Today I just needed a day to vegetate. The holiday hustle and bustle finally caught up to me and I was just incredibly exhausted. With all of my favorite TV shows on winter recess, my DVR was bleakly empty, so I decided to peruse through HBO on demand. I saw that a bunch of episodes of Sex and the City were on, and bringing me back to my college days when my best friend/roommate and I would binge watch episodes, I needed a taste of nostalgia.
As I sat on the couch and watched, I realized how much more raw and real this show has become for me. With my 33rd birthday on the horizon, I am now the same age as the characters were as they went through all of torrential and tumultuous relationships.
I found myself getting angry with Carrie as she cheated on Aiden with Big. I know, I get it, Big was her “one,” but is that what love is about? Sure, we know the movies tied their dysfunctional relationship up in a pretty package; they soddered all the loose ends, but like any piece of broken glass or metal, the only way to make it work again is to completely melt it and start over. But it’s never the same, never fresh, never new; the pieces are like rebatched soap – a dull image of what it was supposed to be.
We loved the show because we loved the characters. For all of their flaws, their charms, they were relatable, but the plot was tired and too fairytale-esque. You don’t choose Big over Aiden. You can’t “let go of who you once were to become who you will be” and still move backwards. You don’t choose tumult over kind, caring, gentle, and available.
There’s an old belief that we have three great loves in our life. For Carrie, that was Big, Aiden, and New York. New York is personified as grandma’s quilt – everlasting, transcendental, simply timeless. Aiden was the one who got away. Big was the “one.” But, why? When you have great loves, they all become a part of you. If she chose Aiden, as we know, as we watched, Big would always be there, but even the film shows us that Aiden was still a part of her, too. So, if we’re forever changed by the great loves in our life, why would you choose the one who brought you pain?
We’re supposed to revere the characters for being true to themselves, but I can’t help feeling like the unrealistic pursuit of a happy ending prevailed over the beauty of the truth that once endeared the show to its viewers. The reality is you don’t choose the one that continuously broke your heart. It doesn’t work out so easily. You can’t just forgive and forget. You don’t just pass up an Aiden.