There are a lot of mixed emotions that accompany the act of watching “Sex and the City” as an adult. For twentysomethings, we remember watching this TV show in high school, and we’d be lying if we weren’t seduced by the idea of living in a New York City brownstone, pondering life, and shopping for new shoes on the reg. “SATC” basically handed us a pair of rose-colored glasses and said, “Check out this lifestyle you’ll actually never be able to afford.”
When we watch the show now, with our knowledge of apartment rentals and other “grown-up” items, we feel like throwing things. That episode where Carrie Bradshaw reveals how much – or how little – is in her bank account? Infuriating! There’s no doubt that a quick binge of “SATC” is a great way to induce rage in our twentysomething hearts.
And let’s not beat around the bush here – Carrie Bradshaw is a generally unlikable protagonist. We looked up to her as teenagers, because we didn’t know any better. But after having a few failed relationships of our own under our belts, we begin to see her in a new light. She’s selfish, whiny, and stubborn. Plus, she cheated on someone who is arguably a dream boyfriend. #TeamAidan.
However, despite all of this, we continue to return to this show. When the reruns are on E! or TBS, despite being edited to death, we can’t help but tune in. We’ll find ourselves navigating through HBO Go to re-watch our favorite seasons, laughing at Samantha’s one-liners and nodding our heads at the more profound moments.
Even with all of its bold-faced lies about how city life would play out, “SATC” still rings true to us today for so many reasons. Here are 5 times that Carrie Bradshaw and her friends actually were spot-on:
1. “The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to have a partner, especially if you are single. Sometimes it feels like you are incomplete, or that a piece of you is missing. But it’s important to keep in mind that the best relationships are fostered when both people feel comfortable by themselves – when both individuals feel that they are “whole” already. When that happens, your significant other doesn’t “complete” you – rather, he or she brings out different aspects of your personality. You two aren’t puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together. Instead, you are two separate entities that compliment one another and bring each other to new heights.
2. “Don’t laugh at me, but maybe we could be each others’ soul mates?”
When Charlotte suggested that the four girls could be one another’s soul mates, there was a moment of rejoicing for girls everywhere – of all relationship statuses. When we get out of the mindset that the term “soul mate” is equated with romance, we are able to discover great things about our friends. If you are lucky, you have a friend who comes to mind when you think of a platonic soul mate. She is someone who knows your deepest and darkest secrets and loves you for them, not in spite of them. Someone who shares a psychic wavelength, who always knows when you’re feeling down. She is the girl you send the ugliest snapchats to, and the girl you know you’ll have in your life forever.
3. “Maybe there are no right moments, right guys, right answers.”
As a generation, we are obsessed with timelines. We give ourselves checkpoints and associate certain birthdays with accomplishments that we hope to achieve by that time. We force ourselves to believe that we can only advance to our next checkpoint when the time is right. Carrie was on to something when she had this epiphany. We are not bound to these timelines – we can make choices independent of them. There is no rule book; no one is keeping score. What we believe to be “right” at age 20 might be completely different at 25. Ultimately, we need to trust our hearts more and get out of our heads.
4. “Yeah…that’s all code for: he’s just not that into you.”
Okay, technically this line has to be credited to Jack Berger, and it could be argued that his wisdom is cancelled out by the fact that he broke up with Carrie on a f*cking Post-It, but we’ll let that slide for a moment. Considering “He’s Just Not That Into You” spawned into a book and then a movie, it’s sometimes easy to forget that this one-liner traces back to a “SATC” episode. While harsh, sometimes it’s important to give yourself – and your friends – some tough love. We’re quick to make excuses for guys’ bad behavior because it makes us feel better. “Oh, maybe he didn’t call because he had a bad day at work, and then the train got stuck underground, and then his phone died.” But in reality, we’re not doing ourselves any favors by continuing that train of thought. Sometimes it’s better to face the hard facts, even though it hurts to do so.
5. “Maybe the best any of us can do is not quit, play the hand we’ve been given, and accessorize the outfit we’ve got.”
For all of her flaws, Carrie Bradshaw was a fighter. Yes, she may have fed us falsities about being a writer in Manhattan, but she also showed us how to be strong, determined, and self-reliant. Adulthood, and life in general, doesn’t come without obstacles. Sometimes we do get dealt sh*tty hands – but there’s no way to escape reality. In situations like that, if you ask yourself, “What would Carrie Bradshaw do?” the answer is always clear – toughen up, cry if you need to, then fix your makeup, and take on the world.