Today’s Me Monday post is going to be a little different from the usual post. Instead of regaling a hilarious (to me) tale from my life, I’m going to talk a bit about an interest of mine. A certain television show.
Sex and The City.
I’m not unlike the rest of all woman-kind in saying this. Pretty much every woman on earth loves this show. This is nothing special or different about me.
The series has so many relatable moments between not only male/female relationships, but also between female friendship. The relationship dynamics between these four main women are really enjoyable to watch. Every friend group has their Carries, Samanthas, Charlottes & Mirandas. Or a mixture between several. And the majority of the time the character that you think you are (Or who you really want to be, rather), is not who you really are or how everyone else sees you.
Of course everyone always wants to be the Carrie – because she’s the best.
She’s the funniest, most stylish & the protagonist. She’s quirky & witty & free-spirited and also has the best hair.
Charlotte is equally as stylish, albeit in a different way. She’s more innocent but also smart.
Samantha is the wild child of the group. She’s a free spirit but also can kick your butt. She is large and in charge. Type A and will not hesitate to let you know what’s up.
Not many people want to be the Miranda of the group. Even though she’s funny, smart and sarcastic – she’s also judgmental, neurotic, pessimistic and can be a total stick-in-the-mud. With the WORST wardrobe.
(Like, Girl! Get your life together!)
About 10 years ago when I began watching the show, I considered myself a bit of a mixture between Carrie & Charlotte.
Now, I would say I’m more of a mixture between Carrie & Miranda. With the percentage majority of my personality being Miranda. “NOOOOO!”, says my former self. But it’s true! I’m just a lot more practical and realistic about life. And my humor tends to be more sarcastic. I’m not the pessimist that Miranda is, but I do claim to be a realist.
Now please allow me to vent out some frustrations I have come to have about the relationships on this show.
When I was younger and I would watch the show, I would completely relate to Carrie and her relationship woes. I felt sorry for her and her Mr. Big problems and rooted for those two to work it out and stay together. Yes, I was on #teammrbig. Always.
I can remember thinking, “Oh, sure, Big is a jerk to Carrie but he REALLY does love her, DEEP DOWN. He just needed some time to realize that. But now they are together and love always wins in the end! What’s meant to be will find a way!” or some cliche junk like that.
Um. LOL at the logic of my 18-22 year old self.
I recently started watching the show again this past week. I started at season 3, just because that’s when it really starts getting good. It’s the season where Carrie is with Aiden for the first time & Big is married to Natasha. The Carrie/Big affair happens and Aiden leaves Carrie.
10 years ago me: “OMG! This affair is obviously so horrible. BUTBUTBUT! Carrie and Big are MEANT TO BE! Real chemistry just can’t be denied! Big should never have married Natasha in the first place! I love Aiden, but Big and Carrie are end game.”
Present me: “How DARE you, Big! No, really! HOW DARE YOU? WHAT IN GOD’S GREEN EARTH ARE YOU THINKING, CARRIE?! Big so OBVIOUSLY does NOT care about you. He only wants you when you’re not available. He has ZERO concern for your emotional well-being, nor does he have any respect for you. LOOK AT AIDEN! What you think is boredom or being stagnant is actually just a STABLE RELATIONSHIP WITH A MAN WHO LOVES, RESPECTS AND CARES ABOUT YOU. HE’S ALWAYS THERE AND AVAILABLE TO YOU BECAUSE HE’S NOT A JERK. HE MAKES YOU A PRIORITY IN HIS LIFE BECAUSE HE VALUES YOU. And you’re throwing it all away! RUN FAR AWAY FROM BIG.”
So, the argument could also be made that Carrie really didn’t belong with either Aiden or Big. Although Aiden really loved Carrie, what he wanted from life and from a partner was not who Carrie was. He wanted a wife and children and someone who was invested in making an average life with him.
We all know that Carrie was not that person. Aiden could never truly accept that. All he ever tried to do was love her and be there for her. But she just couldn’t accept him for who he was. I also think this was because Carrie is a very insecure woman who doesn’t truly value herself. She always seemed to have one foot out the door with Aiden. Sometimes love just isn’t enough to sustain a life with someone and also overcome all the differences that make each person who they are.
Big, on the other hand, never saw or appreciated Carrie at all. Sure, he “loved” her in his own emotionally-crippled way, but why should she have to settle for that? He left her MULTIPLE TIMES. He CONTINUALLY chose ANYTHING ELSE over her. Maybe he loved her, but he certainly didn’t love her enough.
Remember when he REFUSED to make any kind of real commitment to her?
(This scene always made me cringe. If you have to beg him to open up to you, there’s your answer girlfriend.)
Remember when Big left for Paris (but never invited Carrie or even remotely CONSIDERED her feelings while making the decision to leave), and then came back engaged to Natasha?
Then the affair happened. When Carrie was in her first stable relationship in oh, ever? That obviously didn’t work out. Sabotaging oneself at its finest, folks!
Oh, and then way later when Carrie happened to call Big to see what’s up and he goes, “Oh, I decided to move to California. Sorry I never mentioned it. I actually probably would never have mentioned it at all if you hadn’t called me this evening. Also, I’m leaving tomorrow. Bye, LOL.”
(Look at Carrie looking at Big all lovingly. “Big, you so silly. About to move across the country without telling me. We’re just so misunderstood! I still love you so much! Prince Charming!”)
Remember when Carrie was leaving for Paris with the Russian (Ugh, don’t even get me started on him), and Big FINALLY DECIDED that he loved Carrie and that he was “ready” to be with her and so he tried to sabotage one of her relationships yet again?
(During this scene I’m like, “YES! YES! YES!”)
(You know you always wanted to say this to someone. Don’t even deny it. hahahaha)
Later he shows up in Paris plotting further sabotage, and finally tells her she’s “the one”, 6 YEARS LATER. Like that’s supposed to be some gigantic prize she’s won.
THANKS BIG. SO ROMANTIC. THANKS FOR SETTLING FOR ME. NOW.
Oh, and lest we forget the big one.
LEFT CARRIE ON THE MORNING OF THEIR DANG WEDDING.
He just calls her on her cell phone and says, “I can’t.”
“Oh but he turned around!!”, you say.
So what?! HE DROVE AWAY FROM THE WEDDING. WHY WASN’T HE ALREADY THERE!? WAITING FOR HER?! He completely humiliated her in front of hundreds of people. He couldn’t even show her the respect of showing up? Seriously?!
I guess what I’m trying to say about Carrie’s relationship to Big is this: It’s TOXIC & OVERLY ROMANTICIZED.
Obviously I understand that this is a TELEVISION SHOW and that it is SUPPOSED to be dramatic. But the lessons learned from this are still valid.
The moral of the story? I’m seeing this show in an entirely new light. I used to love Carrie & Big’s relationship. I saw it as a beautiful and tragic love story. But now? I see it as co-dependent, desperate and toxic. Carrie sacrificed so much of herself to be with Big. Yes, sacrifice comes with every relationship. But not at the expense of essentially changing who you as a person, solely because your partner doesn’t like you enough.
At the end of the first film they get back together because “It wasn’t logic… it was love”. And Carrie says, “Oh, why were we even going to have a wedding in the first place?” Like it was HER fault that Big left her at the wedding. She said that perhaps if she hadn’t pushed him so hard to be someone he’s not (by showing up and standing there for their wedding – because that’s so hard when you’re marrying the supposed love of your life), then everything would have worked out better. So they just go to the justice of the peace and get married and all is forgiven. Like, what?!
The show did a great job at taking this dysfunctional relationship and morphing it into something that women think is normal – or even, dare I say, romantic? On the outside, it looks passionate and exciting. But really, to me now, it just seems sad and lonely. Even with their “happily ever after”.
I think Carrie’s got it all wrong.
Is that what love is supposed to be? Confusing and anxiety-inducing?
Love isn’t just about drama, passion and grand gestures. And sizzling chemistry doesn’t always guarantee a stable relationship. It’s about being with someone who is a good person, and who doesn’t just say they’re in love with you because of how romantic it sounds, or because it’s something they think you want to hear. But someone who cares, respects and is decent to you because they are a real human being who treats people that they care about with kindness and empathy. Someone who protects and guards your heart. Someone who not only makes you a priority in their life but who also ACTIVELY shows you that this fact is TRUE. With no hidden agenda.
Sure, I’m only 28. What the heck do I know?
What I know is this. In my past experiences (previous to my husband), I always thought that all the drama meant chemistry! love! passion! IT DOESN’T. The drama actually equaled instability & ambiguity. When someone values you, they aren’t afraid to show that to you. When someone doesn’t value you, you will always be confused. Relationships ebb and flow, but don’t excuse bad or harmful behavior.
For me, knowing real love was easy. I’d known Joe forever and although it took a long time to realize what we had together, our love happened quickly. And when it did, it hit me like a ton of bricks. In a good way. There were still all those exciting and passionate emotions at play, but there were no games in order to receive those things.
There was no drama or confusion or anxiety at all. I just knew. And so did he. We knew exactly how we felt about each other because we were honest. Was it still ridiculous and inconvenient? You betcha! Dating to engaged to married in 3 months! But almost 7 years later and I’m even happier now than I was then.
So, girls. Please don’t confuse or romanticize toxicity and drama in a relationship for love. Learn from Carrie and Big. And Aiden.
I’m still going to keep watching the show – it’s one of my absolute favorites and always will be. I’m just going to be screaming at my television a lot more.
Also, #TeamAiden now.