‘We Loved a Serial Dater’: Seven Women Talk About Him

‘We’re Getting Married’

Post-Peri, the women claimed they had uniformly done well. Jackie said she was dating her personal trainer, Magda published her first novel; Ramona was married and pregnant; Chloe was with a gallery; Sapphire rediscovered an old love; Sarah was seeing a 27-year-old “boy-toy.”

As for Mr. Peri, he recently moved abroad. One of the women had heard he got dumped by an English woman, who had really wanted to marry a duke. “He always dates the wrong women,” Sapphire said.

Six months ago, Mr. Peri came back for a visit, and took Sarah out to dinner. “He took my hand in his,” she said, “and he was saying to his friend, ‘She’s the only woman I ever loved.’ For old time’s sake, I went back to his apartment for a drink, and he asked me to marry him so seriously, I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was lying. So I decided to torture him.

“He told me, ‘I don’t want you to see any other men, and I won’t see any other women.’

“I said, ‘O.K., Peri, that’s cool.’”

He went back to Europe, and, Sarah said, she forgot about the whole thing. One morning, she was in bed with her new boyfriend and the phone rang. It was Mr. Peri. While Sarah was talking to him, her boyfriend said, “Do you want some coffee?” Mr. Peri went nuts.

“Who’s there?” he said.

“A friend,” Sarah said.

“At 10 in the morning? You’re sleeping with another guy? We’re getting married and you’re sleeping with another guy?” He hung up, but a week later he called back.

“We’re getting married, aren’t we? You’re not still seeing someone, are you?”

“Listen, Peri, I don’t see a ring on my finger,” Sarah said. “Why don’t you send a messenger over to Harry Winston’s to pick something up, and then we’ll talk.”

Mr. Peri never called Harry Winston’s, and he didn’t call Sarah again for months. She said she sort of missed him. “I adore him,” she said. “I feel compassion for him because he’s totally fucked up.”

It was getting dark outside, but nobody wanted to leave. They all wanted to stay transfixed by a dream of a man like Tom Peri, but not Tom Peri.

 

Candace Bushnell began Sex and the City as a column in The New York Observer in 1994; it subsequently became a book and a series on HBO. She is also the author of Four Blondes, Trading Up and Lipstick Jungle, which is being filmed as a pilot for NBC starring Brooke Shields. Ms. Bushnell is also the host of Sex, Success and Sensibility, a live weekly talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, New York City Ballet principal dancer Charles Askegard.