I read this in another group and just had to share. Great attitudes. I haven't seen the movie yet. My friend Marla and I planned to go, her in her Manolo Blaniks purchased on sale for $200 and me in my Birkenstock sandles (you couldn't pay me $200 to wear heels to a movie... well, maybe). But she had to work unexpectedly and I had to work so... Maybe next week.
"Sex' and the Pink Ribbon
By RUTH PENNEBAKER
All right, we admit it. We're not traditional "Sex and the City"
We're five women from Austin, Tex. (wrong number, right sex, wrong
city), who range from our late 40s to early 60s (wrong demographics;
too old). Our shoes are conservative and our politics are liberal
Four of us are mothers, two are married, two are divorced, and one is
single. We've led quieter, more traditional lives than Carrie
Bradshaw and her friends. If there's a sex-siren Samantha among us,
she's been pretty discreet about it.
But we went to a sneak preview of the movie version of "Sex and the
City," which ran for six seasons on HBO, because it was a benefit for
Austin's Breast Cancer Resource Center — and four of the five of us
are breast cancer survivors. We'd met one another in support groups
and at talks and other benefits. Among us, we've had two single and
two bilateral mastectomies, nine regimens of chemotherapy, two series
of radiation treatments and one metastasis. We've been to too many of
our friends' funerals, spoken too many eulogies and written too many
All of which sounds noble and dreary. But I should tell you: We were
also there because we wanted to see the clothes. The stilettos, the
gossamer dresses, the floral splashes, the tight jackets, the outré
hats, the clutch purses, the hair, the makeup, the dazzling jewelry.
If half of "Sex and the City" is about sex, the other half is about
what you're wearing before and after you have sex and when you're
walking around the streets, heartbroken, certain you'll never have
sex again. Men come and men go, they die, they disappoint, they're
unavailable, they're too available. But at least you've still got
your three female sidekicks and a killer wardrobe to remind you life
is worth living.
So the five of us joined a raucous audience of women and a few
patient, saintly men, drinking stiff Cosmopolitans and catching up on
one another's lives after months and years of not being together. On
the big screen, weddings were canceled and relationships sputtered
and seasons blossomed and died and blossomed again, as women teetered
on impossible shoes and even more impossible assumptions about love
and perfect futures. Out in the audience, before and after, we
swapped stories about lives that weren't quite as Technicolor or
cinematic — an adopted daughter going to grade school; children
graduating from college; a new house; a mother who'd moved closer;
friends who hadn't lived to grow old with us; our own impossible
assumptions about life.
We sat and we laughed, recounting the story of one of our group
members, Betsy, who had called earlier in the day to announce that we
all needed to be dressed in a certain way to go to the "Sex and the
City" premiere. "High heels — and we've got to show lots of
cleavage," she'd screamed into the phone.
Lots of cleavage? Surely she was joking.
"You're going to this premiere with four breast cancer survivors,"
I'd reminded her. "You're the only nonsurvivor. You're bringing the
cleavage for the rest of us."
"Oops," Betsy had said.
But that's kind of the basic spirit of "Sex and the City," when you
get right down to it. Sure, maybe the movie was too long and
overwrought, but it had a warm female heart to it. Carrie, Miranda,
Charlotte and Samantha were always showing up to save one another
from a lonely New Year's Eve or a botched honeymoon or a shattering
disappointment, always bringing comfort and filling in for whatever's
lacking, making up for cads who leave and forget.
In our small group of friends, Betsy had to bring the cleavage to the
premiere of "Sex and the City." Our job, for years to come, will be
to remind her of her offer and never let her live it down. Because
good women friends, on screen and off, never forget.
Wrong city, wrong demographics, wrong shoes, but — what the hell —
Ruth Pennebaker is an author of young adult novels and a public radio