Monday, December 25, 2006

sex and the city

So as I said earlier, despite having always being a fan of the Sex and the City, the TV show, I'd never actually read the book, which came first, and had no idea that it originated from a column in The New York Observer, meaning that most, if not all, characters mentioned were based on real people.

I'm currently on page 94 and am simply amazed by the incredibly accuracy of Bushnell's observations and depictions of the NY dating world, the least reason of which is because I actually know many of the characters she names directly. Some of the other characters, the ones who asked that their names be changed, are so transparent that their identities seem more obvious than some of those who were comfortable being openly revealed. It's kind of like reading 289 pages of deliciously bad blind items on Gawker or E!, where Lindsay Lohan becomes Kitty Shohan, playing on the name or some notorious well-known behavior (like a predilection for going without panties). Other characters are just amazing amalgamations of people, or populations of people, like modelizers.
All of it is good fun.

Starting at the beginning with Chapter 1, Carrie says what I imagine each Manhattan girl has said at one time or another: "Every time a man tells me he's a romantic, I want to scream. All it means is that a man has a romanticized view of you, and as soon as you become real and stop playing into his fantasy, he gets turned off."

The number one offender in new New York relationships? Over-eagerness/romance. Smart men know this; they don't try and bowl you over or sweep you off your feet. Those adages belong to a different time, or if not a different time, than certainly a different place. Don't get me wrong- I'm not anti-romance. What I'm talking about needs some distinction. I'm not talking about nice candlelit dinners, which women categorically love. I'm talking about looking deeply into a woman's eyes and telling her you've never felt this way about anyone before, after only your first drink together. I'm talking about taking her home to the parents and telling them that you've met the woman you're going to marry on your second date. I'm talking about telling a girl you got tickets to go to Caracas for a week the day after you met.

I'm not trying to be cynical about romance- I am actually a romantic at heart- but it's just a simple reality that no matter how excited you are about someone, you don't know them until you know them, and that will never be on the first date. Any feelings of love felt in the first week, therefore, are in my opinion to be fully enjoyed for the absurd and wonderful madness that they are (who doesn't revel in passion?), but are not to be taken too seriously. Time inappropriate seriousness is my first indication that it's time to start moving toward the door.

At another point in the book, an ex-boyfriend of mine, who I remember as being particularly dull (and I rarely ever think that of the people I've dated), was quoted saying some unexpectedly exciting things about his past, which left me wondering if it wasn't I who had been dull in a relationship which, needless to say, did not last long.
Relationships are strange this way; two people can be interesting- stimulating in intellectual, physical, and spiritual ways- and yet they come together and couldn't be more tedious or boring, as if their best qualities had managed to cancel each other out. Who knows? I guess it's just one of those unexplained phenomena, like the Bermuda Triangle, or UFO's.

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“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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