FINALLY: A Bit Of Sex And The City That Totally Nails It
The Debrief: Where's the celebrations for those of us that can't (or won't) make it to adulthood?
From my understanding, the generation of women above us saw Sex and The City in the same way that we see Girls – as the groundbreaking TV show that finally put their lives on screen.
For our generation though, while we enjoyed the show, it didn’t really bear that much resemblance to our lives. Like, what was up with Carrie only writing one newspaper (remember them?) column a week and running around New York City like she was the direct heir to the Rockefeller fortune? Find me somebody in 2015 who’s doing that little work for that much money and you’ve found me a Kardashian.
Also, what was the whole deal with ALL FOUR GIRLS being available ALL THE TIME for brunch? Do you know how long I’ve been trying to get my four best friends in the same place at the same time? About three years.
But, this being summer, and summer being all about weddings, there’s one epsiode that’s actually starting to make a whole lot of sense to me the older I get. Cast your mind back, if you will, to episode nine of season six; an episode which bore the admittedly unfortunate title ‘A Woman’s Right To Shoes’.
If you need a referesher, what happens is that Carrie and Stanford go to the baby shower of an uptight Manhattanite who makes Carrie remove her shoes on entering the apartment, (‘Keira and Chuck don’t like outside dirt coming in’). When the end of the party comes, Carrie’s Manolo Blahnik shoes have disappeared.
Rather than offering to pay for her shoes, the host (who Carrie’s just forked out a substantial amount on a baby chair for) gives her a ratty old pair of trainers to walk home in.
When Carrie goes back to confront her, the host Keira gives Carrie a single-shaming dressing down that’s even more blood boiling to watch now: ‘$485 for shoes? C’mon Carrie that’s insane.’
When Carrie protests that Keira used to wear Manolos too she says, ‘Sure, before I had a real life. But Chuck and I have responsibilities now: kids, houses... $485 like, wow. No offense Carrie, but I really don’t think we should have to pay for your extravagant lifestyle. It was your choice to buy shoes that expensive.’ You can watch that rage-inducing scene here BTW.
Yes, Keira, and it was YOUR choice to get married and have kids. Something Carrie works out later when she does the mental arithmetic and realises that she’s spent a whopping $2,300 on Keira and her life choices (engagement presents, wedding presents, etc). Where, she wonders, is her celebration for breaking up with the guy that was wrong for her or deciding that she doesn’t want kids?
Call me naive but, up until recently, I didn’t realise just how much celebrating my friends’ ascent into adulthood was going to cost. As more and more of my friends take the plunge and put a ring on it, the less and less money I have in my bank account.
And, while I’m, of course, super happy to see my best friends take such an exciting plunge, I have started to wonder when I might be recouping some of that goodwill I’ve been putting out. Because as Carrie says, after graduation there’s not one celebration for a single gal. Birthdays don’t count. Everyone gets birthdays.
So, what am I proposing? I don’t know. This is no-one’s fault, there'’ no-one to yell at, it’s just an awkward quirk of society that favours those who make ‘adult’ decisions, while those who struggle to get on the career ladder, be ‘with child’ at an age appropriate time in their lives, find a life partner (or choose not to) get nada.
One option, is to think WWCBD (what would Carrie Bradshaw do?), an option that I, having watched all six seasons several times over, would never normally advise. Because let’s face it, the woman is bonkers. This time around though, she’s on the money. She writes to Keira to let her know that she’s getting married to herself, and she’s registered at Manolo Blahnik, forcing Keira to realise the amount of money Carrie’s spent on her over the years.
In real life though, what would be fantastic is that if you are one of those people that’s done an excellent job of jumping on the fast train to adulthood (and seriously, well done on that, it’s a tough time for us Gen Y-ers), spare a thought for your pals that aren’t there yet.
Maybe we’ll get to the same stage as you at some point, maybe we won’t, but no matter what we choose to do, the choices we make are every bit as important as yours.
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