Welcome back to Sex and the Psychological City! If you have read earlier posts, you are familiar with my confession that I was a hipper psychotherapist when my go-to girlfriends -- Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte -- 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.
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Since I specialize in relationships and intimacy, the show became an ideal co-therapist that I've brought into the therapy session whenever appropriate. A lot has changed since the show first aired in 1998. Try to imagine a dating world void of blackberries, iPhones, texting, tweets and Facebook! And yet, it is shocking to watch early episodes and realize that the core relationship issues remain the same. In honor of the show, I am taking a trip down Memory Lane that considers each first season episode, from a psychological perspective.
Episode 10, "The Baby Shower", cleverly explores the tension between girlfriends with babies and girlfriends without as the fabulous four travel, not so enthusiastically, to Connecticut for Laney Berlin's baby shower. The shower occurs with the ironic backdrop that Carrie's period is seven days late.
Who is Laney?
Laney Berlin, you can't really describe her, you just had to know her...
Samantha's long standing rival, a quintessential groupie who worked for a record label and had a habit of stripping at parties, going home with musicians and collecting STDs did the unthinkable -- she marryied a banker and moved to Connecticut. Carrie summarizes the girlfriends' general sentiment by explaining:
Let's be honest, sometimes there is nothing harder in life than being happy for someone else.........and then there is that hell on earth that only your closest friends can inflict on you, the baby shower.
Miranda echoes this sentiment by warning the girlfriends that they MUST stick together during the shower:
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It's like a cult: they all dress the same, think the same and sacrifice themselves to the same cause -- motherhood.
True to form, the mothers at the shower fit the sepford wives stereotype perfectly with their pastel suits, preppy toddlers, and passive aggressive digs about single women in the city. ("Please don't remind me that I used to think I would fall off the face of the earth if I left the city!" "At some point you have to get serious and settle down!") And yet, each secretly admits to the camera a desperate longing for their former lives. One talks about missing her lesbian lover while another admits she routinely climbs into her son's treehouse with her walkman, smokes a joint and listens to Peter Frampton! (In our current iPod economy, the word walkman dates this otherwise current episode!)