As Sex and the City recedes further and further into the distant past – what was once considered fresh and groundbreaking has begun to seem all the more dated and out of touch. Still – I’ll never forget what I learned watching Sex and the City – from my first viewing ten years ago right up through today. After so many repeated viewings, I don’t consider SATC to be a TV show that I watch. Rather, it is a text that I read, lovingly pouring over every detail to squeeze maximum enlightenment out of it. Sometimes I learn from what the characters do, but just as often I find myself learning from their negative examples:
- Don’t Have a Lavish Apartment, Do Have a Lavish Life
Both Carrie’s apartment and her fashion have become iconic – perhaps because of the way in which they defined her method of urban existence. Her clothing is wild, glamorous, experimental, weird, and fun. Her apartment is understated, simple, basic, and uncluttered. It’s mostly just a place to sleep and ponder about the events of the day. She doesn’t even use her kitchen and stores sweaters in her oven. In general I’m in favor of cooking, but I think the moral here is a simple one: when you live in a city like New York, spend your money and your energy outside of the walls of your apartment. Rather than holing up with a TV and passing out on your oversized sofa, make yourself comfortable in the urban environment. Life will be more exciting that way.
- Do As Samantha Does
The Buddhists have a philosophy of doing by non-doing. It’s something that could have greatly benefited Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte. Carrie is so desperate to make it work with the emotionally unavailable Mr. Big that she’s showing up drunk to his apartment and yelling at him after two dates. Charlotte tries to find a husband like it’s her job and ends up marrying someone completely wrong for her. Miranda is so controlling over how her life should be that she can’t seem to let anyone else into it. Only Samantha is enlightened – letting love come to her like the frog awaiting the fly. It turns out to be quite the wait, but she doesn’t mind because she spends that time developing her career, focusing on her friends, and having a ton of great sex.
- Ignore the Series Finale
Candace Bushnell is the author on whom Carrie Bradshaw is based, which means that Carrie’s relationship with Mr. Big is actually based on real events. Of course, the real relationship differs from the TV one in one significant way: Candace Bushnell did not end up with her Mr. Big. So why did Carrie end up with him? Because, probably, it made for a nice, romantic and exciting series finale. Up until that point, Mr. Big was a realistic type. Charming, charismatic, and unavailable. The on and off nature and the constant drama can make a relationship feel somehow special and significant. But the truth is, it’s not. Someone difficult is just that – someone difficult. Dump and move on and don’t wait up for him in Paris.
- Be Nice to Your Gay Friends
I don’t know why the characters on this show don’t pay more attention to their gay friends. After all, the show had a lot of gay people working on it from the producers to the writers. Carrie and the other girls tend to neglect their gay friends: Stanford and Anthony. They only get to play minor roles and never ever get to be part of the group. Rarely does Carrie ask Stanford how he’s doing and Stanford even calls Carrie out on this when he starts dating his new boyfriend Marcus and she can’t seem to stop going on about Aiden. Gays are people too, Carrie! Come on!
- If Nothing Else Works, Take a Break
Dating can be tough — that’s why Miranda decided to go on strike until conditions approved. But it wasn’t just her. Carrie also took a break from dating. In season five Carrie focuses on her career, on herself, on her friends, and on her relationship with the city. By the time season six roles around, she’s much more mature and actualized and ready to be in a relationship than she was before.
- Eat Brunch
New York Brunch rituals are one of the greatest things about living in NYC. As far as a meal out goes, Brunch is your most affordable option. Also, it’s more delicious and satisfying than dinner. Breakfast food with booze… what more needs to be said? Take the time to sit down for brunch with your friends, wherever you are, and discuss the events of the week. It will be so SATC of you.