Single, Female and 25: Love Among the Ruins

“You hit me,” Sam said. “Don’t ever hit me. Don’t hit Sam no more.”

The cat struggled out of Sam’s arms. “Here, kitty, kitty,” Carolyne said. “Want some milk?” She heard the TV click on.

‘He Was So Mortified’

Carrie was always promising Cici and Carolyne that she’d have dinner with them, so one day, she finally did. On a Sunday night. Her only free night. Carolyne and Cici were sitting back on the banquette, their legs crossed, stirring their drinks and looking very smart. Carolyne was talking on a cellular phone. “I have to go out every night for my job,” Cici said, sounding bored. “I’m just so tired all the time.”

Carolyne flipped her cellular phone closed and looked at Carrie. “We’ve got to go to this party tonight. Downtown. You should come,” she said in a tone that suggested Carrie definitely should not.

“Well, how is everything,” Carrie said. “You know, like Sam and…”

Cici lit a cigarette and looked off in another direction. “Sam went around telling everyone that he and Carolyne had never slept together, even though tons of people had seen them making out, so we mortified him.”

“We found out he started seeing this girl who has diseases. Seriously. Then we saw the two of them at this brunch place.”

“We were dressed to the nines. They were wearing sweat pants. We went up to them, and they asked us for a cigarette and we said, ‘A cigarette?’ Oh please. Get one from the waiter.’”

“We sat right next to them. Intentionally. They kept trying to talk to us, and Carolyne kept making calls on her cellular phone. Then I said, ‘Sam, how’s that girl I saw you with last week?’”

“He was so mortified. We sent him notes saying ‘Herpes Simplex 19.’”

“Is there a herpes simplex 19?” Carrie asked.

“No,” Cici said. “Don’t you get it?”

Carrie took a long time to light a cigarette. Then she said, “What is wrong with you?”

“Nothing,” Cici said. “The only thing I care about is my career. Like you.”

Then the two girls looked at their watches and each other.

“Do you mind,” Cici said. “We have to go to this party.”

 

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.