I don’t care what decade we’re in or how many years it’s been off the air, I will always find “Sex and the City” to be relevant to our culture. Every day, new women (and men, I won’t leave you kids out) are discovering the show, relating to the storylines, and realizing that they are one of four women: a Carrie, a Charlotte, a Samantha, or a Miranda. Personally, I am a Miranda. I am cynical as fuck, we kind of treat men similarly, and we’re very sarcastic (you guys probably couldn’t pick up on that). I feel like most people have a mix of all of the women in them (despite how much you don’t want to be a Charlotte or a Carrie. Really, it’s how much I don’t want to be a Charlotte or a Carrie. Emphasis on Carrie), but there’s one whose storylines and dialogue really resonates with how you see yourself and you assume others see you.
It hasn’t happened in real life (yet), but on my OkCupid I make it a point to say that I’m a feminist because I wear that title PROUD, but then I list “Sex and the City” under my favorite shows, and I get called out. There will be a never-ending argument about if the show goes against feminism or if it’s helping out the cause. My stance on the show is that it is about four, strong female leads, two of which are independent (you can guess which two I find to be more independent), have firm careers, and are sexually liberated. However, I know that the show relies mostly on the relationship aspect, as it is called “SEX” and the city. Also, the women can come off as rather pathetic at times when dealing with the men in their lives and a lot of the times, the show makes it seem that having a relationship is the end-all in life. I think it walks a fine line of telling you to love yourself and love your friends, but more often than not, Carrie and Charlotte are complaining that they’re lonely and need to be in relationships. I guess that’s the point of the show though, as many women feel the same way and allow relationships to define their lives, so these characters are more relatable to them. However, in an ideal feminist sitcom, the women would have relationships, but it wouldn’t be the death of them if the relationships didn’t work out because we shouldn’t rely on a man to make us happy. That’s probably the most stereotypical feminist thing I can think to say. Regardless of anyone’s take on it, I just love the stupid show, despite wanting to punch Carrie in the face the majority of the time she’s on the screen.
Yes, this post is about Carrie. Not just Carrie really, because I’d probably hang myself from my ceiling fan with my finest Chanel scarf (see what I did there? I don’t own a Chanel scarf, I’m trying to write like Carrie), but more about the age old debate that fans will always be on separate sides of the fence about: Big or Aidan. Yes. That’s what this is about. The show went off the year a decade ago, but I’m going to weigh in now, in 2013, with my thoughts about Carrie’s two biggest loves. And I will insult her other boyfriends along the way, don’t worry.
So. There’s lots to say here. Let’s make fun of her other boyfriends first. I’d say Carrie’s big four boyfriends are Big, Aidan, Berger, and the Russian, who absolutely does not deserve to be referred to by a real name because he is horrible in every sense of the word. I say that these are her big four because she dated each of them for more than two episodes and she also said “I love you” to all of them. So, let’s do this. The Russian, as I said, is horrible. He’s pretentious, has a very odd sense of humor, and Carrie is just extremely annoying with him. I think a lot of why I hate the Russian is because I hate how Carrie acts with the him. He’s naturally a romantic and Carrie can’t handle it because she’s a fucking idiot. Like she faints because he wants to dance with her to a string orchestra. Like excuse me? No. That’s a BIT dramatic, you moron. Also, he takes her to Paris, she went by choice not by force, and she is miserable the whole time. I get that she’s away from her friends and he is distracted because he has a big art show coming up, but Carrie, you’re in fucking Paris. I’ve been to Paris before, it’s amazing. NEVER complain if you’re in Paris. Also, you knew he’d be busy, HE MOVED THERE BECAUSE HE HAS AN ART SHOW. Guy’s gotta work, not everyone needs to be at your whim 24/7.
Right, then there’s Berger. I’m someone who originally loved Berger, I thought he had great potential. He was funny, a writer, cute. THE TOTAL PACKAGE, AMIRITE LADIEZ? Anyway, he goes completely insane when he’s dropped by his publisher and then takes it out on Carrie. Carrie does do this annoying thing where she points out a character in his book shouldn’t be wearing a scrunchie. While I’m actually not annoyed at Carrie for doing that, really (she is, after all, a writer and she was giving him her opinion after a rave review of the book), I’m more annoyed at Carrie because I fucking despise when I’ve already done something and people tell me I should have done something differently. Like, sorry, excuse me, can I go back in time and fix that? No? Fuck you then. But yeah, Berger goes bat shit and breaks up with Carrie on a post-it note and that’s one of the best storylines on television ever, it’s actually almost perfect to me. Carrie deserves that.
So now the big two. Here we go. It seems so clear cut, really. Big is a complete asshole who fucked with Carrie for multiple years and was reluctant to ever commit to her, while Aidan is (inexplicably) in love with Carrie, wants to marry her, and is a total cutie (season four, never season three. That hair is inexcusable). Therefore, most people think Aidan is the better choice for Carrie and are angry that she ends up with Big. I agree with half of that, Aidan is a much better man. But that’s not the point here. While Aidan is a better person, he is not, in the end, the man that Carrie wanted to be with. Carrie seemed to get off on her twisted relationship with Big. She wouldn’t have gone back to him so many times if she didn’t. There was something there, the chase, perhaps, that brought her back time and again. That was never really the case with Aidan, and Carrie never seemed to ever be content while she was with him.
For example, when Carrie and Aidan first date in season three, she has extreme issues with meeting his parents, becoming serious with him, quitting smoking for him, etc. There is an episode dedicated to the fact that she’s freaking out about their relationship because there’s nothing wrong with it. It keeps her up at night. I’d have to say there’s something wrong with you if you have a problem with not having a problem in your relationship (I was that person once, it’s no way to live). Carrie could never just accept the relationship and move on. Also, from the description I gave above, it seemed like Carrie had to do a lot of changing to be the person she thought Aidan wanted her to be, and one should never compromise oneself. Except maybe if you’re Carrie, it would probably be best for the world to get a complete personality transplant. Then, there is the biggest problem in their relationship, the fact that Carrie has an extended affair (I say extended because it lasted about three episodes) with Big, her ex, while dating Aidan. My biggest problem with the affair is that Carrie seemed to not give a shit about Aidan’s feelings in all of it. Every time she was mad at herself for what she was doing, it was because Big was married and had a wife and he was cheating on her. Never once did Carrie say, “oh right, I have a boyfriend I supposedly love”. She just wanted to keep Aidan around because she knew she could. And then once they broke up and got back together in season four, their entire relationship was problematic because Aidan (rightfully) couldn’t trust Carrie, they wanted to lead separate lives (i.e. the episode where she wants to go clubbing and Aidan would rather be a hillbilly with his dog in a pair of tighty whities), and she threw up when she found the engagement ring he bought her. Like, none of these things scream “YOU TWO SHOULD BE IN A RELATIONSHIP” to me. Once engaged, despite the fact that Carrie didn’t even seem to want to marry Aidan and that she’s an idiot, she has physical reactions to the idea of marriage and they call the whole thing off. Essentially every episode with Aidan in it while him and Carrie are dating are about the problems in their relationship. They could never just be happy and enjoying one another, something HAD to be wrong (this probably has to do with the fact that Carrie is an insane drama queen).
So now, Big. Big is an asshole, I’ve already said that. He strung Carrie along, messed with her head. We’ve all been there (maybe just me, whatever, eff you guys), and we know it’s completely unhealthy. However, we also know there is something about it that keeps you in it, despite how mentally and emotionally draining the situation is. Even after all of the shit the two of them went through after dating and after their affair, Carrie and Big decide to be friends still, they hang out, have long, late night phone calls. It’s really painfully obvious during the show they’re going to end up together, he wouldn’t have been kept around otherwise. It’s the same way I feel about Miranda and Steve, but we’re not talking about them (BECAUSE THEY’RE PERFECT. JK I just love Steve). Carrie is the kind of person who needs to have drama in her life and in her relationships. She didn’t get that FROM Aidan, so she needed to create it in her head to satisfy her sick need. However, she got more than her fill from Big, and that’s exactly what she desired. That’s my main point in all of this: Carrie wanted that messed up, dramatic relationship. As perfect as Aidan may seem on paper, he was never what Carrie wanted. In my opinion, Aidan deserved far better than Carrie, and I will not even get into discussing their fucked up storyline in the second movie (the second movie is sheer proof that some people just want to watch the world burn). It might seem crazy, but that’s just how some people are. They thrive off of dramatic situations, it’s how they feel alive, and I personally think it’s dumb (no offense to the zero people reading this, although I feel I’ve insulted everyone enough at this point that you should take no stock in what I say).
To sum up, yet again, my thoughts lay in this: Aidan was the better man, but Big was the better man for Carrie. That’s who she was ultimately supposed to end up with, because that is the kind of man she was looking for, despite how emotionally sick he made her feel. That’s just Carrie’s character, and we were unfortunately fed that character and her depressing fashion choices for six seasons. I try to enjoy the show despite Carrie, that’s really how I get through it. But yes, these are my thoughts on this really relevant subject, and I hope everyone (no one) feels free to agree or disagree.
Also, I feel this isn’t brought up enough, but Aidan was corny as fuck. I mean, Carrie is too, her weekly column is effing ridiculous (as is her lifestyle that her weekly column SOMEHOW supports, I won’t even get into that bullshit, I’m still mad about it), some of the shit she spews out is down-right stomach-churning for how corny it is, but Aidan was corny in a different way. He seemed more genuinely corny because he actually said a lot of really cliché statements aloud, to Carrie, in public. They all embarrassed me. So like maybe in that way they made sense together, but ultimately, their mutual affection for corniness wasn’t enough to make their relationship work. Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes, it hurts instead.
Generally, it hurts instead. Stay strong, turtle doves.