and just like that…even our t.v. characters age…and all of our lives change as we age and that’s o.k.

This morning I had a giggle. Sex & The City started on HBO in June, 1998. Cable was ridiculously expensive and I remember hunting the various COMCAST “special deals” just so I could have HBO. Nope, no Manolo budget here. I was single, watching the ultimate single girl television show.

Ok yes, I have talked about this show before, but come on? The original was a big part of all of our lives. Kind of like Star Trek for some of the guys I know.

I loved the cast, part of which was New York City. The clothes and the shoes I could never afford unless they were dumped at Loehmann’s or Daffy’s or Century21. And I could never walk in the shoes. The shoes I left and still leave to my sister (and her fabulous shoe closet/racks.)

This morning I had a giggle because I realized that way back when I used to watch Sex & The City in bed like my big single girl not so secret, sometimes with a glass of wine. Now I watch And Just Like That on Thursday mornings in bed with a cup of coffee.

Yup the 50s. Struck me as so funny. I don’t know why. Well maybe because I watch the new show drinking my coffee and then I go and clean up the rest of the kitchen and sort the laundry. Back then, in the Sex & The City Days, yes I did laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. Just didn’t admit it out loud.

So now I am a few episodes into the new show. I like it. It’s getting a lot of flak like the actresses were supposed to have been cryovaced and opened as their 1990s selves once again. Well gee, that would be a neat trick. They have aged, pretty damn well if you ask me and you can see a little “work” but at least they don’t have frozen face syndrome. I have seen a lot less of that frozen face syndrome since COVID started, but still, it’s out there.

Probably I am an anomaly. I don’t do fillers or injectables. No plastic surgery, still on my original body parts. If liposuction didn’t look incredibly painful, maybe that would be an option (I am actually joking) but I think I will just try to exercise more and eat less? I am not a perfect 10 now, wasn’t back then. After breast cancer surgery, people kept telling me about their favorite plastic surgeons. Well once you have had a couple non-elective surgeries that kind of hurt and if you hate needles, that is not really an option. Besides, ask your radiology technician sometime what they have to do to get a mammogram on ladies with glorious fake breasts. One word: contortion. Two words: no thanks.

Things about the show that still crack me up is they all still breathe the rarified air. They are mixing in more everyday kind of available clothes, but still the wardrobes and where they live. Pretty fun and fantastical. But those are ladies in menopause and I envy them their lack of hot flashes. Or they could just be like my mother was back then and simply not acknowledge their existence.

The conversations have shifted some with them. The hair coloring vs. not coloring crack me up. Oh I have had those because once I started breast cancer treatment I stopped experimenting with color. It was never much to begin with, just the occasional semi permanent color job. Now a decade plus later, my hair still has a lot of my original dark. I will admit some days I freak myself out because when I look in the mirror I see my paternal grandmother Beatrice, but for me I made the right choice. And my hair actually looks and feels better.

I am aging. I will admit to taking collagen supplements, but with age comes dry skin. But when I look in the mirror, except for the occasional glimpse of Beatrice and wondering how almost 60 years of life seem gone in a blink, it’s ok.

Now these television characters and the actors which portray them have all aged. I kind of like that they have aged right along with me. I think I would have been upset if the re-boot occurred with a new young cast.

I often wonder what women think as they age. We all know quite a few who aren’t doing it quite gracefully. The still too short skirts, tight pants, and short shorts. Overly carefully lit selfies and professionally taken social media photos. Some of these ladies have amazing figures, others do not. It’s just about aging gracefully, perhaps with humor. I mean we do have options other than mom jeans, right? I will admit to missing my leather and sued pants, however, and being able to wear strapless gowns.

Back then when the original show aired, I was wondering what this current part of my life would be like. I had a bunch of friends who married young, and I couldn’t see myself in their lives then. I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t about sowing the proverbial wild oats, never did so much of that, it was just about growing into myself I think. I wasn’t there yet. (However, I will tell you that back then, I still did cook, go antique and vintage treasure hunting, and garden.)

One of the best things for women about these shows is showing the relationships between the women and their partners, and the dating then and now. I was never much of a dater although I did it. I always found recreational dating much like the job interviews for the jobs I didn’t want.

But the characters the women’s characters dated in the original series? Cracked me up. I could see them in so many people my friends had dated and even I dated. Like Mr. Big. We all had one of those, I think. But we didn’t marry them, so it’s kind of no wonder they made her a widow. But I do know some young widows, so on the other hand I actually get that (and wish it on no one.)

And the Samanthas. We all had them, even if their clothes weren’t as good. But they grew up too, and not all friendships transcend the test of time. So no matter why that character is gone, I get it. I have a lot of my core friends, but I am exceptionally lucky. Some of the other friendships didn’t make it but it kind of falls into that saying about friendships being reason, season, or lifetime.

Truthfully I am glad to be me now, and that I am not dating in my 50s. I am grateful for my life and marriage. I know who I am, I know who he is. We aren’t ever perfect, but I know what it is to love and be loved, and there comes a point where that is just right and very lovely. Now granted, I know I am a very lucky woman, and I never take that for granted (or try not to.) However, I will completely admit it’s a little annoying that he can still imitate my high school self walking down the halls at Shipley carrying my book bag. So no, I do not get away with much, ladies.

Another thing I admire about the new series are the people they have around them. It’s not just bars and cosmopolitans. It’s the bitchy women’s committees and PTA savages. It’s the reinventing yourself when you thought you were all set, including sometimes starting over.

We can all relate. After all, I still remember the first time I did a car rider line, didn’t know where to go, and got in the wrong part of the line. I was literally surrounded by mini vans and had moms and dads who got out of their vehicles to SCREAM at me. Oh and the teachers and school personnel watched from the sidelines like it was a spectator sport.

And then there were the moms who wanted their high school kids to slow dance at their dances like “the holy spirit was in between them.” Had to bite my tongue with that one because did they actually know what their teenagers were up to and it certainly didn’t involve the holy spirit. But hey, whatever gets you through the day.

And now today add to the average and annoying PTA moms we have the anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, conservative beacons of light who will save all of us from ourselves while searching for that perfect hair color shade. The new Stepford Wives.

And then you have the not Stepford Wives who are just amusing. Self-described social media experts because they have a few Facebook group pages. And they still copy their material from everyone else and don’t have an original bone in their bodies. And they still want you to think certain communities adjacent to the Main Line are the Main Line, and why? Is the Main Line all that and a bag of chips? No sadly, and hasn’t been in years, just like there is no real “society” left to photograph.

Thanks but no, I will take me, lumps and all. It’s ok to age. We have much better shoes to choose from these days, and you only have to have a rocking chair on your front porch if you want one.

Thanks for stopping by.

art imitates life or life imitates art?

In 1998 a little show launched on HBO called “Sex and the City” based on Candace Bushnell’s 1997 book of the same title.

That show spoke to so many women. I was 34 when it launched. So 23 years have passed and I still watch re-runs of the show. With the show you also had all the fabulous New York City settings and the clothes…and the shoes…. I still can love the shoes and still not be able to walk in them!

The show back then was not only a fun escape, it also provided humor into the lives of women then. As far as TV goes it was ground breaking in its own right. We identified with some aspects of the life situations (though a lot of it was often portrayed in a campy unrealistic fashion), and wished we had the clothes, shoes, and even apartments and more.

I remember some of my friends and I knew a guy we used to call “Mr.Big” (like one of the characters from the show.) We didn’t date him, he used to come down from NYC and visit other friends sometimes for things like Radnor Hunt. Expensive cars, expensive cigars, big career. At the time it was kind of amusing. Always fun to be around, and if you ever happened to be in New York City, and he was free, he would always take you out for a fabulous dinner or drinks. I remember having dinner with him one time at The Monkey Bar, which was definitely New York City iconic, and closed during COVID in July, 2020. The guy we laughed at being a very “Big” and larger than life died in 2008 in NYC. He was 48.

Sex and the City ran as a series until 2004. Then there were two movies, one in 2008 and one in 2010.

Meanwhile, time passes for all of us. Some of us got married, others divorced, and some of us were liberated from bad relationships and were fortunate to find the relationships we should have waited for life to show us in the first place. Some of us had kids, some of us didn’t. Some of us got sick, had things like breast cancer. Some of us were widowed and lost life partners.

We’re not kids anymore. So it makes sense that some of the TV characters some of us followed for years would also grow and change, yet parts of them like parts of ourselves remain the same. Enter the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That.

I watched the first two episodes early this morning, before I even had coffee. Yes, I know, ridiculous at 57, but I loved that show. I wanted to see where they went.

I wasn’t disappointed, and if you loved the show, you will too. It’s real, it’s funny, and the first two episodes, much of it is bittersweet. They covered the no Samantha thing as actress Kim Cattrall chose not to reprise her role. Her part was pretty iconic, so I’m glad they did not try to recast her because I don’t think it would work .

Spoiler alert: they moved Samantha to London. And like happens to many of us as we age, some friendships don’t stand the test of time, and this is what is alluded to here. But the biggest spoiler is literally kill off Mr. Big in the first episode. That was fairly realistic and so sad. And a shock. Throughout the first series we always rooted for the off again and on again relationship of Carrie and Mr. Big. But I guess that is the case with real life, with age, also comes loss.

But even within this kind of television earthquake is so much of what we love about the original series. The characters are just older. They are dealing with different things: career shifts, kids growing up, dealing with teenagers of both sexes, being parents. And the clothes. Still great. And the sets? Still amazing. It’s adulting with flair, and they still have the clothes, cool apartments and houses that made the original show so fun.

I think this show is going to be a nice escape this winter and I hope it does more than one season. It is not Shakespeare, and it’s not the world that most of us live in, although certain situations with touch us, but it’s still entertaining to watch. And it reflects bits of our world as it now exists.

Life doesn’t stand still frozen in time, so I am guessing our TV shows can’t either.

Here are some articles about it:

Hollywood Reporter: ‘Sex and the City’ Boss on His HBO Max Revival: “This Isn’t What Was; It’s What’s Next”

Washington Post: ‘And Just Like That …’ is ‘Sex and the City’ for 2021: A bloated, laugh-free comedy about grief

Time: Why that Big twist was necessary

New York Magazine: And Just Like That … Series-Premiere Recap: A New Start
By Maggie Fremont