A good friend, Amber, a native New Yorker, refuses to befriend most women who have lived in the city for under five years because she thinks they’re living the Carrie Bradshaw fantasy (which admittedly, is unrealistic for a multitude of reasons. And yes, tons of women actually move here to live out that dream.) I met Amber after only a year here, but she made an exception to her rule for me. I think because there are valid similarities between my life and the show’s heroine—and likely because I don’t try to live like Carrie’s, life just kinda turned out somewhat similar (there are also a lot of differences when you get to the deepest details- the most obvious being that I am not a 30-something, size two white woman.) At the time I met Am, I was already writer, obsessed with relationships (high school thesis was a series of short stories about relationships, I worshiped at the altar of Terry McMillian from 13 on), already met who would turn out to be Big, already believed in good fashion like religion (cried in Paris at 20 at the sight of Dior window display because I was so moved), already surrounded by an insane group of friends and I wouldn’t see the show (even though it was on the air) for another two years. I got called the Black Carrie Bradshaw long before I knew who the hell she was.
A lot of people don’t get the appeal of the show. To them (and I was once one of them), it’s too-old, shallow white women with fucked up lives that they don’t know are fucked up. Oh, and they’re whores. LOL! ONce I started watching, the appeal for me was of course, the relationships, and that I—or one of my friends—have experienced a great deal of the encounters depicted, or something very similar. (Live in NYC long enough and actually leave the house on a regular basis, you will too.) Everyone always harps on how the friendships are the best part of the show too and undoubtedly that was a draw. But what made me obsess was the writing, the fashion (after season 3), the unglamorous glamour of their lives and the city. (4-way tie.) The writers are just plain brilliant. The show is hilarious after multiple viewings and that it spawned cultural catch phrases and instantly recognizable quotes should be some indication. The fashion because Patricia Field is a fucking genius—mismatched ish, thrift and couture all mixed together. Ugh! Carrie wore some weird ish over the years, but my Season Six she consistently looked like a billion. The glamour– well, they kept the heroines in somewhat honest lives. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes your down (anybody remember the episode where Carrie was “fashion roadkill?”) And finally the city, well because I love this place and it was much a part of the show as the main characters. I still go places and realize, “hey isn’t this the view where scene XXX was shot?” New York can, at times, be a disgustingly grimey city. I loved that SATC always showed her (but not always her inhabitants) in her best light.
So in honor of one of my favorite shows and the May release of the movie, which I am anticipating like a summer rooftop party, I give you my favorite Carrie quotes (tried to give you clips. That didn’t go over so well.) If you’re a fan of the show, what are yours? (Carrie or anybody else.) And if you’ve been reading long enough, you probably know why I chose most of them.
Carrie: “There are [relationships] that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”
Carrie: “Maybe mistakes are what make our fate… without them what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart… and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.”
Carrie: “When you’re young, your whole life is about the pursuit of fun. Then, you grow up and learn to be cautious. You could break a bone or a heart. You look before you leap and sometimes you don’t leap at all because there’s not always someone there to catch you. And in life, there’s no safety net. When did it stop being fun and start being scary?”
Carrie: “I admit it’s tempting to wish for the perfect boss – the perfect parent – or the perfect outfit. But maybe the best any of us can do is not quit, play the hand we’ve been dealt, and accessorize what we’ve got.”
Carrie to Big: “This is it! I am done! Don’t call me ever again! Forget you know my number! In fact, forget you know my name!”
Carrie: “Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe, you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be.”
Carrie: “It’s important to remember that love is possible. Anything is possible. This is New York.”
Carrie: I’ve done the merry go round I’ve been through the revolving door I feel like I met somebody I can stand still with for a minute and… don’t you wanna stand still with me?
Big: You dragged me out to a park at three in the morning to ask me if I wanna stand still with you?
Carrie: “When it comes to relationships, maybe we’re all in glass houses, and shouldn’t throw stones. Because you can never really know. Some people are settling down, some are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less. Than butterflies…”
Carrie: “Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you. … Hallmark doesn’t make a “congratulations, you didn’t marry the wrong guy” card. And where’s the flatware for going on vacation alone?”
Carrie on New York: “ Welcome to the age of un-innocence. No one has breakfast at Tiffany’s and no one has affairs to remember.”
Carrie: “There is one day even the most cynical New York woman dreams of all her life…She imagines what she’ll wear, the photographers, the toasts. Everybody celebrating the fact that she finally found a publisher. It’s her book release party.”
Carrie: “I will never be the woman with the perfect hair, who can wear white and not spill on it, and chair committees, and write thank you notes, and I can’t feel bad about that.” ** this was my screensaver for years
Carrie: “I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love. I don’t think that love is here in this expensive suite in this lovely hotel in Paris.”