April 12, 2009 by 8junebugs
I have always loved Carrie’s relationship with Big.
And oh, it was awful, wasn’t it? All the waiting, and being the other woman, and waiting to find out if she was The One… God, it hurt. It hurt to watch and to see how wonderful they were together and how he was married to women who were so clearly NOT CARRIE. It was terrible.
They were, however, so gloriously, tragically perfect together.
And, in the movie, they admit that they’ve already done everything they can to screw it up — they know that they have always been perfect for each other, but there were things standing between them and forever, things usually within their control. It is finally their chance, and the whole ticket-holding world wants it to be worth the wait.
Still, it’s not as easy as it looks. Even with the Vogue sponsorship, the cash, the airbrushing…
I like to think this is the human condition, but the truth is that I know plenty of couples who figured it out before the ripe old age of 30-whatever. God love them, they knew what they wanted, they recognized it when they found it, and they honored it with a wedding to remember.
I envy those couples, but I love them far more than I envy them. And so I think we’re all still friends.
But the SATC movie is pop culture proof that even the happy ending ain’t the same as the fairy tale. There’s The Dress (oh, God, that DRESS), and the NY Public Library, and the friends standing up with Carrie, willing this to be everything she “deserves” — The Perfect Day.
How could this go wrong?
What do couples fight about? Money, sex, family? These people have it all. They can afford all of this, they make sex for grown-ups look good, and, um…what family? They can do WHATEVER they want.
I cried, when I saw this in the theatre. I cried and cried and cried. And I know why — I knew then. I know what it’s like to know what the right relationship is and do something else. What’s better — and worse — I know what it’s like to have unbelievable friends who stand by you during the right relationship and the Something Else.
(Dear friends: I would take you on my honeymoon, should I be minus a groom. You would be AWESOME in Mexico.)
(And I would laugh at you if you pooped your pants, even in Mexico. Especially in Mexico. But, God, I would love you all the more.)
It is not impossible that this realization is among the many that fed my decision to leave my first marriage.
SATC: The Movie has the best ending — Carrie and Big get married down at City Hall a little after 10 one random morning. Miranda and Steve go to counseling and work it out. Samantha leaves a gorgeous younger man because she needs to be the center of her own life — and he sees it coming and understands. Charlotte remains a marvelous wife and values her unremarkable marriage with bald, Jewish Harry, who is — enviably — hopelessly devoted to her.
None of it is perfect (except for the bankrolls). Even Charlotte, with her “perfect” life, didn’t get it with the “perfect” guy. (The “perfect” guy, if you recall, was her first husband, who had seshual issues…poor lad.) She got it with the sweaty guy who sat naked on her perfectly apolstered setee, but understands and…adores her.
And so, HBO teaches us that “perfect” isn’t always what we expect it to be.
It’s the guy who completes you, but doesn’t fit your mom’s (or friends’) expectations or timeline.
It might also be the guy who fucks up and has a one-night stand because your intimacy is nonexistent.
It’s the friends who stand by you through everything, who trust your judgment, who take the subway in Manhattan on New Year’s Eve so you aren’t alone with Chinese food when the ball drops…or who help you pack for your mom’s funeral.
It’s the career that allows you to support yourself if you need to leave a bad marriage.
And it’s everlasting faith in love everlasting. That’s all we have, in the end, isn’t it? In the end, all we have is our love for each other, whatever the flavor, strength, or duration. That’s it.
I have to say, I do love the “reception” that follows Carrie and Big’s wedding — Denny’s, maybe, with all the people (and puppies!) who love them most, and just…well, love. In its least glamorous, but truest, form.