The other weekend Mr Material Whirl was away with the lads so I self-indulged heavily in my favourite guilty pleasure - Sex and the City, specifically The Essential Collection. The ground-breaking show is fifteen years old this year and, in my humble opinion, just gets better with age. It is smart, hilarious, and still culturally relevant and I gorge on it greedily when time permits (and Alex is not present to protest or mock). You can keep Girls, Gossip Girl and the like. Impostors, give up and go home; silence your wannabe prose. Nothing can beat being broken up with on a Post-it (and getting arrested).
At 2am on Saturday morning, still lounging on the sofa and unable to unfold my tired limbs from its comfy cushioned surface and leave the girls for the night, I realised that my addiction for the glamorous Manhattanites and their adventures in life, clever discourse and the men that play a subordinate role to their friendship hadn't waned, it was still very active; providing comfort, stimulation and the motivation to live and love life to the full. All while wearing a terrific dress.
It also got me thinking about how impactful the fictional 30-something Carrie Bradshaw had been on my last few formative years through both singledom and married loveliness. Carrie's an independent, cocktail-drinking, fashion-loving writer. I can claim, if you will kindly let me indulge, to have the first two in common but can only aspire to be the latter. Of course, we would all like to think we have our SATC-girl equal. I am well aware that my equivalent of Carrie typing on her (not backed-up) Mac with a cocktail wearing something fabulous is, pitifully, me in an old Topshop cardy retrieved from the murky depths of the dirty washing bin, drinking a mug of builder's tea, with the 257 to Leytonstone trundling past in the piddling rain. Manhattan it ain't, Carrie I'm certainly not.
However, if Carrie was real and our lives ever inexplicably collided (impossible, I know given SHE DOES NOT ACTUALLY EXIST) there are many questions I would like to pose to her. Over a cosmopolitan or three, natch.
- How do you actually walk anywhere in those incredible shoes without crying or limping into Boots for emergency Compeed Blister Relief Plasters? I have been wearing ill-fitting, vertiginous heels since circa 1997 when the only way to gain entry to the Blue Orchid nightclub in Croydon and prevent the bouncers from knowing my real (under) age, was to don high heels, brandish my older sister's Drivers Licence and hope for the best. As a result, my feet have funny contours and have never remoulded back into their original shape since.
- Just how do you get away with wearing b*gger all walking down the street without getting unwanted attention from lechy men? If we flash even a whiff of an ankle in our Sexy Boyfriend Jeans the silly pervs on the High Street give us no end of grief. Twits. I am jealous of the chutzpah you possess to flash a toned arm or leg or wear tiny hot pants when hailing a yellow cab - and not give a hoot.
- How on this great earth do you make it back to your apartment safely after walking home alone at 2am (reference: leaving Big's house after a squabble, leaving the girls in a club to go see Big) in an aforementioned sassy outfit? London is not the most dangerous place in the world by far, but my city-sisters will know this kind of behaviour is neither sensible nor streetwise. Self-imposed rule: if the clock has struck past 10pm, I let the super efficient team at Central Cabs, Walthamstow (plug!) get me safely home. I take no chances, especially if, gasp, ankles are on show. I recall you once got mugged for your Loubs but even then you dashed into a salon and Miranda met a fit copper, so no real drama ensued. Despite this scary incident you were back street walking again the next night. Brave, liberal, fabulous. Or just a bit risky? I'm worried about you. Please take a cab.
- I apologise for my unequivocal fashion blasphemy but, ahem, don't people sometimes laugh when you mix up crazy prints /wear a Heidi outfit to Central Park / wear a belt around your rib cage ? I think you look incredible and aspire to have the creative courage to mix a print and rock a Galliano newspaper print dress like you (twice!). Unfortunately if I wore that on the Victoria Line or to drinks with the girls I would get laughed at in my face. Believe me I have flirted with it - crazy psychedelic cardigan paired with Pat Butcher chandelier earrings. Thank the Lord above for my sisters and friends and their constructive feedback.
- You brunch like, a lot, and are often seen munching on a pretzel or a doorstep wedge of pizza. Yet you have the stomach of a 12-year old and as far as I can recall I have only seen you at one yoga class, which you talked all the way through. What's the deal?
- Do you ever cook in that teeny kitchen? Believe me, I am no Nigella and I love dinner out as much as the next person but I have never seen you even turn a tap on! Is it a superfluous room in your apartment , purely for show? An area for mixing cocktails with Stanford? Extra shoe storage perhaps? If the latter, excellent space-saving initiative.
- Can I borrow that Sonia Rykiel stripy dress please, you know the one you arrived in Paris in? Oh, and the ruffled rose Louboutins? Cheers.
- Can we hang out?