Sex and the City
The Ick Factor

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The One When Samantha Gets Cancer

Aleksandr's love nest. He and Carrie are snuggled on a leather couch, with a roaring fire roaring away like the MGM lion. Aleksandr is all, hey, check out this poem. He begins reading to her in a flat voice with no modulation. It puts me to sleep. I try to pick out some words, and get "snowflakes," "eyes," "fluttering," "butterflies," and "she." It's not dull on its face, this reading poetry aloud, but this moment is giving me the sleepies. Carrie sits and tries to pay attention, and reacts about fifteen times, cocking her head as rapidly as a cockatoo. So, what does she think? "Yee-ow. That is some serious stuff." Now how about some of her poetry? She picks up the November issue of Vogue and reads from Andre Leon Talley's Style Fax. God, do I love Andre Leon Talley. I gave his book one of the only positive reviews it got for the Philadelphia City Paper. I just think he's so smart. I want his life. And his Chanel basketball. She reads lugubriously about Oscar de la Renta's pink full-skirted dress with black patent leather bow belt. "Now THAT. Is pure poetry." The way Andre writes is poetry, for sure. But still. That kind of demeans Alek's gesture. But this is Carrie. Alek says he "knows Oscar" and will tell him she liked the dress. She's all, "Oscar? You call him Oscar?" Ow, my foot. Someone dropped a name. Then he asks why she's uncomfortable with the poetry. She says perhaps they haven't been introduced. "I write a column based on the assumption that romance is either dead or just...phony." God! How rude. If she's freaking out that Alek is just over the top in his gestures, say it. She's being so rude. He says, "You think I'm phony?" No, she feels like a phony. She's "not used to these grand gestures." No one ever played her music or read her poetry. Wow, Carrie dated some duds. I don't believe her, either.

Carrie washes bras in her sink, talking to Mir on the phone. Mir's on a cell phone, shopping for wedding dresses on her lunch hour. A saleswoman brings over a dress, and Mir nixes it. "I said no white, no ivory, nothing that says 'virgin.' I have a child. The jig is up." That is so classic. Classic Miranda. Wrap it in a box with brown paper. Carrie whines that "the Russian read me a Russian poem," and that she "doesn't think it's an act. I think he's serious." Mir says it doesn't mean Carrie has to put up with it. Like he's a cigar smoker or a foot fetishist or something. He read her a fucking poem -- why is there drama about this? It's a perfectly nice gesture. And, at this stage of the game, are these two woman unaware that the romantic gesture, along with the romance, GOES AWAY after a few months? Yes, kids, you read it here first: Romance is fleeting. It goes right away. The chivalry, the gentleness, and the very frequent lovemaking you have in the beginning of relationships is greatly reduced after, oh, three or four months. I think that would apply to poetry being read aloud, too. If Carrie stays in this relationship, I'd like to ask how often he reads aloud after two years of togetherness.

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