A quest to make sense of it all. Or a sense to make a quest of it all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For love or money. Or, in which I let pop culture infiltrate.

A couple years too late, but I've had other stuff to think about. Like a divorce. A presidential election. Major flood events. Libya. And my thighs.

Last night, I purchased a gym membership and put it to immediate use. While I slogged along on the elliptical (and remembered how much I love/loathe the elliptical), I got to watch cable on the fancy schmancy screen built into my machine. Options were limited, but I found an old rerun of Sex and the City to settle on. I was initially pleased with this; I remember being completely in love with the show while it was still on the air. The first movie was well-executed. The second left me nauseous, offended, and disappointed. But the show...I could come back to the show and still love it, right?

No, not really. Apparently, I've changed somewhat since 1998. Which is good, since that's the year I started high school. After I got home from the gym, I dug out my old SATC boxed set and perused for awhile.

Ok. There are a few things I never even noticed when viewing these episodes the first time. For one, I'm not sure how Carrie's incredible whinyness didn't force me to take a baseball bat to my tv set. I'm not sure why I didn't have a problem with Miranda's hair, or her depressing bitterness toward men, and am fairly certain that the two are related. (Seriously, if you insist on keeping a scary haircut and automatically angrily dismiss every guy you meet because they guy before him pissed you off... it's unlikely you'll ever have a great guy blowing up your phone. You can only expect so much.) Samantha, to me, was always a very unrealistic character and I never paid her much mind. I still like Charlotte. She can stay.

One particular episode got me thinking about the role of money in relationships. Carrrie's on-again/off-again love, Big, is getting ready to leave for a business trip to Paris. She shows up at his ridiculously swanky apartment wearing a beret and holding a bag of french fries. Cute. While they discuss the trip, Big causally drops it on her that he may just stay in Paris and live there. Carrie, being the emotionally mature grown-ass woman she is, heaves the food at the wall and screeches, oh, a lot of stuff. Two things stood out to me here:
1) While her delivery of how she was feeling would have made any sensible man (or woman) run for the hills, there was a huge truth in her message: the disappointment of investing oneself in a relationship and knowing your partner remains detached.
2) Big's jaw-droppingly douchey behavior, and her acceptance of it until that point. He's just standing there, wide-eyed, while she demands to know "why you wont make me a part of your life in any real way." She's right. He never has time for her. He's wishy-washy at best, and slow to tell her how he feels about her. For years, he has strung her along, putting off commitment, patronizing her, and treating her as girlfriend-on-demand rather than a human being he's agreed to be in a relationship with. She's absolutely being disrespected.

And I wonder how long she would have put up with that disrespect and chilly treatment if he didn't have that swanky apartment, a chauffer, and regular comparisons to Donald Trump. Yeah, I went there. I find it very difficult to believe that she would have stuck around long if he were renting a one-bedroom while withholding his affection. It's not like their attraction was based on much to begin with. From what I see, they don't really have any mutual interests or shared ideals. They disagree more than they agree. They don't play much. I'm thinking that for a lot of women, money still covers a multitude of sins. Me, I'd rather live paycheck-to-paycheck with a guy who makes time for me and doesn't hesitate to let me know I'm important to him. The age old love vs. security question isn't a question for me. I can make my own security. What I can't make is a good time out of a one-sided conversation.

I dunno, readers. I'm just trying to figure it out like everyone else. I do know that a relationship takes communication to grow and thrive. And I know, as someone more notable than me said, money can't buy me love.

She should have dumped his neglectful ass a long time ago.

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