A fool for love: Mr. Big in the real world

Carrie and Mr BigEditor’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?

Are we still waiting for the Mr. Big in our lives to come around? Is he worth waiting for? Are we? Share your thoughts in the comment section on Twitter or on our Facebook page.

Image source: Access Hollywood

Rachel on: A new me at forty

00341738I never really wanted a new me. Sure, the old me has always had flaws; eh—doesn’t everyone? I know some women who have celebrated their fortieth or some other milestone birthday or event by “treating” themselves to a nip here, a tuck there or perhaps an injection or two… It’s not my thing, but then again it’s not my party so I’m not going to waste any time or tears crying about what anyone else is doing.

No, that’s not the new me. The new (just new, not improved) Rachel Dachel still looks and sounds the same as she always has. It’s funny; I still have the same laugh, the same walk, the same cadence to my speech. My clothes fit the same, my hair still loops, twirls and swirls in its same crazy curls. Every freckle on my face is exactly where I remember it being yesterday, last week, last month and for eternity.

I’m still left-handed. Well, yeah, I am pretty much ambidextrous, but just as I always have, I still favor my left hand and enjoy the struggle that is at times a manual can opener. I enjoy the same books, movies and music that I always have and I still drive the same car, go to the same office and have all of the same friends and family that I always have. So in essence, nothing has changed. But simultaneously, EVERYTHING has changed. I don’t know this new woman in my mirror.

Continue reading Rachel on: A new me at forty

Christine asks – Have we really been alive this long?

christine-eclavea-mercer-head-shot-13 Christine Eclavea Mercer describes herself as a “freelance writer and all around geek.” On her blog Frog In North Georgia, she writes about technology, humor and “pretty much anything else that comes to mind.”  I first ran this post last year after Christine tweeted, “Thoughts on turning 40 next year. And gosh, have we really been alive this long?”  In her post Christine talks about being welcomed by her grandmother with kisses, a lunch of grapes, cheese and baguettes, and a jar of Nivea Daily Nourishing Cream…

In 2010, I will turn 40. I spent my twenties educating myself, growing up, working, and traveling. I did much of it badly. At 27, it finally occurred to me that if I ever wished to procreate I should find myself attracted to nice men, instead of the bad boys of my youth.  Else I would be childless forever, or a single parent.  I did not find either of those options agreeable.

My standards certainly changed in my thirties.  Before that I imagined success the way children do, that one must be the CEO, the President, the Astronaut, the Prima Ballerina. I was taught to aim high like the Air Force.

Continue reading Christine asks – Have we really been alive this long?

Forty: The Age of Reason

Tricia Editor’s note: Tricia’s approaching 40 and she’s on a roll. Literally. No really, literally. She’s recently decided to follow her life long passion for writing and literature wherever it leads her. This week it’s taking her to a place of letting go of anger and a failed marriage and replacing it with forgiveness and love. All this as she approaches the age of reason…

As I count down the six weeks to my fortieth birthday, it occurs to me how my thinking has changed this year. I’ve let go of many ideas that were holding me back, keeping me cocooned in immaturity, and am approaching the rise to many others.

I’ve let go of anger toward my parents for not protecting me enough, for not being there for me when I needed guidance; instead, I now see those days when I battled it out on the streets, in the schools, and in my relationships in the Bronx as fertile ground for the strength I needed to overcome emotional, mental, and physical difficulties. I appreciate now the tools my mother gave me to survive when she was unable to teach me herself: books, and my love of the written word.

Continue reading Forty: The Age of Reason

Beyond the ‘Cougar’ label: Confessions of a non-cougar

cougar There are several popular definitions for the word cougar. The feline mammal not withstanding, these days a cougar is described as a woman 35 years of age or older, who pursues younger men, typically more than eight years her junior. Another, harsher definition, is one of an older woman who frequents clubs in order to score (their word, not ours) with a much younger man.  Sounds pretty predatory doesn’t it? Well, there are many women who happen to be in relationships with younger men who take issue with the term.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Jo. Jo lives in England and is a woman in her late 30’s married to a younger man, and she does NOT want to be labeled a cougar. Throughout her life Jo had always been drawn to younger men, and in 2005 she met a man – 10 years her junior – and within a year, they were married.  Here’s what she has to say about marriage, marriage to a younger man, and why she hates the term ‘Cougar’. Continue reading Beyond the ‘Cougar’ label: Confessions of a non-cougar