yes, but first I have to tell you something.
- There's someone else. - Sort of. I had a baby. But I'm still allowed to have sex.
- Is it... mine? - The guy's a friend who I accidentally slept with.
I'm not good with kids.
Neither am I. Months from now, if we're still together, we'll figure this out.
But for now, it's just us and I'm still the same person. Let's go screw our brains out.
That feels amazing!
- You sure we won't wake him? - He's fine.
Miranda was trying to prove she could still do it all: Bring home the bacon, bring home the baby, and bring home an orgasm.
Don't stop. Mommy's coming!
- I don't think I can do this. I told you. I'm not a baby guy. - Couldn't I just please come first?
Oh, so now you stop crying. So, here we are.
The night of my big party, Miranda finally gave in to her little party, because she wasn't the same person. She was plus one.
So, a book! Does anybody read books anymore? Actually, I think books are coming back. You can quote me on the side of a bus if you want: "Books are back." Isaac Mizrahi.
- Okay, I'll remember that. - Meet me.
- Perfect party, Carrie. Congratulations. - Worth coming downtown for?
Was that a yes or a no? Last one. Thank you.
As I looked around, I thought, "Who needs a date?" I can have my cake and eat it, too. Then suddenly, there he was, looking cuter than I remembered and minus one girlfriend.
Hey, lady of the hour. You're hard to get to.
So's the dessert tray, when it's your party.
Just as a point of reference, my book party could have fit in the coat check of your party.
- 400 of my closest acquaintances. - You look great.
- I thought you couldn't make it. - I had to come by, say congratulations.
- Thanks for coming, Berger. - All right. Good luck with the book and everything. - You, too.
- Was that the spark guy? - Yes, it was. Jack Berger. All by his lonesome.
- He is awfully cute. - Is he? I forgot again.
He's obviously here because he felt something, too.
Can you call me from a cab and tell me that? I love you, but your face...
I know. The caterer just shooed me away from the buffet. Do you mind if I go home?
I thought you'd never ask! Thank you for being here.
Honey, I wouldn't have gone out in public like this for anyone but you.
I know. And I have to live with that.
I might go, too. My plus one dumped me for a shrimp waiter.
I'd love to leave, but I have to stay. I'm like the ice sculpture the party's supposed to happen around. I had to let him go, correct? I just wish he'd told me right up front.
The thing is, there's some things people don't admit because they just don't like the way it sounds. Like, "I'm getting divorced."
I'm lonely. I am. The loneliness is palpable.
- Don't tell me you invited Cliff. - Cliff who?
My Cliff. He's with her.
That's him? Cliff from Primetime Stories? Don't make a scene! Is this her side of town?
We're below Houston! East Side, West Side, who the hell knows down here? I am so angry.
As it turns out, even the most together-woman can't keep it together when it comes to love...
- Who was that? - My role model.
…Because just below the surface, we're all raw and exposed.
- So, what was the party for? - Me. I have a book coming out.
- You wrote a book! - It's just a collection of my... Yes, I wrote a book.
- That's amazing! Congratulations. - Thank you.
It was kind of amazing. Why did I need a stranger to remind me of that?
- Where can I take you? - Home. 73rd and... - No, we have to celebrate this.
Come on, rapido, Papi.
- I want to tell him. - Oh, no, I don't...
She wrote a book.
No kidding! Congratulations. Gonna be in the bookstores and everything? That's great. If that's the case, then tonight, the hot dogs are on me.
- You don't have to... - The dogs are on me. I insist.
- Thanks. - Sure. Have a nice weekend.
All I could think was, who needs a Berger when you can get a fabulous hot dog for 75 cents or free? Then again, maybe there is something to knowing they're out there.