Carrie Bradshaw, I Demand An Apology!

You know what I hate, darling readers? Dating.

Dating totally sucks. It is, hands down, the worst part of being a twenty-something. This was a shocking realization for me. On television, dating looks so glamorous! Main characters run around in pretty shoes, laughing over pretty drinks, and canoodling pretty men. Well, I’m here to tell you: it is not so. We’ve been tricked. It’s not all cosmopolitans and artists whisking you off to Paris! In fact, nary an artist has whisked me anywhere. Not even to Paris, Texas.

Carrie Bradshaw did not properly prepare me for this.

In the real world, dates are awkward. There is no montage of pithy banter. Instead, we spend the first three dates asking how each other’s days went. There are only so many times I can say, “It was good!” without blurting out the truth: an ER patient totally threw up on me today, so it’s a really good thing we’re required to wear bodily fluid repellent footwear. Talk of bodily fluids is so frowned upon during dates. If it’s not mild, work-related chitchat, my date is telling me stories about people I don’t know. They always seem to end with: Oh, that Smitty. You just have to know him, I guess! The glaring truth is: I don’t know Smitty. I will never know Smitty, unless we get past that awkward dating small talk. Sometimes, I just want to scream Cue the montage!

Which means, in the real world my relationships don’t normally result from traditional dating. My boyfriends have mostly been friends, or mutual friends, who prove that proximity breeds intimacy. We’ll be friends, then we’ll be friends who flirt, then we’ll be friends who accidentally make-out after too many margaritas, then we’re friends who are dating. Not exactly the stuff of magical, grand romances. Carrie didn’t have to wait for Big to realize he liked her liked her. Sure, they had plenty of commitment issues, but at least they never had that horrid initial friend stage! The friend stage also sucks. All that will-they-won’t-they is much more entertaining when you’re not they. On TV, you at least knew Harry was perfect for Charlotte, even if Charlotte didn’t know it yet. Honestly, the only redeeming feature of being friends first is that there is minimal small talk.

With all the pitfalls of modern dating, it’s no wonder our generation is known for its hook-up culture. Sometimes, you’d just rather randomly kiss someone than spend three days analyzing your current flame’s Facebook comment. (What does “See you there!” really mean!?) In real life, Carrie and Big never would have made it. That epic story of instant connection and poor timing would fizzle, in the face of sexting and Twitter updates. It’s not so easy to rationalize someone’s questionable dating habits, when he just tweeted a picture of himself and pretty redhead at a Death Cab concert. Carrie would have followed her own spin-off book’s advice and decided he was just not that into her.

Maybe things were different a decade ago. Maybe that glittery world of dating really did exist, for a brief moment, in the lives of rich ’00s Manhattanites. I’m starting to doubt it. Carrie, my dear, you are a lying liar from Liarville. Dating is not glamorous, cosmos taste like pink intestinal gas, and – fun fact! – Manolo Blahniks do not repel bodily fluids. Where is the sitcom about tea drinkers who wear Clarks and hate chitchat? There’s a show I could believe in.

–  Grace


19 thoughts on “Carrie Bradshaw, I Demand An Apology!

      • I’m actually doing something similar in regards to this particular post. I’m watching 143 movies about love in 143 days, largely due because of movies like Sex and the City that have unobtrusively impacted my notion of love. Check it out, and please feel free to drop any recommendations. I would completely appreciate it!

    • Oh, oh, Facebook. It is the single most infuriating website, when you’re interested in someone! I finally put the kibosh on it, after spending way too much time analyzing status updates. Now, I get on if I need to RSVP to something, but that’s it. It’s all just healthier that way.

  1. This hits too close to home for comfort…

    I too have only ever gone out with women who were my friends beforehand and there’s always this weird “we kissed because we had a little too much to drink and now I don’t know if I should talk to her about it or if I should just let it slide” moment in which I usually assume she’s thinking the same thing and we end up not talking about it because neither one of us wants to do it.

    I always thought it was meant to go like this:
    “here let me walk you home”

    “so this is it then… I really enjoyed tonight”

    “I’ll call you”

    … someone’s been lying to us.

  2. Great post – I think we have all realized the brain damage Carrie & her posse has caused….women with odd, unrealistic expectations and men who have given up because non of them can live up to the standards set by Aiden and the parade of beautiful men women are now convinced actually exist! Dating sucked for me as well….hang in there!

  3. Nice post. I’m old enough to assure you that the glittery world of dating didn’t exist a decade ago either. Sex and the City is a fantasy. A funny and well done fantasy, but still a fantasy. Yet this raises a question: why are you willing to accept the unreality of a romance novel and not the unreality of what is, essentially, a televised version of a romance novel? I’m not trying to be a jerk here. Really. I have a feeling there’s a good answer, but I’m curious as to what it might be because it does sometimes seem like we expect more authenticity from television.

  4. Oh girl…I so feel you! Sadly I am not in my thirties and still dealing with the same weird dating life. I hope to one day be settled down, and no I don’t expect the fairytale but a little effort never hurt!!

  5. Well, I was married for most of my twenties but single now. Now I want to shoot myself in the head. Anyway, I agree Carrie set us up. But, don’t diss the shoes. Men may come and go but a special pair of shoes –well, that’s special. (I’m even a shoe girl, sigh) Anyway, great post.

  6. My biggest problem with this whole ‘friends first’ concept is that approximately 97.5% of my male friends are gay. Not that I don’t love them all, or love that I’m constantly surounded by attractive men – but it doesn’t exactly lead to friends first kind of relationship.

    It also, sadly, means that most of my small talk skills have been honed while conversing with the fabulous set. Unfortunately ‘Bitch, Please’ and ‘Learn it, love it, its gonna be HUGE’ aren’t really sentences you want to throw around on a first, second, or even third date. Shockingly, ‘Oh honey, we’re going to need to talk about your outfit choices’ never seems to go over well either.

    I guess Carrie and Stanford are still together, so I’ll always have companionship!

  7. It totally sucks that you’re not finding much luck or enjoyment out of dating, and I do feel bad for you. However, I am somewhat elated that your post has revealed that it is possible for a guy to break out of the friendzone!

  8. Hate hate hate dating. There’s no way I will be attracted to a guy if we can’t get past the small talk but I seem to scare men off by being too “intense” when I try to have a real conversation on a first date.

  9. Pingback: A Rebuttal to a Spinster - The Colin Ferri Project

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