Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pride and Prejudice And The City

There is something to be said for ambient music in restaurants. Last night, we had dinner at our yacht club (and, no, we most certainly do not own a yacht — in our seaside town, there are five yacht clubs, six if you count the children's club; yacht-less families like ours join for the pools and the cookouts and drinks on porches overlooking the harbor). Anyway, they used to have a player piano in the dining room. This provided a nice atmosphere and, to some extent, kept you from hearing the conversations at adjacent tables. If there had been music last night, we wouldn't have had to listen to the slightly inebriated (and more than slightly obnoxious) foursome next door as they recounted their recent world travels.

"Blah blah blah MILAN blah blah blah LONDON blah blah blah PARIS blah blah blah BARCELONA."

Then, somehow, the topic migrated to shoes ...

"You know, those shoes that the girl always wore in Sex and the City."


"Manolo Blahniks."

"Right, the ones with the red soles."

"No, those are Jimmy Choo."

My husband gave me a warning look, a decidedly evil eye that clearly said, "Yes, even I know that they're wrong, but please, don't embarrass us." I held my tongue.

Helllloooooo? If you're going to practically proclaim your in-depth knowledge of European cities, HBO original programming and designer shoes, for pete's sake, get it right!

L-O-U-B-O-U-T-I-N. Christian Louboutin.


Yes, I know much about fashion footwear. And about Carrie Bradshaw and her gal pals. My teenage daughter and I have watched every episode of Sex and the City. (More than once.) We own a fancy gilt and purple suede DVD box set. In fact, I would credit the series with much of my daughter's sex education, a subject which her high school, in all its post-modern wisdom, has chosen not to offer. Apparently, if we don't teach it, they won't do it. 

Say what?

But, I digress.

I was late to the game where Sex is concerned. When it was in its first run, we didn't have HBO. I did have a toddler daughter and a much-more-than-full-time job in Boston. Leisure hours were few and far between. Also, as a native New Yorker, I resented the fact that a television show was purporting to expose everyday life in my hometown. No, the girls I grew up with didn't drink cosmos and pay obscene amounts for sandals. Not often, anyway. "Is that — sigh — what it's really like to live there?" people would ask. Um ... no. (And, in a more modern twist, it ain't like Real Housewives of New York neither.)

Eventually, I stumbled on the show in PG-13 reruns on E! and Style Network. I grew to appreciate it and my then tween daughter came along for the ride.

Last week, we were headed out somewhere (couldn't tell you where though since my memory is shot — too many cosmos, I guess), and my husband needed another fifteen minutes. I was dressed; I had shut down my computer. Nothing to do but pick up the remote and zap. I  landed on Sex and the City, one of the really good ones towards the end. Samantha was losing her hair because of chemo so Smith shaved his adorable head. Miranda was getting used to a new life in Brooklyn. Charlotte was trying to adopt a baby. And our girl Carrie was debating a move to Paris with Baryshnikov (hey, can we really blame her?). 

Commercial break. I switched channels.

Cue the parlor music. Replace the vintage Chanel with an empire waist. Drop the heels by about four inches. Suddenly I was swept away and into the Bingley's ballroom. Pride and Prejudice! I was struck by the similarities. After all, both shows boiled down to this: the timeless hunt for true love. Each focused on a group of sisters (either by birth or by choice) searching for their soul mates. And, despite a two century shift in hemlines (and acceptable after-hours behavior), dresses and shoes were still very much a part of the process. And, btw, Mr. Big doesn't hold a candle to Mr. Darcy.

Commercial break. I switched channels.

About this time, my husband walked through, nearly ready for us to leave. He watched me switch between NYC and the English countryside, and he laughed out loud.

"Pornography for women," he wryly observed.

Guilty as charged.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at

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