Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sex and the city, Redux...

The weather of many hearts is stormy this week. And many blogs are quiet, as we sit either glued to the box or hugging our little ones.

The post below was written Monday morning. I have changed some of the tenses and days to match the fact that today is Thursday, but if you see one glaring out at you, glare back. When I get paid to bare my soul, I'll fix the tenses.

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I have come back to my own broken heart. An event happened over the weekend that had me in such a funk that I didn't crawl out of bed until late Monday morning, missing my chiro appointment. Sunday night I finished a book that sort of deals with the exact issue that came crashing down over the weekend. The book only clarified the event, which actually was a series of mini-events. Part of it goes back to a post I wrote a few weeks ago, about a conversation with a friend, where I said, "it seems all of my friends are passing me by, having babies and getting married." Last night at church there were couples everywhere. Even in the empty seats, I could see the invisible women that were out of town. I was so glad to see Ralph has come back, it was great to see him for two weeks in a row. And it was great to see his girlfriend, whom I've met a few times. But it just sort of cemented in my mind, "They're passing you by..."

So the book. I'd been reading it piece meal until Sunday night, when I sat down on the couch after a McDinner and phone calls to Bro and Kiki.

Sex and the Soul of a Woman by Paula Rinehart does not badmouth Sex and the City. Thank God, and I mean God. Because I have realized over the reading of Sex and the Soul...that the premise of SATC, could women date like men, not caring, not getting entangled, was disproven by the last episode of Season Six. The show tried to show women who didn't care when men left or relationships ended, when the ceiling came crashing down, but in the end, the show exemplified that we do care. Women care deeply.

Charlotte was the best example of this, in her rush to get married to the mama's boy doctor and in the devastation after her divorce. The episode I'm thinking of is where Charlotte takes Carrie to a meeting where women have gathered to hear a bestselling author talk about her book about love and how you have to hope for love and do exercises and then love will find you. (The Secret, if you will, for love.) Charlotte stands up at the end when there is a Q&A and says, "But I've been doing all the affirmations. I've been doing all the exercises. But I still feel empty and love hasn't come to me." The author sort of condescends and says to Charlotte, "Well, maybe you just have to try harder." And Carrie gets up and says, "She has been trying. Believe me, I know." You have to imagine that Carrie's tone is sassy and brassy and ANGRY that anyone could imagine that Charlotte wasn't hoping her hardest for love, true love. I think at that point both women storm out. Or at least that sounds like a good ending. This is also the episode where Carrie is putting together a book filled with her "best" columns. The editors tell her that her dedication will set the tone. Will it be optimistic or pessimistic? And as the episode ends, and Carrie is in her cute little apartment, Carrie typing into her lap top, she dedicates the book to Charlotte, who always hopes for love.

If you're a SATC fan, you know that eventually Charlotte ends up with her short fat bald (not balding) Jewish divorce lawyer. She does find love. So does Carrie, in a sweep of the last episode, where Big finally expresses that she is "The One." So does Miranda, who after having a baby out of wedlock with Steve, gets married to him and moves to the Bronx. And Samantha, hard as nails Samantha, gets over her cancer and settles in with Smith. So a show that started with the premise, "Can women date like men?" ends with the answer, "No. Women long for the happy ending, women long to settle down with that one man that loves them, no matter what."

I wrote most of this post on Monday morning. The wind was blowing so strong I could feel it through my window frames. It was gray and blustery and I sat, in front of the screen, still in my pink cotton nightgown. I had not eaten breakfast, I merely came straight to the black box with a screen and a keyboard that in some way soothes me, as it connects me to my friends.

I am a woman. A woman with a broken heart. No, it was not broken this weekend. No, the conversation I had merely shone a light in, revealing the brokenness that remains. I have hard work still to do. I have not yet let go of the demons of past relationships. I have lived in the fantasy of my mind, building castles in the clouds.

From here on out, you're going to have to read this as something that was written Monday morning. I am not changing any more tenses or days of the week.

Let me see if I can find the passage that burns in my heart. Okay, as I turn the pages, looking for it, the first thing that hits me is last night I read over 100 pages of searing text. Because I have the memory of being on the sofa when I read page 47, and the book is over 179 pages long. You do the math, I'm trying to find that passage. I suppose I should think about breakfast, since my therapy appointment is in 59 minutes and I have to drive for 20 of those minutes.

Okay, it's a long passage. I'll try to give you the Cliff Notes.

"There is something tragic about women not being allowed to express the loss and betrayal they feel when a relationship is over...

"Unfortunately, most of us turn those potent feelings back on ourselves. We think, I need to be less sensitive. If only I could keep my heart from getting involved. There must be something wrong with me. In a culture that trivializes everything transcendent, a woman's passionate nature is a bit embarrassing, and well, somehow, bad...

"...a real, living woman with hopes and dreams, with an unveiled longing for a good man and a child to tuck in at night--what does our culture say to her? She needs to get some tear-proof mascara and a good anti-depressant.

She quotes Wendy Shalit: "Maybe it is normal for a young woman to be 'intense' and being cavalier is what is strange. Maybe wanting to forge bonds with others is normal, and it's cutting ourselves off from enduring attachments that is perverse...

Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, says the poet. Yes, I believe about the love part. I would not have traded the love part. But Sarah Louise has never felt that a man cared for her enough to be completely honest. Again and again, they have either not realized the attachment she had towards them, or they have brushed it aside, saying she was the one who changed.

There is a seventeen year old in my heart who still aches from the loss of Tony. Who in the end wasn't worth it, but tell that to my heart.

5 comments:

SneakyPeek said...

Well I never understood why I loved the final two-part episode of SATC. Now I do. :-)

My heart still carries the pain of every breakup. While it has healed, I still relive those moments occasionally. Caring deeply is defintely both a gift and burden.

You can let it go .... but does it ever let go of you? No so far...

Don't look at it as life passing you by. Sometimes its the road that is less traveled that takes you where you were meant to go.

Varooom.

Sarah Louise said...

SP,

Thanks! I like the thought of Varoom--I truly AM on the road less traveled.

SL

Caro said...

I hope you are feeling less sad now.

daysgoby said...

You never forget your first love.
And being women, and with our hearts being all the loving, caring multi-leveled organs they are, I think it's normal to hurt for a long time afterwards.

I think some just bury their pain better than others.

(I'm writing this late Thursday night, you'll read it Friday morning) Good morning, sunshine! I hope for you a better day.

Sarah Louise said...

Thanks guys! I am. Feeling better. AND THE SUN IS OUT!!