lately, my daughter and i have been re-investigating the world of carrie bradshaw, from the very beginning.
yes, i know that it’s no rob and laura petrie in plot lines and content, but she’s 16 and it’s a weird world and i’m full of lectures about don’t do what you see, make good choices, etc. at this point, she’s the one telling me to close my eyes!
so, as none of my kids watched sex and the city in it’s beginning (that would have been cause for a call to dcfs for goodness sakes!), corey and i kill time by carrying out a satc sort of archaeological dig. in the name of science, humanity and a serious study of life in the 21st century, it’s just another mantle of motherhood, right?
man, these early episodes are kind of dorky and rough. carrie talking directly to the camera? ridiculous and awkward. the clothes? not yet maturing into each characters’ signature looks. the clubs and restaurants? too stark and threadbare and not at all nyc opulent and cool enough. mr. big’s foppish hair? cringe-worthy. miranda? still as gross as ever. while i love cynthia nixon’s acting, i can never hear her dialogue as the moment she pops up on the tv screen, my kids bellow and howl and scream. they’re not fans.
a few years ago, we were in new york for a spectacular college tour & spring adventure. dashing through nyu & barnard, we cleared the calendar one day in particular, which we call the ‘scroll day’, running around the place with my great ny pal, rhonda, checking off lists of things that hallie and corey were determined to do. see ‘mood’ from project runway (we even saw the little dog!); nibble steak frites at pastis; pausing, barefoot, beneath the arch in washington square in an ode to corey’s namesake; stopping by again at the plaza to see eloise; (where one can only think of katie & hubbell and that bittersweet farewell), accepting an invitation to see sondheim on sondheim from vanessa williams; plus a host of other film-inspired activities.
and the culmination: recreating the pivotal satc scene where steve and miranda, their marriage in peril, decide to meet on the halfway point of the brooklyn bridge to show their solidarity in making ‘it work’.
i can’t even stop laughing as i type this. the bridge, much longer than the girls realized (we were tired after a long day), was stuffed full of tourists. (which we, of course, weren’t). then there was the issue of deciding who would portray miranda, and who steve. they’re not favs of either, so it really wasn’t too hard to settle after all. with rhonda holding the video camera, and me doing my best marty scorcese as the director, the scene began to roll. both girls put on their most earnest love facial expressions, weaved through the oncoming throngs of pedestrians. i hope i’m not messing this up, but i think corey was playing steve, so she took on his schlumpy sort of shuffley walk, head downcast, eyes peeking up above his nose, brooklyn behind her. hallie, dressed appropriately in brown (miranda’s favorite color, apparently), did whatever she could to channel her character as she strode, determinedly across manhattan side of the bridge. yes, people were staring. but we’re used to that. we knew, once we made the commitment to reenact this cheesy scene that we were risking making spectacles of ourselves.
so, lights, camera, action: hilarity as usual and the shot was perfect in the first attempt. the culmination, of course, a weepy hug as our hero and heroine (portrayed, shakespeare style, but same gendered thespians) in the very middle of the majestic brooklyn bridge.
so why am i writing about this? as usual, i got sidetracked. what i was going to say was that sometimes i feel like that carrie who poses insane and unanswerable questions to the universe…we see the letters appear across her ‘laptop screen’, and then she ponders for a while, and then the show zooms to the plot, and somewhere, she ends up wrapping up the whole bit in a few wise words as the credits roll.
sure, i’m creative. i could write my own script ahead of time and portray the roll, do the casting and get just the right person in here with me, even come up with my own bright, contented final act. but that hasn’t worked in the past, so instead, i’ll just sit and throw the question out to the universe, so carrie-like, and say, is it just me, or does the idea of a happy ever after seem cliche and sorely out of reach?
naw, that seems weird. really, i’m more a pollyanna. don’t tell my girls, but that cheesy meet-me-halfway-on-the-brooklyn-bridge brings me to the same reaction every time: pinched heart, eyes stinging with tears, a blubbering mess: oh look, oh love: two people ready to work that hard, to see their faces all hopeful and earnest and longing and willing? and then, so relieved, so happy, so committed?
yes, i’m a sucker for a happy ending, so i’ll take the reverse argument. something’s coming, something good…i just don’t know what it is yet.
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