By Carol Kaufmann, Columnist, “Mama Tricks: Wrapping Your Head Around Motherhood“
As every woman age 45 on down in America knows by now, Sex and the City, the film, opened a few weeks ago. Judging from box office sales, I was one of the few to
not see it that opening weekend. And I’m glad. But not because I don’t love high heels as much as the next gal.
I had the ideal opportunity. I was in Los Angeles, movie-city, onbusiness. I was sans children. And I was with one of my oldest anddearest, The Well Mom herself, Heather Cabot, whose husband had volunteered to watch her kids so we could have a girls’ night. Knowing I’d be there, Heather and I practically erupted over the timing of my visit. The premiere of Sex and the City? Just us girls? Could the world be more perfect?
When it came time to get the tickets, Heather found that about a million others had the same idea, too. I wasn’t at all disappointed. And the reason why is also
the reason why I’ve seen every episode of the iconic HBO series at least three times – including the edited versions on TBS.
Much (way, way too much) has been made of the show’s/movie’s stream of designer fashions, $500+shoes, closets that could serve as evacuation shelters, the quartet’s self-absorption, and quest for meaningful (or not so much) pairings. I believe all
the articles, editorials and talking heads have missed the point.
True, our larger than life characters lead glamorous lives that constantly seems to be whirling out of control. But the center for Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha is each other. The one constant throughout the show’s six seasons is
iron-clad friendships and – here’s the kicker – TIME to spend on them. Many nights as I sat watching, I didn’t get pangs of jealousy for Carrie’s latest stilettos,
but pangs of nostalgia for a time in my life that these four embodied. A time when my friends and I talked about the messy terrain of relationships, the
struggle with careers, and nothing in general. Perhaps we weren’t clicking Cosmos at the latest trattoria, but certainly there was a margarita or two involved.
I love high heels as much as anyone, but really, does anyone care that much about what those four are wearing? And does anyone really think that Carrie
earns enough from those columns to afford such a wardrobe – even with her maxed out credit cards? (Not on a writer’s salary!) We know this show is fantasy. But
what rang true is something that is undeniably real, and often lacking, in the lives of us newish mothers with our soiled diapers, chronic fatigue, and steady
stream of Visine: The nurturing of girlfriends. The show made me heartsick for a time in my life where lunches at a diner and meandering conversations claimed a significant percentage of my week.
Heather and I went out for dinner that Friday night. We had several glasses of wine (or maybe that was me) and talked for hours about our kids, careers, husbands, problems and hopes. Instead of watching what we craved in a darkened theater, we lived it. No trick involved.
Copyright 2008 Carol Kaufmann
Carol Kaufmann regularly shares her “Mama Tricks” with The Well Mom. Her work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, The Washington Post, and in the anthology A Woman’s Europe. She lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, toddler, newborn, and two obese rescue cats.
First appeared on thewellmom.com, June 14, 2008.