By Jenny Bicks
you're single, Christmas is a really good time to kill yourself.
At least, that's what the statistics say. Apparently us single people
can get through the year coasting on our meager accomplishments
and lying to ourselves about our happiness until Thanksgiving, where
the first wave of disappointment hits. "Oh, you're still single
well, slide in there next to Uncle Bobby, he's alone too, because
he drinks." Then it's all downhill to New Years where you try
to look very interested in your fancy velvet pants when the clock
strikes midnight and people all around you kiss and you wonder how
long you have to stay at this party before you go home and, apparently,
stick your head in the oven. Assuming you have an oven, and not
a sad little single-person hot plate.
some of us are lucky. We find mates to kiss on New Years. And some
of us are even luckier -- we find a show to write on that not only
accepts our singleness, it practically demands it. Every one of
our sad, bizarre and frightening single-person stories finds a home
on our show. The truth about our group at Sex and The City
is this -- we're probably better at writing about relationships
than having them. Six unmarried women, one gay guy. The only one
of us to try the marriage thing ended up with a gay guy, and it
wasn't our gay guy who ended up with the gay guy
so the rest
of us have pretty much steered clear. But those who can't, write
about it. And we have a great time doing it. In fact, such a good
time that we've forgotten we're supposed to kill ourselves.
Death was the farthest thing from my mind Emmy night, 2001. It was
a magical evening. We weren't supposed to win. We never expected
to win. But we did. It was amazing. They announced our name and
we turned and kissed each other, because, of course, we had no one
else to kiss, and then we took each other's hands and marched up
past Brad and Jen
Courteney and David
all the smug couples who had lost to us
to accept our bright
shiny Emmy. We had done it! Yes, we may have been losers at love,
but we were winners that night! The euphoria continued for hours.
The backstage press photos! The television interviews! Champagne!
Would we like to go to the CAA after-party? Why of course we would!
A quick stop to pick up our goody bags, and we could pile back into
the limo to be feted at a new location! And what a goody bag it
was-t-shirts, make-up, this cool lotion that had real gold chips
the piece de resistance -- the Emmy Christmas ornament. An ornament
you had to sign for it at a special
table manned by special Emmy cops. Frosted glass it was, with Emmy
etched in beautiful script. I approach, Emmy in one hand, goody
bag in the other, and reach for my boxed ornament. "Stop!"
One of the cops yells. Oh, I think, is there an even bigger ornament
for Emmy winners? And then she asks, "Where's your date?"
Um, I point out, I don't have one. As if that's any of her business.
Well then I'm sorry, she says, you can't take an ornament. THEY'RE
ONLY FOR COUPLES. Really, she said that. But
I won an Emmy!
I write on Sex and The City, where it's okay not to be a
couple! That's nice, she says, but there's only one ornament for
every two people. Well I'm only one person. I'm single. (By the
way, this is something one should not have to point out on one of
the biggest nights of one's life). At this point, I pull out the
big guns. "You know, I'm going to write about this on the show!"
Even that didn't stop her. She was good. She was not going to let
that frosted glass ornament go, and so I had to quickly fabricate
a date (another gay guy who works on the show, single, of course)
to claim my gift. A gift we would apparently have to time-share
at the holidays. Yes, I needed a beard for Santa. Because even when
you win an Emmy, you're still a sad single person and I had forgotten
for that moment that, apparently
SINGLE PEOPLE AREN'T ALLOWED
TO HAVE CHRISTMAS.
probably what Leslie Jeffs, 35, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
was thinking two months later when she and her sister decided to
take a Christmas trip to New York City. There would be no ornaments
for them if they stayed home. And so the two single gals set out
to have a good time in the big city. It's almost like a musical.
Or a show I write. But more on that later.
holidays in Manhattan! Lights, shopping, shows! One can only imagine
Leslie and Caroline stepping off their Northwest flight armed with
their Fodor's guide, tickets to 42nd Street and sensible
walking boots with just a bit of height to wear with both slacks
I am editorializing here. It didn't say that part in the Times Wedding
Announcement I read last Memorial Weekend. But again, I'm getting
ahead of myself.
Senke, 41, of Jamesburg New Jersey was single and alone on Christmas
Eve as well. And so he decides that night to depart for the Big
City, to meet a friend for dinner.
before dinner he decides to come in from the cold and have a drink,
by himself. Drinking alone is sadly what Gernot had gotten used
to, working as he did in Jamesburg, New Jersey and y'know, being
single. He chose the Monkey Bar on 55th street.
was a fateful night. Because who else would enter the bar that night
but Leslie and her sister Caroline. "Gernot was the only person
in the bar and was sitting next to me, and I just struck up a conversation,"
said Ms. Jeffs. Hmm. Sounds like something that would happen on
a show I write.
his part, Gernot, quote, "wasn't really tuned in for a full-on
conversation," unquote, perhaps because few in Jamesburg, New
Jersey, have "full-on conversations."
Leslie and Gernot ended up chatting about South Africa, while Caroline
began to quietly drink herself into a stupor, realizing that once
again her sister was going to get laid on vacation, and she wouldn't,
and no one was going to kiss her on New Years Eve. For her part,
Leslie told the New York Times, "This was a person I
wanted to see again."
the two sisters moved on to their next destination, Il Cantinori,
never expecting to see Gernot again. But a week later, and this
time without her sister, who no doubt had finally checked herself
into rehab or stuck her head in an oven, Leslie went back to the
Monkey Bar. Where Gernot was, again. This time, they talked in earnest,
and one thing led to another and that Christmas, 2001, two months
after I won an Emmy and was denied my ornament, Leslie Jeffs and
Gernot Senke realized they were meant for each other. And last Memorial
Day weekend they got married.
so, let us be joyful that two suicides have been averted. Leslie
and Gernot found each other and this year they get to celebrate
their very first Christmas together. Perhaps I will send them my
Emmy ornament, still boxed, for them to hang on their very first
tree. Once I check with my gay co-worker and make sure this isn't
his year to have it.
you've guessed that I have more than a passing obsession with Leslie
and Gernot. Well, here's the thing. Leslie and Caroline didn't just
pick the Monkey Bar out of their Fodor's Guide. This wasn't
blind luck that Leslie and Gernot found love. Oh no. Leslie and
Caroline came to New York armed with more than sensible boots. They
came with a guide. According to the New York Times, the sisters
had fashioned a home-made tour of places they had seen on their
favorite show -- Sex and The City. And the Monkey Bar was
top of the list. And, you see, it was I who put the Monkey Bar into
one of my episodes, "Defining Moments." Which it certainly
was for Gernot and Leslie.
Do you all see the irony here? Because I'm a screwed-up single person,
I don't get Christmas, but because I'm a screwed-up single person
who can write, there's a couple getting their first Christmas this
if I'm some weird idiot savant single girl television cupid? What
if our whole writing staff is? Why just last month a friend passed
by one of my fellow writer's buildings and saw a man down on his
and this man wasn't puking, he was PROPOSING! And not
to her! Why that stoop out of all the stoops in this city? Was he
magically drawn there by the single-girl pain leaking out from apartment
1B? For God's sake, ladies and gentlemen! How many matches will
we have to make before we are handed what is rightfully ours --
that frosted glass Emmy ornament!
I know. Christmas is not really about getting a shiny award or a
it's about giving. And I'm just happy that
I could help two people find love in the holiday season. I gave
them my single girl stories so they could get married.
come to think of it, by getting married, they gave me one more story
to tell. You can't hang that on a tree, but that's a pretty damn
this single girl got her Christmas after all.
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