There’s nothing better than good ‘Sex’ |

There’s nothing better than good ‘Sex’

Alison Berkley
Aspen, CO Colorado

A few years ago, during Comedy Fest, some stranger came running up to me and said, “Hi, I read your column all the time and I thought you should know Sarah Jessica Parker is outside right now! You should go say hello to her!”

I don’t know exactly what it is they expected me to say. Maybe something like, “Hi, I’m a columnist, and I sort of fancy myself the Carrie Bradshaw of Aspen!”

Without really thinking it through, I conceded. “OK!” I replied, without hesitation.

I walked outside and there she was, a well-dressed skeleton with big hair, clad in an outfit Carrie would have approved of: a ruffled, white-silk blouse layered with a black satin corset, jeans and knee-high black leather boots. Two men ” either friends, bodyguards or both ” stood on either side of her. The Cooper Street Mall was eerily empty but for the sound of my heels, which made a loud click-clack-click-clack sound as I approached her with no real plan of what to say.

“Incoming!” yelled one of the men. The other grabbed her by the elbow, and they spun around, walking briskly around the next corner and out of view.

I stood alone in the dark, empty street in what I would classify as a quintessential Carrie Bradshaw moment. It made me wonder: How could I turn this all into some cute play on words and use it in a future column?

Since the show first aired on HBO in 1998, I was blown away by the uncanny resemblance Carrie’s life bore to my own. I often wondered if someone was watching me, stealing my life as fodder. The show perpetually captured something specific that was going on my life. Like the episode when Carrie was avoiding her editor because she couldn’t think of anything to write for her column. Or the one when her computer crashed, and she hadn’t backed anything up. Or the one when she realized she didn’t have the money to put a down payment on her condo because she’d spent $40,000 on shoes. One of my favorite Carrie quotes of all time: “I like my money where I can see it ” hanging in my closet!”

Then, of course, there are the struggles with men.

I guess it really did take a genius to figure out that if there is anything that unifies women everywhere, it’s their frustration in dealing with men.

That genius was the creator of the original column, Candace Bushnell, whose career I emulate as the premier chick lit success story, from column to book to hit HBO series to one of the highest-grossing movies in recent history. Her writing is nothing special ” it’s readable, chewable and sweet”like bubble gum. It’s the material, not the writing, that’s groundbreaking. She was the first to blow doors on the truth about female sexuality in America from within the context of the New York City singles scene. She was the first to admit that modern women love sex as much as men do, that we’re sexually liberated and experienced. And, better yet, she was the first to objectify men as sex objects. It turns out there’s nothing funnier than that. (Who can forget the guy-who-tastes-bad episode? Or the jackhammer guy who throws Carrie’s back out?)

I was lucky enough to meet Bushnell when she came to Aspen a few years ago for an Aspen Writers’ Foundation event. She did a reading at the Jerome for an audience of over 300 women who got more than their money’s worth with free cosmopolitans and an hour of Candace, who could easily make it as a stand-up comedian.

“Yes, I’m wearing my Manoooooolos,” she said, flashing the leopard-print, six-inch stiletto sandals she wore under cream-colored, brushed-silk Miu Miu pants.

When talking about meeting her husband in her 40s, Bushnell said, “I never thought I’d find the one. I always thought I’d find the many.”

So, needless to say, pretty much I worship the ground she walks on and want to be just like her when I grow up.

I cried through the entire movie, taking a few short breaks to laugh out loud through throat-choking tears. Hell, I cried before the movie even started, moved by the national phenomenon the movie’s national premiere created. Women everywhere planned their entire evening around it, flooding into theaters in gaggles, dressed to the nines, and then off to the bars afterward to don martini glasses filled with that infamous pink drink. Men everywhere took cover, and stories of female-only audiences were rampant. In many cities, women rented theaters to host private girl parties for their friends. Most shows sold out ” even on Sunday night in Aspen, the Isis was packed, with only a few brave men in attendance. (I think most men love the show but don’t want to admit it). Not since “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has a movie created such a dramatic following, at least in my lifetime.

The critics panned it, but the audiences loved it. Paramount hadn’t expected such a huge turnout, claiming women don’t tend to go to movies on opening night like men do.

For some reason, that also gave me some real anti-establishment, girl-power satisfaction.

In terms of the actual film, I was expecting to be disappointed, but it was quite the opposite. The story lines were unpredictable but stayed true to every character’s six-year evolution. I can’t imagine that was an easy task for the writers, but they nailed it. Kim Catrall carried the movie with Samantha’s sharp-tongued one-liners and even SJP, whose charm can be grating at times, did an amazing job with the vast range of Carrie’s emotions (and hair color).

I was beyond satiated and satisfied the whole time and didn’t want it to end ” just like good Sex is supposed to be.