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May 27, 2010

Dear Carrie Bradshaw

I never understood why it didn’t work out with Aidan. My sister has tried to explain it to me, how you and Aidan didn’t have *it*, and how apparently you found *it* with another man who was never very nice to you. This all reminds me a bit of that book that came out a few months back that implored women to “settle” and defined “settling” as marrying someone who is kind, stable, and good. Undermining the value of *it*, it seems. But in your case, didn’t *it* really come down to a closet?

I liked you, Carrie Bradshaw. When I was lonely and sad, I loved that you were a Katie Girl, and it gave me courage to be myself. I know it is pathetic to get courage from HBO, but it was the turn of the century and I was a bit shallow, and so were you, but that wasn’t the whole of it either, was it? I loved your friendships, and I loved your friends. I loved your voice overs, and your laptop screen. Neither of us could have been so entirely shallow, really, because I’ve never known a shoe that wasn’t orthopedic, but I liked you, Carrie Bradshaw, still.

I liked you, though you’ve done harm. You have! The number of women I know who don’t believe it’s love unless it’s tumultuous– that’s down to you, CB. Who believe that tumult=passion. Not to mention a predilection for really expensive shoes and bags, and really expansive debt. I’m not sure that before you, these things were considered normal.

I liked you though, but I don’t think I like you anymore. I’ll never really know, because I haven’t seen your latest movie and I don’t plan to, but I saw a preview and I’m disappointed. Unsurprised, but disappointed. Because in your new movie, you appear to take a look at your life (the not-so-nice, emotionally unavailable man you married, your closet) and determine that the problem is marriage. That marriage is boring, and passion gets stale, and then you run away to become the Sheik of Araby (and here, the preview lost me).

Though I am still a bit green when it comes to marriage, that I’ve been doing it for five years is nothing to scoff at. And I’ve been pretty good at marriage, actually, right from the get-go, when I made a decision to marry a man who wasn’t an asshole. It was him, actually, who took me away from a life in which courage was HBO. So yes, in a way, it seems I required a man to save me, but he saved me from you, Carrie Bradshaw, and your fashionable post-feminism. And I’ve been pretty happy ever since, having put away the angst, the drama, the tumult, and without that baggage, I’ve gotten a lot of really good things done. If he hadn’t come along, I really do fear that I might have whiled away my twenties wearing a necklace with my name on it, and I wouldn’t even have been you because you’re a fantasy. I would have been wearing orthopedic shoes and I would have still been sad.

Marriage is wonderful, Carrie Bradshaw. It is a fine institution, and of course, it’s what you make it. And it’s not for everybody, maybe even not for you, but I resent how you deride it. I resent that the same women who’ve spent their twenties thinking it’s not love unless somebody’s throwing things are going to think that marriage should be more of the same. And that when the throwing stops, that’s boring.

Carrie Bradshaw, you’re boring. You make adolescents look mature. If you were real, I’d throw something at you, and that’s not love.

Yours sincerely,


8 thoughts on “Dear Carrie Bradshaw”

  1. patricia says:

    Oh Kerry, I adore you. As opposed to that other Carrie, whom I have never cared for one bit. Let’s hear it for all those clever, wonderful girls out there, who have found love and happiness and success, in part because of this one little fact: they married a man who wasn’t an asshole.

  2. m says:

    I love this. Being married is swell if you find the right guy and I hate that passion = abuse in pop culture. But I guess that’s all about the exhibitionist culture we live in. How will people know you’re in a passionate relationship if it’s private and intimate. Better throw some plates and yell loudly so that you can have a public make-up. Ugh.

  3. Melwyk says:

    Amen to all this. Marrying a man who is not an asshole is a great step toward marital happiness; I can vouch for your clear-sighted theory.

  4. Christy says:

    I just got back from the movie. She learns her lesson in the end and appreciates all that she has.
    PS Big is NOT an ass at all in this movie & Aiden is 🙂

    1. Kerry says:

      Thanks for clearing that up, sister. Who knew Aiden was capable? Though I suspect she drove him to it….

  5. Julia says:

    awesome awesome post!!

  6. B.Kienapple says:

    Ha! I just saw this. “Fashionable post-feminism” – well maybe the show was but the movies are nothing but plugs for buying shit. That said, I will go see the new movie. That may make me a hypocrite but I’m still dying for the spectacle of it all.

  7. melanie says:

    I tried to post a comment here when you first posted this but I’m having issues lately – many many issues.

    Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I could never get into the whole SATC thing. They all annoyed me but none more than Carrie Bradshaw and her ability to run around in $700 high heels that she could apparently afford on a freelance salary. I mean, really? The result is that I know very little about Carrie & Bigs relationship and nothing about Aiden but I did see the first SATC movie and couldn’t really understand what Big saw in Her.

    I think I’m pretty good at marriage too but I also married a man who isn’t an asshole so maybe he is just making it easy for me.

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