I blame Carrie

cbFor a really long time there, I was an avid devotee of Sex And The City. As a wanna-be writer, an Austen-style believer in true love and a stiletto devotee, I felt I had finally met my equals.

I watched those girls wax and wane between love on the horizon and love on the rocks. They talked orgasms, three-ways, abortion, marriage and AIDS. They ran all over New York in their clickety-clack heels and tight skirts, schmoozed their way into club openings and Michelin-star restaurants and shed tears of heartbreak when things turned sour.

The show has been over for more than 10 years, and since then we’ve had two movies and there’s talk of a third.

And there’s a part of me that looks at it now and wants to wring Carrie’s scrawny bloody neck.

Because of Carrie, I felt hideously inadequate for not wearing high heels when I went to the supermarket on Saturday morning or when I went to my letterbox to get my mail. Even if I popped out for a quick Sunday brunch, and all the girls I was meeting were in flats, I’d still wear heels. Because that’s what Carrie did. Don’t get me wrong here, my love affair with heels started ways before SATC. It’s just that Carrie took it up a notch. And I was right behind her in my platform wedges.

Now, when I watch old episodes, my favourite scene is the one where Aidan proposes. Not because he proposes, but because she’s out walking the dog, and she’s in shorts and thongs. Like a normal person.

Because of Carrie, I spent close to five years hanging around waiting for some publisher type person to offer to turn all my columns into a book. I’d even made the lame joke to my friends about not getting chemical peels the day before my book launch. Reality being that if I’m ever going to publish my columns as a book, I will at some point need to engage a publisher.

Because of Carrie, I wake up in the morning and wonder why I look so shit. Those girls were out till 4am dancing salsa and sinking tequila and their noses didn’t get shiny and their mascara never wandered away from their eyes. Which brings me to more of my 10-years-on favourite scenes – Carrie getting sprung in the shower by Charlotte following her failed birthday dinner, where she’d just stuck her head under the tap and she sported black panda eyes. Like a normal person. And in the first movie, when the girls got to Mexico, and Carrie went into the bathroom and washed her face that was sans make-up. She looked like a normal person would look when that normal person has been left at the altar.

How Carrie lived her extravagant life on the earnings of one column a week is perplexing. Even if she was paid say $100,000 (back then) I really doubt she could be trotting off to Manolo B’s each week or whatever for a new pair. Plus the wardrobe that included Prada, Chanel, D&G etc. We never saw her in Big W trying on a pair of Emerson’s or at Valley Girl buying a $10 sequin top.

And how did they do their washing? Apart from the time where Miranda came face to face with Steve’s skid marks, did any of them actually wash? Or vacuum or dust?

I think the most powerful annoyance for me is Big. When SATC first came on TV, I was dating a bit of Mr Big dickhead myself, so I felt I could commiserate with Carrie’s frustrations. My guy wasn’t that much into commitment yet I thought the sun shone out of his feckless cheating arse. I would loll around all morose and beleaguered, knowing full well he was out with another woman, and wonder what was so wrong with me that he wouldn’t commit.

Every now and then he’d have a fit of loneliness, or fear, or both, and scramble over to my place to tell me how much I meant to him and how hard he was going to work to make it good. Sort of like Big did when he was married to Natasha. Of course it was never genuine but I sure as hell fell for it each time.

Now all these years later, I look back on Carrie and me, and wonder why, at the first sign of what Bridget Jones eloquently called fuckwittage, we didn’t just call them tosspots and jaunt off on our high heels. Love, if it’s meant to be, shouldn’t be that stressful or destructive.

And there are better ways to lose weight.

The reason I know this, is that when I met my now husband, he was upfront from the first glass of Pinot Noir. He said he was absolutely intent on a long-term commitment, he thought I was the most gorgeous woman on the planet and he booked me for dinner every Saturday night for the next 40 years.

And so I took myself off the dating rollercoaster and put myself in a very happy, fulfilling and equal place. And I look back at those not so wondrous years and wonder why the hell I let myself put up with such crap. And do my best to get word around to friends and friends of friends who are dating their own version of Mr Big to let them know that life without a tosspot is still pretty good.

Of course I still have a wardrobe stacked with high heels which I wear with great regularity. I just not longer have a life that is stacked with angst and drama.

I guess that makes me what Bridget Jones calls “a smug married”.

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