Say what you want about the Sex and the City movie, or the franchise, but there is something irresistible about it. Whenever I watch the movie, the part that really makes me weep is when Samantha gets Carrie to finally eat something, in a darkened honeymoon suite in Mexico. Yeah, the horrid escape from the site of the would-be wedding gets me, and the scene on 42nd Street, when Carrie smashes her bouquet into Big’s face incites tears. But the real gut wrenching material is based around the friendship. I hope I can someday experience friends taking care of me in my darkest hour. I’ve had pretty low points in my life, and friends have comforted me with conversation, usually over the phone (I have a knack for making friends in far away places), but I wonder how it would feel to have a friend physically care for me.
I know how it feels for the relationship rug to be ripped out from under your feet. Sure, I wasn’t left at the alter – thankfully it didn’t get that far – but the promise of forever, whether it comes with a ring and a dress, or a tartan blanket and a forget-me-knot ring, still burns like acid when it becomes the sudden reality of never. I wasn’t in the position to escape my reality with a vacation in Mexico, like Carrie. Instead I went to work everyday, caring for preschoolers. Going through the motions, all I can remember is working and going home and getting into bed. I lost a lot of weight, which was anything but necessary. In addition to consoling words from friends on the phone and online, there were those in person, from relatives. But it really stunk that I was just sort of expected to suck it up and carry on with life. It was almost like everyone was waiting for my silly international love affair to be over. Not that they’d thought it was too good to be true, but rather that it was frivolous and too impractical. That things like that don’t happen to girls like me.
I wish I’d had someone there who could help me process the pain in person. But as with most things in my life, at the core of it, I had to do it myself. Not that I think I’m really done processing it. I might never be.
Sometimes when I think about what my life could have been, I land on what the root of that could-have-been was – taking risks. I took a risk when I went to Scotland. I took a risk when I asked him out. I took a risk when I let myself fall for him. I took a risk when I packed up what I thought I could live with for a few months and ventured abroad with a one-way ticket. At times, the rewards to those risks were immense. At times, they were dreadful and sobering (never again Heathrow, never again).
All that has helped is the passing of time. I’m not sure I am wiser. I am fairly convinced, however, that I need to get back into the business of taking risks. I’ve nursed my wounds long enough.