Romance Versus Realism – The “Carrie” Syndrome

16 Sep

I’ve somewhat prided myself on not being one of the “girlie girls.” You know, the “can’t go to the corner store without my face beat for the GAWDS” kind of woman, for whom spending time and money on hair, shoes and makeup is a requisite, and not a nice add-on, for personality. Included in my definition of “girlie girl” is an undying love of all things Carrie Bradshaw, she of “Sex and the City.” Now don’t get me wrong. I was tardy for the party but I have definitely enjoyed just about all six seasons’ worth of episodes of the show. I’m speaking of the women who subscribe to the “Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha or Miranda” character in their lives, using these limited ideas to shape their narratives in love and careers. The idea of forming my reactions to a dynamic, constantly shifting concept like relationship communication based on the static fictional characters was always a laugh.

Which is why when I came across “Mr. Big Syndrome Ruins Lives” from Luvvie Ajayi on Clutch this morning, I gave a huff and a shrug to the idea that seeking any kind of male character type from this show would be in good form. In her post, Luvvie addresses the likelihood that the successful but relationship-challenged Mr. Big types will leave you high, dry and broken-hearted. Personally, any woman past the age of say 24 that believes in a man that clearly has ulterior motives and back-burners you on a consistent basis needs to have her head examined.

The only person who I’ve known who could believe the best in a guy I would write off as a louse is my best friend from college, Chané. She was one of the most ever-cheerful people I’ve known, especially when it came to love. Despite the follies of relationships, and the inevitable disappointment of many of the men we dealt with as undergrad students and then wet-behind-the-ears 20-somethings, she never gave up her belief in that “can’t breathe it hurts so good” kind of love. I’ve never believed in that, being far more pragmatic about human relationships. But in instances like the dissolution of my first serious investment in the male species, she was the positive light in my den of negativity. And it didn’t  hurt that she had a squeal/scream (squeam?) just like Sarah Jessica Parker gave her legendary role.

Well, since I can’t be a Carrie Bradshaw, nor am I bitter enough for the Miranda, lustful enough for the Samantha or desperate enough for the Charlotte, I will continue to balance the desire for the damn near unattainable kind of passion from shows like Sex and the City and movies like The Notebook with the reality of the facts: sometimes men just don’t do passion. They do pragmatics, they do the tangible. But that concept (see, bringing in some of my research class terminology in this one!) of “soul mate” eludes them. So you must decide your strategy, and for the love of all things Carrie, stick to it!

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