[Ed. note: This article was originally published on June 12th, 1995.]
The pilgrimage to the newly suburbanized friend is one that most Manhattan women have made, and few truly enjoyed. In fact, most come back to the city in an emotional state somewhere between giddy and destroyed. Here follows one such tale.
A woman I’ll call “Jolie Bernard” used to be an agent who handled rock bands at International Creative Management. Five years ago, when she wasn’t stomping the globe in her cowboy boots, hanging out with rock stars and sometimes sleeping with them, she lived in New York, in a one-bedroom apartment decorated with black leather couches and a giant stereo system. She had long blonde hair and a tight little body with big tits, and when she came home she had a million messages on her answering machine and when she went out, she had money and drugs in her purse. She was kind of famous.
And then something happened. No one thought that if would, but it did, which just goes to show that you can never tell about these things. She turned 35 and she met this investment banker who worked for Salomon Brothers and before you knew it, they were married, she was pregnant, and they were moving to Greenwich.
“Nothing will change,” she said. “We’ll still get together all the time and you can come to visit us and we’ll have barbecues in the summer.”
We all said, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Two years went by. We heard she’d had one rug rat, and then another. We could never remember their names or if they were boys or girls.
“Hey, how’s Jolie?” I would ask Miranda, who was at one time Jolie’s best friend.
“Dunno,” Miranda would say. “Every time I call her, she can’t talk. The sprinkler man is coming or she caught the nanny smoking pot in the laundry room or one of the kids is screaming.”
“Horrible. Just horrible,” we would say, and then we would forget about it.
And then, a month ago, the inevitable happened: Little white invitations bordered with tiny purple flowers arrived, summoning four of Jolie’s city friends to a bridal shower she was hosting at her home. It was being held on a Saturday at 1 P.M.—only, as Miranda pointed out, at the most inconvenient time and the last thing you want to be doing with your Saturday afternoon. Schlepping to Connecticut.
“Jolie called and begged me,” Miranda said. “She said she wanted some of her city friends to come so it wouldn’t be too boring.”
The four women who agreed to go—Miranda, 32, a cable exec; Sarah, 38, who ran her own P.R. company; Carrie, 34, some sort of journalist; and Belle, 34, a banker, and the only married woman of the group—had their own reasons.
Old Greenwich, New Enemies
Of course, Saturday was the most beautiful day of the year so far. Sunny, 70 degrees. When they met up at Grand Central, everyone began complaining immediately about having to be stuck inside Jolie’s house on the most beautiful day of the year, even though, being dyed-in-the-wool city dwellers, none of them ever went outside if they could possibly avoid it.
The trouble began on the train. As usual, Carrie had gone to bed at 4 in the morning and she was terribly hung over and kept thinking she was going to puke. Belle got into an argument with the woman in front of her, whose kid kept sticking its head over the top of the seat and sticking his tongue out at her.
Then Sarah revealed that Jolie was in A.A.—had been for three months—which meant there might not be cocktails at the shower.
Carrie and Miranda immediately decided they would get off the train at the next stop and go back to the city, but Belle and Sarah wouldn’t let them; and then Sarah told Carrie that she should probably join A.A. herself.
The train stopped in Old Greenwich and the four women crammed into the back seat of a white and green cab.
“Why are we doing this?” Sarah asked.
“Because we have to,” Carrie said.
“They just better not have any trendy gardening tools lying around,” said Miranda. “If I see gardening tools, I’m going to scream.”
“If I see kids, I’m going to scream.”