Let’s play a game. I say Carrie Bradshaw, you say?…… (o.k. I can’t hear you, but I’m pretending I am.) I say Mr. Big, you say?….. I say Sex and the City, you say?……
If you have no idea what I’m talking about – do yourself a favor and just stop reading because you won’t get it. Which is probably what is happening to those people who are watching the new HBO Max series “Just Like That” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis and a variety of other fabulous actors without knowing the generation that those of us who “grew up” with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha back in the SATC days. (If you have to google SATC, again I beg you – just skip to the next blog.)
I was actually late to the Sex and the City fan club. I was still in high school when the show launched and my parents would NEVER have let me even sneak peek HBO. That was considered the “ADULT” cable channel – that you had to pay extra for and was really only talked about in hotel rooms on vacations. I started watching it when I was 23 and living with my boyfriend and his roommate at the time. George, “our” roommate was quite the aficionado of cable television series and told me I should watch the show, as he knew my love of fashion and shoes ran deep.
I think I was home alone with out the boys one evening and randomly turned it on. George had HBO and by then the series had ended and was simply playing on a rerun basis. After one episode, I remember thinking “Where has this been all my life?”
At the time I didn’t have girlfriends like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. I had work friends and my boyfriend – and George. I wondered what it would be like to have friends like that. To date around like that. Was that what being in your 30’s would be like?
When I started watching the series, I was a “Charlotte”. Laser focused on being married and finding THE ONE. Which ironically was not the boy I was currently dating. And we both knew it. I ended up going back to the ONE I thought would be the ONE forever. When I was 25 I married who I thought I would be with forever and ever. He was also the one that banned me from watching SATC because it made me “too sensual”.
Looking back, this might have been one sign that the relationship was doomed. Well of course four years later with zero sex life and watching Seinfeld every single night meant that marriage ended like Charlotte and Trey’s did.
I turned 30 and thought my life was finally beginning. I started recognizing when men I went out with were not the “right” kind of guy. I also had made some incredible girlfriends; FINALLY! My best friend, Jodi, was a seasoned veteran of dating and she could recognize a jerk from two miles away. She also wasn’t afraid to tell me! My other dear friend, Jeannine, was as obsessed with SATC as I was and we would constantly compare our dating lives to our favorite character. She was a “Samantha” and I had evolved into a “Carrie” post-Big.
Since you and I are friends now I can admit to you that by this time in my life I had watched the entire 6 season series of SATC multiple times. Like so many times that I can actually finish the characters’ lines without realizing it’s happening.
I went to BOTH of the SATC movies the day they premiered. And drank Cosmopolitans both times. I was somewhat disappointed in them, but knew that nothing would ever compare to the real thing. The fashion was insane in both which made up for the fact that times were a’ changing for the gals.
And they were for me, too. At 31, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. And when I had her, I became a mother. Just like Miranda after she became a mother to Brady, I was thrown into a new season of life that I didn’t fully grasp and I was terrified. And over the course of the next few months, me and Mackenzie got into a grove that became my new normal.
Today, my now-husband, Bryan (and baby daddy) and I have been together for 10 years. We live in Mississippi with our two cute tiny humans we made and our three dogs with a fenced in backyard and a 3-car garage.
WTF happened to my life? (I don’t mean that in a negative way – it’s just that one day I blinked and I was here!)
So when I heard (on Instagram) that the reboot of my favorite series of all-time which basically defined my 20’s was coming to the now streaming service HBO Max, I couldn’t wait to be whisked away to the world of NYC and the gals crazy, fun, light-hearted lives.
Except within the first two episodes Mr. Big dies and it is clear that JUST LIKE THAT, we’ve all got old. Talk about a limp dick moment (in honor of Samantha – who isn’t in the series for still unknown reasons).
Carrie’s hair is still amazing, but her features are sharper. Her lines deeper. Her eyeglasses and lack of sparkle remind me of all that is lackluster in life. Charlotte is a mother of two teens and one of them is discovering herself as not wanting to be affiliated as a girl, but Rock (her birth name was Rose.). I look at my beautiful 8-year old little girl and wonder “Is this going to be a conversation I am going to have one day?” and I am literally scared to death. Miranda and Steve are still together, but miserable. Their son, Brady, is 17 now and having sex with his girlfriend in the bedroom next to theirs. I look at my sweet 6-year old son and think “Is this what I will experience one day in the not so distant future?” Samantha is gone which takes the element of shock and awe out and I gotta say, I miss it. Mr. Big is gone now too which is a reminder that those we love really aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. And Stanford (played by the talented Willie Garson, who in real life passed away way too soon due to his battle with cancer) is gone now too.
Everything is politically charged. Every conversation is a statement of our post-Covid, race-war, LGBT, and social media-obsessed society.
I miss the days when life was simpler and I was younger and things seemed a bit more innocent. Which is interesting because at the time when I watched SATC originally – IT WAS RACY and pushed the envelope of social boundaries. No, just like that we have evolved way beyond what I thought was possible. And while it’s opened doors, it feels too much. The door is thrown open too wide and I’m not ready.
What I am always ready for…..Carrie’s shoe collection. Now that is the one thing I’m clinging to that gives me hope that no matter what, shoes will always be a constant joy in life.