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End of ‘Sex’? What’s a girl to do?

Fan obsessing about what she’ll watch when girls are gone
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

While I’ve never met Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha, I certainly consider the women of “Sex and the City” girlfriends. We share the same New York City. I’ve shopped at some of the same boutiques, bought flowers at some of the same shops, dined at some of the same restaurants and walked up and down some of the same famous streets.

It's true (alas!) my dating resume can’t begin to compare with any of theirs, but after five TV seasons of religiously watching these women struggle with love and lust, I understand their pain.

Boyfriends come and go. We tend to keep girlfriends forever. And so as the final eight episodes of HBO’s Emmy-winning series begin Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, I’m already obsessing about what I’m going to watch on TV when the girls are gone.

This is made somewhat easier because we live in an unlimited channel universe. The girlfriends are irreplaceable, but there are TV shows to help me through — and past — the withdrawal period.

Women at home: Like Charlotte, I’m into cocooning. Other people may show you pictures of their kids or pets, I carry around floor plans of apartments I covet.

In the divorce, Charlotte got Trey’s family pad on Park Avenue. Carrie lives in a one-bedroom walk-up on the Upper East Side just off Madison Avenue. Miranda owns an apartment on the Upper West Side. And after Samantha had some problems with her Upper East Side neighbors, she moved to the Meat Packing District downtown.

They all have great apartments, and so will I by watching anything (and everything) on HGTV-land — “This Old House,” “Curb Appeal,” and shows about extreme homes and how to make the most of no usable space (after all, this is New York). I’ll tune into Martha, too, despite her troubles. Just for the record, these programs can be addicting.

Women confiding: This usually happens while the girlfriends meet for lunch (or brunch). Take-out is big, cooking is not. Charlotte seems to be the only one of the four on intimate terms with the kitchen. Does she watch the Food Network and hang on every word of Ina Garten, aka “The Barefoot Contessa”? Garten runs a restaurant by that same name in the Hamptons on Long Island and simplicity, style and fun are her bywords. They will now be mine.

Women at play: Otherwise known as shopping. Carrie’s a true fashionista. Generally, what she wears one week, we end up copying the next. I’ve come to love Manolo Blahniks, but imagine what it would be like walking across Times Square in a pair. So, what to do? Turn to the home shopping networks? Watch the celebs pivot on the red carpet during the endless awards shows? Beg my cable company to find me a Fashion-Only Channel?

Women as friends: There’s a dearth of current shows about women being women. I’ll check out “Girlfriends.” Plus repeats of “Cybill,” “Kate & Allie” and, of course, “Mary Tyler Moore,” the first TV show about a single woman living the big city (that was Minneapolis.)

Women at work: All four of these women have interesting careers. Carrie is a journalist. Miranda is a lawyer. Charlotte worked in art. Samantha is a high-powered PR exec. They wouldn’t settle for less, and neither shall I. I can see Amy Gray of CBS’s “Judging Amy” becoming a girlfriend. She divorced, left New York with her young daughter and now lives in Hartford, Conn. (just a commuter train ride away), where she’s a Family Court judge.

Women in relationships: I will NOT watch “The Bachelor,” “For Love or Money,” “Blind Date” or any incarnation of “Temptation Island.” Pause. I feel better now.

I know I’m not the only woman who will miss sharing new experiences with these four unique girlfriends. In that way, I’m a little like Carrie, searching for zsa zsa zu (“that special something that gives you butterflies in your stomach”).

Carrie is talking about finding true love. For me, a zsa zsa zsu has been watching “Sex and the City.”

Cheryl Kushner is a writer based in New York.