‘Like Daryl Van Horne’
We met at the home of Sarah, an independent film producer, a tall blonde with high cheekbones. (The women’s names have been changed.) She wore a dark pin-stripe suit. “When you look over the list of guys you’ve dated, Peri is the one guy that doesn’t make any sense,” she said. “You think, what was that about?”
But before we could even get to the juicy bits, we made a disturbing discovery. Although none of the women had heard from Mr. Peri for months, that morning he had called four of them.
“I don’t think he knows anything. I think it was just coincidence,” said Magda. A novelist with a dark pixie haircut, Magda has been friends with Mr. Peri for years—in fact most of her girlfriends are former dates of Mr. Peri’s, whom she met through him.
“He knows everything about us,” one woman said. “He’s like Daryl Van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick.”
“Van Horney is more like it,” said another. We opened the wine.
“The thing with Peri is this,” said Sarah. “The reason he’s so charming is, when you first meet him, he is articulate, he is funny—and, he’s available at all times, because he doesn’t work. What’s more fun than a guy who says ‘Meet me for lunch,’ then you go back to work, then he says ‘Meet me for cocktails at 6?’”
“‘Cocktails’ is such a loaded word,” said Magda. “It’s like…Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.”
Jackie, a television producer, said, “When I met him, we started seeing each other instantly—five nights a week.”
“He’s smart, because the thing that he does is, he loves the phone,” said Sarah. “Which to a woman, you think, ‘He must really be into me,’ because he calls you 10 times a day. And then you start to disregard the fact that he’s like a funny-looking little thing.”
“Then you start to look at his socks, and you think, ‘My God,’” said Chloe, an artist who is half-French.
“Then you begin to realize, he’s not funny,” said Sarah. “He has a good stack of jokes, but once you’ve heard them a million times, it’s like a loop. He’s looping himself.”
Everyone jumped in.
“And then you see his apartment. Those 25 doormen—what’s that about?”
“You wonder why he doesn’t just throw out all his furniture and go to the Door Store instead.”
“Once he showed me these napkin holders he had gotten. They were in the shape of handcuffs. Like this was how he was going to seduce a girl, with napkin holders.”
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