I've been thinking about Sex And The City (SATC) a lot recently and although its first airing turned 10 in 2018, I'm still on that hype. While at university studying Journalism, I initiated and wrote a newspaper column for two years posing as a student version of Carrie; the shoe-loving columnist lead in the show and I loved it! I loved being able to talk about all the parties I attended and organised, recounting the many shopping trips and detailing the dating disasters between my friendship groups - and getting paid for it.
Having recently "gone freelance" as a writer and editor as I focus on my book (due out in 2020, yay!) I find myself turning back to Carrie once again. Because while she was the inspiration for my university years I'm now the same age she was when the show started and I identify with her and the friends so much more.
I purchased the box set a few weeks ago and have been steadily working my way through each episode right from the beginning. New York and London are pretty similar when it comes to the dating scene for those in their 20s and 30s and it's amazing how much more relatable the show is to me now. There was definitely a "Big" in my life, a guy who I had a deep connection with but who always seemed just slightly out of reach for us to work it out. He had been my favourite until I watched Season 3 and was completely appalled at how he treated Carrie by refusing to commit, marrying someone he had just met and then still trying to keep in touch with her. Watching the characters online made me slightly removed from my own situation as I realised how similar my "Big" was to the one on screen. It helped clear the fog around our relationship so I could see it much more clearly.
Season 4 features Miranda's dilemma over her surprise pregnancy. Of the four of them, the life planning, Park Avenue Princess Charlotte was the one who wanted a baby and she had been trying unsuccessfully for months. When she found out Miranda was considering an abortion, she went into meltdown. When Charlotte wanted to quit her very good job at a gallery to be a housewife and hopefully stay-at-home Mum, she felt judgement from the others for her choice as if she was somehow letting down the side for feminism. Carrie's decision to go back to a married "Big" while she was in a relationship with the lovely Aidan was a huge concern to her friends who had seen her absolutely broken by his behaviour in the (recent) past. And the others are frustrated when High-flying PR Agent Samantha struggles with empathy when Miranda's mother dies. In my small circle of friends, these and similar issues have come up as we journey together and I laughed and cried as I recalled how we dealt (and are still dealing) with them.
On the one hand, the group of four white women with their white-only boyfriends and connections is not a particularly representative segment of the multicultural city of New York and there are moments which would now be considered very un-PC, but its fascinating to note that despite modern society's forward-thinking agendas, single women in their 20s, 30s and 40s still seem to go through the same angst as was portrayed in a TV show over a decade ago. The late night phone calls, the loneliness, the outfit disasters, the heartbreak - all totally relatable today even in our advanced age of dating apps and smartphones. The relationship drama between us and the boys we love, seems the same and those who make it through such intense life stages will emerge with a fiercely loyal group of friends. I got to thinking (SATC fans will get this), maybe this is what life for single girls in a cosmopolitan city has always looked like and maybe it always will.