Monday, June 23, 2008

Sex and the City + More

I saw the Sex and the City movie on Friday. I had (and still have) really mixed feelings about it. I don't quite know how to sort them out.

Earlier last week, I had been at the pool, enjoying time off from work. I sat there in the sun with my iPod and the newest issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. I know, I know. I can't really justify reading Cosmopolitan except that it's annoyingly alluring and there are a lot of demographic polls! Anyways, as I read through the magazine, I began to wonder, does anyone actually care about anyone in relationships anymore? All I see anymore is, "how to know if he/she is cheating", "how to know if you are a booty call", etc. People get married and you hear, "Well there's a 50% chance things won't work, anyways." I can only imagine what anthropologists will say in 100 years.

I got online the night after being at the pool and began to quiz my guy friends. I needed reassurance mostly. I don't mean the, "Yes, you will find Mr. Right and get married and settle down" kind of reassurance. I needed the, "people can actually care about and like each other in relationships" reassurance. I felt kind of bad, as it was probably the most depressing beginning to a conversation they had heard in awhile. Well, it was, as they confirmed.

They did reassure me. In fact, they seemed confused. "Isn't that why people date each other?" "Don't you think the people who write those articles just like to mess around?". K. Good. This is very good. Thank you.

My generation has a whole slew of relationship options and frankly, it's terribly confusing. I don't usually need people to tell me what to think about things but I find myself reading articles explaining relationships these days. Mainly, because I am so confused. One guy wrote an article for the New York Times about it recently here. I came back from a date one night when one of my friends said, "you went on a date? Like, a real date?" "uh, yeah?" "Wow, I haven't been on a real date in um. a long time." I just kinda stood there unsure of what to say. Too many possible responses, too many ideas attached to that to be able to come up with something in that 5-20 second period of time. I took off my shoes and muttered something about finding food. I went into the kitchen in search of an orange and maybe an answer. I found an apple, but no answer. I think this is the reason women like Sex and the City-- they address these very issues. They might not give answers, but they bring them up.

I have found myself approaching my friend, who is about 5-6 years older than me, with many relationship questions. "What does this mean?" "What should I do?". He's pretty good at answering questions. But there are a couple of things he always reminds me about:

-people have all kinds of relationships with each other.

-Do you want to?

-You don't have to talk to them.

As I sat there, watching Sex and the City, I had all of these ideas floating around in my head. Ideas, feelings, questions, and other label-less (sp? is this a word?) things going on. Would this movie answer any of this?

The movie was more serious than I had expected. It addressed some serious problems that can happen in relationships and/or marriages. Did I want to hear about these real and serious problems? Or did I want to watch the fantasy world I had come to enjoy when watching the TV episodes? I'm not exactly sure. However, it did say almost the same thing that my friend told me. People have all kinds of relationships and you should really think about if you want to do something, instead of what other people think you should do.


-Agent Ska-


  1. I don't know if my input will be welcome, but here it is, for what it's worth. Not trying to persuade anyone or to scold, just telling things the way I've experienced them over this past week-end.
    My husband had his 50th High School class reunion. Lot's of old people. Many we still associate with, many we had nearly forgotten. Over the course of the evening small groups formed. As is the "custom" of this age group, men and women divide themselves by sex, with the few exceptions of mixed prowlers. (yes, even old people still prowl).
    The group that I sat with were all women married 40+ years or recently widowed. What did we talk about? Our longivity of union with the same partner.
    Now that might seem dull, but believe me, the men kept strolling by to find out what all the laughter was about and even acused us of having too much fun. It wasn't just the beer and cocktails, it was the sharing of stories.
    Those stories: How we met our guy, the men we thought we would have wanted instead. Most agreed that we had been lucky with the final pick. Some had "had to get married", some had been virgins, but we all shared our first sexual experience as the beginning of our adult choices. Moving on, we jumped to how hard it was "back then". One car, struggling to pay bills, first telephones, T.V. Sterios. Then subtly, stories of suspected infidelity, most women have had at least one near hit on their marriage. Three of these women shared stories of how they threatened death to rivals moving on their husbands. Nipping an affair off, instead of watching it unfold.

    Laughter broke out as we all agreed that men think with their dicks a lot and it's up to us to give them some direction. It was amazing how all these women had had similar experiences of "keeping the old man home". but we all had succeded and in the end, found a deeper appreciation of the relationship.
    Stories all evening. but all of them revealing the iron will of committment from both partners to keep our vows, knowing that each other was worth the years of struggle, angry times, happy times, forgiving and letting go. All of it worth it because we had something after 50 years.
    We had a joint net worth allowing us to retire gracefully,good kids with stable, productive lives.
    Party over, we strolled to our cars hand-in hand with our "men". Satisfied and filled with contentment that we had such a good life.

    Maybe the men out there can't get this. Maybe the women can't, and maybe our formula doesn' work anymore, but I'm glad it worked for us. I wish you all good luck.

  2. Too many features writers in newspapers and magazines try to define what's "happening" in the hook-up culture, etc. Your friend is right -- every relationship is different.

    But, yeah, maybe young people in general are putting off serious relationships until later so that women can establish a career first. And maybe that's why college-age people traverse in groups, like people used to do in junior high, to avoid anything too serious. The point is, there are so many exceptions to these trends, why bother focusing on trends? When and if the "right" person comes along, you'll know it if you are thinking with your head straight. That's for women. Guys will never think straight -- they'll always think with their dicks. It's what keeps the human race flourishing.

  3. Hey, here's what you do "ladies". When you have a guy that you think is really committed? Let a big rolling fart and see if he laughs. If he does, he's a keeper. Believe me, he'll be doing that on your wedding night, so if he can give you equal rights on that, he will give you equality on all you aspire to. It works, for me and my beautful daughter. We have real men.

  4. Anonymous #1: Thank you. I am 36 and have been married almost 6 years. It isn't always easy - for the reasons that you listed. And it is also so rewarding - for the reasons that you listed! Marriage is tough and not enough is said about how to truly WORK through the rough patches with grace and dignity. Don't know if you realize it but your comment is full of the best advice I've read on the topic from someone that has lived through it. Thank you and congratulaions.
    Anonymous #4

  5. I'm struggling with a lot of the same questions this week, since I just found out that my fiance', who I was planning on marrying in October, has been stringing along another girl for a year. I was committed to the fifty year mark, to making it work, to getting through the tough times and near misses. But, I can't handle a pre-marital year-long affair. And I wonder sometimes if that makes me weak. Or if I'm just old fashioned and naive about the realities of marriage. Or maybe, I'm just a sucker.

  6. Yikes. Well at least you know ahead of time? Sorry to hear that. Keep your head up, things will get better.