Carrie Bradshaw, the undisputed star of the 90s, world-renowned for her sense of style and her chronicles of New York life, has played a key role in our pre-Internet adult learning. Many of us have discovered the adult world through the 6 seasons of Sex and The City and continue to watch an episode here and there from time to time. She was for many a model, the girl we wanted to be when we grew up. In fact, I wanted my first laptop so that I could be like her and write stories lying on my bed. Spoiler alert: this position is only comfortable in TV shows, it actually hurts like hell. She and her friends talked to us about sexuality, professional life, homosexuality, fertility problems, adoption and many other subjects that at the time didn’t easily have a place on TV.
We thanked her for helping us to grow faster and for explaining things about life that were easier to learn alone on Friday night in front of M6 (in France the show was on TV every Friday night) than at dinner with the family. In spite of all we owe her, we have to admit that she also distorted the image of adult life a bit. She made us believe for years that a dysfunctional love relationship was acceptable! That our Prince Charming could, without consequence, not return our calls, ignore our presence at parties and showing up with another girl, change his minds like shirts. That it was perfectly acceptable to be in a relationship that wasn’t 100% suitable for us and that a healthy and balanced relationship with a nice guy was old-fashioned and even boring. That it was better to have a dysfunctional relationship than no relationship at all (I was telling you about being single here a few years ago), that loving each other was actually hurting each other.
She spent hours over-analyzing and over-interpreting inexcusable behaviours of the opposite sex, finding every excuse possible to make the story say what she wanted to hear. She managed to make us forget that often a no means just no. That a guy who doesn’t call back doesn’t really take his time, he just doesn’t want anything to do with us anymore. That a guy who treats us badly is excusable because he’s tired/stressed by work/stressed by serious relationship problems/not ready to be loved (cross out what doesn’t apply). She made us believe that it was our duty to fix broken men.
She made us believe that our love life was not worth living without dramas, without slamming doors, without words that are beyond our thoughts, without words we regret having said too quickly, without screaming, without crying, without tears, without regrets, without fear of commitment or without relationship problems. She made us believe that after being hurt over and over again we can forget everything and still love each other.
And that’s what we’ve been looking for all through our 20s. We looked for the person who was going to make us cry, question us without answering our questions. The person who wasn’t going to hold our hands to reassure us. The person who shone brightly in public but who would go out in private. The selfish person who kept us on our toes just in case but never wanted to commit to us. It was seen as a passionate and lively relationship when it was a relationship with no future and no respect.
The TV we grew up watching valued destructive stories over healthy love and transported us into a truth that is not our reality. We have been lulled into dramas and stories that hurt and end badly when what we should really be looking for is someone to hold us in their arms and tell us that everything will be all right. Someone who is kind and makes us laugh. Because that’s what it’s all about.
Plein d’amour pour vous,