I took a second to look back through my blog posts today and was very surprised that I hadn't posted anything about this before, considering how obsessed I am with it. Sex And The City changed my life. How is it possible that a television that premiered and ended all before I turned 16 years old had such a major impact on my life? I know that it doesn't seem logical at all. But the truth is I own the entire box set and both movies, I worship Carrie Bradshaw's style (comparable only to that of Ms. Blair Waldorf but that is a rant for a different day!), and I find myself quoting the show more than I care to admit. I love these women, I love this show.
I'm a firm believer that everyone and everything has value and can teach you something. After re-watching the entire series for, I don't know, the bagillionth time, here are a few things the lovely women of Sex And The City taught me:
Lesson#1: Let him chase you.
You've gotta know that you're worth it, and that if some guy doesn't think so, then he's not worth it. The ladies of Sex And The City weren't perfect and, at times, even came off a bit desperate for love (like a single Charlotte declaring she was getting married that year in season 3). Yet, each of the women ended up with men that truly valued them, whether they knew it at fist sight or it took a few seasons. Even Mr. Big (whom lots of people thought Carrie a fool for letting back in) chased Carrie all the way to Paris.
Lesson #2: Don't rush the "M" word. It's okay not to be married.
None of these women were married before their mid-30s.
Sure, as stated above, Charlotte frequently freaked out about all the 26 year-olds with their husbands and babies, but the marriages that lasted were the ones that happened in their own sweet time. And Samantha never got married, but couldn't be happier. True love exists and eventually, we will find that person who's just our type of weird. "Some where, out there, is another little freak who will love us, understand us, and kiss our three heads and make it all better."
Lesson #3: It's also okay to be sexy & comfortable with it. But it's not all about sex.
If the title of show didn't drive that home, the content sure did. Sex and the City was about sex, but it was also about the city and the friendship these 4 women shared. Yet the "sexy" wasn't in short abundance, that's for sure. Each woman was uniquely sexy and either coming to terms with it or basking in it. We all no Samantha was not afraid to love sex and warded off any judgments, even when occasionally from her friends. Miranda had no issue with the idea of casual hookups and decided somewhere in the middle of the series that neither her number of sexual partners nor her single status was going to define her. Even though Charlotte truly was a hopeless romantic, she was no stranger to the dynamics of a sexual relationship, frequently surprising her girls with a sexual tip here and there. And Carrie, well, she was a sex columnist after all. And of course, there was no shortage of sex talk, which leads into the next lesson.
Lesson #4: Say what you need to say.
There is no topic too taboo, no sight too unsightly that we can't talk about it. In fact, it isn't even necessary to talk about it within the confines of your best girlfriend's apartment. We can talk about faking it, cheating, getting pregnant, and dating politically-incorrect politicians, or chat about dirty talk, post-it breakups and religious conversions at a dinner table in the middle of this week's trendiest restaurant. You just may have to refer to it as "coloring" when there are minors around.
Lesson #5: We can't be fabulous all the time.
By the end of the series, each woman had found their perfect fashion statement but not before a few fashion faux-pas. But we live, we learn, right?
Lesson #6: Heed the red flags.
Sure. Those insanely awkward situations from our college years make for some great stories to tell. But that doesn't mean you should ignore your deal breakers. Had Miranda left when her recent beau wanted to have sex in the back of a taxi, she might have been spared the embarrassment of him not caring as his parents walked in during the act days later. A man spouting derogatory terms at you during sex should be deal breaker, not a project as Charlotte learned in season 3. Samantha should've spared herself the time and energy courting a Friar - he's just not that into you, or sex for that matter. And Carrie should've known that getting involved with a guy she met at her shrink's office was evidence of her shrink's conclusion that she chooses the wrong men.
Lesson #7: Be self-sufficient.
We all love shoes, but you won't love them so much when you realize that the $40,000 you need to buy your apartment back from your ex is the $40,000 worth of shoes on your shelves. Cautionary tale, indeed.
Both Miranda and Samantha worked big girl job and as a result, we're always financially stable. And somehow, Carrie and Charlotte made the glamorous life happen on the salary of a columnist and an art studio manager. Yet, both women gave up parts of themselves for relationships they were convinced were going to last (Carrie's apartment and Charlotte's career) and learned the valuable lesson of self-sufficiency.
Lesson #8: Love the skin your in.
None of the girls has major body image issues and they were all quite slim, but the show also never glorified the model-esque stature. Although she was short, Carrie dabbled into modeling one episode but was fantastically bad at it.
And I vaguely remember an episode where Carrie talked Charlotte through her insecurity with her thighs, giving her the courage to strut confidently into the sauna at the gym.
Lesson #9: And age gracefully.
Even with Carrie's witty "it got old" response to Miranda's question of what happened to aging gracefully, aging was never cast in a strictly negative light and occupied very little of the show's content. When the series began, all of the women were in their mid-30s, except for our dear Samantha. Despite all the talk of being an old maid and dear Samantha who celebrated her 35th birthday a few times, complaints about wrinkles or sagging skin were kept to a minimum. These women embraced their age without sacrificing any of the style and sass, proving your 30s and even your 40s or 50s aren't a death sentence (as YOLO chanting 20-somethings would have us believe).
Lesson #10: Everyone needs good girlfriends, whether it's to help you through a terrible breakup or set you straight when you're being a little cray cray. The ladies had so many lovely moments, supporting each other through everything. Carrie, Charlotte and Samantha support Miranda in Philly at her mother's funeral although she insisted she was fine. Samantha babysat for new mommy Miranda, who was in desperate need of some "me" time. In the season 2 opener, all the women support Carrie through her recent break-up, yet Miranda provides a much needed reality check when all conversations lead to relationships - "How does it happen that 4 such smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends... what about us?" You tell 'em, Miranda. And in season 3, a soon-to-be-wife Charlotte is not too happy with Carrie for having an affair with a very married Big, and she tells her flat out as they pack up Charlotte apartment.
Right before the ladies send him to get Carrie, Big said it best: "You girls are the loves of her life. A guy is just lucky to come in fourth."