The Party's Over

The sex is great. But after six years of Manolo shopping and martini sipping with "Sex and the City's" fab four, it's not the sex or the city that I'll miss. I'll miss the girlfriends -- my girlfriends. I'll miss the witty banter about Samantha's latest sexcapade over lunch, drinking pretty cocktails, frequenting the newest Manhattan bars.

Neither the sex nor the city is reality, but that's how I would like to imagine my life would be like, should my closest girlfriends live only a cab ride away. Instead, over the years they've all moved, most to different cities or even across the county. I don't see them every week. Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are the only ones I've got left. And now they're leaving me, too.

My husband and I recently bought a home. It's about the size of Carrie's walk-in closet, but it's ours. I own one pair of Manolo Blahniks, and they were given to me as a gift. My writer's budget doesn't quite cover $500-a-pair shoes (how does Carrie do it?) nor does it afford me a new Prada gown every evening. And none of my child-addled friends -- those are the only ones who still live nearby -- are likely to meet me for a cosmo at the spur of a phone call.

So I get my girltalk vicariously. I know that real women don't banter back and forth as easily as Carrie and company, or wear bizarre couture and seven-inch stilettos on par with the girls. They dish, they dine, and they have hot clothes and even hotter sex -- who wouldn't want to live like that? Talk of penises, vibrators and blow jobs has become more common place since "Sex" exploded in 1998. Now if only fabulousness would follow, and make its way into my reality.

I've been a faithful ear as Charlotte got married to Trey, then divorced, then re-married to her charming, albeit hairy divorce lawyer, Harry. During the show's six-season run, Samantha has screwed countless guys, and now she's seemingly happy in a real relationship with a hottie actor. I indulged in Chinese take-out and ice cream alongside Miranda during her pregnancy, and cried when she and Steve finally tied the knot in a picturesque autumn garden. And I've listened to Carrie analyze her on-again-off-again relationship with Mr. Big and whine about breaking country-boy Aidan's heart. Now I think I'm falling for The Russian. I'm hoping Carrie doesn't mess it up.

Lest you worry that my relationship with four women on television is too real and too vivid, rest assured that I did not add my words of wisdom to HBO's online Community Boards, advising Carrie which direction her life should take. I didn't share my thoughts with other SATC fans about fashion (is "Sex and the City" style here to stay?) or Carrie and Big (admitting that I'm over Mr. Big would get me killed in these rooms) or my favorite memories of the girls. But I did read other people's postings.

Perhaps there are a new set of girlfriends waiting for me on "The L Word." Showtime's certainly been trying to capture the "Sex and the City" crowd; its slogan says "Same Sex, Another City." Aside from the obvious differences, "Sex and the City" follows the lives and lifestyles of smart, beautiful -- and for the most part, straight -- women in Manhattan; "The L Word" follows smart, beautiful lesbians in Los Angeles. While "Sex and the City" is a comedy and "The L Word" is billed as a drama, it's certainly got the clever quips and the stylish, successful women to give lost "Sex and the City" fans a new group of friends to call their own.

Maybe Carrie was right. Maybe it is "the end of an era." Miranda has married, has a baby, ad has moved to Brooklyn. Charlotte has also married and now has a new litter of puppies. Samantha is even in a committed relationship. It's time to move on, or at least, move to Paris.

In the penultimate episode, at Carrie's last supper, over a round of Cosmopolitans, she says goodbye to her best friends. "Today I had a thought: What if I had never met you?"

Carrie moves to Paris. Maybe Mr. Big will follow her. Maybe she'll end up with him, or maybe not. In the end, she'll still have her three soul mates: Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. I know the party's over. But I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet.

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