So I finally read Faran Krentcil’s “The Carrie Bradshaw Myth” piece for Elle, and whilst it’s a well written, well thought out piece (and I adore Faran), to me, someone who has always identified with Carrie, warts and all, it came off as a damnation of other women’s choices.
Carrie Bradshaw is entirely imperfect, but her imperfections, her mistakes, her naivete and her selfishness, is the realism amidst the beautiful apartment and full price Manolos on a columnists budget.
Of course, I was married at 23, and now pushing 30 am still married and own a successful business, and whilst I struggle with budgets and overspending and an ever expanding shoe closet, one might think I couldn’t possibly relate to a character such as Carrie.
I lived my twenties in my teens and had some Carrie Bradshaw sized mistakes to prove it (though I prefer to call them “life choices”) and if it wasn’t for those life choices – and I’m sure many of you would judge me for them, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Happy, successful and with a man I love very much.
I’ve never needed a man to define me, and I don’t ever think Carrie did either, she was very defined all by herself as was I, but I did want to be loved. I think we all want to be loved, and many of my “life choices” were a result of that quest.
For example, through my teens and college years I had my very own Aidan. From the outside looking in he was perfect, I had dinner cooked every night, I had my house cleaned, my clothes washed and ironed, I was loved and adored.
I was suffocated.
Combine that with a further stifling over abundance of neediness and insecurity and we have a “selfish cow” running off to her very own Mr Big. Oh yes. Had one of those too, and whilst we never even got round to dating, let alone marriage, my Mr Big, as flawed as he was, meant the world to me and was the perfect respite from my Aidan. I had a Berger and a Petrovsky too. And I consider these four loves, who each have a very distinguishable SATC twin, my great loves.
The main difference between Carrie and myself is, I didn’t end up with my Mr Big, though he is very much still in my life and I love him very much. I left him behind and I remained in the proverbial Paris, post-proverbial-Petrovsky, and embarked on an independent adventure where I met the actual love of my life.
So now I live in a post-SATC world (unless they roll out another movie sequel) and I think we’re better off. Better off knowing that you can be both an independent, creative and intelligent woman who seeks love (and sex). The two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Needing another person, needing love, wanting love, is never a bad thing. It’s human nature and if you want to write about that quest, make mistakes and do it all in shoes you can’t afford. More power to you.
Isn’t that the very essence of feminism?