Two repulsively women-centric events are scheduled for this coming Friday: (i) a Lunch ‘n Learn session sponsored by my law firm’s Women’s Initiative; and (ii) the premiere of Sex and the City 2.
I’m about to say something unprecedented: If I had to choose between the two, I would go to the former.
I would prefer to surround myself with the world’s most depressing female attorneys, endure a paltry lunch spread from Potbelly’s, and listen to a D-list female municipal court judge talk about nothing than sit through two hours of fashion product placements and predictable humor amongst the adult female equivalent of dorky IT guys in costumes at a Star Wars screening. Yes, I would rather brainstorm about rainmaking opportunities with a bunch of Elena Kagan lookalikes than subject myself to 146 insufferable minutes of oral sex double entendres delivered by a menopausal glamazon.
That’s the most accurate way of summarizing my level of derision re: the SATC franchise. I have ZERO tolerance for its forced fabulousness, which sucks every ounce of would-be charm out of the exquisitely-appointed, stiletto-clad semi-hags who masquerade as the main characters. I realize that makes me public enemy number one to the hordes of women who already have their Forever 21 and Zac Posen for Target cocktail frocks picked out in giddy anticipation of this weekend’s “Girls’ Night Out!” In fact, I can practically hear the deafening cacophony of thousands of Cosmo-filled martini glasses crashing to the floor in hateful disbelief.
But before you condemn me to whatever serves as your best approximation of the ninth circle of hell (i.e. a world without simple syrup, glittery eye makeup, and vibrators), just hear me out for a second.
I don’t hate SATC for any of the usual moralist, feminist, or anti-consumerist rationales. Nor am I a hater just for the sake of hating. Instead, I hate SATC because its subtext upsets me beyond belief. It’s like pouring vodka-spiked lemon juice on my darkest insecurities and disappointments. It lulls me into a false sense of “It’s more than okay to be in your thirties and single!” and then smacks me in the face with its insipid reality, which is that I don’t pity Carrie and Samantha for being single late in life because their lives are so effing fabulous.
By contrast, my life is not at all fabulous.
When all is said and done, the only thing I have in common with Carrie and Samantha is my late-in-life single-ness. I don’t write for Vogue or run a glamorous PR firm with a workday that consists of little more than two bitchy phone calls and a glitzy restaurant opening. I don’t live in an uptown, oversized brownstone. I’ve got a few pairs of great shoes, but nowhere to wear them. And if and when I do marry, I’m pretty sure my future husband will not be a debonair millionaire or a hot model-actor.
If you noticed that I expertly avoided mentioning “the M-word” in the previous paragraph, that was intentional—because the existential pain of SATC increases exponentially if you’re a female lawyer.
Think about it. Have you ever met a woman who voluntarily claimed to be “a Miranda?” Never. Yet, since I’m a lawyer, I get to enjoy bearing an uncanny resemblance with the only unenviable and unattractive character on the show—the one who’s married to a freaking bartender and has been banished to Brooklyn. (And who wore a wine-colored velvet Renaissance Festival gown at her wedding, which actually looked more like a New Age funeral).
Seriously, isn’t it just a little too ironic that the lawyer character is played by an honest-to-God lesbian who in real life is engaged to a redheaded post-op Chaz Bono lookalike?!?!
My younger sister constantly gets compared to Charlotte because she looks like a 25-year-old Kristin Davis. Which makes it all the more painful when she tells me I’m exactly like Miranda. (And my mom and dad laugh a little too hard.)
So ultimately, the show that is supposed to empower me just makes me feel even worse about myself. Why am I the only one who gets it? Why isn’t this apparent to all of the women who in a few short days will be drowning themselves in 1,000-calorie sugar-tinis and orgasm-ing about SATC2 all over Facebook status updates?
And while I’m at it, I’ve got another problem with SATC: IT’S STUPID. Does anyone really care about trannies making dick jokes…that aren’t even funny? At this point, bitchy gay men are the only group of people I deem allowed to enjoy this weekend at the movie theater without being ashamed of themselves. And the writers apparently agree with me, since I can’t think of any other legitimate reason to include Liza Minelli in the movie.
Unavoidable, constant exposure to the trailer makes me want to randomly set things on fire. It’s so unbelievably brainless and trite. Every time I hear Carrie exclaim (with her trademark embarrassingly forced bravado), “We’re not in Kansas anymore!” I start screaming. Because she’s never been in Kansas in the first place, so the hackneyed joke doesn’t even make sense. Another life-affirming slap in the face given Kansas is practically where I vacation, remember?
And I cringe every time I see them flounce across the desert on a camel and hear Carrie chide Samantha by saying, “If you’re not having a hot flash, you’re dead!” If that’s the sort of shit that makes you laugh, or if it gives you even the tiniest thrill of anticipation, then you’re brain dead.
You know, come to think of it, there might actually be something authentically enjoyable about the Lunch ‘n Learn. It will quite possibly be the only room full of women in America on May 28th where no one will be talking about going to see Sex and the City 2.