As a woman who spent my most formative years in Manhattan in the early 00’s, Sex and the City shaped an embarrassing amount of my adult life. I loved writing because Carrie loved writing. I got into PR because I thought it meant having lunch with Lucy Liu and getting free Birkin bags. I tore open that pink, velvet DVD collection and watched every episode 100 times, fantasizing about how I would decorate my own rent-controlled upper east side apartment.
But in no way was I led more astray than when producers tied Carrie’s six years of being Big’s side-piece up with a surprise proposal in Paris. Carrie Bradshaw is single-handedly guilty of convincing an entire generation that “that guy” they spent hours crafting perfect AIM away messages for (#tbt) would eventually dump their perfect girlfriend and fly around the world to confess their undying love.
After 6 years in “the real world,” I now feel equipped to say with authority: Sex and the City was wrong. Big and Carrie simply cannot end up together. Here is how it works in real life:
Natasha always wins.
We all know a Natasha. She probably owns an iron and never accidentally drinks too much wine during a Netflix binge on a Tuesday or wears pajamas outside. Maybe she has an accent or perfect hair or makes really great to-do lists. She turns the Big who can’t commit into a husband with the snap of her finger. Carrie, I am right there with you – Natasha is the worst. But let’s face it: in the real world, Natasha and Big end up together.
Big has a roster of Carrie’s.
The most telling representation of Big comes in Season 4, Episode 18 (I Heart NY, for the die-hard fans) when Carrie calls him up in the middle of the night – she can’t sleep because she’s lonely. ‘Do you ever get lonely,’ she asks. To which he replies: ‘no.’ Swoon.
For every insecure, pithy, people-pleasing girl out there, there is a Big for whom she would uproot her life tomorrow. He’s brilliantly intelligent, charming, gainfully employed and lacks any ounce of compassion or dependability. Surely he must see something special in Carrie if he keeps sleeping with her and calls her every few months. Right? Come on, Carrie. They got it right in Season 6: He’s Just Not That into You.
In the real world, Big has five Carrie’s and six undercover online dating profiles. These are his side-chicks. And they are all disposable.
Carrie sticks to her guns.
Nothing made me happier than seeing Carrie absolutely crush Big’s advances before she left for Paris in Season 4. I will probably be able to recite that speech word-for-word on my death bed. “You can drive down this street all you want because I don’t live here anymore.” What a glorious moment for women everywhere. How badly I wanted to give that speech of my own one day. And maybe I would have if it hadn’t been for what happened next. Which leads me to the obvious last straw.
Big doesn’t propose.
It is obscenely inaccurate and misaligned with the foundation of a show I spent six seasons religiously following that Big flies to Paris to propose to the girl he has been sleeping with on-and-off for six years. But the real farce is her acceptance. Are you kidding? Going back on that great Beyonce-style send off? Forget the lying and the cheating and the uncanny ability to make her question her own self-worth. You’re probably soulmates.
So please, young ones. Enjoy those 94 episodes of joy, but proceed with caution. The only reason Big would call Carrie before midnight in the real world is buy-out her townhouse, kicking her and that ’04 Macbook to the walk-up in Bushwick where they belong.