LIVING BY SEX & THE CITY RULES FOR ONE WEEK
Sex and the city is a little bit trash. Okay, a lot trash, but that didn't stop it from becoming the crazy world phenomenon that it was, and still is to this day. Trash TV SELLS and when you throw in amazing clothes, a lot of drinking, and complicated love stories, well I mean you've got solid gold on your hands.
SATC turned 18 last week, and in celebration of the show that turned vibrators and casual sex into feminist prose, I decided to pay tribute in the only way I knew how.
I would put SATC values and ideals into practise and see whether taking advice from 4 women in the early 2000s would improve my own life.
Now I wasn't overly keen on this, but frankly I have nothing to lose and if I end up dressing better after this week, well then winner winner chicken dinner.
I was to follow a selection of 'rules' taken from the shows characters and apply them whenever I could for 5 days. 5 days of making awkward choices, wearing things I wouldn't normally wear, and saying the word 'cock' far too many times (a la Samantha Jones). I was not allowed to default to my normal actions, I had to live and breathe these women. Lord help me.
1. Thou shalt always dress up, and show up. No exceptions. (Carrie)
2. Thou shalt give less fucks. (Miranda)
3. Thou shalt never deny thine sexual self. (Samantha)
4. Thou shalt always put friends first. (Charlotte)
5. Thou shall accept Coffee and Alcohol as a food group. (all)
6. Thou shalt muse obsessively about love and life situations then write about it. (Carrie)
7. Thou shalt be always confident and love ones self. (Samantha & Miranda).
Instead of my usual rushing around and just picking up any clothes off the floor kind of preparing for work, I got up 20 minutes earlier (ew) and painfully picked out an outfit. I also wore HEELS. But I put them on at work, cause fuck commuting in them. (Rule 1)
Rule 5 was proving to be the easiest, as coffee is basically my life blood. Who needs breakfast when I have BLACK GOLD.
About halfway through the day I got sick of the 'why are you dressed up?' comments and started answering with annoying retorts.
'I'm going to a funeral.'
'I lost a bet'
'I lost all my shit clothes in a car fire'
People stopped asking. This also covers rule 2. Multi tasking, mother fuckers.
Adhering to Rules 3 and 4, I spend a good portion of my day discussing sex and past romantic trysts with my friend and feel very much like a liberated woman. I try to use the word 'cock' to be more like Samantha, but I feel gross and like I'm in bad porn.
Cups of coffee: 3
Woke up feeling pretty lonely and woe is me re: the old love life situation. Normally, this would have put me in a shit mood the whole day and I probably would have just worn what I wore yesterday to work, but I had to be fucking Miranda and sort my shit out.
Honestly fuck that woman for always being hard, how is that even possible.
So I dragged myself up and put on a pink flimsy top thing, and did extra good make up and felt a bit more like a female
. Once I did it, I realised that it actually made a difference and then my barista told me I looked nice so thats a win.
Trying my hardest to cover all my rules, I made sure to check in with all my best friends to see how they were doing. Not that I don't do this normally, but with friends spread out over multiple countries and cities, day to day life can get in the way when you can't see them face to face.
I also chose an early 2000's playlist for my soundtrack for the day, because it's much easier to comply with these rules if I pretend I'm in 2001. I forgot how slammin Kylie Minogue was.
Cups of coffee: 4.
I agree to a drink with someone I don't know, because I think this is the entire point of the whole SATC show?? I am immediately unenthused and suspicious, I don't know him, why is he asking me out? What's the catch?
I make multiple self indulgent decisions, like buying a new outfit and also new lipstick and rationalising it like Carrie would. Sure, it isn't a pair of $400 Manolos but bitch is on a budget.
I looked at a Vogue, then looked at dinner - then still bought dinner instead because on what fucking planet was Carrie on when she made that poor decision.
A friend vents about her relationship problems and I make sure to give only selfish, sex related advice.
'Honey - a vibrator never forgets to text you.'
Cups of coffee: 3
I decided I wasn't paying enough homage to the cocktails and booze part of SATC life - i.e Rule 5, so I managed to choke down a mimosa at lunch, and resolved to have some gin when I got home. I didn't realise how hard it would be for me to drink during the week for no reason?!?
I'm also getting pretty sick of Rule 1 - it's remarkably tiring to pay proper attention to everything you wear. Realising that I was about to leave the house with no accessories on - I grumpily throw on on about 4 gold necklaces and a couple rings, and feel outrageously over bedazzled.
After work, I head to a quiet bar/restaurant and moodily sit there with my journal and a glass of wine. Carrie always sat staring out the window at the rain (is always seemed to be raining when she had love problems) - so I sat in the table in the window and ended up making awkward eye contact with about 5 people.
Manage to get a lot of writing done, so I guess someone should hire me to write a sex column now.
Cups of coffee: 3
For the last day I decided it was balls to the wall, I was gonna go full SATC. My outfit was honestly a bit ridiculous, but I hadn't had a reason to wear my fur coat yet so it was perfect.
Mashing my feet into my highest heels, which were actually a pair I only have from being a bridesmaid, I totter off to work.
Mid way through the day, I realise that I have yet to adhere to Rule 3. A mild panic ensues because I'm not overly keen on running out to find someone to shag me, you know, for science. Trying to think as much like Samantha as I can, I go online and buy myself a very expensive, very fancy vibrator. Check and mate.
Following Rule 7, I have been consciously making an effort to accept compliments, and not downplay them as I usually do. I find it gets a lot easier, and I actually feel like I'm saying a genuine 'Thank you!' and not gritting my teeth and swallowing my self loathing.
It's Friday, so I attend Friday Drinks and this gets my alcohol intake up to New York levels. Sending a few risky text messages, I wander home and send loving selfies to my favourite friends (Rule 4).
Cups of coffee: 3
Cocktails: 6 (mainly cider)
After 5 days of living somewhat recklessly, did I actually learn anything? Did following lessons from a sitcom change my life at all?
- I found it a lot easier to choose better outfits, in less time. I am notoriously simple and lazy with my clothes, usually black and usually jeans, but this challenge was extremely good at making me rethink my style and put in some effort.
- I drank much more than usual. Don't know if this was a good or bad thing.
- Rule 3 was the hardest for many reasons. I'm no prude, but I'm terrible at flirting and I don't get a lot of attention from men. The best part about this was the fact that I had an excuse to blow money on a vibrator. This counts as a win.
- It made me pay more attention to my friends. Forcing myself to not be lazy, and to make sure I checked in with people was a success.
- I feel more confident and self assured. Pretending I was confident and happy with myself, has somewhat transferred into me actually feeling happier. I also feel more comfortable wearing slightly OTT fashion, like giant fur coats and huge high heels, and hoochie hoops.
- I still don't like using the word 'cock'.
I'll leave you with some words of wisdom, from one of the most self absorbed characters of TV history.
"Sometimes we need to stop analysing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want & just see what happens"
- Carrie B.
*This was a paid post for the promotion of 18 years of SATC. Views are entirely my own.