A veritable feast of guilty pleasures.


2008 Craig Blankenhorn / New Line Cinema

I had a great day.  My long time sitter agreed to stand in my flip flops so I could go do my thing for a few hours.  After procuring face paint from my neighbor at 8:30 in the morning and drawing a fairly realistic Argentina flag on Saint James’ cheek for soccer camp, getting everyone fed and sunscreened and dressed for the day, I peeled off in my trusty minivan hoping to make it to yoga on time.  The irony of driving like a crazed Indy-500 wannabe to get to yoga is not lost on me.  Nevertheless, I made it (after being away for far too long) and had a beautiful class with my favorite teacher, Sydney.  Sigh.  I love yoga.  And the day just kept getting better.


I went to see  Sex in the City by myself.  My ultimate, all time favorite, guilty pleasure is to see movies alone in the middle of the day.  When I was working, I would hop on to moviefone.com, grab my blackberry and bust a move for a matinee three or four times a year.  In Boston, it involved taking the T to Harvard Square, but my clandestine cinematic affairs got ridiculously easy when they put those theaters in Block E.  Uugh.  Don’t get me started on Block E though, because I will get all hot and bothered, start shaking my finger and enumerating everything that is wrong with America and its deep seeded cultural propensity for pandering to the least common denominator in everything from cuisine to politics to architecture to entertainment.  For those who don’t live here, Block E used to be a perfectly nice parking lot filled with perfectly nice drug dealers and crack whores.  Right across from City Center, the most godawful mall in this great land, Block E provided a pleasant open black top for loitering, parking cars, cutting through to Toby’s and other assorted shady dealings.  Does anyone besides me remember Toby’s?  Great bar, great food, humongous genius chef who busted out some of the most delicious and spicy Asian-inspired green beans and equally delicious and spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches – phenomenal burgers too.  The place was dark and clubby, civilized, authentic, lived in, plush and tobacco stained, the way any good watering hole worth its salt should be.  Anyway, something happened to Toby, Toby’s closed, and some of the most obtuse and talentless hacks in the history of this city were put in charge of redeveloping the block which resulted in the second most godawful mall in the land.  Block E is a depressing, impenetrable monolith, the architectural equivalent of an insipid, obese, bastard devoid of any charm or smarts and it is filled with crappy businesses seemingly handpicked to appeal to insipid, obese, bastards.  The smell alone of Cold Stone Creamery makes me want to barf.  But I digress.  I was supposed to be thinking happy thoughts.  

So after yoga I hightailed it over to Edina for the 11:00 show.  I had to pee and was so gratified to see that the movie theater had installed Dyson Airblade hand dryers – the kind Ed Begley, Jr. put in his house, to his wife’s consternation.  They use less energy than those pathetic old dryers and it’s a fait accompli in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.  Love these things.  I’m always torn in public restrooms because I am equal parts squeamish, impatient, and concerned about our environment . . . so how to dry my hands. Usually I just run them through my hair as I ninja my way out, trying not to touch anything.  So if I’m not mistaken, these super fancy hand dryers are the brainchild of that dashing British guy who invented those yellow vacuum cleaners with more suction.  This cute man is doing God’s work, if you ask me – keeping people from slowly going insane as they pass their vacuum over the same cheerio over and over.  

And get this!  When I purchased my popcorn and drink, I was surprised and delighted to learn that the butter is self-serve!  Like I said, the day just kept getting better!  Woooh, baby!  Except that it’s hard to get the butter into the middle of the bag with out drenching the top . . .  much better to have a concession stand worker with a good work ethic fill the bag half-way, squirt butter, fill it the rest of the way and squirt again.  I fully admit these sound like the musings of an insipid, obese, American bastard.

Nevertheless, as I settled into my seat in a nearly empty theater with my buttered popcorn and my diet coke, I felt like Pee Wee Herman at a skin flick.  The most delicious combination of guilty and contented.  A tall, stiff drink of contentment with a twist of guilt.  And then, and then . . . the movie started and I just about wept.  The clothes are nothing short of SPECTACULAR.  Wardrobe has taken everything they were doing right with the show and made it even better and bigger, befitting the celluloid screen.  There is a scene where Carrie is trying on wedding dresses for a Vogue shoot and, oh sweet mother, do they pull out the big guns: Wang, Carolina Herrera, Lacroix, Lanvin, Dior, Oscar de la Renta and the topper, an edgy, alarming, and drop dead sophisticated Vivienne Westwood (which was not my favorite, but would have been my pick for Carrie too).  Each confection just gets better and better . . . the drama mounting . . . the luxe gorgeousness washing over you in waves of tulle and organza and silk, each dress unique and so beautifully conceived and executed.  And it was like this the whole entire movie.  I was delirious!  It’s like fashionista porn.  A sartorial fantasy beyond my wildest imagination.  And there was this studded black belt that kept popping up – très rocker chic – très my cup of tea.

Not to be a blowhard poo-pooer, but I thought the movie itself was flawed in that it hinged on the cowardice of man that was so profound, so unforgivable, that it almost seemed unbelievable.  He was a mouse, not a man, and it was an  unequivocal deal breaker, through and through.  Forgiveness, redemption, love . . .  the movie  dealt with all the themes you’d expect to see in a romantic comedy, no real surprises.  The hanger was ordinary, but the threads hanging on it were thoroughly extraordinary, transporting, satisfying and worth every second and penny.  And not for nothing, the movie displays some true blue girl-friendship and loyalty and that is always wonderful to see.  Especially when the girlfriends are running around in astonishingly beautiful fur wraps, polka dot dresses, and insane white boots, both tall and short.  Oh, Dorothy, I need to see it again!

And when I got out of the movie it was two o’clock.  I thought about getting a pedicure, but really, I was completely sated.  I was ready to go home and hang with my kids.  I was ready to leave behind the Manolos and slip back into my flip flops.

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