Twenty years ago, on June 6, 1998, the world saw the first episode of a new show with a rather suggestive title, to say the least: Sex and the City. As the main character, you roamed New York in a snug top, nipples at attention, a cigarette dangling from your lips, rocking that blond mane.
Your role? A New York City newspaper columnist, writing pieces on love, sex, and dating, largely based on your own experiences and those of your group of stereotypical girlfriends.
What would a 2018 version of Sex and the City look like?
It would be a pretty lame show, with human relationships reduced to a little texting to check in and a little sexting to get laid. Or maybe just blow it all off and masturbate to YouPorn.
The characters would be a group of thirty-something women, lovesick and traumatized, measuring respect with a cell phone.
And what of communication between men and women? What about seduction? Oh Carrie, you’d be miserable. This is the era of immediacy, not wisdom or patience. At the first disagreement or argument, it’s au revoir.
A woman rejects a man? She gets called a bitch, or worse.
The women would flaunt their curves and their sexuality, prizing perky tits over a head held high. Sure, it’s easier to get on your knees than to look a man in the eye.
The men, emasculated in their navigation of human relationships, would blame women for their own bad behavior and resort to crassness.
Yes, Carrie, the stories you told on your show were really rather nice, perhaps even balanced.
But fear not: Beautiful encounters between beautiful people still happen.
Encounters that challenge our rules and our preconceived notions. And give us butterflies in the stomach.
One night. A bar. A concert. A bartender. An instant crush. An exchange of smiles. And a big, fat problem. Fuck, he’s too young for me! Too bad. But he’s so darn sweet! The months crawl by, and finally, he asks me out.
I struggled with my conscience for almost a year. I sat at home and cried over having met such a wonderful person when we were “not at the same point in our lives”—a cute euphemism for our age difference.
I ended up giving in. I accepted his lifestyle: a shared flat that looked more like a squat.
I washed many a cup, notwithstanding the fact that there was a dishwasher in the flat.
I bought a box of baby wipes to keep my tush from touching a toilet seat that looked like a urinary infection waiting to happen.
I left my slippers by the bathtub to prevent athlete’s foot.
I opened my legs and closed my mouth in order not to stifle my orgasms, because his friends were always chilling in the living room, and our adventures in the bedroom were certainly not meant for their entertainment.
And one day he said he loved me. And I said I loved him.
And we became sweethearts, complete with sweet nothings, “I love you’s,” little gestures, wistful stares… and some freaky moves in the kitchen. It was our little ritual when we cooked together—a cute sort of mutual “red nose.” Like I said, real sweethearts.
And then, destiny happened. The fatal mistake. Fucking impatience. Fucking memory. Fucking phone
My sweetheart wasn’t having it. My sweetheart did not have the patience for it. My sweetheart wouldn’t accept an apology. My sweetheart loved me Tuesday morning and hated me Wednesday afternoon. The one who had accepted me unconditionally, the one who had brought levity and joy into my life, now glared at me with rage. With him, I had rediscovered myself, become confident again, and laughed and laughed. And I miss his laugh.
So to hell with the squares, to hell with the rules, to hell with what’s “normal”! If I had to do it all over again, I’d go for it, because “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile” (Mark Twain).