Friday, September 26, 2008

Sex and the City And Universal Truth

I was always a fan of Sex and the City. I still am. To be honest I WAS one of those women who anticipated the movie like little kids counting down to Christmas morning. I was finally going to see old friends again. I was FINALLY going to find out what happened to Carrie and BIG. I was FINALLY going to get closure -- sad but true... And I was there on day 1, popcorn and less than enthusiastic date in hand ( Side blog here should be entitled "you know a guy likes you when...") to see my old friends again and revel in the beauty and mess of it all.

I am a 30-something divorced, got-it-together, run the house, pay the bills, single mom living an oh so responsible, respectably and comfortably predictable life, carpooling, folding socks, loving my children passionately, running a successful company, always doing the RIGHT thing and dreaming all the while about throwing caution to the wind, Manolos, obscenely expensive wine, and occasionally Brad Pitt.

The burning question, the one always in the back of my head, the one I ACTUALLY feel guilty about since my life really is so good on balance: How the heck did I end up here?

To be honest, Carrie Bradshaw's unique brand of introspection, questionable life choices, quirky fashion sense, complete lack of fiscal responsibility (see closet full of Manolos) and devoted if a bit neurotic friends, provided me with what I know now to be 3 of the absolute necessities of life. Like air, I NEEDED that showI didn't know WHY, but... I needed it like you need fuzzy socks, mac 'n cheese, and your old rattty sweatshirt when you're too depressed or sick to think. It was comfort food for my SOUL.

So, what were those things I needed so badly and why do they even matter enough to blog about? Much less why do I bestow them with the honor of being my FIRST BLOG EVER?

Well, Because recent events (and by events I mean people -- and by people I mean genuinely good but completely unself-aware, relationship challenged, well-meaning but clueless individual(s) with the emotional iq of a kumquat) have made me realize that what that show gave me is, well, a universal need. Yes you are reading correctly... I posit here that Sex and the City provided me with universal truths EVERYONE NEEDS, (and please do not forward me the name of your psychiatrist or therapist. I am indeed perfectly sane and have one of my own, thank you very much.)

So what Did I get from the show?

1) A symbiotoc and sympathetic character who I GOT. and who, more importantly, I KNEW at the very bottom of my soul would get ME. Seriously, I could see us being buds, hanging out over coffee, shopping for Manolos, and bemoaning the lack of eligible and sane men in the world, all the while battling our own endearing yet neurotic tendencies, and all this WITHOUT someone under the age of 8 eating off of my plate or using the word PeePee. -- In short a sense that the universe was not entirely composed of individuals under the mental age of 9 and that I was not alone in that universe.

2) The weekly opportunity to look at someone ELSE's life (albeit written for television), breathe a sigh of relief and say confidently "WOW my life is not as screwed up as I thought. In fact, I'm positively HEALTHY!" -- Positive reinforcement folks, without judgement... may not have gotten it from mom, but oversexed actors on a sitcom psychoanalyzing every aspect of every realtionship they have ever had and-- VOILA!

3) A kindred spirit who understood that life is not about the destination, it's about "the journey" and was looking at "the journey" weekly -- same bat time, same bat channel all I had to do was tune in.

I got someone who reminded me WEEKLY that myopia is deadly. In short, it turns perfectly normal rational human beings into complete nutjobs (see reference earlier to individual "with the emotional iq of a kumquat") and sometimes it takes 3 of your closest craziest friends to take you out to breakfast, regale you with stories of their own misadventures and REMIND you that it's OK to fall down. Or, it just takes 1 really good friend to make you laugh when you feel like crying by just saying "Well, Thank God you aren't lactose intolerant because that really WOULD be tragic and then we'd need a new Plan"

Sex and the City reminded me week after week (and later day after day -- because syndication is a beautiful thing) that life really is all about what you learn on the journey. It's not about how often you fall, the people who HELP you fall, or even the twinge of guilt you feel with the random brief thoughts that perhaps "untraceable lead poisoning" or a car covered with oreo cookies would be a just punishment for the guy who "tripped you". Life is about the grace with which you pick yourself up and use what you learned to avoid tripping that way again. I got perspective.

People look for this stuff for YEARS, LIVES... and it was right there on HBO... go figure. I guess there REALLY ARE signs and messages all around us and we really do just need to shut up and listen.

OH, and I may still dream about exhorbitant spending and Brad Pitt, my life may not be perfect, and I will tell anyone who asks that I don't believe in fairy tales... but there is ONE LAST THING Sex and the City gave me... Hapily Ever After!

I got my happy ending. After years of waiting, Carrie ended up with Big, just as she should. In a world that NEVER seems to tie itself up into a nice neat little package, where men run SCREAMING from the room if you DARE to utter the words "I just need closure", I finally got some... sitting in a darkened theatre with a squirming date, and bucket of popcorn. I got my closure served up with a very welcome dose of comraderie, positive reinforcement, and perspective. It was perhaps the best $9 that's ever been spent on me...

I'm thinking about giving the entire series as a Christmas present... I just wonder if it would work the same for guys.

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