Recently, Evie showed up at a very important, very serious party for a journalist who had just written a serious book about a right-wing politician. Evie’s blouse was unbuttoned too low and she was showing off her breasts. (She used to be fairly flat-chested, like Winnie, but a couple of years ago, her breasts mysteriously grew and Winnie thinks she had breasts implants.) Evie walked up to the important journalist and locked him in conversation. The women were fuming, but they couldn’t “take care of” Evie the way they normally would have because she was Winnie’s sister.
The next day, Winnie got a call from a female colleague who said Evie had gone to the important journalist’s hotel room. “Winnie, I just want you to know that I’m not going to judge you by your sister’s behavior,” she said.
Then Evie herself called. “I think I’m going to be get an assignment from The New York Times,” she said.
“Stay the fuck out of my life," Winnie screamed at her. “You’re ruining everything.” Then she added, “Why don’t you get a job at a fashion magazine if you want to be a journalist so much?”
“Oh, no,” Evie said. She swallowed loudly. She was drinking a Diet Coke. She drank eight Diet Cokes a day. (Just another thing to be addicted to, Winnie thought.) Evie always acts as though her behavior is that of a normal, decent person. (She is in denial, James and Winnie think.)
“I’m going to change my life," Evie said. “I’m going to be successful. Respected. Maybe even powerful. Just like my big sis.”
A Treat for James
Evie is a mess. Sometimes James wonders if he should have married her instead.
Every year, James asks her to help him pick out Winnie’s birthday present. At first, he did it “as a treat for Evie.” (It was good for Evie to spend time around a man who wasn’t a user, an asshole or a scumbag—and Winnie agreed.) But then he realized that she was attracted to him.
He calls her up. “Evie,” he says.
"Hey bro," Evie says. “Did you hear I met … ” she says, naming the important journalist. “And I might get my first assignment. With The New York Times. Pretty great, huh?” Evie is always so chipper, James thinks.
“It’s Winnie’s birthday,” James says (staying in control by getting right to the point).
“I know,” she says.
“Any suggestions?” he asks. “I think I want to get her something from Barneys. Jewelry.”
“No, Jimmy,” Evie says. She’s the only person who has ever called him Jimmy. “You can’t afford jewelry worth giving anyone.”
This is why everyone hates you, he thinks. But he says, “So what then?”
“Shoes,” she says, “Winnie needs a great pair of high-heeled sexy shoes. I’ll help you.”
High-heeled sexy shoes are the absolute last thing that Winnie would want. “O.K.,” he says. He agrees to meet Evie in the shoe department at Bloomingdale’s. He hangs up the phone and feels scared. Then he realizes he has a hard-on.
(To be continued…)
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.