Thought Catalog
August 23, 2011

5 Lies Carrie Bradshaw Told Me

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What is the issue?

1. People have lots of sex in New York

Um, no they don’t. Or maybe they actually do and my invite to the casual sex lifestyle just got lost in the mail. Carrie and her friends made it seem like people were just constantly sleeping with someone new. Each episode would revolve around the new person they were dating and the problems that were arising (“He lives at home with his parents”, “he has anger management issues”, “his dick is too big”}. When they would go to their weekly court-mandated brunch, they would start off with saying, “So this new guy I’ve been seeing…” How many guys can you see in New York?! I know this is TV and the premise of the show is about dating in NYC, but their unrealistic dating lives planted false hope in the Diana’s and Brittany’s of Iowa who moved here to work in fashion PR and live la vida Bradshaw. These version 2.0’s would show up to brunch empty-handed with dating stories. “So, uh, this week someone fondled my breasts on the subway. I thought about calling 911…” Dejected, they leave brunch in fugue hoping to accidentally/on purpose run into a man on the street that they can date casually for a week and discuss at the next brunch. It’s Carrie’s fault. When in doubt, blame Carrie.

2. You can thrive financially in the city just by writing a column a week about your life

Perhaps the most unrealistic aspect of the show was Carrie’s lax work schedule. Homegirl only had to write one column a week in a crappy newspaper and still managed to make rent, buy designer clothing, and eat out at fabulous restaurants. No wonder she had to whore herself out to Mr. Big. She needed to make ends meet! I always wondered why the emotionally unavailable old fart was even an option in her love life. Then I saw his apartment, his limos, and his general “I’m going to pay you to have sex with me” attitude and immediately understood. My favorite episode of the series is when they acknowledge that Carrie is terrible with money and none of her friends want to lend her money. It was a rare moment of honesty for the show, a real unusual dose of reality for the otherwise fantasy-obsessed plot. Of course, her debt and impending doom was quickly fixed by a band-aid and a blowjob to Mr. Big but whatever.

3. It’s typical to have such a diverse array of friends!

What worked about Sex and The City was that it successfully included every female archetype. There was the promiscuous one, the WASPy prude, the intelligent cynic, and the self-absorbed nightmare. Now, people go around saying silly things like, “I was a total Samantha last night. I’m bad! I’m usually a Miranda with like a hint of Charlotte but I was wasted and Samantha came out!” Here’s the deal: These girls would never all be friends IRL. Samantha would punch Charlotte in the face and Miranda would be like “k bye” whenever Samantha opened her mouth. And everyone would hate Carrie because she’s a terrible person.

4. No one has families!

An interesting aspect of the show was that it rarely discussed any of the girls’ families. Besides Miranda’s mother dying, their parents never got a mention. Samantha, for example, was believed to have just been born a power PR chick on the streets of Manhattan. This refusal to discuss the girls’ lives before they came to New York is a fascinating deliberate choice. It really reinstates the bond between the women (Remember girls! We only have each other because we’re not allowed to have parents!) and creates a sense of claustrophobia in the city. In Sex and the City, New York really is the only place in the world.

5. I can be a really bad person and still have tons of friends!

Carrie Bradshaw is a no good, very terrible, bad person. She rivals Jenny Schecter from The L Word in terms of insufferableness but, unlike Jenny, she somehow still manages to have tons of friends. No one calls Carrie out on her insane self-absorption. They just let her interrupt their story about having cancer to say that she’s feeling distant from Mr. Big. I don’t get it, girls. Is Carrie secretly paying your rent in exchange for hang out sessions? Someone please tell her to shut up and change into a less ridiculous outfit. TC mark

image – Sex and the City