Come down from those SJP heels Carrie as your misinformed and entitled altitude is not serving you well…

Sex and the City was a wildly popular series on HBO from 1998 to 2004. The series was based on Candace Bushnell’s book of the same name. The series follows the lives of four young professional women living and playing in Manhattan.  Their stories, professional successes, romantic heartbreaks, and sexual exploits played out over six years and 94 episodes. The constant theme throughout was the deep friendship between the four women whose personalities were as different as their hair color. SATC was no Ken Burn’s documentary and the viewer understands that…

“And Just Like That” is the new HBO Max series that follows three of the original four ladies now in their 50’s. Life’s harsh realities of aging and death greet the viewer in the first episode in a very “Big” way. We are witness to as many life complications as Carrie can fit in her small Prada purse. An uninspired storyline of grief and aging is punctuated with a few great fashion moments. Why watch when some of us are already wrestling with the cape hem of the Grim Reaper?

But yet I did tune in. Again. This past Thursday evening when I couldn’t sleep, I turned on the television and HBO Max. The 5th episode had expectedly dropped. Hopeful. Dear God, how I live on hope these pandemic days. The episode began with an ailing Carrie. She believed it was her arthritic aging back. “Her old lady back.” I cringed at the reminder of my own aging discs. She got an immediate appointment with her realtor’s cousin for an orthopedic consultation. Discovering she had a genetic hip malady unrelated to aging the ladies celebrated her “non aging” diagnosis. Surgical repair was warranted and scheduled in an affluent first world problem rush…

On the day of her surgery, we find the characters of Carrie and Miranda in a posh hospital waiting room pre-surgically.  Carrie’s first and only priority was to return to wearing high heels. Banished from the land of stilettos was unacceptable for our fashionista. Temporarily relegated to wearing flats until Carrie had recovered from her hip surgery presented an unacceptable challenge. A punishing pout as Carrie chatted with Miranda about how she does not enjoy wearing “socks with stocks.” Explaining in a negative context that she was looking like a “Vermont art teacher. “Ok, the gauntlet was thrown down. Hard…

I am a Vermont art teacher. I enjoy wearing many different styles of shoes. Running shoes by far outweigh all others. A lifetime passion for the sport of running makes every lace-up a special event. I also wear Birkenstocks and have done so long before I was an art teacher and lived in Vermont.  I wore them in Massachusetts. Who knows I may have even sported a pair when I lived in London in the late 90’s!

Why did I feel so offended? What did I care about a fictional character making a gross generalization about me and my ever so talented Vermont colleagues? We were pigeonholed. This show has an opportunity and forum to culturally elevate and educate. Not disparage.

I couldn’t tell you what one of my many fabulous art colleagues wears on their feet as I am so busy being fascinated with the work they create. The intellect of their artistic vision has me only looking up. I realize it is just a show, but it is one more example of how we make negative judgements and associations about any given group of people. The line was intended to be humorous and maybe only deserving a roll of an eye, but my eyes are tired …

Come to the Upper Valley writers, actresses et al where creativity flows as wide and strong as the Connecticut River. Vermont art teachers have more than Birkenstocks on our feet. We are busy physically challenging aging on the slopes, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, cycling, running, and snowshoeing too…

 

 

 

 

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

3 thoughts

  1. Good one, Liz! I’m finding the new series kinda cringey but also pretty true to what their lives would be like in their 50’s. They are all coming to grips with their superficiality as it collides with Life.
    I personally have been wearing flats sine 9/11, when I had to walk (run) home from work and couldn’t do it in heels. 30 blocks in stocking feet!
    I often joke about Birkenstocks being the State Shoe of Vermont, but I’ve worn them since long before I moved here. I bet Carrie would get into having a collection of them (like I do, haha).
    Happy New Year!

  2. It cuts deeper when the creators of a show for women make fun of women. If it was funny, that would be one thing. But when an idea is old and overplayed, it just makes for a cheap, stupid joke. Love you no matter what shoes you wear!

    1. I so agree Sarah! I was tossing it around for a while but needed to say something as this is supposed to be a show for and about women…they have missed the mark and have made a number of missteps! So disappointing…

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