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Celebrating 20 years of ‘Sex and the City’!

Photo credit: HBO – one of my favorite scenes from the series.

This week, fans of “Sex and the City” have been celebrating its 20th anniversary – can you believe it?

HBO’s iconic series debuted in 1998, when I was in 8th grade. We didn’t have HBO at my house growing up, so I didn’t come across the series until I was a junior in high school, when I went on a college visit to Miami of Ohio.

It was 2001, and I saw an episode on DVD – I’m pretty sure I fell asleep before the episode was over. To be honest, I didn’t know a whole lot about dating when I was 17, and I certainly knew nothing about sex.

But by the time I went to college, I’d scrounged up all of the available seasons on DVDs and brought them to Louisiana. The episodes made me laugh, and I started to see why so many people loved the show so much – they spoke so honestly about dating, and in college, I really needed that.

My DVDs also came in handy when I applied to get a new roommate during my second semester of freshman year. The only open bed available was with someone who’d scored a room alone – she was probably REALLY disappointed when I showed up with my boxes of crap on a random weeknight.

Until I showed her my SATC collection and told her she was welcome to watch them anytime. We watched loads of episodes together.

It’s difficult to believe now, but SATC changed the dialogue about sex  and dating, and it was one of the first shows (aside from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) that put single, career-driven women at the forefront.

It also carved a larger path for sex columnists, given that SATC’s main character has a weekly column titled, “Sex and the City”. I quickly became a fan of Natalie Krisnky’s writing, who was the sex columnist for Yale’s campus newspaper until 2004.

I also wrote the relationship column for the LSU paper, and while that was not the start of my publishing career, it gave me a place to vent about my dating troubles, and gave me confidence to start this blog, and eventually publish multiple books on the topic of love, sex, and relationships.

Based on the best-selling novel by Candace Bushnell, SATC gave us four women that were relatable, yet far enough out-of-reach that we could drool over their fashion, apartments, and exclusive access to New York City.

In the span of six seasons (from 1998-2004), Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte became our best friends, even if only digitally, we related to their love, loss, fun, and fights.

The best part? The writing is timeless. Over the years, SATC episodes covered first dates, baby showers, breakups, and marriage, and even dipped into more serious issues such as cancer, abortion, miscarriage, infidelity, interracial dating, and sexual identity.

No matter the topic, the tone of the show was always hopeful – that we can get through just about anything with the support of our friends and the relationship we ultimately have with ourself, and that’s a lesson that never comes too late.

As part of a week-long celebration, the E! Network has been playing all of the SATC episodes, and although I have the entire series on DVD (I was gifted an entirely new set after wearing out the first set), it’s fun to just turn on the TV and see all of the episodes I’ve watched countless times – I could probably recite most of them.

For this post, I was trying so hard to think of my all-time favorite episode, but it changes depending on what I’m going through at the time.

Right now, I can definitely relate to “A Woman’s Right to Shoes” (season 6, episode 9) when Carrie attends a baby shower and is asked to remove her Manolos – they get stolen, and she gets “shoe shamed” when she asks for a new pair from the hostess.

I have also always loved “Hot Child in the City” (season 3, episode 15) where all of the women face something from their childhood – whether it’s scooters and sunbathing or getting braces.

Just a few episodes later, in “Cock a Doodle Do”, Samantha goes to WAR with transsexuals on her block – it involves eggs and lots of yelling, but eventually they makeup and throw a rooftop party.

I never really did like any of Carrie’s boyfriends, not Berger or The Russian – I only like Mr. Big. One of my favorite episodes with him is “I Heart N.Y.” (Season 4, episode 18) when he’s getting ready to move to Napa. There’s pizza in an empty apartment, and several references to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and it’s perfect.

SATC also gave us some epic one-liners, including:

  • When real people fall down in life, they get right back up and keep on walking.
  • Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means that you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.
  • They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.
  • I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.
  • Maybe the best any of us can do is not to quit, play the hand we’ve been given, and accessorize the outfit we’ve got.

I will probably spend a large chunk of my weekend watching SATC without regret. But I’d love to know, what were some of your favorite moments of the show? Or, did it change your life in some way? Give you confidence for a career move? Help you meet new friends?

Let me know in the comments! Have a great weekend everyone!

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Fresh Friday: Lovely.

I need a dress like this... for everyday wear.

I need a dress like this… for everyday wear.

Hello my LOVELY readers! This has certainly been another crazy busy week for the books, but I always feel so good after I’ve conquered a packed week, what about you?

While I’ve still got to work this weekend, I’m looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow (getting up at 6am everyday is truly for the birds)!

This week’s scent for Fresh Friday is Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. Now I know a lot of people are against the whole celebrity-scent thing, and while I can see why, I don’t really mind it. If I had access to the people to make my own scent, I definitely would! Market what you’ve got, folks!

I’ve had my bottle of Lovely for a few years, and while it’s a light scent, it’s not something I would recommend for everyday wear.

According to Fragrantica, “The fragrance was a crowd-pleaser, with an advertising campaign that made extensive use of Parker’s voice and personal image. It won a Fifi award in 2006 for Best National Ad Campaign. The success of this first fragrance has led to a continuing partnership, which has produced Covet (2007), a trio of companion scents—Twlight, Dawn and Endless (2009), limited editions of Lovely and Covet, and the newest launches, SJP NYC (2009) and SJP NYC Pure Crush (2011).

Designer Sarah Jessica Parker has 9 perfumes in our fragrance base. The earliest edition was created in 2005 and the newest is from 2011. Sarah Jessica Parker fragrances were made in collaboration with perfumers Ann Gottlieb, Frank Voelkl, Stephen Nilsen, Yann Vasnier, Clement Gavarry, Laurent Le Guernec and Honorine Blanc.”

Sounds like I need to hop to it and smell some of her other scents! Lovely is known for its notes of mandarin, rosewood, lavender, apple martini and bergamot. The heart is of orchid, patchouli and finishes off to cedar, white amber, woods and musk. Yum! 

Have you tried any of Parker’s other scents?

Not About Termites.

Late last year, I entered a blogging contest for Cosmopolitan.com. The prompt was about the most important relationship you had in college, and what you learned from it. I hated to give a guy that title, yet I probably would have won the contest if I had, because, you know…Cosmo. Either way, now it’s here for the world to see. 

I found this by Googling, "Happy Roommates."

I found this by Googling, “Happy Roommates.”

She answered the dorm door wearing plaid boxers, a men’s t-shirt, and an Obagi facial mask.

“Hey,” I said. “I’m your new roommate!”

My entire life was packed in bags and piled behind me in the hall. She opened the door a little wider.

It was the start of my second semester, freshman year. I’d moved 15 hours south of my hometown to a place I knew no one. My first roommate and I were too different, so I moved out. Now, I was moving in with a girl who was used to living solo.

It was awkward and quiet as I unpacked my things, until she caught a glimpse of my extensive DVD collection.

“You like Sex and The City?” she asked.

“Oh yeah, I’ve got all the seasons,” I said.

Her eyes widened, and in attempts to offer an olive branch, I told her she could watch them whenever she wanted.

I came to know my new roomie, Michelle, over the next week, and things were going as well as they could. That is, until I came home late after a night of studying to find a hand-written note from Michelle taped to our door:

“I took a nap this afternoon and woke up covered in termites. I am staying with a friend. They sprayed the room, but you should probably stay somewhere, too.”

As I opened the door, I could smell the stale bug spray. Dead termites covered the coral rug I’d placed a week before. The bug-eaten wall beside Michelle’s bed looked as if it’d been hit with a sledgehammer.

I crashed with a friend in another dorm that night, and met Michelle and residential life the next day. I asked Michelle what happened.

“I was asleep, but I kept feeling something on me,” she said. “I woke up and just saw them on me and flying around.”

I shuddered. Ew.

Residential life had trouble finding an open room for us; even sending us into a few rooms that were already occupied. It was getting late and Michelle and I had nowhere to stay. So I did what most college students do in a time of need—I called my dad.

He, of course, was mad that Michelle and I had paid for dorms and were essentially homeless. He told us to go to the nearest hotel and he would take care of it.

Michelle didn’t have a car, so both of our belongings were stuffed into the backseat of my tiny Daewoo. We hopped in the front and I drove off-campus to a Hampton Inn. When we walked in the lobby, it was obvious we’d made a name for ourselves.

“You didn’t bring any termites with you, right?” asked the guy at the front desk.

We shook our heads, got our room keys, and headed upstairs. Compared to our dorm room, the hotel felt luxurious.

As we got ready for bed, we just had to laugh at the situation. After just knowing each other for a week, we’d had something crazy happen to us, and we were now living in a hotel together.

By the weekend, the university had found us a dorm room in an entirely different building. Just as new roommates do, we claimed our sides of the room and unpacked our things, hoping the past wasn’t a sign of our future.

Part of me felt guilty. While I didn’t trigger the termites, I felt like I barged in on Michelle’s peaceful life, settled in her dorm room alone, relaxing in her clay facial mask.

But Michelle didn’t see it that way at all.

Michelle became more than my roommate, she was my friend. During the remainder of the semester, we watched plenty of Sex and The City, went out for sushi dinners, and even made martinis in our dorm (which resulted in Michelle puking in the communal bathroom sink).

Late one night, Michelle told me about her family. She said they weren’t fully supportive of her studying English and theatre. They wanted her to study something more “serious.”

In that moment, we grew even closer. Without realizing it, Michelle made me appreciate my situation, my parents, and their support.

When the semester came to a close, I was sad to say goodbye to Michelle. Although we got new roommates, we still met up for movies or sushi on occasion.

I have only seen Michelle a few times since I graduated six years ago, but we still keep in touch. Looking back, Michelle was one of the best roommates I had, but she was also a great friend.

It’s a friendship that proves first impressions aren’t everything, and that bad situations can evolve into something really, really good.

WYSK: Candace Bushnell.

It took me awhile to think about who I wanted to focus on for my first Woman You Should Know post of 2014. But I settled on one of my favorite writers, Candace Bushnell!

You might recognize Candace’s name from her books, Sex & the City, Summer & the City, The Carrie Diaries, One Fifth Avenue, Lipstick Jungle, Trading Up, and Four Blondes.

Sex & The City, the book, was the basis for HBO’s television series, and two movies. Lipstick Jungle and The Carrie Diaries also went on to be television shows.

alg-author-candace-bushnell-jpgFun facts:

  • Attended Rice University & New York University
  • Started her professional career at 19 when she published a children’s book
  • Was a freelance writer in her 20s
  • Started writing a sex column in 1900 that was a precursor to Sex & The City
  • November 1994, Sex & The City (her column) was born
  • Hosted a radio show on Sirius called Sex, Success, & Sensibility (2006-2008)
  • Created a web series, The Bedroom, starring Jennie Garth in 2009

In my research for this blog, I came across this video from Oprah (cringe), where Candace shares the story of her marriage—she met and fell in love with a professional dancer (not that kind of dancer), and they were married 7 weeks later in 2002, when she was 43.

She talks about how she had already given up on the idea of marriage, and she’d started building her life without a man—how refreshing! But…unfortunately after ten years, she got a divorce. In the same video, she says she has no regrets and that ten years of marriage was a big success for her.

Just the other night, I surprised myself when I got incredibly emotional at a tiny discussion on the idea of me dating someone. You know, the “Those guys aren’t worth your time, you’ll meet someone, don’t worry,” conversation.

Yeah…no. My eyes welled up with hot tears. I don’t even like thinking about me dating someone; it actually makes my stomach churn. Why? Well, I did the quick math. Ninety percent of the men I’ve been with have cheated on me, and I’m pretty sure this has resulted in me associating dating with a great deal of pain, and sometimes abuse.

Having said that depressing bit of info, simply reading about someone else’s success in love brightens my spirits.

So, why is it that I love Candace Bushnell so much? Well, A. I love her books (One Fifth Avenue is my favorite!), and B. She’s one of the women that made talking about relationships and sex okay. Sure, we talked before. But she made the conversation open and honest.

And if anyone can appreciate honesty, it’s me.

I’m leaving you with one of my favorite scenes from Sex & The City:

“That’s the difference between girls and women: Girls find men fascinating. Women know better.”

—Candace Bushnell, One Fifth Avenue