Welcome back to Sex and the Psychological City! If you have read the earlier posts, you are familiar with my confession that I was a hipper psychotherapist when my go-to girlfriends -- Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha were on the air, with fresh new material on everything from masturbation to marriage. Granted, their wardrobes and lifestyles were totally unrealistic, but the fashion and fabulousness worked well as a delivery platform for groundbreaking discussions about sex, commitment, friendship and love.
With the announcements about the Carrie Diaries penetrating the media and causing much debate, it is all the more interesting to consider all that has changed since the show first aired in 1999. Can you imagine a world void of email, blackberries, Facebook and Twitter? The original series may seem dated, but it managed to touch upon the very issues my clients face in therapy. Whether the new on can do the same for teens remains to be seen. Regardless, in honor of the show, I am taking a trip down Memory Lane that considers each first season episode, from a psychological perspective.
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Episode five, "The Power of Female Sex", explores the relationship between sex and power. Carrie throws unpaid bills in the trash and diagnoses her obsession with "expensive footwear" as a substance abuse problem. She appears to hit rock bottom when her credit card is sliced to pieces by a Dolce & Gabbana sales clerk who refuses her purchase of lavender feathered pumps. Then, out of nowhere, Carrie's bold and bejeweled girlfriend, Amalita Amalfe, appears and insists on purchasing the shoes for Carrie with her escort, Carlo's, credit card. Amalita boasts that Carlo, an Argentinian ranch owner, has unlimited resources (she grossly adds some unwanted details regarding Carlos' anatomy) and begs Carrie to call her at the Four Seasons where she has taken up with Carlo and his bank account. Carrie proceeds to be swept off her feet for a romantic weekend with Gilles, a dashing Parisian architect friend of Carlo's who woos Carrie into bed in spite of her rule that she will not sleep with men she has known for less than twenty-four hours. (Carrie rationalizes that it is already the next day in Paris.) During their superficial whirlwind romance, Carrie opens up to Gilles about her shoe addiction and her unpaid bills. The next morning, Gilles kisses Carrie goodbye and leaves her in an elegantly appointed hotel suite, promising "I'll call you." Carrie worries, as he does not have her phone number. Remember, this episode was pre-iphone, pre-google and way pre-Facebook. Back then, it was actually hard for people to find each other without scribbling numbers on a piece of paper!
Carrie is flabbergasted to discover a note beside her bed with no number, reading only, "thanks for a beautiful day" and a thousand dollars in cash!!!!!
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