“Sex and the City” was about more than sex. One of the main ingredients was four single, successful and beautiful women hoping and looking for “The One.” We followed all of them on their journeys, especially Carrie Bradshaw. Her love life seemed a disaster waiting to happen and sometimes it was. Carrie sometimes sabotaged her own happiness looking for it. In her own words: “I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.” Although Carrie dated quite a few men, 4 in particular stand out. We will visit with a few but will focus on the 4 real loves of Carrie Bradshaw, one of them being standing out “Big”ger than the rest. Welcome to Movie Bad Girl of the Week Television Edition. This is our final week with “The Ladies of Sex and the City” as we look at Carrie Bradshaw and the men in her life.
Carrie Bradshaw has dated several men always hoping to find her soul-mate. More often than not the relationships are short lived. We will peek in at some of the less important relationships in her life before we tackle the ones that truly had an impact. They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your Prince and Carrie is no exception….and in Carrie’s world a lot of those frogs turned out to be the Court Jester.
Bill Kelley: Bill is a politician running for City Comptroller. Carrie meets him on Staten Island where she and Bill have both been asked to help judge the finalists for the New York City Fire Department’s Annual Male Calendar. They talk a bit during the judging and afterwords the conversation continues when he asks Carrie for a cigarette (he used to smoke and now has one cigarette a week). The couple begin dating and it is off on the campaign trail they go. Carrie dresses in attire for these events in fashion that she believes Jackie Kennedy would approve of with a smile. One night after dating for about 3 weeks he asks Carrie if there is anything he is not doing in their sex life that she would like. She tells him their sex life is fine. She asks the same in turn and finds out that Bill is into golden showers and would like Carrie to pee on him. This sends her mind reeling. She makes excuses not to and even tries to endure a very hot curry dinner without a beverage. Eventually Bill breaks up with her because his campaign staff advised him that it is a bad reflection on him to be dating a sex columnist. She tells him that she writes about sex but he likes to be pee’d on. He tells her that no one knows that prompting her to write a column titled “To Pee or Not to Pee.”
Wade Adams a.k.a. Power Lad: Carrie meets Wade while shopping in a comic books store. Wade is in his late 20’s to early 30’s and has a youthful attitude and outlook on life. He draws a picture of Carrie as a superhero and it gets her attention. She agrees to go on a date with him and it ends up being more. He brings out a sense of carefree fun in Carrie. They go to his home and Carrie adores his fabulous apartment. Much to Carrie’s surprise Wade still lives at home with his parents. Carrie, with some reservations continues seeing him and ends up acting like a girl in high school hanging out at her boyfriend’s house. She and Wade get high one afternoon while enjoying some take-out chicken. He panics when his mom gets home letting Carrie know that his mom said they would throw him out if he brought pot in the house again. When she confronts the duo he blames Carrie for bringing the pot and Mrs. Adams reprimands her. Carrie does the only adult thing she can think of at that moment,she claims she did bring the pot and says she is taking the huge baggie with her. We catch up with her and the girls having a laugh over it in her apartment while they get high on Wade’s stash. Her relationship is ended but the laughter about it is another story.
Sean: The man is young and hot. Probably a little too young for Carrie (his early 20’s). Carrie also discovers when they are talking about past relationships that one of his ex’s is a man. This bugs Carrie to some degree and she confides in her girlfriends about her latest boyfriend. One night they end up at a party that is filled with college aged kids. She looks like the house-mother among this valley of 20 somethings. They end up playing spin the bottle and Carrie ends up very awkwardly kissing a girl. At this moment she realizes that this relationship is completely wrong for her. She is beyond this point in her life and the bi-sexuality freaks her out. She excuses herself to go buy a pack of cigarettes and tells us in a voice-over: “That was the last night I saw Sean. They could do what they wanted, but I was too old to play this game. So I took my hot, old fart-ass home.That’s just me.”
Carrie Bradshaw’s True Loves:
John James Preston: Better know as Big. Carrie meets Big in Episode 1 of “Sex and the City” and through the run of the show and the first movie it will be a relationship that is incredibly volatile and causes a world of pain to each other and those around them, yet this is the relationship that works after many bumps in the road. In my personal opinion Big is an asshole that doesn’t deserve Carrie, yet there is something magical and she can’t be without him. Even with my negative thoughts on his character I really wanted to see them end up together because we knew from that first meeting he is the one. He is her true love. The man has intimacy and commitment issues. Emotionally he is unavailable in the way Carrie wants and this causes discord in the relationship. They break-up repeatedly, yet Carrie finds herself going back. Things reach a head when Carrie discovers he is going to Paris on business and tells her only a few days before he leaves. Things end in an unfavorable manner. When he returns to the states Carrie finds out and gets very upset that he is with a woman named Natasha and is going to marry her after only 5 months together. This breaks Carrie’s heart because after two years he couldn’t commit to her but could marry “the idiot stick figure with no soul” after a mere few months. Carrie moves on and begins dating Aidan Shaw. She can’t get Big out of her system. She and Big talk and she realizes his marriage has gone sour and they initiate and affair. The affair ruins her new relationship when she confesses it to Aidan. It also ruins Big’s marriage to Natasha when she catches a half-dressed Carrie in her home. Eventually Big and Carrie do become good friends and he moves away to Napa. The sexual attraction and tension between them is always just below the surface and it is never entirely just friendship. Carrie’s book is published and Big reads it. He realizes just how much emotional pain he has caused her and actually finds himself in a relationship where he is the “Carrie”. After years of ups and downs Carrie ends up dating a Russian artist Aleksandr Petrovsky. He asks her to move to Paris and she does. Big finally realizes that Carrie is the one and repeatedly tries to tell her. She won’t return his calls prompting him to show up on her doorstep. All the years of hurt come flooding out as Carrie tells Big to forget he ever knew her. He tries calling Carrie’s apartment a couple weeks later and Charlotte is there picking up Carrie’s mail while she is out of the country. She answers the phone and he meets with the girls explaining his feelings. Miranda tells him to “Go to Paris and get our girl.” Big flies to Paris and hunts Carrie down. He finds her after an argument with her new boyfriend. She ended the relationship. She tells Big that he hit her by accident and he runs up the stairs to beat the man. He tells Carrie that she cannot stop him. She promptly trips him and the both laugh hard. He professes his love for her and tells her she is “the one” for him. They return to New York and after one more huge bump in the road (compliments of Miranda) they get married at the end of the 1st film.
Aidan Shaw: Carrie meets Aidan at the urging of her friend Stanford Blatch. Aidan is a furniture designer who is immediately smitten with Carrie. They begin dating and she discovers her smoking is going to be an issue and almost ends the relationship over it. Her girlfriends tell her to quit because the smoking is a nasty habit. Carrie starts on the road to a smoke free life but has trouble believing a relationship can be so perfect. She eventually accepts that it can be. She has her affair with Big and consumed with guilt fesses up to Aidan hurting him very badly. They break up. The couple tries to give it a second shot and move in together. Aidan proposes marriage and Carrie accepts with some reservation. She becomes aware that Aidan can never really trust her again because of her indiscretion with Big. They break up for the second and final time. Carrie breaks Aidan’s heart not once, but twice. Aidan is so hurt he does not get out of bed for about a month. He later will marry a woman named Kathy and have a family (3 boys) with her. Also worth the mention is an episode where Big is invited to Aidan’s country home and they get into a knock-down, drag-out fight of comic proportion with Carrie getting caught in the crossfire.
Jack Berger: A fellow writer who should have been Carrie’s perfect match…and for a little while is. While Carrie’s career continues to sky-rocket Berger’s begins to fail and the relationship becomes both strained and uncomfortable. He leaves for a week to think on things. He shows up on Carrie’s door and says he wants to make it work. When she waked up in the morning she finds Berger gone and a post-it on her computer screen with the message: “I’m sorry, I can’t, don’t hate me” -B.
Aleksandr Petrovsky: A Russian artist whom Carrie meets with Charlotte. She doesn’t think much of him on first impression but soon finds herself dating the man. His European manners sometimes flatter her and other times drive her up the wall with frustration. He romances her with old world charm that seems to be right out of a fairy-tale. It is a whirlwind romance. He is supportive of Carrie in her endeavors and she is supportive of him in return. He asks her to move to Paris, France with him. After much consideration she agrees. Through this time we see a change in Carrie that is not entirely pleasant. Her personality seems to get lost (as will her signature necklace) and she quits her job to go. Once in Paris she is at first filled with delight but quickly finds it to be a very lonely place when she always comes in second to his work. She finds the lost necklace in the lining of her purse and with it remembers who Carrie Bradshaw is. At that moment she regains her sense of self and her life. It leads up to huge fight and he slaps her. He claims it was an accident but I don’t buy it. They break up and Big finds her, professing his love.
What can we learn from Carrie?
You may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your Prince Charming.
Lesson 1, If you date a guy that is into something in the bedroom that you are not (golden showers) it is okay to give it some thought. If you find you can’t then just say it. Don’t make excuses or try to find ways around it.
Lesson 2, We sometimes find that person that makes us feel young again. You may bask in that for a while but you should feel that youthful joy on your own. And if he does still live at home make sure he has some direction in his life and isn’t full of dreams that are never going to happen because the drive to do it is not there.
Lesson 3, I’ve dated guys younger than myself. I married a man younger than myself. However at certain times in our lives that gap in age can be a significant one. There a levels of maturity and interests at different ages that can be so drastically different that the only time the two of you can really be compatible is when you are alone. And besides a great sex life what else do you have in common? I am 47 and know that a college party would not interest me at this time. When my husband went back to school we went over to hang out with some of his classmates. I should have stayed home. We didn’t have much to talk about, I don’t go clubbing, I don’t care about getting “wasted” at “killer parties” and their choice of games and amusements made me feel like I was watching over a group of 11th graders. In turn if these kids had come to a party at our house they would have been bored to tears. Make sure if you are involved in a serious relationship that you have some interests (aside from sex) that are alike.
Lesson 4, This is the BIG one. Relationships take work. We will have our ups and downs. We will be hurt and we may hurt others. We may not be able to get someone out of our system no matter how hard we try. In those cases we need to learn to cope with the situation. We will have relationships and have to realize we can’t judge a new one by and old one. If our trust is betrayed or we betray a trust it may be hard or impossible to regain. We sometimes find someone who should be a perfect match and it couldn’t be more wrong. Your success could be too much for your other half to handle or it may be you who feels threatened. Never be threatened by someone’s success, help them embrace it and be supportive. Always be adult enough to break-up in person if it is not working. Do not….I repeat DO NOT leave a post it note. You might meet someone exciting and exotic. That can be a thrill but don’t lose touch with who you are and don’t let it change you. They were attracted to you for being the you they met at that time. When you find “the one” you will know it with every fiber of your being, however 100% perfect does not exist. We are all beautiful and perfect in our imperfections and that is the way the world is. Work on things you want to change and remember to fall in love with yourself first. Most of all, love is real. It can, does and will happen.
I was going to include some Carrie quotes. I feel this column ran long enough without them so go back and watch some episodes and listen to some of the beautiful words Carrie Bradshaw shares on the show. Now we take leave of New York and “The Ladies of Sex and the City”…next week we are off on an all new adventure.