Carrie Bradshaw’s Broken Pedestal

Sex and the City (aka SATC) remains etched in culture as a perpetually relevant social commentary and satire on relationships and attitudes, in general. Every plot line comes with a grain of salt and a dash of hope (up until the dreadful movie and its sequel came along). Almost every girl aspired to be Carrie Bradshaw, the swanky protagonist. Rightfully so: She has an unfettered lust for life, a cool career as a sex columnist for the NY Times, doggedly devoted girlfriends, a fabulous BFF (RIP, Willie Garson), and the man of her dreams. That’s what we, the audience, see as a pretty Oscar de la Renta package, immaculately tied with a Prada bow. Carrie’s moments of sincerity and vulnerability are few and far between, even throughout the series. She appears to be a classic rags-to-riches specimen on a lifelong quest for love. Carrie wants “consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love”, as she clarified it for her workaholic fling, Aleksandr Petrovsky. Sadly, Carrie’s perception of utter devotion always brings with it a sackful of drama and histrionics. Our supposed role model is really a sadomasochistic narcissist, who occasionally deigns to step into the Manolos of a compassionate, considerate woman. Everything, especially in the movies, revolves around Carrie. She cannot sleep peacefully at the thought of dating a loving man without a hidden agenda (i.e. Aidan). Case in point: She breaks into night sweats, when they sleep together (actually sleep); later, she develops a full-body rash, when trying on a wedding dress. Get a hold of yourself, Ms. Bradshaw!

Carrie meets Big. He’s suave, sexy, and filthy rich. Naturally, the guy becomes Carrie’s kryptonite. She resents him but loves the chase… What for? Aidan comes along; Carrie asks him to be “less available”; once he complies by not answering her phone calls or taking her out as often, the girl throws a fit. Aidan constantly showers Carrie with love, attention, and generosity.  Does she reciprocate? Of course not! Her move is to stir up an unnecessary cat-and-mouse game with the now-married Mr. Big and instigate an affair (just to spite Natasha for being younger and more beautiful but spelling “there” as “their”). Poor Aidan has to find out about it before he and Carrie are due at Charlotte’s first wedding. Carrie weeps her heart out, not out of utter remorse and self-loathing but rather out of self-pity: Aidan has potential to recover and find happiness, but poor Carrie here can’t bear it! A couple flings later, Ms. Bradshaw decides to throw a rock at Aidan’s window (no kidding!), in a supposedly romantic effort to get him back. He almost doesn’t falter, but the man is just too generous with his feelings, and the one shred of love he’d been nursing seemingly overpowered the indiscretion. All is well; Aidan proposes. But then Carrie gets the guile to invite Big up to Aidan’s cabin in upstate New York! What?! Her solution for easing the tension makes even less sense: “You’re both men. Here’s a [basket]ball. Work it out.” Oh, yes, a friendly game of dribble and dunk will immediately expunge any resentment and disgust between your fiance and the guy, with whom you cheated. Bravo, Carrie! Bravo! All ends well in the second movie: Carrie and Big are stuck together for eternity, while Aidan is happily married to Kathy and raising three sons. As for her friends, their problems, no matter how devastating, become nothing but trivia for Carrie. She milks Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha for all their patience and candor, all for the sake of making a buck off her latest column.