I did not enjoy Candace Bushnell’s book: Sex and the City. It was a rare example of a book that was NOT better than the movie (or TV series in this case). However, I am a huge Carrie Bradshaw fan, so when Bushnell began publishing a YA series about Carrie’s younger years I was willing to give her another try. This week I picked up the second book in the series: Summer and the City and finished it in one glorious sitting. The book detailed Carrie’s first summer living in NYC after her high school graduation and explained how she became friends with Samantha Jones and Miranda Hobbes. I enjoyed it, although I kept thinking that I should have written this book. Why didn’t I think of this?
The (slightly weird) truth is that I wish I was the fabulous Carrie Bradshaw rather than the ordinary Carey Ruscitto. I live in NY State, but I have only been to NYC twice: once on our senior class trip and once for a concert at Madison Square Gardens. I wish I would have had the courage to leave my small town for the big city. I wish I would have spent my first summer after graduation taking a writing class, shopping in vintage clothing shops and at the Strand bookstore, and going to fabulously exciting parties.
I wish all of this had eventually led me to writing my own column at my desk in front of my window in Carrie’s exact apartment, to a love affair with shoes, the NY Public Library and John Preston (AKA Mr. Big). Maybe someday I will at least travel to the city for my own private vacation in Carrie Bradshaw’s world…I long to do this, especially after reading Summer and the City and re-watching the Sex and the City movie for the 10th plus time. The book was certainly not close to the caliber of the classics I have been reading, but it was a delightful light read!
I picked up two more books at the library yesterday: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (the follow-up of sorts to Eat, Pray, Love). I read Committed in one sitting last night. I really enjoy Gilbert’s writing style. It reminds me of Carrie Bradshaw’s voice from Sex and the City…Carrie is a favorite character of mine. Committed tells the story of how Gilbert makes peace with a necessary second marriage to Felipe (the man she meets in Bali toward the end of Eat, Pray, Love) while taking an interesting look at the history and theory behind the institution of marriage itself. Liz and Felipe have no desire to marry again, although they have committed a lasting fidelity to one another; however, the US Department of Homeland Security has other plans for this happy couple. Here are some of the more interesting thoughts that I came across in the book:
· People of our generation value our freedom of choice; however, “all these choices and all these longings can create a weird kind of haunting in our lives-as though ghosts of all our other, unchosen, possibilities linger forever in a shadow world around, continuously asking, Are you certain this is what you really wanted?” The consequences born from our freedom of choice are something from which we are never free…how ironic, right?
· One of Gilbert’s single friends shares this: “Wanting to get married, for me, is all about a desire to feel chosen … that I am precious enough to have been selected by somebody forever.” This is really what relationships, of any kind, are all about…validation of personal worthiness.
· And my favorite quote from Gilbert: “This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark. This act, the act of quiet nighttime talking, illustrates for me more than anything else the curious alchemy of companionship.” I love this because it speaks to how intimacy is not necessarily about sex, but about any of the private moments that any two given people chose to share…to how two people build their own private story that will never belong to any other two people.
Well, enough rambling I suppose…on to reading the Franzen…J