Sunday, May 07, 2006

And the City

I've been having what's known as a "Lost Weekend." Since I don't have HBO, I only know Sex and the City from DVD, and I finally got seasons 5 and 6.1, so I'm catching up, and resting. I've been on the sofa eating, drinking, and watching Carrie and friends.

I am Miranda. I mentioned this to a friend once, who immediately exclaimed, "But you're not a rich successful lawyer!" They think I'm Charlotte, the ever-optimistic, hopeless romantic WASP Episcopalian with a Jew-fetish. But no, trust me: I am Miranda.

No show has ever captured life in New York quite the way SATC does. Not Will & Grace, not Friends, not even Seinfeld. I recognize so much of my own life in these episodes. Granted, a budget-sized version; instead of Prada and Manolo Blahnik I wear Old Navy and Kenneth Cole, when I can find it at Filene's.

But so much of it rings true, from watching that stupid Diane Sawyer video at jury duty (and I, too, called a friend on my cellphone during a break to say the best part of jury duty was shopping at Century 21) to shopping at Zabar's, to running into people you don't want to see at the moment you least want to see them, to those impossibly perfect, fairytale New York evenings. Trust me, they really exist, and just like they're depicted in the show. There is a magic in this city. Sometimes I am utterly enchanted.

The one character I always felt I had nothing in common with was Carrie: too extroverted, too attractive, too able to let her emotional swings out in public, too confident to be me. And too many dates.

Not just dates, but relationships, or, at least, dating relationships that last a whole episode or two. Right now I don't remember the last date I went on. I don't think it was in 2006. The last time I had a boyfriend, Bill Clinton was president. In his first term. Oy.

But it turns out, even Carrie and I have our similarities. She, too, described her relationship with the City as if it were a troublesome boyfriend, and, hitting a dryspell, she joked with her friends that she'd have to change the name of her column to just "And the City," which was the title of a blogpost that's been gestating in my brain for a while now.

And then today, she hit me with this:

"In New York, they say you're always looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment. So, let's say you have two out of three. Fabulous. Why do we let the one thing we don't have affect how we feel about the things we do have?"


little-cicero said...

I think it was Dennis Prager (Great Man) who once called the girls in Sex and the City "Platonic Lesbians" in a discussion of the modern woman. The idea being that in all respects other than sex, they are basically married: socially, emotionally, intellectuall, etc. Because of this they are incapable of building stable relationships with men. All they need with men is a sexual relationship.

What do you say to that?

Matthew said...

LC -> I'm married and I don't understand your comment:

"...they are basically married: socially, emotionally, intellectuall(y)..."

Andy -> Does Manolo Blahnik make men's shoes?

I wish I could move back to NY.

Matthew said...

Disclaimer: I've never watched an episode of Sex and the City.

I read somewhere that the ladies in Sex and the City are nothing more than gay men being played by women. Many of the writers are apparently gay, and I've heard women say that they don't associate much with the lives of the women displayed in the series, hence the whole "gay men writing our their fantasies through women" critique.

But as I said, I haven't see the series.

Andy said...

No, it's the Golden Girls who are gay men in dresses. Based on my 12 years in the City, I'd have to say the SATC women are a LOT like most of the women around here, except they are smarter and funnier. (If you want a taste of what real NY women sound like, read

If you hear women say they don't relate to the women in the show, are these women who live in NYC? Because I can see why they wouldn't relate if they didn't understand this town. No place else is quite like NY. The show is based on the famous book Candace Bushnell.

LC: I'd say it sounds like you and Dennis don't watch the show. That's a pretty lame argument you're advancing there. Basically married? Yeah, I guess, if you can consider a four-way open relationship that doesn't involve cohabitation, financial responsibility or lifetime commitment a marriage. If that sounds like a marriage to you, then I can't imagine why you'd object to me marrying just one guy.

THEY are incapable of building stable relationships with men? Dearest, it takes TWO to make a relationship work. Sure, each of the girls screws up once or twice (or, weekly), but it's not like they're meeting a parade of perfect men. All they need is a sexual relationship? Actually, that's the antithesis of the show. Each episode they're all basically saying to each other that sex isn't enough, they want something more -- except for Samantha, who usually claims that sex is all she wants, but regular viewers know that isn't wholly true, either.

kr pdx said...

"LC: I'd say ... me marrying just one guy."

little-cicero said...

I'll now place the disclaimer on the last comment: I have never seen the show!

I wasn't making an argument, just sharing an unfounded observation. Thanks for your insight though! I do like the young brunette in that show, from the bits of pieces I've seen.