I Watched Sex and the City Last Night

Sex and the City

You know how you can love people to the point that it actually sort of hurts you? Is it supposed to hurt like that?

I watched Sex and the City (the movie) last night and this time I actually finished it. Generally, I turn it on, it bores me to tears, and I turn it off somewhere near the middle (I figured you might have to watch the show to really enjoy it). But I finally ran it all the way through and I began to see why it was so popular. For one thing, whomever wrote that was definitely a horny bastard. During high school/early college/every period cycle I could probably watch that on an endless loop for days, and I’m only somewhat ashamed of that. More than that, it’s very smart, well written, and shows a very painful reality to different types of relationships. The kind of reality people generally want to forget exists, so they hide it away. Which, inherently, causes them to become lost in it and drawn to anyone or anything that offers them sweet relief in the form of empathy, or merely acknowledgement that they hadn’t imagined their suffering.

So I watched Sex and the City and found myself entertained by the reality of it. When I watch movies or shows or whatever else there is, I’m most interested in whatever character is either in a situation I am currently in, a situation I want to be in, or one I’m afraid of falling into and who reacts in a way I might react. In Grey’s Anatomy, I paid most attention to Cristina Yang. Smart, determined, loyal, and outspoken she went forward with the things she wanted and held no ties to anything that might hold her back. In Harry Potter, I was most interested in Harry, who cared for others deeply and was willing to sacrifice all that he had for the pursuit of their well-being, but also to satisfy his strong sense of pride and self-determination. In Sex and the City, I like Samantha and Charlotte. Sam, who has everything she had ever been told was worth having; A very good looking man, money for days, and an amazing career/living situation, but still finds herself lacking self-identity and must leave these things to pursue it. Then Charlotte, who is somewhat silly, a little complacent, a bit idealistic, and who’s only real fear is being so happy that the world will feel jilted and steal all of her joy for itself.

The reason I like them, I imagine, is the same as usual. I’m either in one of those situations, would like to be, or am afraid of being. Which is which? Not sure.

A friend of mine told me, “There’s a tendency among those who are emotionally injured to oscillate between what they want, what they think they want, and what feels safe for them to want, which is often three different things.” I feel like this fits somehow.

I’m on co-op working at a heart valve company in southern CA. On the weekends, those of us who are unmarried and in our twenties tend to hang out together. Every one seems to hang around each other for the same reasons; there’s no one else around. We’re all friends, but in the lightest form of the word. They’re not the people that I’ve chosen, but rather the people that I’ve been left with. I could leave at any moment, never see them again, and when I looked back I would think of them fondly. There’d be no pain, just good memories. I’m starting to see the appeal of that sort of thing. Is that the kind of thing most people have? Friends with no attachments? Because in this situation I can see myself falling into a relationship with someone and not actually caring about them. Just going through the motions. I see it being light and enjoyable, the same thing I’ve never understood. And yet there it is. Standing in front of me. I can see myself falling into happiness, into love, into a sweet silliness, into complacency, but also feeling thoroughly unsatisfied, lacking self-identity.

I’m starting to wonder if that’s what they mean by “be happy with what you have” or “the only thing stopping you from being happy is your attitude”. Because I get that. I could potentially trick myself into happiness. I could fall into it. I could have those things that everyone wants if I could just allow myself to trust fall into them. If I could trust myself to do it. If I could trust myself to believe it. But it seems rather like easing into a stupor. It seems like numbing your mind to only see happy things.

I’ve only known great things to cause both immense, rejuvenating amounts of happiness and deep, debilitating amounts of pain. And I’m drawn to that immense amount of rejuvenation. It gives me an irreplaceable high. And though I know the pain will come once it stops, I even find a satisfaction in the way it hurts me, a mental sort of masochism. And I don’t think I can keep myself satiated with that mundane, middle sort of love. The kind that you fall into. The kind that’s safe in it’s mediocrity. And the life that accompanies it.

I need to be surrounded by all of those things that are painful to leave. I need to be where the word “love” means something and isn’t just a greeting. I want to thank God for all things that surround me and mean it. I want to be among family, not just people. I need to be in a place that I choose with the love that I’ve chosen and grown accustomed to. The kind of love that’s rich and fattening, and that hurts, more than anything.

And whether I’m in them, wish to be in them, or am afraid of the realities Sam and Charlotte portray?

I think I’m a mixture of the three.


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