A fool for love: Mr. Big in the real world
Editor’s Note: When I saw they were making “The Carrie Diaries”, (the “Sex and the City” prequel) I remembered this post and wondered if much had changed over the past couple of years. After overhearing a conversation among a group of late 20s/early 30s women I thought, “not so much.” Are we still waiting for the Mr. Big in our lives to come around? Is he worth waiting for? Are we?
Technical difficulties (a malfunctioning laptop adapter) forced me off the computer for much of last week. So instead of spending mindless hours on the internet, I spent mindless hours watching movies. Sex and the City was one of them. I’d like to make a confession. I wasn’t one of the thousands of women who loved Sex and the City while it was on TV. I thought it was, at times, smart, interesting and funny and I thought the portrayal of women, friendships and relationships was (again, at times) spot on, but it wasn’t must see TV for me. So when the movie came out, I didn’t rush out to see it that first weekend. Or the second. In fact, I just saw it for the first time earlier this year on DVD. And once again, the portrayals were great and the relationships realistic.
That is until Mr. Big and Carrie got married.
I can hear some of you booing me already. And I’m going to make you hate me even more by admitting that I was rooting for Carrie’s and Mr. Big’s relationship to end. Not by him leaving her at the altar, but by her deciding that she’d had enough of waiting for him to come around.
One thing forty years, several boyfriends and watching friends with their boyfriends has taught me is that whoever that man is three months into the relationship is who he’s likely to be three years in. This is a generalization of course, but many male friends have confirmed this for me. Men know what they want and who they want to be with pretty early on in a relationship. So, if he was non-committal when you met him, he’ll be non-committal 10 years later. If he’s ghost on the weekend a month into the relationship, don’t be all “OMG!!” when you can’t find him on a Saturday night five years in. And finally, if he was with someone else when he met you, he’ll be with someone else while he’s with you.
Sex and the City was just a movie, but the reality is, the reason the show and movie resonated with so many women is that we imagined ourselves as one of those women, living that life, being involved in those relationships – buying those shoes. So, when Mr. Big finally, finally, finally realizes he wants to be with Carrie we’re elated because if Mr. Big can finally come around, so can the guy we’ve been with for 10 years.
But in real life, it often doesn’t work out that way. And in real life, drama doesn’t make a relationship any stronger or more valuable – it just makes it more…dramatic.
Someone once told me, “a fool at forty is a fool for life.” Ironically he was a fool himself, but I take my wisdom where I can get it. For my own sake, I hope it isn’t true. I hope that at forty and beyond I’ll still be able to learn from the foolish things I’ve done for love, and change course when necessary.
I suppose the Carrie Bradshaw-Big ending, as unlikely as it seems to me, does happen. I’m sure there are many instances where after years of not being sure about who he wants and how much he wants her, a man finally realizes that he just can’t live without her. I know it happens. But in my case, I hope it happens faster and with a whole lot less drama. Is that too much to ask?
Image source: Access Hollywood