My Motherboard, My Self

The Question:
"If giving a man the keys to your apartment means unlocking the door to home cooking and great sex, why are so many independent women..."
  The Big Factor
[kinda big]

There's no question this week due to Aidan looking over Carrie's shoulder while typing it in. Like the true artist she is, she blocks him from reading it because it's not finished yet and we never revisit it. Please look to the end of this review for Carrie's final narration.

Our girls come from four different directions to meet up in Bryant Park for a New York power lunch a.k.a the power catch-up. They all manage to get there sans distraction except for Samantha. She spies a man selling, "1001 Sexual Positions" pamphlets.

Carrie's got nothing to talk about but Aidan and Miranda's got only work as a topic of conversation. Maybe they won't need an hour. Samantha compliments Charlotte on her home-made sandwiches. She can be Samantha's wife any ole time. Charlotte can't believe how much time she doesn't have with all the decorating. Do they have any idea that there are forty different kinds of dimmers? Since the economy in New York's not what it used to be, there aren't any tables for them to put their stuff on. Carrie's purse falls to the ground and her keys flop out. Miranda picks them up and asks if she's become a janitor. There are WAY too many keys on her chain. She and Aidan have swapped keys but she makes him come to her place since he buys that two-in-one shampoo and conditioner crap. Charlotte thinks that's big. Oh no, no, no, that's the opposite of Big. Miranda is in awe. It took her six months to give her cleaning lady a key. Samantha figures she has the key to a lasting relationship right here and whips out her 1001 position booklet. She got it from a guy on the corner for a $1.50 which is one of the many reasons that she loooooves this city.

The girls peruse the illustrations amazed that anyone with skeletal structure can even attempt some of them. That's what Samantha loves about her new guy Nick that she's seeing. Miranda wonders if he's deboned. No but he's the new wrestling coach at NYU and he's like an Extra Strength Rubber Band.

Carrie gets home to find Aidan "deflowering her pristine kitchen" while making fajitas on his new George Foreman grill. She bounces up behind him and roots around inside his front pockets. She's just looking for something. Seconds later, Aidan tells her she's going down. He pins her to the kitchen floor and she asks, "what about the fajitas?" Fuck the fajitas and all seems right with the world.

After, she starts to write this week's column when Aidan interrupts her. She sweetly shoos him away. When she turns back to her screen, she gets the bomb. A classic internal Mac error that you're about to caaaaaRASH! This has never happened to her before. Aidan comes in and tells her to breath while he works his magic. He hits three keys on her keyboard and I know exactly what they are; Control + Alt + Delete. A classic reboot fix for peecees but NOT for Macs. A sound that I have been smart and lucky enough not to ever hear comes out of her powerbook. A sad Mac icon, tongue sticking out atop Xs and Os flashes on the screen before it completely fries and goes black. Carrie looks like she's about to have a stroke. "Hmmmm," Aidan wonders, "it always works on my computer." THIRTY LASHES WITH A WET WINDOZE FOR YOU PAL! My dating pool's been narrowed even further, only Mac guys for me man. Aidan doesn't stop and continues to bang away on the keyboard. She wants him to stop touching it because he doesn't know what he's doing.

"Two meltdowns later," and we find them sitting in a computer repair store, waiting for their number to be called. Aidan tries to comfort her by rubbing her shoulders and she asks him to please not. She'd rather hug her "'98 laptop wrapped in her '99 pashmina." Her number's called and they run up to the Tech Guy. She and Aidan talk over each other when the Tech stops them, one at a time kids. When Aidan tells him that he "Control-Alt-Deleted" the poor thing, the Tech Guy informs him that this is not a peecee. "You're not compatible." Carrie pulls a slowly-I-turned on Aidan. He is so beyond busted. When was the last time that she backed up? That's gotta be the most feared question that I can imagine. Carrie doesn't do that. Aidan can't believe that she doesn't back up. The Tech wants to know if there's anything else before they go on. Yes! "There was a mean little man who had Xs where his eyes should be and his tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth." The Tech says, "That's a Sad Mac, you Sad Macced. Should've told me that before." It could mean the guts of her computer (the motherboard) is fried. He gives her a ticket and says that he'll call if they find anything.

Carrie calls to cry to Miranda about it on her cell phone. What's the first question she asks Carrie? The back-up question. Carrie wants to know why she's never heard this term before. Carrie hears a woman's voice over an announcement system in the background. Where exactly is Miranda anyway? She's at a hospital in Philadelphia. Her mother had a heart attack last night. Carrie's mortified that she's been railing about her stupid computer all this time. But Miranda completely understands. Carrie wants to know why Miranda didn't call her. Because she only had six minutes to catch the train and had no idea how bad it was until she got there. Her mother's all doped up but found the strength to open her eyes and "veto" Miranda's lipstick. Carrie offers to jump on a train and keep her company. Just then Miranda's sister walks by. She tells her that the doctors are waiting and not to use a cell phone in the hospital. Miranda's upset that her sister's mad at her now too and hangs up promising to keep Carrie posted. I think we just got a glimpse into why Miranda is so primarily defensive and self-deprecating.

It's interesting that I was wondering last week why we don't get any back story on the girls. Their parents and siblings in particular. We met Charlotte's divorcing brother one time who Samantha helped "ease" back into single life but other than that, nothing. Until now.

Charlotte tools over her ovulating calendar while taking a break from decorating. She plays with her new expertly researched dimming chandelier and seems quite pleased with her life.

We enter a room with a big, blue mat. A guy in one of those tiny, wrestling, leotards comes into view. He assumes the position when Samantha stomps onto the mat with him but she's wearing head gear. They do the official hunt thing until she jumps up, legs around his waist. She reaches down, pops him in, tackles him to the floor in a half nelson which mysteriously resembles position forty-one and has a screaming orgasm. Samantha consistently cracks me up.

Sleeping in bed with Aidan, Carrie's phone rings. ACK! Nope, it's Miranda all choked up. Her mother just died. She was stable last night and they all went home. They called everyone in her family back to say that she was crashing but by the time they all got there, she had died. Miranda wishes they hadn't gone home upon the advice and demands of the hospital staff to get some sleep. Her mother died alone. Carrie demands to know what she can do. Nothing, Miranda will be fine. The funeral's on Tuesday and she doesn't have anything to wear. Carrie jumps at the chance to get some stuff from her apartment and come to Philly to help and to be with her. Miranda doesn't want her to do anything. She'll just buy a shitty black dress that she'll never wear again. Miranda hangs up when she starts to cry.

Aidan wakes up and Carrie tells him what happened. He tries to comfort her but she does to him exactly what Miranda just did to her, evades support. She heads toward the bathroom. Aidan wants to know when the funeral is, he'd like to go. Carrie slams the bathroom door on him. Nice going. Through the door she says that she doesn't know, he doesn't have to and repeats the she doesn't really know. Back in bed, Aidan sadly lowers his head.

Carrie slumps into the coffee shop. Samantha wants to know where she's been and where's Miranda, she's starving. Carrie drops the bomb about her mother dying and starts to cry. She didn't know what to say to Miranda because she was doing her usual SuperWoman bit but Carrie could tell that she was so alone. Now Charlotte reacts in the predictable ways. Moving over to Carrie's side of the table so she can touch her arm, breaks out a tissue, says nice things to her, etc. Samantha is frozen to the spot. She doesn't move, say a word or even blink. Charlotte suggests sending flowers, fruit, muffins or what? She asks Samantha for an opinion. Not a word. She finally agrees on the flower idea asking them to just tell her where to send the check. Carrie and Charlotte stare at her bewildered. Samantha claims that she's just hungry and dismissively flicks her menu open.

Charlotte is at the flower shop barking orders at the guy behind the counter. She wears a head set so that she can walk and talk hands free. Samantha's on the line. Charlotte wants to know if she's called Miranda yet. They've decided to take the train to Philly since it will be faster. Samantha thought they were just sending flowers, not attending the funeral. Charlotte wants her to call Miranda but Samantha has no idea what to say to her. Charlotte rambles off the usual catch phrases for just such an occasion until Samantha gives in, says she'll call and hangs up. Samantha calls the Extra Strength Rubber Band and purrs into the phone, "wanna wrestle?"

She of the perpetual orgasm and the Extra Strength Rubber Band rip through a smattering of numbered positions. Samantha coaches the coach with commands like, "Keep doing that, just one more second, hang on, wait for me" over and over again but to no avail. He's such a puppy, so eager to please. He makes the mistake of putting his hands on her shoulders while she's on top. She freaks out, "Get 'em off me, GET 'EM OFF ME! You're distracting me." They go back to "old faithful," number seventeen. Lemme see if I can describe it. Samantha's on her back, legs close together and up in the air. This would be the plain, vanilla missionary style position if not for the fact that he's twisted ninety degrees to the left. Um, perpendicular to Samantha. Got it? Good. He bangs away, Samantha moving under him when she says with a smile, "that's it, that's it, now we got it, here we go, home free, just keep doing exactly what you're doing, exactly what you're doing, don't stop, don't stop, don't stop." Still moving, he turns to her and says that he has to pick his stuff up at the cleaners by five. Okay stop. They fall apart like a wet noodles.

Meanwhile up at the flower store, Charlotte insists over and over that she wants something tasteful to be sent to Miranda in Philly. Tasteful and all white. She doesn't want any crap. These are the flowers for the centerpiece on the church altar, they should represent the people buying them ya know? She asks Samantha for an opinion but she's not even listening. She spills it and tells them that she lost her orgasm. Carrie asks if she lost it in the cab. Charlotte doesn't get it. Samantha means that she, "just spent the last two hours fucking with no finale." Carrie assures her that it happens. Sometimes you just can't get there. Oh puh-lease, speak for yourself. Samantha always gets there. Charlotte doesn't believe it. Carrie accuses Samantha of exaggeration. But she's not. Carrie admits to not getting there herself on more than one occasion. Charlotte adds that sex can be great without an orgasm. Samantha looks like she's gonna bite Charlotte's head off when she says, "that's such a crock of shit." Samantha wants to know, "what's wrong with me!" Carrie grabs her and reminds her that she has tons of orgasms under belt, she's gonna be fine. Now let's retrace Samantha's steps, was she on top? Samantha wonders how that's relevant. Perplexed, Charlotte asks, "You mean you can have them on the bottom?" Samantha says, "Top, bottom, upside down..." Carrie accuses her of showing off. Samantha is asking for help! Carrie thinks it will pop up when she least expects it. Charlotte chooses this moment to tell them about an article she once read. It's about a woman who had orgasms 'round the clock and then BOOM! They stopped. It was if she used them all up. Carrie glares and Samantha considers that as the meanest thing she's ever said to her.

Miranda shops in Philly for a shitty black bra to go with her shitty black dress. A sales woman named Lucille asks her if she needs help. She can only find a 36A in the style she's holding. Lucille doesn't think she's that size and straps her tape measure around Miranda's chest. She protests but Lucille has a job to do. Even though Miranda thinks she knows her size from being it all her life, Lucille was right. There is no way that Miranda's a 34B but Lucille insists that she try on the bras that Lucille just found for her. Miranda never allows anyone in her dressing room. Lucille asks from the other side of the curtain how everything's going. Miranda says just fine twice which does nothing to stop Lucille from barging in. Miranda tells her that she just said that she doesn't need any help dammit! Lucille doesn't believe her since she almost picked out the wrong size and fusses with the bra straps on Miranda's pissed off shoulders. Lucille ignores her until Miranda screams for her to get her hands off her breasts. Lucille swears that she's not trying to be fresh, she just knows best. Miranda screams that she doesn't know best and SHE knows what's right for her own damn self which makes Lucille take a step back. Miranda realizes that she'll never have another fight with her mother and breaks down. She apologizes to Lucille and explains about her mother's passing. Lucille simply says, "c'mere" and insists on giving Miranda a much needed hug. She reluctantly relaxes into Lucille's warm hug and soaks it up if only for a moment. Miranda tells her that the bra is perfect, that she was right and thank you.

Carrie comes home to find Aidan yelling, "WAIT WAIT WAIT!" but too late. Carrie's already inside. He gives up the ghost and whirls around holding a brand new Apple iBook. Her new computer. He shows her that it's a whole lot more fun than her old one. He displays the handle showing her how much like a purse it is. He got it today plus a zip drive so that she can back up now. Carrie says that she doesn't know how to use it, doesn't need it and has her own system thank you very much. She's not ready for a new computer because she's still waiting on the old one. Her entire life was on that computer. Aidan's hurt and holds up the mirror by pointing out that it's always all about her. He's not a part of anything around here. She doesn't want the laptop or for him to go to the funeral. He feels like a fucking... She cuts him off by screaming that she gave him her keys, what more does he want. "Your keys!? Oh great," he yells. Now he can get into her front door but how does he get into her heart? She apologizes but the fact remains that she's been taking care of herself for a really long time and he may not like it but that's how she deals. He puts the receipt for the laptop on the table by the door. She can do whatever she wants with the computer. He takes her keys off his chain and throws them on the table too.

On a rampage, Samantha ransacks her apartment to find every vibrator, dildo or freakshow that she's ever bought for a masturbation marathon to find her long lost orgasm. She's got some strange contraption jammed up her legs when the phone rings. She answers, "WHAT!" It's Charlotte walking through the street with her headset on. She's grabbing bagels for the train ride and wants to know if Samantha has called Miranda yet. No, she doesn't want to call her because she doesn't want to bother her. With no time to spare she reminds Charlotte that she's masturbating and that she told her she'd be masturbating all day today. She hangs up and turns that baby up to twelve. But by nightfall it's all over. Samantha gives up. She's a wreck, depressed and brushing her teeth with an electric toothbrush. She spies it in the mirror and a light bulb lights up over her head. Oh c'mon, if all those professional godzilla sex toys didn't work, an electric toothbrush isn't gonna cut it either. Samantha gives up.

The next morning Carrie's Tech guy calls and she heads down to the repair shop. He shows her the mess that's been recovered from her hard drive. All noise, special characters and gobbledy gook. He insists that she start backing up. That way maybe next time she won't loose everything. He totals up the bill and goes ouch. She's gotta start all over. I'm pretty sure that she's got all of her articles filed away on paper. At least she has that.

Dressed and ready to leave for the funeral, Carrie looks at the lone keys sitting on her table and calls Aidan at his furniture store. She apologizes but this is hard. He agrees that some of this stuff is gonna be hard, that's why he tried to help. She knows. But a very real fear is what she's thinking about. If he starts helping her and she gets used to it, what happens when he's gone? Like not around for a day or two all the way to the always possible end of their relationship. What then? He's not going anywhere and so what. He makes light of things and guesses that they'll be a couple of sad Macs then. This makes her giggle.

At the funeral in Philly, Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte stand outside the church. A couple of long-haired, balding, local guys cruise them as they pass by. Samantha disdainfully turns and declares that she's not gonna find her orgasm in this town. Charlotte reminds her that she's at a funeral. The limos pull up and they see Miranda for the first time since the tragedy. Carrie and Charlotte hug her and cry. Samantha tells her she looks great. Carries asks how she's holding up. Miranda's fine but her family is very concerned about the fact that she's "alone." She had no idea that a date was required for her mother's funeral. Her sister and brother-in-law want her to "third-wheel" behind them down the aisle. God forbid a single, thirty-five year old woman should be walking behind the coffin. Apparently, that's the real tragedy. I don't get it. Why doesn't Miranda just tell people with this mentality to fuck off completely? She could say that she realizes that it's impossible for them to understand that someone might have an entirely different belief system and way of life. But she does, so FUCK OFF! I try to avoid this kind of judgmental, single-minded type whenever possible.

Miranda's sister Betsy calls her away. Charlotte's pissed at Samantha for not saying one of the things that they rehearsed together. She notices Betsy and runs up to ask her if everything went okay with flowers. Betsy says yes and thank you and in fact here they come now. Oh my GOD! What a nightmare. I didn't think it was possible to make white flowers look so hareen! The "arrangement" looks like something you'd stick in front of a winning horse at The Kentucky Derby. Carrie remarks that they now know what five hundred dollars worth of glitter looks like.

The girls sit a few rows back from where Miranda and her family are seated. Charlotte can't get over the flower abortion. She whispers, "Those flowers were supposed to say 'We're so sorry. We love you.' Not, 'Your dead let's disco.'" The priest screws up the names in the family and refers to Miranda as her brother's wife repeatedly for the entire church to hear. Samantha can't handle the woman crying next to her. The priest does it again and Miranda turns around for confirmation from her tribe. She catches Samantha's suddenly weepy eyes who mouths the words, "I'm sorry." Miranda mouths back, "Thank you" and Samantha finally lets go and cries up a healthy, releasing storm. Miranda looks like she wants to run and give her a big hug and say to hell with all this pomp and circumstance.

The ceremony is over and the procession leads down the aisle toward the door. Miranda walks alone behind her sister and brother-in-law in tears. When she lines up with the girls, Carrie juts out, puts her arms around her and walks the path right by her side. Carrie narrates, "There's the kind of support you ask for and the kind of support you don't ask for and then there's kind that just shows up." Miranda goes about as wide eyed as she can manage in keeping with the situation when she sees Aidan and Steve standing tall in one of the pews. WOW! I was floored. What a BEAUTIFUL gesture. Charlotte stays behind to comfort the crying, immobilized Samantha.

When she gets home, Carrie sits in front of her old laptop and works on her article. "After all, computers crash, people die, relationships fall apart. The best we can do is breathe and reboot. And when that fails, a little gizmo called a zip drive can provide a surprising amount of comfort." Aidan uses his re-acquired keys to let himself in. "So can a boyfriend, if you can learn to let him."

Ha! I can't wait until Carrie finds out that backing up to a zip drive will only temporarily save your ass. The thing that Iomega (zip anything manufacturer) doesn't advertise is that if you have a zip disk that gets corrupted, and they do, it will corrupt the friggen hardware! YES, it happened to me twice with two different zip drives. I called tech support and they admitted it! I was asked if I heard a "clicking sound of death" emanating from my zip drive. I did and I was screwed. So zip drives are more disposable than hard drives. My advice? Don't waste your money on anything zip. Get a CD burner.

Patty Opinion: She called after the previews rolled.


Samantha on having an orgasm every time she has sex: Well I'll admit that I've had to polish myself off once or twice but yes! When I R.S.V.P. to a party I make it my business to come.

Charlotte: Those flowers were supposed to say "We're so sorry. We love you." Not, "Your dead let's disco."