When "Sex and the City" aired its final episode four years ago, single men everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. No longer would women on the search for a husband pattern themselves after the four ladies whose wardrobe they copied and whose lives they emulated. Until now.
This week, now that the "Sex and the City" movie is making women crazy again, I remembered all those girls who drove me nuts in their efforts to be like Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte (alas, never like Samantha). I wondered what had happened to them, and what they thought years later, now that the movie was coming out and Carrie and the girls were pushing 40. Did these girls, in fact, go on to lead the lives of their "Sex and the City" heroes? Perhaps I was too harsh on them. Maybe the problem was me all along and not some cable TV show. I decided to call them up and ask.
My first call was to Janet. She won the prize for bringing up "Sex and the City" the quickest - 54 seconds into the date, to be exact.
We went out on our date in 1999 and haven't spoken since (not including the three messages she left on my answering machine). It took a while for her to warm up to me over the phone, but she finally agreed to play ball:
Morty: I remember that you loved "Sex and the City."
Janet: Oh my god, my life is SO "Sex and the City"!
Morty: Every girl in New York says that.
Janet: I know. But with me it's really true.
Morty: Every girl in New York says that.
Janet: What do you know? You hated that show.
Morty: Yeah. I think that "Sex and the City" is a modern, less realistic rip-off of "Laverne and Shirley," but without the monogrammed sweater.
Janet: That doesn't even make sense.
Morty: Of course it does: Two best friends become four. Lenny and Squiggy are now two gay guys. Bowling alleys and pizza parlors are replaced with Pastis and Soho House.
Janet: That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.
Morty: Come on, you know that if they had cable back then, there definitely would have been an episode where Carmine Ragusa's penis was so big, Shirley could barely put on her pants the next day.
Janet: Goodbye, Morty.
Debbie and I went out four times before her true colors were revealed. Although she was fun and attractive, I remember her being on the high-maintenance side. No matter how much I tried to like her, I couldn't get over the fact that she spent $1800 a year on Japanese hair straightening treatments:
Morty: So are you excited to see the movie?
Debbie: Ohmygod! Of COURSE I'm excited! I lived for "Sex and the City."
Morty: Is your life SO "Sex and the City"?
Debbie: SO "Sex and the City."
Morty: How could it be? You hate your friends!
Debbie: I don't hate my friends.
Morty: Sure you do: you guys bad-mouthed each other all the time. When one of the girls had a boyfriend, nobody would talk to her anymore, you refused to go to bars with Erin after she lost 60 pounds and went tanning, you hated the fact that Cindy's father bought her a 2 bedroom loft in Soho, you made fun of Dana's watch because she bought it in....
Debbie: Goodbye, Morty.
Allison made it past the first date because I needed a hot companion for my company Christmas party. She was fun and sweet enough, but couldn't spell "Louis Vuitton" if it wasn't written all over her handbag. And wallet. And shoes.
Before I could even ask her about "Sex and the City," Allison mentioned the words "husband," "pregnant," and "why the hell are you calling me?":
Morty: I don't know why you are so hostile to your ex that you haven't spoken to in seven years. Especially since it seems like you've done such a good job rebounding from our relationship.
Allison: I don't consider you my "ex," I consider you my "Y." As in "WHY did I ever go out with you?"
Morty: Funny.... Who said that, Carrie or Samantha?
Allison: Goodbye, Morty.
Laurie and I actually went out for three weeks in early 2000. She was a head case, but a very hot head case. I remember my dilemma - on the one hand, she focused her entire week on Sunday night from 9:00 to 9:30. On the other, she was 1995 "Junior Miss Illinois." Much like the television characters that Laurie admired, she would go out only to the hippest, trendiest places. Thankfully she didn't eat, or those three weeks would have put me in the poor house:
Morty: Do you feel like your life has followed the path of the women of "Sex and the City"?
Laurie: I feel "Sex and the City" has not only applied to my life, but it has, in fact, become a microcosm for every woman. Most people think that the show has centered on the idea of strong independent women embracing their single status as opposed to settling for men. Personally, I think that the "Sex and the City" revolution wasn't about men at all, but about children. There is such pressure from society to settle down and start reproducing. Why? It isn't about answering the Darwinian calling to survive by thrusting your genes into the next generation through the vehicle of offspring. The pressure to procreate leads to the idea of settling down. "Sex and the City" became the Bible for women because it gave them extra time and motivation to be free.
Morty: I didn't mean to get you upset.
Laurie: Why would I be upset? I have a wonderful husband who takes care of my every need and two incredible kids. I couldn't be happier.
Morty: That's SO "Sex and the City"!
Laurie: Goodbye, Morty.
After all these calls, I couldn't say whether these women found happiness like Carrie, or a nice Jewish husband like Charlotte, but one thing was certain: they all hated me. Satisfied, I got into bed, wondering who the next role model will be for single girls everywhere. God, I hope it's Miley.