What Are You Doing May 30th?

May 30th. The date has flashed in my head for months in pink neon. I've gotten three invitations so far.

Men, scratching your heads? Women nodding?

Yes, it's the opening date for the Sex and the City movie. Ten days from now. I'm counting the minutes -- although a fund-raiser for my kids' athletic center means I can't go with any of my girlfriend groups planning the ultimate girls' night out.

Why does this foursome inspire so much female camaraderie? The New York Times reports in This One Goes Out to the Ladies -- and Their Friends that mobs of women across the country have made elaborate opening night plans (including flying en masse to Manhattan to see the movie on location).

Seems to me the show appeals to women who see ourselves reflected in the four female characters, originally appearing in Candace Bushnell's novel and then coming to life on HBO's series. Even though, like most women watching the show, I don't live in New York, fit none of the characters' job or life descriptions, and have never seen anyone in New York dressed even remotely like Carrie Bradshaw. But whatever -- the four women, and their career, child-rearing and love-life dilemmas are real to me. They make everyday female problems -- working motherhood, infertility, deplorable romantic decisions, too-demanding jobs, wrinkles, mortgages, lousy boyfriends, too many shoes -- look beautiful, funny, and bearable.

TV shows, advertisements and movies used to portray women as we should be -- blissed-out domestic icons that male creators thought women should aspire to. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte eradicate years of idealized female TV pablum like the ever-cheerful Carol Brady and Donna Reed. What's so affirming -- and perhaps infuriating -- about The Sex Pack is that they seem far more real (but not too real). They support themselves financially (mostly), laugh, cry, get mad, have sex, shop, fight with each other, make mistakes and go on.

Just like us. Well, okay, kind of like us -- only younger, skinnier, New York-based, and with unlimited hair, makeup and wardrobe assistance.

What about you? Do you feel love, hate or a bit of both when it comes to Sex & the City? Why? Are you going to opening night? With whom? What do the "ladies" say about your life?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  May 21, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  You Go Girl!
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I never really liked this show. I actually like Big Love more then any other show that I have been watching lately. I do like Brothers and Sisters but rarely get a chance to watch it. I can't relate to any of the women on Sex in the City.

I am more excited about the new X-files movie coming out then this movie.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 21, 2008 7:32 AM

liked the show, no big plans. I don't really see myself in them and frankly I miss Aidan. I'll see it, but probably after the inital frenzy has died down. I am excited about the Manchester United/Chelsea game today at 2pm. Now that's something I gotta see!

Posted by: moxiemom | May 21, 2008 7:43 AM

I'd love to see the show opening night, but have to work, so I'll have to wait a day or two. I loved the show -- I don't know what it was exactly that appealed to me (probably the girlfriends/comraderie element), but I was sad when it ended.

Maybe the movie frenzy is a little silly or frivolous, but it's fun to be excited and to have such anticipation . . . that's part of what makes living worthwhile. (No one is calling the people who are looking forward to the next Indiana Jones movie "silly".)

Even if the movie is a dud, the show had a great run.

Posted by: chausti | May 21, 2008 8:04 AM

I would have loved to see this with my BFF who just moved. ;( I need to get a new local BFF. I miss girl's nights.

I watched SATC with my husband, who also loved the show. It's really funny. I'm not sure I can convince him to go to the theater and out himself as a fan, but you bet we'll be Netflixing it.

Posted by: atb | May 21, 2008 8:06 AM

I think this show hits various dilemmas/issues in certain woman, including me. I am moving in with my fiance in a month and I think about how I am going to have to "give up" my SSB - my secret single behavior (which was randomly the episode that was on last night). There were also issues of letting yourself rely on someone because you guard yourself for when they are gone (when Carrie's computer crashes) and whether or not you want to have kids, etc. I also think that the writing was superb.

don't really see myself relating to any character, but I am a type A lawyer, so I do relate to some of the things Miranda does.

Posted by: Betty | May 21, 2008 8:07 AM

Liked the show - certain episodes resonated more than others such as when Miranda's mother died and her family is worried about her walking down the aisle of the church alone behind the casket during the funeral recessional. It highlighted how others feel awkward about our singleness.

But I am with moxiemom - I don't like the mad rush of opening day of a popular movie, so I will likely wait.

OT to foamgnone: I hadn't "seen" you comment in awhile and couldn't remember when you were due.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 21, 2008 8:08 AM

I was reading the article in the Sunday Opinion section nodding along. These women were so much fun at a time when I was having so much fun. Now, it took me 2 hours and a half a dozen restarts before I could read the article about it. It made me think to how my life is changed since the series - husband, toddler - and wonder if I will connect with the ladies the same way I did when I was single in the city.

Posted by: md | May 21, 2008 8:08 AM

Maybe we can remember the original purpose of May 30, the US Memorial Day holiday, to honor our war dead.

Posted by: Memorial Day | May 21, 2008 8:12 AM

I loved the show - it mirrored my life, being single in a world that pitied single women or saw them as threats. I'm not sure I want to go to the move. I'm used to disappointment from my men (baseball has been good practice for that), but not from my women. I really don't want to be let down.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 8:17 AM

Oh, and by all means, on Memorial Day, thank a Veteran for your freedom. They have made it all possible.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 8:18 AM

I liked the show, but it was never a must-see for me. It just didn't have much to do with my life.

That said, I'd like to see the movie. It seems like such a nice excuse to get a few friends together for a mom's night, and I haven't been to the movies in ages. Probably won't go opening night, though.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 21, 2008 8:39 AM

Count me as amoung the women scratching their heads. I first thought of Memorial Day, not SitC. Honestly, my husband and I viewed that show as porn (not that there is anything wrong with that). Back when I was in my 20s, I didn't know anyone who did this hooking up thing with such regularity. We also just didn't live with the opposite gender. It just didn't happen (and this was Southern California in the 70s, 80s and PA in the 80s). At the time, it was all about the creating a respectful relationship thing with the opposite gender. So I couldn't relate to these girls at all. Will I see the movie: nah.

Posted by: dotted | May 21, 2008 8:40 AM

I'm with dotted on this one. This isn't something I would watch or expose my family to -- a bunch of irresponsible women who don't save for the future, have abortions and brag about their promiscuity. Are there really that many women out there with multiple sexual partners, venereal disease and a string of abortions? Oops, almost forgot about sleeping with a married man. Does this really remind you of your own life? I hope not!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 8:43 AM

I'm still waiting for the Buffy movie.

Posted by: acorn | May 21, 2008 8:45 AM

you should thank a vet every day. there is already a veteran's day holiday in november, renamed from the old WWI armistace day.

memorial day is especially designated for our deceased troops, not living veterans.

Posted by: Memorial Day again | May 21, 2008 8:45 AM

I liked the show but never really saw myself in any of the women except Miranda. I want to see the movie but won't go on opening night because Fridays nights are family time (shabbat) in our house. I'll go with a girlfriend probably a few days later.

Posted by: PT Fed Mof2 | May 21, 2008 8:46 AM

I came to the show later myself and watched it mostly on DVD. What I liked about it:

- smart, witty writing
- women as sexual beings rather than objects of others' sexuality
- some of the issues it tackled head on, particularly issues around aging
- gorgeous women in NYC, what's not to love?

Anyways I will be seeing the film as soon as I can get around to it after it's out (not Memorial Day weekend though).

Posted by: Shandra | May 21, 2008 8:48 AM

I never got into this show - it just bugged me for probably some of the same reasons as dotted and 8:43. However: there is a new x-files movie coming out? Now THIS is important information. (which has probably been available forever, I'm just clueless)

Posted by: tsp 2007 | May 21, 2008 8:53 AM

I am with the minority although not for their reasons. The morality of the show doesn't bother me as I don't even know enough about the show to judge it. I simply don't have any interest in watching the show or the movie.

Posted by: Billie_R | May 21, 2008 9:08 AM

you should thank a vet every day. there is already a veteran's day holiday in november, renamed from the old WWI armistace day.

I assume you mean Armistice Day. You can thank our dead veterans by visiting a national cemetery, attending a Memorial Day service, or pausing for a moment of prayer during the day. BTW, South Carolina has finally recognized Memorial Day as a national holiday.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 9:08 AM

You realize that SitC consists mostly of gay men's fantasies of what they would do if they were these women, right? Good story telling, occasionally instructive, but a road map for young women? Nope. For gay men that want to be young sexy women in New York that can shop for crazy designer clothes and hook up a lot. Yes.

Posted by: jjs | May 21, 2008 9:09 AM

Just to be clear, I meant no insult to vets. Memorial Day will be honored this Monday, May 26. It comes early this year.

I miss Aidan, too.

Each of the four women appeals to a different part of me, I guess. It is refreshing and encouraging when the show tackles sticky stuff like mentioned above...how could a family possibly care that you are single at your parent's funeral? how do you tell someone you've fallen in love with him -- after you've had his baby? how do you try to find a good relationship, again and again, after many failures?

but in reality, this is the kind of stuff that hurts more if you don't acknowledge it.

and sorry to burst your bubble, anonymous, but there are a whole lot of women out here who've chosen to have multiple sexual partners, experienced an unwanted pregnancy or two, and pay their mortgage without a man to help out. and i sure am glad there is a show to reflect my and my friends' reality, instead of the dreck that i saw growing up that seemed to say utter fulfillment is found chopping celery in the kitchen and mopping floors...

Posted by: Leslie | May 21, 2008 9:12 AM

Brava, Leslie! I love being able to pay my own mortgage! It's actually the only check I write - the rest I pay online. I enjoyed the show immensely. I was part Charlotte, mostly Miranda, and I wished I'd had the courage to be Sammantha. As for Carrie, I could never imagine walking in those shoes!

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 9:18 AM

Just when you thought this blog couldn't get any stupider, Leslie puts out this topic.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 9:19 AM

"Are there really that many women out there with multiple sexual partners, venereal disease and a string of abortions? Oops, almost forgot about sleeping with a married man. Does this really remind you of your own life? I hope not!"

No abortions or VD but you can put me on the list for the other two, all in my very early 20s. Now I've been married 14 yrs very happily. Amazing, isn't it, that women can have multiple partners and make errors in judgment and still end up happy and not dying? :)

Posted by: Shandra | May 21, 2008 9:20 AM

quick off topic question:

Do you tip full service gas attendants? If so, how much?

Posted by: moxiemom | May 21, 2008 9:25 AM

I've never seen the show so I don't think I will see the movie although the previews make it look pretty good. I am waiting until someday when I am expecting and spending mroe time at home to watch the series, and then the movie, on DVD. Until then, I am out too much to really watch much TV at all.

atb, I sympathise with you on having a BFF move. My BFF moved a month ago and things are definietly not the same! It is amazing how close you can get with your girlfriends.

Posted by: Thought | May 21, 2008 9:29 AM

@ tsp. Silly, I've known about X-files for a while now.

I'm going to try and get a group together to see SATC, but it is more about girl bonding time than anything else. Any excuse is a good one...

I did think of Memorial Day first, so we'll be going to the WW II Memorial here in DC, and off to Arlington Cemetary to lay flowers on the grave of an friend who died in Iraq.

Posted by: canary28 | May 21, 2008 9:33 AM

I'll be going on the night of May 30th with my best friend. We've already bought our tickets, for fear of the fact that if we don't really make it a priority to go, it will never happen. She has a new boyfriend and I have a husband and two children, and we mostly communicate via email. It will be wonderful to get to do something fun together, just the two of us, for a change. We're both pop culture junkies too, so we knew that if we didn't go right away, we'd hear the ending somewhere else and then not bother. We're putting ourselves first for just one night.

Posted by: LilMisBusy | May 21, 2008 9:35 AM

Leslie: there is a big difference between having multiple sexual partners over time and hooking up with someone different each weekend. SitC fit the latter. And yes, I paid my own mortgage with the first home I bought myself-no cosigner-when I was 21, in California no less. The SitC girls bought shoes, not homes.

Posted by: dotted | May 21, 2008 9:37 AM

OT to moxiemom: where are you finding full service gas attendants? I haven't seen one in years: except in some state (I can't remember which) where you aren't allowed to pump your own gas. Sorry, I don't know the answer to your question...!!

Posted by: dotted | May 21, 2008 9:44 AM

"how could a family possibly care that you are single at your parent's funeral?"

Leslie, I don't understand this question-- As a mother, I would certainly want my child to have support when I pass on. MArried folks have that support generally speaking, but with singles, friendships aren't as solid (generally speaking) and so isn't it understandable to be concerned-- to care about the fact that therre is no one legally obligated to care for your child when that child is facing troubles?

I actually got teary-eyed reading about the above reference to the funeral scene. I've seen it a few times and it always makes my heart ache for Miranda-- but doesn't Carrie, leap up and walk with her down the aisle so she isn't alone? that's what I remember--- very vividly. Maybe that is just what I wanted to have happen, but I can picture it so well, with Carrie absolutely focused on Miranda. I'm getting teary again! Carrie is the type of friend I aspire to be but so often fall short.

Anyway, I can understand Miranda's family being concerned about her being single. Sure, in the end her friends show that Miranda isn't really alone, but as I said, friendships and marriages are different. In an ideal world they are the same, but the reality is that friends can walk out on you for any reason and there is nothing you can do.

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 9:46 AM

What does this have to do with work life balance?

Posted by: anon | May 21, 2008 9:52 AM

see shark jump

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 9:53 AM

Product: I am due in mid June. I am full term first week of June. Can't wait. So happy this is my last pregnancy. :)

Posted by: foamgnome | May 21, 2008 9:58 AM

dotted the answer is New Jersey - I am from the Shore and aside from the obvious post-divorce transitions, pumping gas in VA was one of my mom's more hated tasks. (she used to make my dad take the car to get tank filled).

Cal girl - I have seen that episode at least 6 times and I still cry.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 21, 2008 10:00 AM

actually, I live in PA, but the irony is that the gas station with the lowest price is also one of the few that has full serve. So, if I tip the attendant then I'm negating the savings, but I guess at least I'm putting cash in the hand of a person instead of the oil companies. Guess, I just don't know the protocol for gas stations because in the past I've avoided the full serve ones because it is faster to do it myself.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 21, 2008 10:03 AM

So paying your own mortgage and having multiple sex partners go hand in hand? I don't care about the movie, the series, or the characters, but if it mirrored your life, well, how fun for you. I know a couple women that loved this show and they were not the type of women I hung around. To each their own, I suppose.

Memorial Day is observed Monday, May 26 but May 30 is Memorial Day. Sadly, the date is "observed" to create a 3 day weekend rather than using May 30 and actually honoring Veterans that have given their lives. It does not surprise me that Leslie does not know this.

Posted by: Get Real | May 21, 2008 10:03 AM

I'm with dotted too. That show, I couldn't relate.

Posted by: lilac | May 21, 2008 10:04 AM

I'm an X-files kind of girl.

Posted by: Lilac | May 21, 2008 10:05 AM

This Monday, Memorial day, you might want to remember Airman 1st Class Elizabeth N. Jacobson. She was the first Air Force female killed in the line of duty in Iraq. She was also the first Security Forces (military police) female killed in the line of duty.

RIP Elizabeth Jacobson
March 26, 1984
September 28, 2005

Posted by: Fred | May 21, 2008 10:07 AM

I never got into this show. Saw a few episodes on TBS once. It didn't interest me too much. I do enjoy a good Lifetime movie though! The only thing I don't like about this topic is that it reinforces an image of women as silly. The only comparable situation I can think of is the hype surrounding the Star War releases and those guys were viewed as comic book geeks. The image surrounding women planning parties for this movie makes me recall that article a few months back about how silly women are (they were "swooning for Obama" is the tagline.) Just my two cents.

Posted by: FloridaChick | May 21, 2008 10:18 AM

I get a dose of "balance" whenever I see/hear/read about women whose lives reflect my own.

Thank you, Fred. That's part of balance, too. RIP Elizabeth.

Posted by: Leslie | May 21, 2008 10:20 AM

Anyone who sees the movie from May 30-June 1 please send me a one sentence review and what the movie means to you in terms of work/life "balance." Or unbalance.

I will include in a special Top Ten Tips for Monday, June 2.

Please put SATC MOVIE REVIEW or something similar in the email headline so I don't miss it.

leslie@lesliemorgansteiner.com

Posted by: Leslie | May 21, 2008 10:22 AM

Could care less about SATC. Can't wait for the opening of Mamma Mia though. (July 18th) Will definitely have a girls night for that one!

Posted by: LBH219 | May 21, 2008 10:25 AM

Let's see, the episode that seems be garning the greatest attention in this blog thus far is the one where a single woman attends her mother's funeral. And we women are being silly because we feel compassion for her? Because we marvel at the support her friends give her? If that's is "silly", I think the world could a bit more silliness.

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 10:28 AM

@ moxiemom- NJ is the only place I know where EVERY gas station is full-service by law. Instead of enjoying not having to do it myself when I visit, I tend to think "I could do this faster myself".

I had a similar dilemma with grocery store help - at a military commissary you tip the bagger (yes, a throwback to 50's) and you don't in the civilian world. I was so used to seeing my mom do this...

Posted by: POWM | May 21, 2008 10:31 AM

With you, Cal Girl. I thought the same thing. Call me "silly" and I hear a compliment in there...Songster, where are you? Need a reprise of McCartney's Silly Love Songs...

And I loved, loved, loved Mama Mia too. Can't wait for the movie. Although I fear it will mean another two years of my kids' listening to ABBA endlessly...

Posted by: Leslie | May 21, 2008 10:35 AM

Cal Girl, I think you misunderstood what I meant. I'm not talking about the show. I'm talking about the hoopla surrounding the movie and women taking off work to go to NYC and camp out, take SATC tours, countdown to the movie day, etc. The media attention focused on it reinforces an image of women as silly and only interested in pop culture. Devoting an entire blog to the topic further illustrates the point, I think.

Posted by: FloridaChick | May 21, 2008 10:36 AM

oh one more thing-- what's all this about lots of abortions on the show? I recall an episode where Carrie thought she may be pregnant, and abortion wasn't even brought up-- it was literally "if you is, you is" Pregnant, that is. Then she got her period. I thought that was a rather cowardly handling of the issue and certainly related more the gay producer's fantasy of what it would be like to be a woman than what it really is. the reality is that abortion is a legal option for adult women and to just ignore that was so wimpy.

I guess Carrie does say that she had one, years previous, but I don't think any of the characters have an abortion during the show. ISn't that right?

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 10:36 AM

Can't we "celebrate" Memorial Day AND see SATC? Are the two mutually exclusive? Geez.

Posted by: SATC and Memorial Day | May 21, 2008 10:36 AM

RIP Airmen 1st Class Jacobson.

Posted by: Get Real | May 21, 2008 10:42 AM

Can't we "celebrate" Memorial Day AND see SATC? Are the two mutually exclusive? Geez.

Posted by: SATC and Memorial Day | May 21, 2008 10:36 AM


Short answer, yes. Please feel free, no one is stopping you.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 10:43 AM

If I were to take time off the see the movie, it wouldn't be to wallow in pop culture-- it would be to reconnect with girlfriends that I've lost touch with post babies. By considering their relationship, it opens the door to discussing our own relationships-- for example, when Carrie went to PAris, was that a good choice or not? which charater are you most like? How you answer these questions says something about who you are. the movie works as a springboard to these discussions.

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 10:49 AM

@ Shandra: ""Are there really that many women out there with multiple sexual partners, venereal disease and a string of abortions? Oops, almost forgot about sleeping with a married man. Does this really remind you of your own life? I hope not!"

No abortions or VD but you can put me on the list for the other two, all in my very early 20s. Now I've been married 14 yrs very happily. "

Anyone in her early 20s sleeping with your husband? You did it with somebody else's; seems turnabout's fair play.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 10:50 AM

I went to a women's college in NYC, and believe me, we watched an AWFUL lot of SATC. If I still lived near my college friends, I'm sure I'd see it with them, but instead I'll be going some time during the week or so after the movie opens, with my long-term boyfriend--he's unwilling to admit it, but he's excited to see it too.

What appealled to me and the other young women I watched it with was the female camraderie, and the fact that these were strong, independent women who, while searching for love in relationships, didn't need to rely on a man to make them complete. It challenged traditional gender norms (the whole premise of the show was "what if women act like 'men' in relationships" ). And what I think we identified with was the way the show portrayed the characters' vulnerabilities without making them seem weak. It was funny, it was smart, it was more real than most other shows-- I think only My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks mirrored what was real as much, and those were both high school-based.

What bothered me about the show was the materialistic aspects. Feminity doesn't have to equal an obsessive compulsion to buy shoes. And getting into the new hot club or restaurant as soon as it opend isn't really so important.

Posted by: annacadie | May 21, 2008 10:55 AM

Oh, and on the abortion thing-- I agree with cal girl-- I don't think anyone had one on the show-- Carrie did say she had one years before, and when Miranda got pregnant she thought about it, but ended up having the baby. And then it was an especially poignant decision, because Charlotte was trying desperately to have a baby at the same time.

One of the things I loved about the show was how it challenged moral norms, as well as gender norms.

Posted by: annacadie | May 21, 2008 10:59 AM

As Memorial Day is this coming Monday and May 30 is Friday, yes, you can have both.

AF dau shares one name with Airman Jacobson, the same job (Security Forces) and was the same rank. There are many websites dedicated to Airman Jacobson, you may wish to visit one and leave a comment.

AF dau also loves SATC, has all the seasons on DVD.

And Fred will not be doing a top ten SATC list for June 2.

Posted by: Fred | May 21, 2008 11:07 AM

Cal Girl, I've got news for you. Spouses can walk out on you anytime as well, and there will be nothing you can do about it. I've found that friends (not acquaintances) are more faithful than (some) spouses. I've been able to call friends at 3am after a man walked out on me.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 11:07 AM

Never saw the show, and I'm not much for chick flicks (though I do enjoy "Love, Actually"). I'll probably break out "Black Hawk Down" over Memorial Day weekend. I come from a long line of veterans--our family was represented in every major war of the 20th century, all enlisted. My grandfather is buried at Arlington National Cemetary. And here in Arizona, we will pay tribute to two well-known Afghanistan and Iraq war casualties: Pat Tillman and Lori Piestewa.

Posted by: pepperjade | May 21, 2008 11:10 AM

SPC Lori Ann Piestewa (December 14, 1979-March 23, 2003) was a U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps soldier killed during the same Iraqi Army attack in which her friend Jessica Lynch was injured. A member of the Hopi tribe, Piestewa was the first woman in the U.S. armed forces killed in the 2003 Iraq war and is the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving with the U.S. military.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 11:15 AM

@ leslie: Though I agree endless abba could be annoying it beats some of the current pop/rap/hip-hop music. Lord, I felt old just typing that. ;-)

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 21, 2008 11:20 AM

"Anyone in her early 20s sleeping with your husband? You did it with somebody else's; seems turnabout's fair play."

No, I married a man who wouldn't do that - and had learned what kind would, or at least one kind.

Funny how the woman always gets the blame though!

Incidentally, I didn't know he was married when I did, although I didn't break it off swiftly enough when I found out. And I'm still standing! Wow! Women can make mistakes!

Posted by: Shandra | May 21, 2008 11:23 AM

You're all missing the point of the funeral episode. It wasn't that Miranda's family worried about her having enough support at the funeral. They worried about how it would look to have a single (translation: pitiful failure in the marriage sweepstakes) woman walking in without a man by her side. She was never acknowledged in the funeral as a single, functional woman who was grieving. Instead, she was mistaken by the minister as her brother's wife. The point was that she felt that her life was undervalued by her family and her mother's friends. Of course you feel sympathetic - she'd just lost her mother. But the issue wasn't about feeling sympathetic, it was about realizing that she had worth regardless of her marital and childbearing status.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 11:26 AM

I suspect that most of us have slept, knowing or unknowing, with a married man. But there is a world of difference in whether you know or not.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 11:30 AM

I loved SATC, my other half called it "so many sl*ts and wh***s, oh my!". Which never failed to make me very angry. Grrrrrr.

Carrie wasn't really my favorite character, though. She was very self-centered most of the time. But I loved that they were independent women.

I'll see the movie when it comes out on cable, I reckon.

As you can see by my handle, I am a veteran, and I don't see what Memorial Day has to do with a movie premier. Observe the day on Monday, enjoy the movie on Friday. Sheesh!

Posted by: OldBAM | May 21, 2008 11:30 AM

@babsy1 - LOL. I sadly fall on both sides of it. I didn't know when we met or after we started sleeping together. But then I did, and kept sleeping with him for a while. It was kind of a life lesson in the difference between love, infatuation, and how older guys with exciting jobs and cool-looking lives are often... married. :P

Actually though he was a mentor to me in a lot of ways. After he divorced, I met his ex-wife and we got along really well too and now I get Xmas cards from her.

I'm rambling through this today but I guess that is actually what I like about Sex and the City - it did show relationships that had ambiguities and complexities that more closely line up with my experience than a lot of television at the time.

Posted by: Shandra | May 21, 2008 11:34 AM

Lori Piestewa was also a single mother who had enlisted so she could build a better future for her and her two children.

Posted by: pepperjade | May 21, 2008 11:34 AM

babysy1 thanks for reminding me of more details about the episode. I tend to have selective memory and block out things that don't seem true to me. The family reaction just didn't play true to me-- no one in my family would be like that and I don't know anyone who would be like that.

On the otherhand, Miranda's frustration with ordering flowers for the funeral and freaking out with the bra saleslady-- and Miranda's friends support for her, that was very real to me-- and thus what I remembered. YMMV.

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 11:37 AM

Cal Girl, trust me, that family's reaction is more real than you think. Just look around the room at a wedding sometime, and see where the mature single women are seated. I guarantee you it's not at a "good" table.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 11:40 AM

I slept with a very married man last night! hee hee

Posted by: moxiemom | May 21, 2008 11:44 AM

@babsy: "I suspect that most of us have slept, knowing or unknowing, with a married man. "

Wow. Just the biggest, fattest Haxian "wow" I can muster.

"Most" women have slept with a married man? "Most" women either don't care that they're sleeping with someone's husband, or don't care enough about who they're sleeping with to find out?

Gee, given that the stereotype has always been the other way - that men would sleep with anyone with a vagina - do you think that the opposite is true?

Do you think that "most" men have slept, knowingly or unknowingly, with a married woman? (Other than their own wives, obviously. :-)

Just - "WOW"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 11:45 AM

I loved the bra saleslady.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 11:46 AM

"Lori Piestewa was also a single mother who had enlisted so she could build a better future for her and her two children."

And the very deserving namesake of Piestewa Peak, outside Phoenix. That's one of my favorite hiking areas near the Valley of the Sun.

(It was a neat political solution to a problem. That mountain used to be called "Squaw Peak", which name is offensive to many Native Americans. "Squaw" is essentially the same as c_nt to many. But there was resistance to changing the name of the mountain - 'political correctness ran amok' was the charge. But hey, there's no way you can object to renaming the mountain for a Native American who gave her life in combat for her country.)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 11:49 AM

The table where the mature single women sit at a wedding is the best -- the table is enhanced by their presence! ;}

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 11:49 AM

SATC may have redefined gender roles, but -- despite the false conventional wisdom that women are more tolerant than men -- it wasn't groundbreaking with respect to homosexuality and race.

Samantha's lesbian relationship (if a three-episode arc can be described as such) was ridiculed by her friends: "She's a lesbian now?" Miranda laughed incredulously. "I think I'll become a shoe," Carrie replied mockingly. Charlotte, the Smith graduate, threw up a little in her mouth.

Carrie bolted upon hearing that the guy she was seeing was -- gasp! -- bisexual. Of course, Ally McBeal, who locked lips with all of her female co-workers, responded much the same way.

And, then, there's Stanford and Anthony, Carrie's and Charlotte's respective Gay BFFs. For the entire series run, they were regarded as accessories, distractions to entertain "the girls" when there were no romantic prospects -- Mr. Big, Trey, Tom, Dick, or Harry -- on the horizons. Otherwise, neither Carrie nor Charlotte much cared for Stanford or Anthony. In one episode, Anthony finally screamed, "Why don't we ever talk about me?" Carrie was genuinely taken aback. Clearly, in her mind, she was the Donna Karen dress; he was the cheap plastic bracelet that she picked up at Duane Reed. Their "friendship" was about her, not them, and certainly not him.

When Charlotte and Carrie decided that Anthony and Stanford would make a great couple, I rolled my eyes. What did those two men have in common other than their sexuality? Nothing -- but because they were seen as little more than gay cliches, they didn't consider that Anthony and Stanford might actually have fully realized, yet different, personalities.

Also, SATC didn't reflect the melting pot that is New York City. Black women were invisible (unless you count the transsexual hookers under Samantha's window). Asians and Hispanics weren't very plentiful, either. The manhood of the only black man to appear in the first five seasons of SATC, a beau of Samantha's, was questioned because he actually respected the opinion of his sister. I would write the slur uttered here, but it would violate the Washington Post's posting rules.

Finally, there's Blair Underwood's Dr. Robert Leeds. All of the black women I know were furious by the Dr. Reeds-Miranda storyline. To them, it belied a certain unspoken truth about Hollywood: Only black men who are drop-dead gorgeous and portray wealthy, highly educated doctors or lawyers are worthy of being paired with white women. And, the white woman at issue here was a semi-attractive, rude, abrasive, single mother of an infant, the oft-demeaned father of whom was still in the picture. But for her socially desirable race, what did Miranda bring to the table? I mean, c'mon: Blair Underwood!

Posted by: Steve Brady | May 21, 2008 11:50 AM

Well, I can guarantee that I have never slept with a married man!

Posted by: Fred | May 21, 2008 11:50 AM

@1145: Statistics don't lie - Recent studies reveal that 45-55% of married women and 50-60% of married men engage in extramarital sex at some time or another during their relationship (Atwood & Schwartz, 2002 - Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy). Yes, there are plenty of people out there sleeping around who either don't know, don't want to know, or don't care about the marital status of their sex partners. I'm not approving, just taking note.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 11:56 AM

What does this have to do with work life balance?

Posted by: anon | May 21, 2008 9:52 AM
----------------------------------------------

And you thought that you wouldn't miss Brian this week?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 12:28 PM

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 11:56 AM

It is possible to not know your partner is married. I had a friend who became involved with a soldier stationed at the Pentagon. He did not wear his wedding ring, and his family was back home in another state. He was living a double life. It was months before she found out, and she was devastaed. That was nearly seven years ago and it still impacts her ability to trust a man and have a healthy relationship.

Posted by: pepperjade | May 21, 2008 12:33 PM

My former landlady was married to a geographic bachelor. When she learned that his trips to DC included a mistress, she was stunned. Apparently he was also running a money scam on the Navy as well.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 12:38 PM

I know of several women who have had relationships with married men. In two cases the women didn't know the man was married - no ring, family far away, man either eventually 'fessed up or the woman figured it out. In the third case the man was (is) getting separated. I also know of several men who have had affairs including one marriage that just broke up because of it. I don't have a huge circle of friends, either. I know that the plural of anecdote does not equal data, but I do think it happens more than anyone wants to admit. Sadly.

Posted by: tsp 2007 | May 21, 2008 12:39 PM

@ 0952 - maintaining friendships isn't part of work-life balance?

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 21, 2008 12:40 PM

Steve Brady, I agree with you, but then again wasn't the show wasn't written and produced largely by homosexual men? with that context, the show is really more misogynist than homophobic-- it's the women who are shallow-- by design of the male gay writers.

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 12:49 PM

"I had a friend who became involved with a soldier stationed at the Pentagon. "

Stufflebeem?

No wait; he was a sailor, not a soldier.

"Was" being the operative word.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 12:53 PM

I never understood the appeal of this show. I just thought the writing was awful. Watched it with my girlfriend on occasion. But to each his own I suppose. What I really didn't get was the "women who see ourselves reflected in the four female characters" phenomenon. Each character, I thought, was a deeply flawed individual. But maybe we all are.

Posted by: Never Understood | May 21, 2008 1:23 PM

Steve Brady, doesn't the fact that the gay men produced and wrote for the show offer some context to the way the relationships play out? You can certainly critisize the show for not being groundbreaking in those areas, but where do have the blame fall? The gay writers could have creating something different, but they didn't-- why? Society is changing so quickly with regard to homosexuals and race relations see, eg, gay marriage and presidential race) that it seems unfair to critisize a show that ended many years ago for not seeming groundbreaking.

Anyway, let's hope the movie does a great job at addressing your concerns!

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 1:25 PM

sorry for my double posts.

Posted by: cal girl | May 21, 2008 1:34 PM

Hey! The June issue of "Commercial Laundry & Dry Cleaning" is on the newstands now! Pick up a copy.

Posted by: Oh Yea! | May 21, 2008 1:50 PM

@ pepperjade - never ever understood adultery in the context of being active duty military. Not only will it ruin your marriage, it has career implications too since it's a violation of the uniform code of military justice (unless that's changed??)

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 21, 2008 2:04 PM

@Product - unfortunately, the geographic bachelor is alive and well in the military, although one doesn't want to tar and feather those who don't stray with the label. It is risky both personally and professionally, but some people thrive on risk. However, the percentage of those straying is not wildly different from those in civilian life.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 2:24 PM

@anon @ 2:28: "Is Steve Brady a producer or writer on the show?"

No, it's the name of a character. From wikipedia: "Steve Brady is a fictional character on HBO series, Sex and The City , played by David Eigenberg. Introduced in the second season, Steve is a bartender who has an unconventional on-again, off-again relationship with Miranda, throughout the remainder of the series."

(And I'm really embarrassed that I knew that. Okay, I didn't remember the name of the actor but I remembered the character.)

Hey, maybe the guy posting as "Steve Brady" is really David Eigenberg. :-)

Posted by: m2j5c2 | May 21, 2008 2:33 PM

Under the UCMJ, military members are brought up on charges of adultery for officers and enlisted alike. In fact, in an affair involving an officer and enlisted personnel, the officer is usually more severely punished.

But I really don't recall many cases in a military/civilian affair that the military member is brought up on charges.

The biggest exception to this is for general officers having numerous affairs or for any officer having an affair with a civilian in the chain of command or someone in the procurement chain.


As noted, it is a career killer and some officers have been sentenced to hard labor for their indiscretions.

Posted by: Fred | May 21, 2008 2:50 PM

There was a general involved with a foreign ambassador's daughter (I think) who was forced to retire under threat of charges. I don't think he was ever charged.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 3:01 PM

As a woman, I can't understand the fascination with the show. I never watched the HBO version since we don't have HBO, but I watched a cable version and was turned off after 2 minutes... I can't understand being that self-absorbed. Luckily I'm working on the 30th so no time for this one, give me Iron Man, Prince Caspian and Indiana Jones instead!!!

Posted by: amwhite | May 21, 2008 3:03 PM

"The biggest exception to this is for general officers having numerous affairs or for any officer having an affair with a civilian in the chain of command or someone in the procurement chain."

Somebody up above mentioned the name Stufflebeem. Google that name - VADM John D. "Boomer" Stufflebeem. (Or try "RADM John D. "Boomer" Stufflebeem. :-)

Basically, the guy had an affair with a civilian while a White House aide in 1990. He didn't wear a ring and told the woman that his wife had died and he was a single father.

At any rate, he rose to the rank of VADM (3 stars) and was in line for his fourth star when word of this finally leaked out. He's been relieved of duty; he's been demoted back to two stars; and it's been agreed that he'll retire. What hasn't been agreed is at what rank he'll retire, but he'll be very, very lucky indeed if he stays an Admiral.

Adultery is a violation of the UCMJ; it's been determined over and over that it can be a significant detriment to unit morale; and if you're caught in the wrong circumstances you can get really, really blasted.

(Which is not to say that it doesn't happen; I suspect it's fairly common especially among people who are away from their families for a long time.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | May 21, 2008 3:13 PM

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 21, 2008 2:04 PM

Posted by: Fred | May 21, 2008 2:50 PM

He is an officer. I did remind her that she could make his life a living hell by reporting this, but she tookt he high road, and I give her credit. Plus, you never know what a person is capable of when you unravel their world...and she was well-aware that he could possibly harm her.

Posted by: pepperjade | May 21, 2008 3:41 PM

Each character, I thought, was a deeply flawed individual. But maybe we all are.

Posted by: Never Understood | May 21, 2008 1:23 PM

Duh.

Posted by: MN | May 21, 2008 3:52 PM

@pepperjade. I'm of two minds about whether to turn someone in or not. On the one hand, this high-mindedness is what serial adulterers count on. They keep going, and no one ever calls them on that behavior. On the other hand, you open a huge can of worms by speaking up. And the men don't usually change their behavior, they become more adept at secrecy. I did turn in an officer when I discovered that he was married while romancing me. His career continued with only a slight hitch (the fellowship he wanted was denied). He married again, and has had several other affairs. Yes, the Navy is a small community, and we eventually learn all the dirt.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 3:59 PM

I thought I would add this tidbit I just read from the NY Times article on men and faithfulness. I quote: "Even if adultery is underreported, as seems likely, studies show that about 25 percent of married men commit adultery, 15 percent of married women." The article is pretty well researched and this statistic seems more plausible to me than babsy1's 45%-55% of spouses have cheated. In fact, the point of the article is how fidelity is so deeply engrained in American's understanding of marriage and how that conflicts with men's innate desire for variety. Just some more food for thought.

Posted by: FloridaChick | May 21, 2008 4:04 PM

No desire to watch the show, therefore no desire to see the movie!

Posted by: Barbara | May 21, 2008 4:06 PM

A great deal of what we think we know about infidelity depends on how the studies are conducted. Whisman & Snyder (Journal of Family Psychology. Vol 21(2) Jun 2007, 147-154) found that women are 6 times more likely to report their own infidelity in anonymous surveys than in interviews. Conservative estimates from the 1990s indicate that between 20% and 25% of all Americans will have sex with someone other than their spouse while they are married (Greeley, 1994; Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994; Wiederman, 1997). Women report being less unfaithful than men, but again, one never knows. One hopes the number is lower - but based on what I see, I suspect it isn't.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 21, 2008 4:24 PM

"What I really didn't get was the "women who see ourselves reflected in the four female characters" phenomenon. Each character, I thought, was a deeply flawed individual. But maybe we all are."

LOL, didn't you just answer your own query? I was never a fan of the show, but it seems to me that the draw is precisely that they are all flawed (as we all are) and make mistakes and yet still find love and compassion and friendship among other women.

Posted by: LizaBean | May 21, 2008 4:43 PM

And here I thought babsy1's comment about sleeping with a married man referred to your own husband.

Posted by: dotted | May 21, 2008 5:11 PM

I know for a fact that Leslie knew before today's column that this coming Monday is Memorial Day.

I would encourage all of you to visit a national cemetery or one of the monuments in D.C. or near you this Monday.

If you are going to the WWII memorial, walk a few steps over to the Korean War memorial. I was simply stunned by the message that this memorial evoked. The faces etched into the rock wall looking out at visitors and the statues of the patrol is beautiful and very haunting at the same time.

Walk a bit more and visit the memorial to my war, Vietnam. There are 58,256 names, 8 of the names are women. The wall speaks in silent eloquence of the importance of memory and the fragility of life.

Posted by: Fred | May 21, 2008 8:10 PM

"No, Memorial Day is on the last monday in May and has been since 1971. That is the official holiday. Yes, it was changed to ensure a three day weekend. But Leslie is not incorrect that Memorial Day is on the 26th this year, and there's no reason she is responsible for noting the entire history of the holiday before talking about a movie premier."

Wrong anonymous historian, there is some disagreement on the former observance date of Memorial Day. The VFW has been upset since 1968 that the date has not been fixed and set on May 30. Looking at wikipedia the "Uniform Holidays Bill" which lumped 3 holidays (memorial day, washington's birthday and columbus day)to Mondays to create 3 days weekends for federal employees.

I will side the the VFW on this one. 3 day weekends are great, but given that the meaning of the Holiday is lost I see little value in the making it so.

As for Leslie being clueless, I stand by that too. Leslie may know when the holiday is but I am pretty sure she knows nothing about the origins or it's original observance. Sadly, few do. My opinion that she is clueless about Memorial Day has nothing to do with her immense interest with SATC, to each their own.

Posted by: Get Real | May 22, 2008 8:16 AM

"The VFW has been upset since 1968 that the date has not been fixed and set on May 30"

Uh, which means it's NOT on May 30, which means I'm *right*. I'm not disagreeing with you that the holiday has lost its focus being a three day weekend. But the national holiday was declared in 1971 and established as the last Monday in May.

The holiday arose out of local observances in recognition of the Civil War soldiers who had died. The observations were on different days but eventually came to be ovserved on May 30 in the Northern states; many Southern states refused to observe it. According to the VA's history, the first observance was actually on May 5. It was after WWI that it became for all the fallen soldiers, not just Civil War.

http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html
http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp#hist

Posted by: anonymous historian | May 22, 2008 3:05 PM

Anonymous Historian, your own website you posted proves you wrong, 1971 was when the holiday was officially placed to the last Monday in May per Congress.

Also from the website you posted:

"Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868,"

and from http://www.memorialdayfoundation.org/info.asp?id=1964

"On June 19th, 1926 by joint resolution, U.S. Congress authorized and directed the Secratary of War to accept a tablet commemorating the designation of May 30th as Memorial Day."

and

"Since 1971 Memorial Day is now celebrated by law on the last Monday in May. That year Congress passed the National Holiday Act, P.L. 90-363 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays."

So the 1971 fact is posted on 2 sites, your and mine.

Please be careful with your rebuttals, so far you have proved a poor reseacher.

Posted by: Get Real | May 22, 2008 3:45 PM

Yeah, or I just live in the present, whereas you are simply hung up on the fact that is was once May 30 and is not anymore, and has not been since 1971 when the official holiday was changed. Everyone seems to accept this fact except you.

Posted by: Anonymous historian | May 22, 2008 5:09 PM

Poor (anonymous) historian, Did you even read your links? Or did you just read something on line somewhere, and paste a link thinking no one would actually follow them? Facts are frustrating things, I'm sure you deal with this everyday.

Poor arguements look even sillier when followed by sour grapes.

Posted by: Get Real | May 23, 2008 6:11 AM

I seen this movie on sneek peek night in Halifax N.S. I was so excited on the way there I nearly died. The movie was AWESOME!!!!! It was all I thought it would be and more. The only thing that I did not like about the movie was that Stanford and anthony was not in it that much at all:( I love them and missed them. Oh and Smith Aged really badly too, it's only been three years, what happened. As for the morality of the show, it's life, girls are not saints and we've all had our one might stands.... lol... unless of course you're hidious.
These girls are great and derserve all the publicity they get.

Posted by: Angie | May 30, 2008 4:44 PM

I seen this movie on sneek peek night in Halifax N.S. I was so excited on the way there I nearly died. The movie was AWESOME!!!!! It was all I thought it would be and more. The only thing that I did not like about the movie was that Stanford and anthony was not in it that much at all:( I love them and missed them. Oh and Smith Aged really badly too, it's only been three years, what happened. As for the morality of the show, it's life, girls are not saints and we've all had our one might stands.... lol... unless of course you're hidious.
These girls are great and derserve all the publicity they get.

Posted by: Angie | May 30, 2008 4:44 PM

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