The event was incredible. There were 1,000 women in the room, successful, strong, independent business women*. The energy in the room was fantastic. The food was absolutely divine. The Skinny Girl cocktails were quite nice, actually (despite being lo-cal). The wine was excellent. Kerri drank too much wine and ended up stumbling home...
But I digress.
The session was a Q&A with Ms Bushnell conducted by Natarsha Belling. Natarsha gave the introduction, and then Ms Bushnell walked onto the stage in a candy pink strapless mini-dress, escorted by a half naked man.
Candace Bushnell has the body of a thirty year old - a super skinny thirty year old. Her body is amazing, and kudos to her. She has the face of a forty year old. I won't speculate on how she achieved that look, but it's young. And she has the gravelly, very slightly tremulous voice of a sixty year old.
She is fifty-four.
|She is 54. Seriously.|
Ms Bushnell answered all questions with practiced grace, but I had the odd sense that I was listening not to her, but to Carrie Bradshaw of the TV series. This was odd because Carrie Bradshaw is very largely a creation of Darren Star, the producer of SATC. The Carrie of the SATC book is very different to the Carrie portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker on TV. And yet Ms Bushnell seemed to be channelling SJP, so effectively, in fact, that I felt confused by what I was watching.
There were a couple of strangely discordant moments. At one point, Ms Bushnell referred to seeing a man's 'hoo hoo' for the first time. This is the woman who gave us Sex And The City. SEX. Lots of SEX. She was wearing a pink mini and held the arm of a naked man. And she couldn't say 'penis'?
She also talked about how she didn't really approve of teen sex. "I'm a bit of a prude when it comes to teenage sex," she said. But... but... SEX! She IS sex!!! How can she be a prude about anything?
Candace Bushnell has made a massive contribution to pop culture. She wrote a book that generated a TV series that is hugely significant for many women of my generation. I have watched each episode at least three or four times, and some at least five or six. They comfort me. They make me happy. I could watch each episode a dozen times more.
I just got the feeling that Candace Bushnell is still back there in the 90's, forever Carrie living the life in New York. Unlike, JK Rowling, who is working to transcend her Harry Potter roots, she will never move on from the book that made her famous.
But Candace Bushnell is incredibly successful, and seemingly content, and she still fits into a tiny pink mini.
If she could only learn to say 'penis' instead of 'hoo hoo', she'd be completely damn fabulous.
*I was not one of them. I was there as a guest of the Australian Writers Centre. WOO HOOOO!