Living The Dream
by Vicki Notaro
Now that I’m a freelancer, I’ve taken to watching episodes of Sex and the City while I eat my lunch. I record them on Comedy Central to watch the next day, and have been watching from the beginning in recent weeks. Now, I’ve probably seen every single episode at LEAST six times each in my lifetime, and probably more with the later seasons, but I still love the series so much – let’s not ever talk about the bastard films, right? They’re not the same thing.
Lately I’ve been struck with a strange nostalgia when watching the show. Back then I used to ferociously covet Carrie’s life, a desire to be a writer so strong I could taste it. For me, the show was never about Carrie’s wardrobe (one thing I knew I wouldn’t achieve was her bod – the more I watch, the more I’m convinced SJP’s boobies are the result of a little augmenting), but about her entire lifestyle – her friendships, how she worked from home, how she got her inspiration and wrote about things we could all relate to on her little iBook… swoon. I wanted to be her so badly, even though I knew she couldn’t possibly live like that just from one weekly newspaper column – some elements were just too unrealistic.
When watching recently though, it really hit home that I am doing exactly what I wished I’d be doing ten years ago when the show was first on. It appears that I’ve made it happen as a writer, and I’m reminded of the young girl wishing, but imagining that kind of life out of her reach and only something possible in her wildest dreams. It brings me right back to those days, and that memory is so humbling. I still can’t quite believe that I do what I do for a living; in recent weeks I’ve had many pinch-myself moments, and since I went out on my own the sense of achievement and pride is almost as keen as the sense of fear and terror at the insecurity of it all.
Now watching Carrie’s exploits from the inside, I find it even more hilarious. Four dollars a word at Vogue? That’s not even how it’s done! If I were paid even 50c per word, I’d be a very wealthy girl indeed. Ransacking the shoe closet with the managing editor? All of the LOLz. Living off the column alone? Still outrageous. Writing so honestly and openly about your own sexploits and relationships, and those of your friends, on a weekly basis? Puh-lease.
But the magic is still there. I still sob when Harry proposes to Charlotte at the Synagogue, when Stanford and Marcus reunite at the prom and when Miranda tells Steve she loves him at Brady’s first birthday. Whether it was post-feminism, anti-feminist or whatever, I still adore it. It’s the show that cemented my desire to do what I’m doing today, and inspired me to write in my own voice about what was really going on in my life. It really did make me the woman I am today, and was as important to my formative years as Judy Blume and Marian Keyes.
So Carrie, you might be a selfish narcissist with a shopping addiction, but you have been and always will be my idol. Just don’t let Michael Patrick King talk you into another SHITE film, ya hear?
If this has inspired you to get back on the SATC buzz, it’s on Comedy Central Extra around midnight on weeknights, and is currently at the end of season two – pre Aidan!