506. Critical Condition
In the life of a New Yorker, there are several unpleasant things one will inevitably have to face: Having your purse stolen, random public urination, and seeing a gay friend's boyfriend in a Broadway revue.
I think I understand the three-drink minimum now.
You're not enjoying the revue?
Frankly, I'm more concerned about my own review in the Times.
Oh, my God, right, your book's reviewed this week. You must be so excited.
More like terrified. Michiko Kakutani. She's the Times' book critic.
I thought you were suggesting an appetizer.
- She's brilliant, and she's really tough. - And impossible to pronounce.
I think they're bringing us home.
How could you not love this? Look at my boyfriend. He's gorgeous.
And he can kick.
Thank you. My boys Marcus Adante...
Isn't he great? He's great, don't you think?
- I have to go to the ladies' room. - Now? They're gonna do an encore.
I have to go to the ladies' room.
Broadway's best: Debbie Cass.
Who would have thought the phrase, "Go see your cousin Debbie's club act" could contain such horror?
I thought there'd be at least one straight guy here. I mean, if not in the audience, then at least behind the bar.
Hold on, 'cause tomorrow, we're gonna cruise the cute pretzel guys at the Village Square Market.
Is that as sad as that just sounded?
If it makes you feel any better, I had a thing for the Amish guys who make hairbrushes.
Hi, you're Carrie Bradshaw.
Yeah, have we met?
I recognized you from your column. And I went out with Aidan right after you.
There I was, worried about the New York Times when apparently I'd already been reviewed.
I'm telling you, it was a hit-and-run. No, it was a face-and-run.
Make it again. Yeah, that ain't good.
I think you're being oversensitive, and it was a facial spasm or something. A lot of people have them, like Bell's palsy.
No, it was not Bell's palsy. It was a full-frontal attack of the face like: "Wow, was he messed up. You really screwed him up good."
What did you say to her?
I didn't have time to say anything. She just ran out of the bathroom.
Fuck that fucking face girl.
- Well, when you put it like that... - I'm sorry.
I haven't slept for days. Brady's been crying non-stop.
- You poor thing. Can I do anything? - Put me out of my misery.
What's wrong with him? Is he sick?
No, he's not sick. He's not hungry, he's not teething, he just wants to scream. I'm doing everything I can, but I can't please him. If he was 35, this is when we would break up.
He has issues, clearly.
I'm telling you, this 13-pound meatloaf is pushing me over the edge.
I feel disgusting. All of my clothes smell like barf. I don't have time to shower, much less get a haircut.
That reminds me, I have to confirm my appointment with John Mandy at the John Mandy Salon. You have no idea how hard it was to get this appointment. Hi, it's Samantha Jones. I'm calling to confirm my appointment Saturday for a cut-and-color with John. Thanks. Crisis averted.
Magda is waiting for me. Time to go back to prison.
- Let me come with you. I can help. - You don't have to do that.
No, it's okay. Actually, I have a few questions because I'm meeting with the divorce lawyer on Monday.
Ask him if I could get an injunction to stop a face.
- Who did you get? - Matthew Bloom of Bloom & Goldenblatt. What's he like?
- He's smart, he's tough. - But is he tough enough to beat Bunny to a pulp?
- Yeah. - Good. Okay, great. Bye, guys. Have a nice day.
Miranda, call me if you need anything.
Damn! Why is that girl still bothering me?
Honey, you have to let it go. If I worried what every bitch in New York said about me, I'd never leave the house.
Early Monday morning, Charlotte met with her lawyer. He was smart, tough, and gorgeous.
You said you had some bad feelings about your mother-in-law, Bunny MacDougal.
I get a sense from her lawyer this is going to be a bit of a battle.
It was a battle, all right. The battle of the Charlottes. The Charlotte who wanted to seem attractive to her adorable lawyer and the Charlotte who wanted to kick Bunny MacDougal's ass.
It looks to me that Mrs. MacDougal has been very busy hiding assets to make sure you don't get anything.
I just really want what was promised. I want my apartment.
Technically, it's not your apartment. Trey's family owns it. She was very careful to ensure your name was not on the deed.
What? Trey gave me that apartment. Sorry. Usually, I'm a very refined person.
With your husband out of the country, I'm gonna need you to be more specific.
Charlotte realized she could never be as ugly as she needed to be in front of a man she considered so handsome.
Sorry to bust in. There's a bagel here with my name on it.
My partner, Harry Goldenblatt. Harry, Charlotte York. I'm handling her divorce.
How you doing? You're in the right hands here. He's a killer. Who the hell ordered blueberry bagels? I'm talking to Thelma about this. Good luck to you.
Is he a killer, too?
And just like that, Charlotte changed lawyers.
After a grueling day, which included leg, eyebrow, and bikini waxes, Samantha decided to reward herself with a night of R and R. Unfortunately, her favorite vibrator needed a little CPR.
Brady, please. What? I cannot read your mind.
- Who is it? - 4-D. It's 2:30 in the morning.
- I know. I'm sorry. - You gotta stop that baby from crying.
I said I was sorry, but I have a baby and sometimes babies make noise. That's what they do.
I know that. I have a baby, too. And if you ever bothered to say hello in the elevator, you'd know that. I'm Kendall, my baby is Alika. Have a nice night.
Evidently, Miranda had been getting bad reviews from inside her own building.
As for my review, I guess I was pretty nervous.
- Times. - Thank you.
I hadn't been up this early since Princess Diana's wedding.
"All in all, I enjoyed spending time in Ms. Bradshaw's sharp, funny, finely-drawn world where single women rule, and the men are disposable." Ouch!
I believe what you have there is a rave review from the New York Times.
- "The men are disposable"? I don't dispose of men, do I? - No.
- Michiko Kakutani thinks so, and I always agree with her. - Fuck Michiko Kakutani.
- No sleep again? - Actually, it was a good night. I got a whole hour. I can't believe I have to go and pretend to be a lawyer now. Can I wear a baseball cap to work?
With what shoes? My God, listen to me going on and on about Michiko Kakutani when you have real problems. So can I obsess for another minute?
Just don't say her name again. It'll push me over the edge.
So, yes, some of the men in the book are maybe a little disposable, but this makes it sound like I think men are disposable in life. What? What's with the pause?
I'm sorry. I fell asleep for a second.
That's a terrible thing to think about me. Oh, my God, that's what the face meant. Do you think that Aidan thinks that I think he was disposable?
Carrie, you did not throw Aidan away.
That girl thinks I did. He must have said something like that to her. Where else would she get it? Steve and Aidan are close. Has Steve ever said anything to you? Does Steve hate me now?
Carrie, you're spinning. Steve doesn't hate you.
Then how come I never see him anymore?
You never see him because I have to keep him away. Because if I see him now, I'll ask him to marry me just to give me some help.
I worked very hard at taking care of Aidan's feelings. Will you mention that to Steve? Because if Aidan told Steve...
Carrie, you know what? Maybe you should call your girlfriend Samantha. She has all kinds of time to talk about this kind of stuff. I know it's me and I'm jealous of her free time and all, but if she could maybe just once acknowledge the fact that I've had a baby... It's not enough I've alienated my neighbor. Now I'm alienating my friends.
You're not alienating anyone.
Tell that to 4-D. She's pissed off I don't know her name. Do you know your neighbors' names?
I'm a bad neighbor and a bad mother.
- That's not true. You're doing great. - Yeah, right.
You're just having a bad week. Can I do anything to help?
That helps, just asking. I'm late. I gotta go. Congratulations on the review.
Why is it that we only seem to believe the negative things people say about us, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary? A neighbor, a face, an ex-boyfriend can cancel out everything we thought was once true. Odd, but when it comes to life and love, why do we believe our worst reviews?
After a long day in court, Miranda faced another jury.
And at City Bakery, Samantha and I were reviewing the desserts.
Delish. I'll buy you dessert if you do something for me.
- I'm not eating desserts this week. - Come on, best brownies in New York.
- Bastard. I'll take a brownie. What do you need me to do? - It's about Miranda and the baby.
- Forget the brownie. - No, she'll take the brownie.
Babies are not my scene. And from what I've heard, this one sounds like an asshole.
- You can't call a baby an asshole. - Why not? She called it a meatloaf.
I don't think it would kill all of us to be a little more supportive.
All right. When he's in college, I'll take him for a drink and flirt with his friends. How's that?
Maybe you could just stop by tomorrow and say: "I hear you had a baby. How's that going?"
I have no time. I'm booked all day. I have my hair appointment, and I'm returning a vibrator before that.
Hair and a vibrator?
Yes, that is my life, and I don't have to justify it. I hate it when people have babies and they suddenly expect you turn into a Norman Rockwell painting.
We're not talking about people, we're talking about our friend. And she's sinking.
What, so, Miranda's like Venice?
That'll be $14.20.
She's paying for the brownie.
- Carrie. - Julia, hi.
This is my friend Samantha. This is Julia Afton. We work together at Vogue.
Hardly. She gets to run in and out once a month while I'm chained to the hem of Anna Wintour. There's my friend. Nina. I'm here. It is about time.
Sorry I'm late. Carrie, hi.
There I was, face to face with the face girl.
- How do you two know each other? - I'll tell you over lunch.
- Nina Katz. - hi. Samantha Jones.
- Hi, nice to see you again. Can we eat? I'm starvation central. - Okey-dokey. See you.
- How do you know Nina Katz? - How do you know Nina Katz?
Everybody knows Nina Katz. She's the booker for Saturday Night Live.
- She's also the face girl. - No! Nina Katz is the...
- Exactly. Great. That face will be all over Vogue. - Not to mention SNL. Nina Katz loves to talk.
I'm going to need a big brownie as well.
The next day, Samantha did some personal shopping. Very personal.
- Can I help you? - Yes, I'd like to return this vibrator.
- We don't sell vibrators. - Yes, you do. I bought it here six months ago.
- That's not a vibrator. It's a neck massager. - No, it's a vibrator.
Sharper lmage doesn't sell vibrators. It's a neck massager.
You expect me to believe that women buy these to help their sore necks?
- It's a neck massager. - Fine. I'd like to return this neck massager.
What's wrong with it?
It failed to get me off. It has a warranty, and it just stopped. Made the saddest little sound.
- Perhaps you wore it out. - Honey, it wouldn't be the first one.
Fine. Just find another, and go to the cashier.
I know a man who's in desperate need of a neck massage. You don't want that one. Too many bells and whistles. That one actually works against you. If we wanted to work that hard, we'd get us a man. Am I right?
Samantha instantly established herself as the Michiko Kakutani of vibrators.
I think that one actually is a back massager.
Not if you mount it. No, absolutely not. That will burn your clit off.
- Even with underwear? - Even with ski pants.
I brought you something. It belongs to Alika. An oscillating chair. It helps.
- Come on in. - Hey, there, Mr. Mouth. What have you got to say that is so important?
I'm sorry. It's just been non-stop.
Now, this chair is a little controversial, but I don't give a shit. 'Cause it stopped my baby from crying when I was about ready to throw myself off the fire escape.
Sounds good. Oh, my God! The chair is genius.
Something about the vibration... I don't know. They love it. Alika could sit in it for hours. How come you haven't heard about this? Don't your girlfriends have babies?
- No, I'm the only one. - Then you're screwed.
Actually, they've been very helpful.
If they don't have kids, they don't have a clue. Miranda, you're not a bad mother. You just didn't have the chair.
Thank you... Kendall.
Three blissful baby hours later…
Samantha, what're you doing here?
I'm not Samantha, you are. You have a 5:30 appointment with John Mandy at the John Mandy Salon. Go.
- What? I can't take your... - I'm counting to five, then I'm changing my mind.
- Really? You want to baby-sit? - Five, four...
Okay. I don't know what to say. I can't believe it.
Neither can I, but here I am, Mary fucking Poppins.
Thank you. The numbers are on the fridge, and don't take him out of that chair. It's the only thing that keeps him quiet. And don't call boys.
You don't look so bad.
Meanwhile, in a chair across town, I was enjoying an afternoon of absolutely nothing.
Do you think Nina Katz is telling random celebrity hosts that I'm the bad-breakup girlfriend?
You said she loved to talk. Do you think she's trashing me to, say, a Gwyneth Paltrow or an lan McKellen?
You can't be serious.
Don't get me wrong. I don't flatter myself that a Gwyneth Paltrow or an lan McKellen would be interested in my love life. Are you at a zoo?
No, thanks to you, I am at Miranda's and Brady won't stop screaming, and I don't know what to do.
- You're at Miranda's? - I sent her to get my haircut.
- That was nice. - Yes, and now I'm being punished.
- So he's not hurt? - No.
- Or wet? - No.
- Then I don't know what his problem is. - His problem is he's an asshole.
Maybe you should call Miranda.
I will not. It took me months to get that appointment. Someone should benefit. I'll find some way to keep this kid quiet. Goodbye.
No, wait, what about Nina?
Maybe Charlotte has the time to talk about this kind of stuff. I have a screaming baby on my hands. What? What do you need?
Well, that's better.
- Is everything okay? - Absolutely. The chair thing broke. But, you know, shit happens.
The chair broke? But what did you... I mean, did he... That better be brand-new.
Monday morning, Harry Goldenblatt did his best to make sure Bunny didn't hop all over Charlotte.
Mrs. MacDougal is willing to offer her son's collection of mint-condition silver Buffalo coins.
Could we get off the coin collection? She's not going to settle for coin collection.
According to the pre-nup...
This is ridiculous. Trey gave me that apartment.
She gave him her word. Till death do them part.
Bunny, if you have something to say to me...
- Fine. I shall. - I strongly recommend...
Allan, hush. You, my dear, took a vow. And when things didn't go your way, you simply broke that vow. I come from a generation of women that valued marriage. We believed in "for better or for worse." Not "for better, or until the road gets rocky." When I think of the heartache and shame you caused my dear boy... I'm amazed that you could even come here and look me in the face.
Charlotte couldn't fight any more. It seemed to her she'd been fighting for this marriage forever.
Be advised, young lady, I'm more than prepared to go to court.
It's the coin collection. Take it or leave it.
Just hold on. Apparently, our office received a telegram from Scotland from Dr. MacDougal. Shall I read it?
By all means.
"Charlotte York was a wonderful wife. Stop.She did nothing wrong. Stop. Give her everything she wants. Stop. Seriously, Mother. Stop."
That's the thing about reviews. Sometimes, when you least expect it, you get a rave.
Just the apartment.
I'll have papers drawn up, so Mrs. MacDougal can transfer the deed.
Even though things had gotten ugly, Charlotte didn't want them to end that way.
I'm sorry things didn't work out better for all of us.
Charlotte realized there was no such thing as a fairy-tale divorce either.
"Ding dong, the witch is dead."
And farther uptown, still unable to let it go, Nina Katz and that face had driven me to face my worst fear.
So, Steve, I know I was kind of vague on the phone...
It's Miranda, right? She doesn't want me to call her so much. It's fine.
No, it's not about Miranda. It's about... How does Aidan feel about me?
Jeez, no. You're not going to try to get back together with him again, are you?
No, but that pretty much answers any question I had about how you feel. So, what, does he hate me?
No, but come on, Carrie, it was pretty bad.
- How bad? Steve, the ball. - Sorry.
- How is he now? - Great. He's great.
- Good. - Now. But back then, he couldn't get out of bed for like...
- What? Days, weeks? - Like, a month. I brought him chicken wings.
- Oh, Christ. - I don't mean to make you feel bad. - A month?
Yeah, he was devastated. He lost his ability to open up and trust women.
He lost his ability to open up and trust women? Did he tell you that?
No, guys don't talk about shit like that. We just ate wings. But the girl, Nina, he was dating, she told me that.
Okay, we're looking for the cute pretzel guys.
How come you never wanted to cruise guys when I was available?
This isn't about cruising, it's about clarity. That face chick is hitting a little too close to home. I want to find her and tell her my side of the breakup story.
Why? You know what you and Aidan had.
I know it, but she doesn't.And she's yip-yapping her version all over town. It only takes one bad review to cancel out all the good word-of-mouth.
What do you think of Marcus?
Nice. I mean, relationships are complicated. You can't reduce them to a face. I know that Aidan has feelings...
Okay, stop. I am done. I've listened to you talk about Aidan, for what...ten blocks, and two years? And I've been a wonderful audience. And I ask you about my Marcus, and all I get is "nice"?
How many relationships have I been in since you've known me?
Real or imaginary?
Come on, your opinion means a lot to me. You're my Machiko Kakamatsa.
So, now what, you want me to review your relationship?
- Immediately, if not sooner. - Okay, well, I like that he makes you happy.
Carrie? okay, one more time, and you are officially stalking me.
- Hi, I'm Heather. - Heather Graham. I know. I love you. I'm Stanford Blatch.
- Sorry. Heather, this is Carrie Bradshaw. - Carrie Bradshaw, really?
I need to talk to you for a second, alone, if I can.
Miss Graham, may I buy you a pretzel?
- Okay. - Get me one.
- A man or a pretzel? - Whatever has less carbs. - Right.
I get the sense that you have a sort of feeling about what happened with Aidan, and I just want to clear something up. Breakups are awful, and they are private. And they are not necessarily symptomatic of what two people had together. I loved Aidan very much. And I would never, ever have done anything to deliberately hurt him.
Suddenly, I realized the critic I was most afraid of wasn't Nina Katz. It was me.
The truth is, at any given moment, someone, somewhere could be making a face about you. But it's the reviews you give yourself that matter.
...with Heather Graham and I'm like, "Shit, what do we have to talk about?"
- Being pretty. - I know. But we had nothing to talk about but pretzels. So I said...
I said, "Have you ever been to Bavaria? They make the best pretzels there."