Each week, as Carrie makes her way through the urban jungle, she gets splashed by a bus. Oh, the horror of the big bad city! And what a senseless ruin of a Patricia Field's thrift-store-purchased tutu. But wait. That bus has her image plastered on the side of it. What is Carrie's worst nightmare? The city? Or Carrie herself?! Why do we as a culture feel the need to give a sexually liberated woman a metaphorical cold shower of humiliation? Thank god we have chicks like Carrie and shows like Sex and the City to help us break free from our post-Victorian hang-ups!
"A Woman's Right to Shoes" is the title of tonight's episode. And I'm all, uh-oh! Abortion theme! The right to choose? Pro-choice? That's not going to be bawdy fun comedy! Why oh why did Alex take this week off and leave me with tonight's show? But no. It's a pun. You'll see.
Carrie is shopping. But not for herself, you see. She's a single New Yorker and, like most single New Yorkers, finds herself buying lots of gifts for her "formerly single" friends. Armed with a new Vogue and some fresh flowers, and wearing an off-the-shoulder white top with poppy-colored oriental designs all over it that's trimmed with some wiry/fuzzy black stuff and a nineties Barbra Streisand super-straight hairdo, Carrie enters a Williams-Sonoma-type store and buys a "Newport Soup Ladle" from the "Welker registry." Cut to Carrie, but in a different outfit -- fatigue jumpsuit and braids -- and a different store asking for a "Burpie Blanket" off of yet another registry list. Then she's in a glassware shop, dressed in a fitted white tube top with black cheetah spots all over it. The hair is up, and she's asked what gifts are "left." By the time she's bought espresso cups from yet another registry -- dressed down in a vintage "Yes" t-shirt, simple ponytail, and sunglasses -- you can tell she's getting a little burnt out. But she finally gives us the "upward hair blow of exasperation" once she buys a "L'il Me Activity Chair" from yet another baby store. Life is tough for best-selling sex advice columnist/authors who live in Manhattan and hang with the jet set.
Cut to one of those old-fashioned elevators that's a metal cage containing Carrie and Stanford. Yay! My boyfriend Stanford is back! Carrie explains via voice-over that she and Stanford are headed for a baby shower for the "latest son" of her friends Kyra and Chuck. Carrie has finally done something about her roots, and her hair is still looking good, as it has been for the past few episodes. Stanford, still bald, is wearing a green plaid suit that resembles the upholstery on a Knights of Columbus rec-room couch. They are both bearing huge gifts. Carrie asks "Stannie" what he's got in the box. Stanford proudly explains that he has a Peter Rabbit dish set with matching bib and a CD of Free to Be You and Me. You know, there were many things that sucked about being born in 1969: Going to junior high in the eighties and basically learning that your future sex life was going to be forever tainted by this new disease called AIDS; having friends named "Rainbow" and "Moonbeam" by their hippie parents; spending your teen years caught in the Reagan Administration; and of course graduating from college during that grisly recession in the early nineties. Despite all of that, growing up in the seventies was actually pretty cool because of stuff like Free to be You and Me, a forward-thinking children's album and companion book that taught children feminism and other socially progressive concepts…but in a really cute way.
This inspires Carrie to reminisce about listening to FTBYAM during the fifth grade. First off? No one listened to FTBYAM during the fifth grade. First grade, sure. Second grade, if a teacher made you. But by fifth grade, if you didn't have an ABBA record on that turntable, you were nowheresville. You might as well be showing up to school in your pee-stained foot pajamas. Also? If Carrie was in fifth grade when FTBYAM was released, I was eleven when Justin Timberlake broke up with Britney Spears and released his first solo album. Carrie really liked the story of Atalanta, the girl who ran "as fast as the wind." And not to get all Allan Bloom on your asses, but I just wanted to interject here that while Atalanta was a nice feminist parable, it wasn't a particularly faithful retelling of the Atalanta myth according to, say, Edith Hamilton or anyone else of her ilk.