Why Sex and the City Would Never Work in Real Life
With the Sex and the City prequel in the making, I find myself revisiting that pink box-set that was a birthday gift from a true friend. The one that contains every single SATC episode. And of course I know them all by heart. Those of you who grew up with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda know where I’m coming from. If there was a fire in your house and all living beings were okay, you’d save your box set, wouldn’t you? Yeah. Me too.
One of the great things about TV is that, well, it’s not real life. Otherwise, some days it may not be called Sex and the City but Depressed, Lonely and Crying Down My Ben and Jerry’s in the City. Even a die-hard SATC girl like me has to come to terms with the fact that no, I’m not Carrie. If you’re reading this: you’re not Carrie. Yes, I know you love writing, Manolos, cigarettes (you should really stop, you know) and you’ve got your very own Mr. Big, but nevertheless, you’re not Carrie. And maybe that’s a good thing. Here’s why, while we love them on the big and small screen, the fabulous foursome could never be a NYC reality.
The Carrie lifestyle? Dream on!
I remember when a magazine did a one-page “Carrie math” article on how much it would cost to be Carrie Bradshaw in real life. They came to the conclusion that there was no way on Earth that any writer anywhere could afford Carrie’s super-extravagant, Cosmo-sipping, Jimmy Choo-wearing, party-hopping lifestyle. Even less so in New York: having spent only four days of my life in the Big Apple, I’m no expert, but penniless writers I know in The City laugh at the idea of a writer being able to pay Upper East Side rent (that “rent-controlled” thing appears to be as elusive as the Loch Ness monster), go out every single night for “research” and buy new shoes every time a guy doesn’t call – with one single column as her only source of income. Even when Carrie’s broke, she’s got “buddies” magically popping out of the woodwork to take her out to dinners, fabulous parties and yet another shoe-shopping trip (remember Amalita from season one?). In real life, writers rejoice when they earn enough to eat anything other than canned beans from the 99 cent store and save up to buy shoes at Zara. Trust me, I’ve been there. As for living accommodations, well, let’s just say that there’s more chance you’ll run into a dinosaur in NYC or any other major city than a self-employed, self-supporting writer (once again, one column) with a walk-in closet. Real writers don’t spend their nights “wondering if we’re liberated women or just sluts”; they spend them sleeplessly wondering how the heck they’re going to pay the rent and bills for their crappy studio apartment. Once again, trust me, I’ve been there.
I wonder where all my BFFs went
Of course, the real reason why Sex and the City has managed to conquer every girl’s heart isn’t the shoes or the cocktails (although they sure did seem nice). It’s the friendship. The idea of having three super-close girlfriends and the token eccentric gay best friend to spend your Saturdays with (uhm, and most Mondays, it seems. Did any of them ever go to work?) is ever-appealing to chatty ladies like ourselves. The only hitch is that in real life, when BFFs grow up and marry their BFs, they may have less and less time for Sunday brunches and impromptu shopping trips. Yes, this was addressed when Miranda had Brady. However, it was addressed at…brunch. I don’t know about you, but since my married friends had babies, I only hear from them on my birthday. Or, more likely, the day after, when the guilt-ridden message appears on my Facebook wall: “I’m so sorry, I forgot! Little Petey’s teething and we’ve just got our hands full!” No Cosmopolitans there. Sure, it’s a show about female friendships and without the girls’ funny and sometimes raunchy dialogue, we would never laugh at the famous Carrie quotes or use one of Samantha’s snappy one-liners when a clueless guy tries to chat us up at a bar. However, I can’t help but feel sorry for all the girls out there feeling bad about the lack of a tight-knit group of girlfriends who come running with vodka and cookies in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon to discuss whether their latest date has mother issues. Those of you that are lucky enough to have that kind of never-faltering friendship in your lives, can I be your BFF?
Weird is the new socialite, fashion-wise.
I’m all for outrageous, out-there styles (heck, I work in fashion! If I’m not going to back creativity, who will?) but seeing a woman wearing a flower bigger than her head around her neck sitting down at a table full of NYC socialites makes me laugh out loud, because no one says anything. Or even looks at her funny. Carrie’s outfits are that “pink elephant in the room” that Miranda refers to in season five. I get it that New Yorkers are extravagant with their fashions, but trust me, a girl wearing peacock feathers in her hair, pajamas with pearls and a fur coat, or a ballerina skirt would have to endure staring and pointing in any city, town or countryside. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carrie’s style. She’s one of my all-time fashion icons (except for the furs, and what about when she wore a pearl necklace to bed in the first movie? What was up with that?). It’s just that I have a hard time believing that you can show up wearing a ridiculous tiny little hat or a pink tutu and green leggings to an uptight Manhattan dinner party without anyone commenting. Especially when the rest of the party dresses like Big’s immaculate, minimalist, Ralph Lauren-esque ex-wife Natasha. And don’t get me started on the bare-midriff thing. Not in a million years. That’s unforgiveable even if you’ve got Sarah Jessica’s abs.
And now for the big one…
Mr Big is kind of a jerk (and Aiden was probably The One)
Have you read He’s Just Not That Into You? If not, run to the nearest bookstore and get your hands on this must-read (yes, the book, not the movie!) that will open your eyes and make you realize that there are no excuses for a guy treating you like a doormat. What’s really weird about this is that He’s Just Not That Into You was penned by SATC staffers Greg and Liz, the very same writers that told us for six seasons that if you only put up with his flakiness, his commitment-phobia and his generally crappy behavior, then he’ll magically morph into the man who pops down on one knee with a blue Manolo in one hand and asks you to marry him. The whole Big and Carrie story is so unrealistic it could have been about unicorns. In the real world, Carrie would just get hurt over and over again. Then she’d meet Aiden, marry him and look back on her days with Big as a “what-on- Earth-was-I-thinking” phase. Which brings us to the never ending debate: was Aiden The One who got away? My answer is yes. In the second movie (which I liked, so sue me) when Carrie runs into Aiden in Abu Dhabi, I was so hoping they’d get back together. Aiden brought out the best in Carrie, while Big brought out the worst: smoking, cheating and blowing off her friends (friends that, as we’ve established in paragraph 2, she was extremely lucky to have). Once again, this is television and none of it is real. Still, I find it somewhat misleading to make women believe that the flaky guy who acts like he’s “not that into you” virtually all of the time is miraculously going to change because deep down you’re “soulmates”. Even more so in a show about strong, independent women.
So when the prequel hits the movie theatres, by all means check it out and laugh at how the new actresses are nowhere near as fab as the original ones. Just remember, after the credits roll. to go back to your very real and very fabulous life as non-Carrie.
Read more from Sascha Mejeritcher here.
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