"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships." - Andy Warhol

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Are kids a requirement in “real life”?

In reality, I don’t have that much in common with Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, or Samantha (I think it goes without saying that I’m talking about Sex and the City).

But in two separate and memorable episodes - “A Woman’s Right to Shoes” and “Critical Condition,” I strongly identify with both Carrie and Samantha respectively. The common theme? People without kids versus people with kids.

Check your priorities at the door

In “A Woman’s Right to Shoes,” Carrie attends a baby shower for her friend Kyra and is asked to remove her shoes - a pair of Manolo Blahniks - at the door. At the end of the party, the shoes are gone, and Kyra, a mother of three, is too preoccupied to concern herself with the missing shoes.

When Carrie follows-up about the shoes, Kyra offers to pay her for them but says that $485 is “insane” to spend on shoes. When Carrie reminds Kyra that she used to wear Monolos, Kyra says, “Sure. Before I had a real life...Kids, houses.”

The message: everything before kids isn’t as real as everything after kids.

Defend your decision

In “Critical Condition,” Miranda is struggling with being a new single mom. All of her clothes “smell like barf” and she can’t find time to get away from the baby long enough to take a shower, let alone get a haircut.

And as Miranda struggles to balance her new responsibility - a.k.a. baby Brady - with everything else in life, Samantha seems to be comparatively carefree.

When Carrie asks if Samantha is free to help Miranda, Samantha replies that she’s “booked all day” with a hair appointment and a return of...an electronic device.

Carrie challenges Samantha’s plans, and Samantha responds, “Yes, that is my life, and I don't have to justify it. I hate it when people have babies and they suddenly expect you turn into a Norman Rockwell painting.”


Back off, baby. Not yet.

As a woman in her late twenties who has yet to venture down the path that invariably ends in baby powder-scented bliss or a prolonged slump of unshowered exhaustion (I guess it depends on your perspective), I sometimes feel like I have to justify my choices.

I work full time, I’m pursuing a graduate degree, and I maintain a clean, organized household. I don’t forget birthdays and we never run out of toilet paper. But in comparison to parenting, it’s not “a real life.”

While I don’t delude myself into thinking that what I do is more significant or more taxing than raising a minivan full of kids, I also don’t think it’s less so. It’s just different.

I don’t know what it feels like to drive a minivan full of kids, and I don't expect the minivan drivers of the world to identify with what my life entails.

I'd really just like the minivan drivers of the world to recognize that while they’re in the throes of an enlightening transcendence into parenthood, I’m still just me (no Norman Rockwell painting here, I’m afraid).

My message

So, here’s my message to Carrie and Samantha (and the world!):

Carrie - Your footwear is your prerogative, whether or not you have kids. So go ahead, marry yourself, and register at Manolo Blahnik! (This last statement will register with die-hard fans only).

Samantha - If you don’t get your hair done or make your return as planned, you can probably get to it another day. But if keeping your schedule is important to you, you shouldn’t need to defend how you spend your time. And kudos for being a supportive friend! (Okay, to clue in those who aren't die-hard fans - Samantha eventually gives Miranda her appointment at the John Mandy Salon and watches Brady while Miranda gets a haircut, and hopefully a shower too...).

1 comment:

  1. I knew this one was coming. Couldn't do a blog on TV shows without your favorite SATC episode! And if we want to eat out 29 out of the 30 days in a month, that is also our prerogative!