Sleep and the City

May 26th, 2009

What women really talk about when they get together

I enjoy watching old episodes of “Sex and the City” as much as the next woman of a certain age.  (The movie not so much, although I did manage to watch the whole thing on HBO in the same way I can eat an entire bag of stale potato chips–more out of hope and habit than enjoyment).  Anyway, it’s fun, right?  These four attractive women of a certain age (an age that gets “certainer” as the series progresses) get together regularly for brunch, shopping expeditions, and cocktails to talk about men.  And sex.  And men having sex with them.  And them having sex with men.  And so on.

It’s fun to watch (you can catch reruns on cable) because it’s such a friggin’ fantasy.   I am a woman of a certain age.  I have female friends who support me and whom I cherish.   Want to know what our conversations over a meal sound like? 

Sure, you do.  Here’s a sample:

“I can’t see the menu.  Is it dark in here or is it just me?”

“I can’t read a word of it, either.” 

“It’s not the light, it’s our eyes.  Here–”  Takes out a pair of reading glasses.  “I bring these everywhere I go.  Who wants them first?”

The reading glasses are passed around, amid exclamations of delight at how suddenly the obscure writing becomes clear.  There is general agreement we should all keep a pair in our purses.


“Should we get a bottle of wine?  Red or white?”

“I can’t drink red anymore.  It gives me a headache.”

“I have the same thing with white.  And at least you get the antioxidents with the red.”

“You can get those with a glass of grape juice.  I don’t drink any wine anymore–it keeps me up all night.”

“Oh, don’t get me started on the whole sleep issue.  I never sleep through the night anymore.”

“Why don’t you take an Ambien?  I’m a total addict.  I even have some in my purse–want one?”

“Ambien doesn’t work for me. “

“Me, either.  I’m a Lunesta woman.”

“I’ve heard that you can just take three Advil and it will help you sleep.”

“Really?  Why not just take a Benadryl?  That’s probably safer.”

“Benadryl leaves me with a morning hangover.  Have you tried Rozerem?”

And so on.  Sleep remedies are discussed ad nauseum.  Everyone finds the topic endlessly fascinating. 

The waiter comes.   Many salads are ordered, with dressing on the side.  Some throw caution to the wind and get the dressing right on the salad.  The bread basket is eyed with hostility.

Eventually the subject of sex does come up.  Someone makes a joke about her husband actually expecting sex now and then.

“What is he, nuts?”

“I can’t remember the last time I had sex.”

“Oh, who’s got time?”

“And now the kids stay up later than we do, so even if we wanted to, we can’t.”

“My hormones are so wacky these days, anyway.  Anyone else having trouble with hot flashes and irritability?”

“Are you kidding?  You just described my weekend.”

“Plus there’s the sleeplessness . . .”

In “Sex and the City,” they devour pints of ice cream together.  But when the real girls are out . . .

“Should we get dessert?”

“I shouldn’t.”

“Maybe one little bite.”

“Just a taste for me.  But not chocolate–the caffeine in it will keep me up all night.”

“I’m telling you–take the Ambien and you won’t have to worry about stuff like that.”

Dessert is nibbled at and it’s now 9:30 . . .  Everyone is yawning.

“Sorry.  It’s past my bedtime.”

“Me, too.  I’m usually in bed with jammies on by this point.” 

“I have to be up at 6 tomorrow.”

“I was up at 4 this morning–but not on purpose.   I just couldn’t get back to sleep.”

“If you had taken an Ambien before going to bed . . .”

“I did.    But even so,  I can’t keep my eyes open.”

“Me, either.  Is that the check?”

“Yes, but I can’t tell–is that a 7 or a 1?”

“I have no idea.  Who’s got the reading glasses?”