The last episode of Sex and the City was totally awesome, and I should know because I watched it. Memory being the strange thing that it is I have fixated on just two things: Anthony’s hideous black leather car coat (which I hope the good people at Chanel urinated on) and the fact that Carrie’s French Marlboro Lights seemed to have brown filters, instead of white. I also noticed that pack had the traditional, whimsical black warning sticker that makes French cigarettes such an amusing experience. I hope that she got the one that says “Fumer nuit gravement à votre santé et à la santé de votre entourage.”
Ah, memories of Sex and the City. Ah, l’amour. In the Terrace TV room, where I watched the episode alongside a sweating throng of other devotees, strange gusts of nostalgia and longing blew in and out, alternating with bitter little siroccos of sarcasm. People cried. Other people, half-hearted sneers concealed by the cinematic darkness, found the whole situation a bit mawkish and louche. Do people, in Freudian terms, invest their libidos too strongly in these four convincing fictions? I’m probably not the right person to ask. I can’t really say that any of my human friends at Princeton possesses a greater degree of reality than the ladies, and I know for certain that more people believe in Carrie Bradshaw than in Ari Samsky.
Ah, memories of Sex and the City. The first episode that I ever saw was the one in which Miranda encounters and sleeps with Steve. Carrie narrates, “Miranda’s bartender served her two orgasms on the rocks.” At the time (it was 2001) I remember thinking hard about this economic conception of sex, of women who tally up their pleasures, their Cosmopolitans and their shoes on the same sheet. It certainly doesn’t seem so shocking now, although I can’t imagine what exactly has changed since then. Of course, the characters (and I?) have grown up, to an extent, and Miranda has stopped dressing like a more mannish Annie Lennox.
Ah, l’amour. I’ve seen most of the episodes of Sex and the City but I have not seen them in order, so I have a weirdly synchronic view of the Great Loves in Carrie’s life. I saw, for instance, only the exciting, incandescent phase of her relationship with Mr. Big, during which he gave her a ridiculous purse shaped like a duck or a rabbit or something. I have always liked Mr. Big, and admired how he could make sleazy, stalkerish behavior look good – if I were of a more encyclopedic temperament I might make a list of the times in which Big has sat, in a reverie or stupor or perhaps quietly taking phone calls, in front of Carrie’s apartment in his hired car. Perhaps Raoul, his driver, will get his own series now that it’s all over. On the subject of sleaze, Richard Wright, who was maybe even more wealthy and powerful than Big, never managed to stop reminding me of the android from Aliens. I liked him okay anyway. The pearl thong was tacky, but so are a lot of things.
Ah, l’amour. I liked Berger, too. He was insecure and pouty and whiny, sure, but he and I look a tiny little bit alike and I, too, once wanted a motorcycle. A lot of people don’t like Berger because of his whiny, pouty, babyish ways, and to these people I say: “You’ve got a good point.” At least every single person in America hated that gibbering simpleton Aidan. I saw the Aidan episodes on HBO’s summer re-runs, and I usually watched them interactively by shouting advice to Carrie, things along the lines of “HE’S A GIBBERING SIMPLETON!” I also disliked his dog, who was too sporty and outdoorsy (but really can’t be blamed for any of this). I suppose Aidan had a certain charm, like a developmentally disabled grocery clerk.
Ah, memories of Sex and the City. I seem to be talking mostly about the men, here, but what can I really say in half a page about the women? I’ve always liked Charlotte best, because I have a neurotic fantasy of being in a WASP-y loveless marriage. From that perspective, of course, her liaison with Trey was perfect, but it distresses me that after that all blew over she became essentially a comic character. Anyway, in the episode in which they all go to Barnes and Noble Charlotte wore a black sweater with an enormous pink Polo logo on the front. That was a dynamite sweater.