I do admit that I was once hooked on “Sex and the City” — the HBO series, that is. I never liked both film adaptations though, which seemed to me was just a menagerie of clichés about middle-aged women having embarrassing sex with various unsuitable partners.
Candace Bushnell’s original book — the basis for the TV series — was good, but the show was fantastic: funny but smart and witty, warm and wise. Yes, there were occasional stupid puns, like Carrie’s comeback to Mr. Big when he said he was moving to California because he was tired: “If you are tired you take a nap-ah, you don’t move to Napa (Valley).” [I found that funny, btw]. Of course, SATC won’t be SATC without sex — mostly courtesy of Sam… and Carrie from time to time. But unlike in the movies, SATC wasn’t all about sex… and shopping. Those weren’t all Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte cared about. The series transcended any normal chick flick with its real-life emotional truth. Woven along its make-believe fiber are genuine experiences many of us can relate to. For instance, Sam’s breast cancer showed not only how scary and sad the disease is, but also — on a lighter note — how boring, sweaty and plain inconvenient it is, too.
So, what egged me to do this piece?
Well, my renewed interest in RiRi’s “We Found Love” ditty — which, since Monday, has haunted my every waking hours [don’t ask me how’d it happened] — prompted me to do a lyrics search. ‘Tis a nice song; not too much substance though…
Continuing my online exploration, I came across this article on Cosmo that I believe rings a truth for some of you ladies out there… and maybe, as well as to some guys:
Love Lessons from Sex and the City
By Ashley Womble
In their six years on the air, the SATC chicks endured the good, the bad, and the totally bizarre when it came to dating. Cosmo studied some of their most memorable relationships to find out what we could learn from the fabulous foursome.
Case study: Miranda and Steve. When Miranda met bartender Steve Brady, she was skeptical as usual. He was nice (and easy on the eyes) but clearly not relationship material. Not surprisingly, their divergent careers created problems: conflicting schedules, fights about money, and different outlooks on life. Miranda could have deleted his number from her BlackBerry, but ultimately, his laid-back personality and devotion won her over. The unlikely pair started a family and eventually tied the knot.
Lesson #1: Date against your type.
Case study: Carrie and Aidan. Hot furniture designer Aidan was everything Carrie thought she wanted in a man: emotionally available, honest, and ready to commit. Aidan wanted Carrie to meet his parents, have the keys to his apartment, and eventually be his wife. She attempted to change by quitting smoking (and nixing her addiction to Mr. Big), giving country life a shot, and wearing his engagement ring around her neck. But no matter how hard Carrie tried, she couldn’t commit to any of it. While Aidan seemed perfect on paper, he wasn’t the ideal guy for Carrie.
Lesson #2: Don’t change for a man, no matter what.
Case study: Charlotte and Trey. An optimist with a very romantic view of love, Charlotte believed her dreams had come true when she was literally rescued by the single, wealthy, and handsome Dr. Trey MacDougal. Despite some major red flags — a lackluster marriage proposal, a meddling mother-in-law, and a sexless honeymoon — Charlotte was determined to make the relationship work. Although she gave it her all, their union still failed.
Lesson #3: Never ignore the warning signs that tell you a relationship isn’t working.
Case study: Carrie and Berger. Witty writer Jack Berger had these famous last words for Carrie, written on a Post-it note: “I’m sorry, I can’t. Don’t hate me.” After the abrupt end to their short, rocky relationship, Carrie vowed to spend the same amount of time getting over her breakup as Berger had spent ending it. If only it were that easy. Though Carrie managed to avoid him, she ended up melting down in front of his friends, which undoubtedly got back to him. She learned that it’s better to face the music (or in her case, the Post-it note) and get it over with.
Lesson #4: As painful as breakups can be, you have to mourn before moving on.
Case study: Samantha and Smith. Samantha’s dating philosophy: “I’m a trysexual. I’ll try anything once.” Her only rule was to never fall in love. She was so set in her man-eating ways that when she scouted and seduced a gorgeous waiter at a raw food restaurant, she didn’t even ask his name. She encouraged the struggling young actor to play out his sexual fantasies and took him under her wing professionally, changing his name to Smith Jerrod and making him the Absolut Hunk. Somewhere between sex and stardom, Samantha fell in love and eventually confessed to Smith, “You’ve meant more to me than any man I have ever known.”
Lesson #5: Dare to fall in love.
Case study: Carrie and Mr. Big. Sure, Carrie might have done some of the chasing, but in the end it was Mr. Big who showed up at her door the day she left New York City for Paris. Angry that his timing was always off, she screamed, “Forget you know my number! In fact, forget you know my name!” But he didn’t give up. He called to tell her he loved her, and fortunately, Charlotte was there to answer his desperate call. The next day, he met the ladies for brunch and admitted, “You’re the loves of her life, and a guy would be lucky to come in fourth.” With their blessing, Mr. Big went to Paris to get “their” girl.
Lesson #6: Let him chase you.
Case study: Carrie. The eternal single girl had her share of romances, chronicled in her weekly column, but the truest love story is the one she wrote for herself. Bad luck and messy breakups were de rigueur in Carrie’s life. By surviving the pitfalls — a Manolo-mugging, a computer crash, and a very embarrassing fashion fall — Carrie gained the confidence and strength to continue her search for true love. “The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself,” she said. “And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”
Lesson #7: Be fearlessly single.
Y’see, man or woman, there’s a little bit of Sam, Carrie, Charlotte, or Miranda in all of us.