‘How the hell did Carrie Bradshaw manage to live her life?’ is probably the most frequently (frustratingly) asked question among my friends and I whenever we discuss Sex and the City. If we sidestep the fact that despite poignantly resonating with so many women, the TV show is indeed a work of fiction, let’s be real. Carrie wrote a column every now and again. And until she conveniently got that book deal towards the end of the programme’s six-season run, we’ll hazard a very sensible guess and say that she definitely couldn’t have afforded that beautiful one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side.
And while we all quite happily live vicariously through Carrie’s frivolous spending on shoes, brunches and an incalculable number of taxis (on account of the fancy shoes, you see), when it came to the ‘Ring A Ding Ding’ episode in series four, the majority of us groaned, rolled our eyes and lost a lot of time for Miss Carrie Bradshaw.
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‘Ring A Ding Ding’ is the episode where Carrie and Aidan (poor Aidan) have the opportunity to buy her apartment but can’t because, as Miranda points out, Carrie has spent something like $40,000 on shoes and can’t afford it. She goes to Mr Big for money (big mistake), gets aggy with Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha about it (wildly unnecessary) and fails to grasp the cause and effect of her life. You know, simple grown-up stuff that low key enrages the rest of us out here scraping pennies together to try and buy something from the spennier side of ASOS’s shoe collection.
Nevertheless, that happened. Charlotte ends up giving Carrie her engagement ring for a down payment. People got annoyed about it and we all moved on (kind of).
15 years have passed and Amy Harris, Sex and the City’s writer and produce has tried to explain Carries shitty handling of money and that diabolical episode. Amy told CNBC that the money stuff was the biggest divider among the SATC team. ‘The biggest fight we ever got into in the writers’ room was about the money,’ she said. ‘That was a very big debate’.
But Amy stands by the way that Carrie’s controversial finances were handled. Speaking about this particular episode, she said: ‘If people were pissed and hated that Carrie did that, I’m OK with that’.
We can all relate to being rubbish at saving, relying on overdrafts and mismanaging credit cards. God knows we don’t have much of a choice in the current climate here in the UK. But I’d like to think that most of us aren’t screwing ourselves out of mortgage deposits because of a ridiculous (though enviable, I’ll admit) shoe collection. And even more importantly, I’m pretty sure that if I treated my mates that way and demanded a shit load of money for my flat after having pissed off one ex-boyfriend, run to another ex-boyfriend and completely ignored all of the equally important stuff they had going on, they’d tell me to fuck off.
As Charlotte so carefully put: ‘Carrie, I love you. But it is not my job to fix your finances. You are a thirty-five-year-old woman. You have to learn how to stand on your own.’
‘Sarah Jessica and I talked about this: We believe she paid her back’, Amy added. ‘It was a loan, not a gift, so she did have to learn to save a little, to not spend everything on shoes and clothes’. Anyone else super sceptical of this? Carrie Bradshaw isn’t the most conscientious of characters and if we know Carrie (which we’ve decided we do) poor Charlotte won’t have seen that money for a long time. We had two more series to see that no, Carrie didn’t learn her financial lesson, she just continued to dress fabulously and be a bit of a dick to her mates.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.