Arts, Television, Column

Ramirez: Sex and the Cities

Bakersfield, Pismo Beach, Phoenix, Cabo San Lucas. At first glance, this may just appear to be a list of places you’d rather be instead of Boston during the black ice days of March. And they certainly are—I can attest to it.

When most people finally obtain the sacred privilege of leaving their down coats to collect dust, they elect to spend time outside baring their pale skin to the sun’s warm rays and their eyes to a pallette more colorful than that of a Boston winter. As a purebred Californian—and one that won’t let you forget that she’s not like all these decrepit New Englanders who didn’t grow up with palm trees outside their bedroom window at that—I’ll admit I’ll take any chance I can get to hightail it to the beach. But somehow, in all of these warm places where I seek refuge from the cold, I always find the time to sink into the couch and glue my eyes to a fabulous New Yorker, as her slender silhouette shimmies through the streets of Manhattan, an admittedly much colder place.

Growing up, Carrie Bradshaw (portrayed by the real life fabulous woman Sarah Jessica Parker) was my idol. I started watching Sex and the City when I still required a babysitter’s supervision—supervision luckily provided by a teenage girl whose eyes always wandered to her Motorola Razr and away from the living room TV screen. Although I was too young to pick up on sexual innuendos, or even properly use the word innuendo for that matter, I understood one thing about the hit HBO show: Cute boys always followed Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolo Blahnik shaped footprints—whether they strutted across the Brooklyn Bridge or strolled through the narrow streets of Paris.

Now one of those “20-somethings” that Carrie and her girl gang used to curse while navigating the New York dating scene, I always make sure Carrie follows me. Stuffed into the laptop compartment of my backpack, Carrie and her bouts of unconventional wisdom (re: “What I perceive as his feelings for me may only be reflected projections of my feelings for him”) are never more than a click away.

I’ve often wondered why I can watch Sex and the City so many times and never tire of her (sometimes frustratingly) illogical purchases and (somehow even more) illogical dating decisions. Is it the blissfully impossible notion of a journalist making a living in NYC? Is it the shoes? The men? The sex? The city?

Of course, there’s always one “Big” reason I come crawling back to the curly haired writer and her many adventures. The love between Carrie and Big (Chris Noth) is one for the books (a literal book written by Candace Bushnell)—they flirt through New York Times crossword clues, what could be dreamier than that? Suddenly I’m in a grandiose hotel lobby in the heart of Paris, narrowly escaping my crazy Russian ex (Mikhail Baryshnikov), and in walks Big to sweep me off my feet one last time. Well, one last time until he has to make it up to me after leaving me at the altar in Sex and the City: The Movie.

Even a jaded New Yorker like Carrie Bradshaw—a woman who prided herself on getting the most out of the city that never sleeps by, well, sleeping around—can find true love. Deus ex machina or not, Big’s grand gesture makes me a little more optimistic about my chances of finding something similar, although hopefully without the added pain of being left high and dry in a white Vivienne Westwood dress on the steps of the New York Public Library.

What really underlies the entire series is Carrie’s unbreakable friendship with Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). While love may not bloom with Tinder clouding the skies of college, great friendships can always be sowed, watered, and grown. If there’s one fault in the entire show, it’s the flatness of the most interesting woman’s three best friends—Miranda is always the angry woman, Charlotte the sophisticated prude, and Samantha the over-sexualized sophist. For the purposes of the show, the three highlight significant and often conflicting forces that guide Carrie’s decisions. For the purposes of real life, I’m lucky to know a few women (and men) who are a lot more complex but equally as important to me as the trio is to Carrie.

If anything, every relapse of my addiction to Sex and the City inches me ever closer to finally outing myself as a hopeless romantic and a soppy subscriber to the laws that govern great friendships. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll let my unruly hair down and garner some unconventional wisdom of my own. For now, I’m just a college kid writing a column about a columnist.

Featured Image by HBO

March 9, 2019

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