Time of Your Life
The Time They Had Not

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The Time They Had Not

All right, I've already complained about the title of the episode in one of my forums, so I won't waste cramping my fingers over it. Suffice to say, it's the stupidest title they have come up with yet, and it's had some pretty stiff competition. ["I thought they had 'Not!' every week. Geddit?" -- Sars]

I actually thought that the voice-overs saying "here's what you need to know" would be clever at first, because you could get the recap from all the characters' different perspectives. I gave this show too much credit. The only vocal tones to which they have subjected us have been Romy's and Sarah's. Their perspectives are about as varied as two peoples' perspectives can be when they are exactly the same selfish, bitchy chick -- the only difference being their names and lip densities.

Sarah recaps for us this week. Her impossibly perky voice gives us a synopsis of Romy the Platypus trying to get JB the Gigolo into bed and failing, and Gigolo dumping Joan the Older Woman and "taking things slow" (where's the "ly"?!) with Platypus. About her own life, Sarah says, "Well, I dated Maguire for all of a New York minute." Correct me if I am wrong, but she doesn't sound too crushed that it's over. Just last week she was mooning about on the now-clich├ęd fire escape as though someone had told her the current ratings for TOYL.

Cecilia, who has been regrettably absent for the past several episodes, appears in the opening scene. Coughing, hacking, and acting generally TB-ridden, she comes slogging down the stairs and does her best to ignore Sarah, who is complaining in a loud, whiny voice that "the dryer is broken again. I lost, like, eight quarters." Wow, two whole dollars? Guess you won't be able to buy any more slinky dresses or cell phones or dinner-squeeze shirts or Audrey Hepburn attire. Cecilia goes on her phlegming way, and Sarah screeches, "Hello? Are you just going to ignore me?" Cecilia responds between juicy coughs, "Looks like it." Sarah cannot believe that her wondrous presence is getting the brush-off, and she squalls, "CECILIA!" one more time. God, I'd really begin to hate the sound of my own name if Jennifer Lurve Hewitt repeated it over and over again. Sarah flounces up to her apartment, ranting about Cecilia to Platypus, who is trying to close a stuck window. If it's so cold outside, why was the window even open in the first place? Oh, right, I'm not supposed to pay attention to details like Sarah running around in just a tee-shirt and leather jacket complaining about the cold -- sorry. Sarah complains about only having twenty-seven dollars to last her until her next paycheck, and that, although she is working two jobs, she can't afford to lose money in the dryer. I guess she should have been welcomed into the real world earlier, like before she gave up her Park Avenue job in the second episode. Platypus tells her that she has more bad news for her roommate: "I need the coat." It appears that our struggling career woman is so poor that she can't even afford her own coat, and has to share Platypus's coat. Stymied yet? I know that San Francisco is cold enough at certain times of the year to warrant at least one warmish item of outerwear -- it's not Malibu. But apparently, in TOYL-land, it is, because Sarah has no coat of her own and is told by Platypus that she'll have to "layer." For this purpose, Platypus graciously offers the use of three of her sweaters. I guess they don't sell sweaters in San Francisco either -- just cropped, dinner-tight tops. Sarah complains, "But it's Saks and I have to look professional!" Platypus retorts, condescendingly, "You're Christmas help, they don't care if you show up in a trash bag just as long as you smile and act perky." Do I even have to say it? Everyone out there knows, all too well, that Sarah can act perky.

At Saks, Sarah struggles under a mountain of pink bath robes and drops them on a table in front of on older, professional looking woman. "Okay, ten robes," Sarah says breathlessly. The woman is not pleased, "No, no, no. Terrycloth, Sarah, these are chenille. The client wants the logo embroidered on the left-hand pocket." Sarah argues, "Yeah, I know, but these are the same price and you can embroider it discreetly on the sleeve because, let's face it, no one wants --" The woman interrupts her: "Sarah, I am the personal shopper with fifteen years' experience, you are the assistant with fifteen minutes'. 'Assistant' derives from the word 'assist,' as in to help, as in to do what you are told. Do you see how that works?" I think Sarah has found a boss who equals her in being a sugar-coated bitch. Ah, the sweet taste of vindication. A trendy-looking blonde walks over and says, "Pauline, I need your ear." This must be one of Pauline, Personal Shopper Extraordinaire's clients. Trendy blonde says she doesn't like the airplane clocks Pauline picked out for Christmas gifts. Pauline explains that "retro is in -- a magazine like Jody will look hip giving them out." Trendy Blonde says, "In theory, but these gifts are for our Internet division. You know, guys with international clocks on their laptops? We really need to come up with something, I don't know, better?" Man, the holidays really do bring out the nasty in everyone. Of course, Sarah, prodigy at every task she takes on, pipes up with a suggestion, "Well, how about a Palm Pilot? You know, one of those electronic gizmos to help organize your life." Pauline glares at Sarah: "Assist, Sarah, remember?" Didn't anyone ever tell Sarah that it's a really bad career move to make your boss look bad? But Trendy Blonde likes Sarah's suggestion: "But that's perfect. I also have to get twenty-five gifts for our freelance writers. Thoughts?" Again, Sarah comes shining through, "Pewter typewriter paperweights? Whoo, that's hard to say!" she suggests, and smiles self-deprecatingly. Pewter typewriter paperweights? Oh, yes, pewter typewriter dust-catchers. Who even uses paperweights anymore, except to clutter up their desks? Dear Santa: Don't send me anything Sarah-Elf picks out, ever. Her taste sucks. Love, keckler. And while we're on the subject of Sarah's gift suggestions, let me just say that no magazine in my experience has enough money to shell out $350 per person for Palm Pilots. Unless, of course, that magazine's Christmas wish is to file for Chapter 11. Trendy Blonde, though, is thrilled with Sarah: "You know, Pauline, you've obviously got a lot on your plate, and you seem to have trained Sarah really well. So, do you mind if I borrow her to take care of our account?" Sarah, with stars in her eyes, says, "Me?" Trendy Blonde says, "I've got a twenty thousand-dollar budget and three days to spend it, want to go shopping?" Sarah giggles and they walk off together while Pauline struggles to keep the robes from falling to the floor.

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