In the annals of women-empowering, sex-positive television, perhaps no program made more noise in the national conversation than Sex and the City, a series about four very wealthy white women who terrorized a local coffee shop with their deeply graphic tales of connubial conquest.
I am woman, hear me whine.
Ladies across America watched this horror show, delivered to us in glittery pink strokes by the Home Box Office network, and threw their hands to the sky, praising a god named Michael Patrick King for this portrayal of females so like their own coterie of lady friends. So uncanny was this clique of four (again) wealthy, white, terrifically slutty women to their own that they’d align their entire behavior set with a SATC-adjacent character: “I’m a Miranda! I love work! I wear suits! Torts! Chinese food! Bawk bawk bawk!!!” What a time to be alive, in 2001, when Sex and the City was advocating for our way of sexual liberation and equality.
But I couldn’t help but wonder… was Carrie, the protagonist of this brave new saga, a bad person?
The overwhelming and short answer is yes, Carrie is without question a terribly bad person. In a show about powerful women, which ostensibly bolstered the necessary practice of women supporting other women (surprise twist! the men don’t even matter!), Carrie was a nitrogen bomb of criticism, greed, and negativity, stomping over other women in her outrageously expensive and ugly shoes, leaving a mountain of corpses in her wake, smiling adorably as she dusted her skirt and ran to the finish line, which was found in the arms of an emotionally abusive asshole with the code name Big.
Perhaps no episode in Sex and the City‘s six-season run (and two horribly unwanted films) was as demonstrative of Carrie’s prepubescent selfishness as Season 4, Episode 16: Ring a Ding Ding. In this piece from TrashTalkThrowback, we’re going to review it. So strap in, gird your loins, and prepare to be transported to a more simpler time and place: 2002, on Manhattan’s perfectly quaint Upper East Side.
We open in Carrie’s apartment – what is usually a warm, charming den of terrible puns and even terribler clothes, but is now a dilapidated shack of sorrow, replete with leaky plumbing and festering mold and battered up walls and, most palpably, the awkward doom of a failed relationship.
Aidan, Carrie’s only GOOD boyfriend, turned fiance, turned ex, is on his way out, collecting his final belongings, because he and Carrie have come to the realization that they just don’t want the same things anymore (which is an alias for “Carrie is a ruinous catastrophe, and a danger to society at large”). We’ll cover Carrie’s cosmic mishandling of this perfect man she didn’t deserve in another post, but for now, on with the episode.
Before Aidan gathers up the last of his boxes and flies out of Carrie’s dumpster home like a bat out of hell, he decides to perform one last act of swoon-worthy altruism, offering to fix Carrie’s broken toilet. He’s taken a lot of shit from Carrie too, so I guess this is his way of finding commiseration.
Aidan fixes the toilet in like, 1.7 seconds, but because he (very plainly) asked Carrie to “hold the ball cock” in the process, she gets all flustered and distracted, since women are primarily designed for sex and will practically self destruct if you say anything remotely suggestive in a platonic environment. She rubs up on him all sexy-like, breathing heavy, sending out sexy-like signals from her sexy-like vagina to lure him back into her succubus clutches. But Aidan knows better, and he backs away.
He reminds her that he has to go, to which she responds by stumbling around her bathroom like she literally has to pee, mumbling out that he should “stay forever”, looking at him with terrifically ineffective puppy dog eyes and doing that childish thing where you choose to ignore the very grown-up decision to which you and your partner have both committed. When she finally accepts defeat, she tells Aidan that she left the engagement ring he gave her on “the clown table” (of course Carrie has a clown table, since she is literally a clown version of a woman), but he concedes that the ring belongs to her. She blubbers that she can’t watch him leave, so she forces Aidan to shut her in the bathroom before he goes. Then Aidan departs Carrie’s apartment much in the same way I leave mine: by making sure the dog is distracted so he doesn’t know I’m gone. How humane!
Carrie stays in the bathroom FOR THREE HOURS after this happens, looking at the window above the tub and thinking about catching birds in her mouth. When she finally crawls out into her foyer, shaking out her fur so her collar lets out an awakening jingle-jangle!, she finds an envelope marked “Carrie,” and says, oh! my favorite thing! and thinks it’s a romantically-worded goodbye letter from Aidan, riddled with praises about her wit, her beauty, her taste in embarrassing outfits, et al. She curls up on the couch with a box of tissues to read it, and probably masturbate. But surprise! It’s an eviction notice:
You guys, Aidan did a lot of wonderful things in his time on Sex and the City, but perhaps his greatest feat of heroism was evicting Carrie from her apartment, forcing her to realize that there is a world outside of her carefully designed shrine to herself. For context, he had bought her place when her building went co-op. Also, because sharing her space with another human being was so drastically oppressive for poor Carrie, Aidan additionally bought the apartment next to hers, forcing an old lady out of her home and onto the street. But now that he has regained his freedom, and a cute Upper East Side flat with a woefully overdressed squatter living in it, Aidan is righting the balance sheet.
Carrie thrusts the papers into the faces of the only other three people she knows (outside of the 4,923 men she’s slept with), her friends Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. Miranda calmly explains that the letter isn’t an eviction notice (it’s a request for a decision to buy the apartment back or vacate within 30 days), and that the move is “more than fair” on Aidan’s part (correct! we all say, even having not been to law school but just living normal adult lives). Samantha blurts out that all of this is “tacky,” and Carrie sobs that she’s now homeless and is destined to become a bag lady. Sort of like the bag lady Carrie created when she forced Aidan to buy out her neighbor! But “a Fendi bag lady,” Carrie clarifies, awfully. Her friends casually suggest that she just buy the place, since they’re all magical unicorns who can buy apartments in Manhattan when they’re 35, but Carrie says she’s a renter. Read also: I don’t know what savings is!
Miranda unwittingly puts a cap on the conversation by uncapping her sphincter and letting out a loud, stinky fart. Because pregnant women aren’t really women, they’re just big gassy garbage monsters who ruin breakfast and complain incessantly. Samantha charitably offers to pay for Carrie’s meal, whipping out a Chanel wallet that her Trumpian hotel magnate boyfriend gave her, moaning that he didn’t sign the card it came with with “love.”
Before we get too deep into Samantha’s problems though, Carrie swiftly turns the attention back on herself by declaring that she very selflessly gave her engagement ring back to Aidan. Everyone is gobsmacked by her stupidity, especially considering that diamond rings = money, so Carrie judgmentally asks Charlotte if she got rid of the ring from her recent divorce.
Charlotte swoons in her chair, breathlessly sighing out a no, of course not, she loves that ring, but that doesn’t stop her from immediately bringing it to an appraiser.
“This ring is worth a lot,” says the appraiser in a very Good Fellas, gabagool-kinda Long Island way (that’s how you know she’s slimy!). Charlotte ejaculates out all the specs that make the ring compete with tha muthafuckin’ Heart a the Ocean: Tiffany! 2.17 karats in a platinum setting! Infused with the pulverized skull of Princess Diana! It’s so very very special, don’t you realize! Don’t break it pretty please! She entertains the idea of turning the ring into a floating diamond necklace, and is encouraged by the appraiser’s confirmation that a lot of divorcees do this sort of thing: “These were my baguettes,” she says, pointing to her earrings. “Becaws it turned att that my husband was a FAGUETTE, now they’re irrings. But he had good tayste!”
Another great lesson courtesy of Sex and the City is that gay men are good for single women, because they make single women both better accessorized and more flagrantly homophobic. Eventually, after hearing all of the cheap, barbaric things they’d do to her ring to make her a billboard for stoic materialism, Charlotte decides against re-purposing it. She leaves the appraiser as the appraiser shouts after her not to take the ring “to the gypsies next door!” Hitler would seriously LOVE this show.
Meanwhile, Carrie is at the bank in the most professional, fiscally responsible-looking outfit she could muster:
… taking an audit of her assets that she may be able to use as collateral for a loan. The consultant reveals that Carrie has $700 in her checking account (“I just paid my credit card bill,” Carrie sheepishly offers) and $900-some in savings. Now, to me, that looks like your average single woman’s holdings, or maybe it looks that way to me because I’m terrible with money and literally bathe my animals in $50 bills. But I don’t have children, and don’t plan on having them in the near future, and also I’m a lazy “renter” like Carrie, and oh, I also didn’t allow my fiance, who I was very intent on dumping quite immediately, to buy my apartment and the one next to it.
Carrie whines in a way she assumes that is credible that she just broke up with her fiance, which she had been planning on doing for months, and that’s trauma enough, so could this big serious bank lady please have some sympathy for her poor widdle monstrously serious financial crisis. Big Serious Bank Lady asks if Carrie has any income outside of her
smut rags columns, to which Carrie says no, but she was chosen as New York Magazine’s Best Choice for City Columnist, and that has to count for something, right? The consultant says no, obviously, and asks about outside assets like property, stocks, bonds, other big Latin words that Carrie only thought were saved for the rich dudes she fucks. Unsurprisingly, Carrie has none, so the bank consultant tells her in very demeaning baby talk that she’s “not a desirable candidate for a loan.”
So on Carrie trudges, kicking her can down Fifth Avenue, wailing to anyone who will listen that “she’s about to be put out on the street,” since obviously this self-prescribed “renter” has no idea what Craigslist is and assumes all of the rent-able property in New York City just up and vanished in the 1940s, shortly after Carrie signed her last lease.
Instead of venturing into the terrifying, confusing world of MLS, Carrie has an epiphany: she has to “change her lifestyle,” so she makes the first intrepid resolution to take the bus home. She asks an innocent, average New Yorker at the bus stop how much the fare will cost, who tells her it’s $1.50. Carrie is horrified. She confesses that the last time she took the bus, it cost 75 cents because Tammany Hall was gouging public transit prices or something. Also, Carrie notes to this poor working class, normal human being, did you know that for only $3 more you could just take a cab?
I know you only make like $9 an hour and all, but simplify! When the bus rolls up, it has Carrie’s old banner ad from 1998 promoting her shit column, because buses in New York definitely don’t change their ads in a four-year time window. The irritated normal human being asks with indignation why Carrie has to take the bus when she’s “ON the bus.” “My thoughts exactly!” Carrie spits out, grateful that the universe is finally sympathizing with her very manageable inconvenience.
In her infuriatingly self-serving monologue, Carrie ponders, “so here I was: a 35-year-old single woman with no financial security, but many life experiences behind me. Did that mean nothing?” (in the world of financial security, yes) “After all, heart breaks and break-ups are the hardest kind of work,” (brain surgeons would like a word with you) “… so shouldn’t there be some sort of credit for enduring them?” (literally no, because credit is something you earn for being reliably accountable for something, most often when it comes to finance) “… And if not, how do you retain a sense of value when you have nothing concrete to show for it?” (get a job) “… Because at the end of yet another failed relationship, when all you have are war wounds and self-doubt, you have to wonder: What’s it all worth?” (literally, nothing, currency is needed for goods and services) (again, get a job)
In another seriously unrealistic living situation, Charlotte calls a buttload of galleries that don’t want to hire her, so she pulls out her engagement ring to feel like she has any self-worth. Then she wanders around her shazillion-dollar Park Avenue apartment, brushing her fingers over polished mahogany surfaces, gazing up at the towering crown-molded ceilings, feeling bored. Women of the new millennium, meet your shining new example of self-worth.
Wow, I’m discovering so much about myself.
Meanwhile, in the highly irrational, bizarrely constructed sex den of Samantha’s not-Donald-Trump boyfriend…
… Not Donald Trump gives Samantha a gross set of lingerie and she’s all cheesed because he signed another card with “best,” instead of “love.” Quick, this is not about Carrie, so let’s go to a shoe store.
Miranda brought Carrie shoe shopping because Miranda is a disgusting pregnant cretin who needs ugly flat mules that will somehow accommodate her gross bloated ankles. Carrie sulks around the store, dangling strappy heels in front of her face like they’re fat, juicy pieces of steak, dripping with fresh blood. Literally, Carrie SNIFFS them with arousal. She snatches up a sales person, who is one of three black people ever to appear on Sex and the City, and immediately throws 956 pairs of shoes in his arm, asking him to bring them back in her size but demanding that he not allow her to buy ANYTHING. “How fun for me,” black salesman says, with all the derision Carrie deserves.
Once he disappears, Miranda lets out another apocalyptic preggo-fart, and Carrie, empathetic friend she is, immediately darts to the other end of the store, loudly and visibly shouting about how rancid and inconsiderate Miranda is for not controlling her bodily functions or remembering the fact that Carrie is a pristine human being with highly sensitive olfactory triggers.
More shit about how Miranda feels like muddy dog poop because she’s pregnant, labeling herself “unfuckable” despite the fact that she’s hella horny. Poor Miranda wishes she had a husband who could do her on the reg because when you’re married you’re legally mandated to slam whatever fug loser you mistakenly chose, even when she’s literally growing your offspring inside of her. Carrie says she’s similarly “undesirable,” relating her recent meeting at the bank where a poor consultant had to fight the urge to laugh in her face.
“Where did all my money go? I know I made some!” Carrie extrapolates, relying on the assumption that bills don’t exist and she doesn’t have a lethal addiction to shoes. “At $450 a pop, how many of these do you own? 50?” Miranda asks, because she went to law school and knows how to recognize lethal addictions to shoes.
Carrie corrects Miranda, noting that she actually owns around 100 pairs of transiently styled, impractical shoes. “But that’s only $4,000,” Carrie reasons, because she constantly skipped math class to have experimental sex with her fellow fifth graders. “400 times 100, there’s your down payment,” Miranda calibrates, letting out a proverbial fart all over Carrie’s delusion. As Carrie hyperventilates over the idea that she’s spent $40,000 on shoes, Miranda tries to pull her ring off her finger, making herself fart. Again. There’s that Emmy-winning writing that made HBO the beacon of quality entertainment!
Carrie eventually wises up and decides to look at some new apartments. Her broker, Delia, brings her to ONE and Carrie instantly has a conniption. In front of the extended closet, Carrie throws her hands in the air and tells the broker that she would LITERALLY HANG HERSELF here, also adding that the place smells like gross Indian food (OMG, are you telling me that New York apartments are sometimes built on top of restaurants? call the UN Security Counsel), and that $2800/month is outrageous considering she pays $750 for an apartment twice as big. As I think about paying $750 for a one-bedroom apartment in a brownstone on the Upper East Side, bawling into my empty wallet, Delia flatly informs Carrie, a seasoned New Yorker who’s lived in the same apartment for a decade, what “rent control” means. Carrie pouts some more and asks Delia “what other shit holes” they have to see. Delia, speaking on behalf of the entire world, tells Carrie that based on her “price point and attitude,” their tour is done. She suggests that Carrie start looking in Weehawken. HA! Praise Delia.
Realizing that acting like any sort of respectable adult is out of the question, Carrie decides to hit up her ex for money. Good choice, Carrie! We’re whisked to the Offices of J. Big, Esq., Attorney at Sexual Assault, where we’re reunited with Big, and reminded that he is a Very Serious Successful Business Person because he ends a phone conversation with, “well, get back to me when the numbers are in.” Numbers! Color me impressed. And also color Carrie, who decided to wear this to the meeting:
See, you should save suits for occasions like this, instead of wearing them to your application for a bank loan. Because being a broke slut who needs money from your ex is a much more important thing than being an adult who needs a structured loan from an impartial, legitimate enterprise like Wells Fargo.
“Well look at you all dressed up – applying for a job here?” Big slurs, alternating between a Tex Avery cartoon wolf and a patronizing dad. Carrie smiles in this weird self-satisfied way (ew), batting her eyes and rolling her shoulders as she stalks around the masculine, sterile room like she owns the joint, retorting, “So this is where you work…” … Wait. So in the two-or-so years you dated this dude, and during the months-long affair when you ran around Manhattan looking for discrete places to plow each other, you NEVER saw his office, but it’s OK to barge in on him now, when you two are practically estranged, to ask him for tens of thousands of dollars? HOW WAS THIS SHOW EVEN A THING. My vagina has deceased.
Carrie eventually and reluctantly cuts off their creepy flirtation to talk turkey. She opens with a citation she once read that Big “took something like $3 million and leveraged it to build a $100 million building.” I mean, that statement is begging for some context and credibility, but I at least applaud Carrie for using the word “leverage” and doing a little bit of pre-read. She wants to know how Big “did that,” and over his growing erection due to the fact that a woman praised his corporate prowess, Big asks what’s going on. Carrie explains that she needs to buy her apartment but she has no money. And then she deflates, admitting that she broke up with Aidan. Big smiles in a falsely sympathetic way, knowing he now has a chance, asking why she didn’t call him (again, acting like this weird amalgam between sexual hero and benevolent father).
They mull over what went wrong with Aidan, casually hinting at the inevitable fact that they, these two fuckwit shitheels, will eventually end up together, since that’s what they deserve. Carrie shakes it off and tells Big that he needs to tell her everything he knows about money. So then Carrie goes to Wharton and spends two boring years in Philadelphia crying about how dull and difficult everything is but eventually gets her MBA and settles down with a dentist named Carl.
Just kidding! Of course, because she is a prostitute, or a child, or both, Big writes Carrie a check for $30,000, which she brings to a Chinese restaurant where she has dinner with her home-owning rich friends. She reveals that Big offered her the money, offering with integrity that “she could never take it, could she?”, revealing this erratically written check with no address on it:
“This definitely won’t bounce, honey.” – Big
Since Miranda is the only smart person in this episode, because she’s pregnant and thus rendered useless as a Sex Thing, she vehemently declares that no, absolutely not, Carrie should not take the money. And since Samantha is a figurative whore, she adopts the role of literal whore and disagrees, telling Carrie that she should of course take the money. Miranda rightly asserts that “when a man gives you money, you give him control.” Samantha incorrectly asserts that “man, woman, who cares? It’s fluid!” and trust me, no one knows more about fluids than Samantha. Charlotte immediately blurts out that she’s uncomfortable with the conversation, which makes sense considering she’s the waspiest WASP of all WASPs, who don’t talk about money because they have it.
Miranda and Samantha, eventually realizing that they’re friends with a 12-year-old brat who would rather sit in the mud playing with rocks than fix her own problems, offer to collectively loan Carrie money for the down payment on her apartment which she can absolutely not vacate under any circumstance because reasons. Carrie is agog that anyone in the world has a savings account when they could be buying Manolo Blahniks that they’ll wear once, but she declines the offer, taking very visible notice that Charlotte very visibly didn’t chime in to GIVE CARRIE $30,000:
She very bravely rips up Big’s fake check in front of them, admitting that she’s going to “do this on her own.” Um, do what on her own? Hovel in her apartment until a bailiff throws her whole $40,000 shoe collection out on East 73rd Street and she has to entertain men in her Shoe House? Seriously, up to this point, Carrie has demonstrated that of all the things she can do “on her own,” she is willing to do absolutely none of them, including literal prostitution, which should come naturally to her.
A deeply disquieted Charlotte switches topics to her new job, which is a docent position at MOMA. Instead of congratulating her friend Charlotte on her new job, Carrie asks what the job pays since hey! She too can be a docent! That’s always how I respond when I hear about my friends’ new jobs: “Oh cool! So they’re hiring! I can definitely do what you do, which is civil engineering. It’s just like cleaning toilets, right? Where do I sign up?” Charlotte sadly admits that it’s a volunteer job, but it’s a “highly coveted position,” to which Carrie finally shuts up, since she wasn’t presented with a get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme. Finally, a random headless person throws a plate of fortune cookies on the table, accompanied by a disembodied, highly stereotypical Chinese voice-over shouting “YOU COME BACK,” because this show really captured the human side of New York in a very nuanced way, ya know? Carrie cracks open her cookie, which has no fortune in it, because hahaha, puns.
As the girls walk out into Chinatown with their ANCIENT CHINESE SEEKLET China fans, Carrie has another very white nervous breakdown because she has no apartment and “no Aidan.” The ladies and definitely me too all feel sorry for her because absolutely none of this was her fault, and we thank HBO for giving us a very privileged reason to know what Chinatown in New York looks like. What an exotic and fun place to be sad about things!
The next day, Carrie clops around her apartment in her slutty grandma outfit, feeling poor and sad and displaced even though she hasn’t been asked to move a finger and has done nothing to act upon her request to make a decision about the place. Feeling oddly juxtaposed next to Charlotte’s bored but beautiful apartment-wandering scene, Carrie suddenly feels full of irrational, energy-inducing angst: a rage so red hot and justified that it finally spirals her into action. Hurray! we all yell, thinking that Carrie will at last start throwing shit in boxes and just call some hot college hunks to move her into Queens. But what fools are we, thinking that Carrie will move to A BOROUGH and live among people of color. No, instead, Carrie’s instinctive jolt will lead her to the doorstep of Charlotte York’s apartment, where she’s come to berate Charlotte for not blindly offering to give Carrie, her famously spendthrift friend, $30,000.
Carrie invites herself in and doesn’t waste any time asking Charlotte why she didn’t offer Carrie money. Seriously, the only sound between Carrie walking in and wailing on Charlotte is the sound of her stupid heels angrily beating up the hardwood floor. Carrie says she would have offered Charlotte money if the roles were reversed, which is pretty hilarious considering we just saw what was in Carrie’s bank account. She also adds that Charlotte should have offered just because Carrie’s a friend, ignoring the fact that Louboutins mean more to Carrie then friendship. She then, incredibly, reasons that she and Charlotte “have both made mistakes,” pointing out Charlotte’s divorce, as if a divorce is the same sort of “mistake” as getting engaged to a man you don’t love AND LETTING HIM BUY YOUR APARTMENT when you have no equity to speak of outside of your egregiously generous fiance.
Carrie’s next nail in the coffin is: how DARE Charlotte, who clearly doesn’t have to worry about money since she’s living in a Park Avenue palace that she won in a divorce, volunteering because it’s the only thing she has to save her from drifting around aimlessly in an apartment and Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. Charlotte tells Carrie that money and friends don’t mix, and that while she loves Carrie, “it’s not her job to fix Carrie’s finances.” Carrie feels sidetracked and stupid, until she notices that Charlotte is still wearing her old engagement ring:
Carrie then launches on Round 2, calling Charlotte a hypocrite for telling her to be more independent. Charlotte, again the right one here, explains that wearing the ring in the privacy of her own home makes her feel good, and who should give a shit about that? Also, the only reason she’s volunteering is because the galleries she’s applied at feel she’s “too qualified” to employ, which is a concept Carrie – writer of penises and vaginas and the weird but universal things they get up to – cannot comprehend.
Carrie finally concedes, recognizing that she’s being an abysmal [word I am not willing to put into writing], and turns away to start the walk home. Both entitled women are horrified by the idea of walking home, especially because Carrie’s feet are strapped in to torture devices on her feet but she still insists on wearing them because they match her insane shtetl lewk. Also, the Subway does not exist. Six feet under and all you’ll find in New York are Native American bones and used colonial-era condoms (just kidding, they never used condoms).
Over at Not Donald Trump’s sex dungeon, which evidently only has one room, two stairways leading to nowhere, a bed centerpiece for the express purpose to freak on, and an invisible bathroom, Samantha emerges from a nice relaxing bath:
Except, GAHHHHH! there’s a strange man there! But don’t worry, he’s gay. Which means he’s only there to show Samantha what pretty new purses to buy and give her the agency to use the F-word. He’s also there to compliment Samantha on her slammin’ bod, which is OK since he’s a geigh, and give her another gift from Not Donald Trump, his boss.
Robert (the singing dancing fairy in this scene) is Not Donald Trump’s “personal shopper,” which kind of begs the question of how he got into Not Donald Trump’s weird sexy MC Escher house in the first place, but that’s not the one on Samantha’s mind. She wants to know how many other women Robert is shopping for on behalf of Not Donald Trump, and he admits that “it’s a lot less since she came into the picture.” Samantha is unperturbed by this answer but is perturbed by the fact that Not Donald Trump isn’t picking this shit out on his own, until she realizes that Gay Robert is writing the cards accompanying the gifts – and it’s not Not Donald Trump writing “best” instead of “love”. Gay Robert begs Samantha not to tell Not Donald Trump about the intrusion, and she promises to pretend “he doesn’t exist” (kind of easy in this universe, with the gays and the staff at least) on one condition: Samantha gets Robert to sign the next gift card with “love.”
Clever! When Samantha opens her gift and reads the card in front of Not Donald Trump, he is bamboozled into falsely telling her he loves her, while Gay Robert is most certainly fired via text and forced to live in Carrie’s Shoe House. Samantha doesn’t return the sentiment, saying instead that she “loves” the bracelet Not Donald Trump got her. Well played, Samantha!
Miranda and Steve, her baby daddy and a sentient SLICE’A PIE from a 24-hour Brooklyn pizzeria, are discussing shared custody of the Minion fart gun they created together (conceived after Steve learned he had testicular cancer and had to have wun bawl removed). Miranda reprises her song about being a tragically turned-on booger goblin that no one will have sex with, and because Steve is constantly surrounded by big-haired Brooklyn women that only talk about lasagna, he smiles impishly and offers to penetrate her impossibly huge corporeal form, chancing the risk of noxious gases filling the room and killing them both in a minute. Romance!
In the next scene, Carrie and Charlotte meet at a restaurant you know is classy and expensive because there are violins playing and pastries sit untouched on tiered trays. The hair dressers on set did everything they could to make Carrie look like an unruly, reckless teenager, and Charlotte look like her well-kept, forgiving mom:
Quick cliff note to point out a major hypocrisy on Carrie’s part: in Season 6, she will eventually shit all over her insecure, less successful boyfriend’s book because he wrote about a New York woman wearing a scrunchie, because New York women never wear scrunchies, but here she is, a New York woman, WEARING A SCRUNCHIE. Also, in the same conversation with said insecure, less successful boyfriend, Carrie is wearing some weirdly engineered plaid dress… thing… with neon pink bra straps showing, and yes, Carrie was touted as the pinnacle of fashion in the early 2000’s. LET THAT SINK IN.
Anyway, oh my god, this scene is easily the most infuriating moment of what is easily the most infuriating series on television, so I’m just gunna try to breeze through it. Carrie and Charlotte both apologize TO EACH OTHER, admitting that they were “just scared” because they’re single again and they don’t have men around to tell them how to do money or eat lunch or use their educations to enter a marketable skill and trade. Charlotte pulls out her engagement ring and offers it to Carrie to use as a down payment on her apartment. Carrie emits a lukewarm refusal, but since Charlotte is as independent as the show pretends women can be, she insists that she loves what the ring represented (Kyle MacLachlan in tan suits, which I certainly keel over for as well) and not what it is.
Charlotte also says, “Why do I have all this money if I can’t help out a friend?” and then I wonder if I want someone like the women on Sex and the City as a friend (or someone who starts sentences with why do I have all this money?), and then I shoot myself in the head. Carrie quickly turns the tide into acceptance, confirming that the ring is a loan and she’ll pay Charlotte back (we never got any evidence later in the series of Carrie paying Charlotte back). After a bunch of “I’ll pay you backs,” Carrie voices over that “Charlotte had taken her painful past and turned it into my hopeful future, and that made the ring priceless.” Not to spoil anything, but that hopeful future looks like two seriously toxic relationships and returning to a man that despised her for at least two contentious years of marriage and loads of gay-bashing. So hurray for a tidy solution!
Later, we see Carrie signing her deed and thanking a very portly unnamed extra for doing all the fix-it shit that only a man knows how to do, reminding us of the fact that menial every-day problems can always be dealt with by someone else (and your big, once-in-a-blue-moon disasters can always be solved by your millionaire friends). Isn’t being a white woman in the Bush era fabulous?
And… that’s pretty much Sex and the City in a nutshell. A half hour sitcom, solved within 23 minutes thanks to the magic of white privilege and beautiful human beings. I have a lot more thoughts on why Carrie Bradshaw is a cancer, but I can save them for (many more) recaps of similarly outrageous episodes that beg us to sympathize. If you liked this, great! If not, that’s cool too. I can just get drunk with my friends and rant about it, but you wouldn’t be invited to contribute. Whatever option sounds more appealing, let me know what you got to thinking about later that day (dot dot dot) in the comments, so I know how to spend my Saturdays (aside from day drinking).
Remember Trashies, the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all… is the one you have with yourself.
… and Mr. Big. Sorry, spoiler alert.
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