Once upon a time, an English writer came to New York. Lindsey was 28, newly single for the first time in her life and excited about all the adventures that lay in store. Above everything else, she couldn’t wait to fall in love.
Lindsey had missed a memo.
OK, enough of the third person. Obviously, this is my story.
Four years ago I moved to Brooklyn and as a writer with an unhealthy interest in the shoes on my feet (and the feet of others), I was immediately and frequently labelled ‘the British Carrie Bradshaw’ – not terribly original but hardly an insult. I was, am and always will be a huge fan of Sex and the City. I loved the show and the friendship between the four women was always the thing that drew me to it. These were women who always had each other’s back. They didn’t screw each other over, they never deserted one another and no matter what, when the phone rang, someone answered. But we all know sometimes women aren’t always so nice to each other and, having suffered a few less than desirable female relationships, to me the bond between the girls looked as much like a fairytale as the romances on the show.
Once I was in New York, just like Ms Bradshaw before me, I couldn’t help but wonder. I wondered what had changed, what would be the same. Sex and the City was fiction but this was my actual life, this was my every day. It was all or nothing to me. I wasn’t guaranteed a happy ending and there was no meant-to-be Mr Big waiting in the wings, or at least if there was I didn’t know it. What did life as a real Carrie Bradshaw really look like?
The New York I moved to was ten years on from the New York Carrie and Co. trotted around in their Manolos. No one drank cosmos anymore, we took the subway more often than cabs and the average price of a pair of designer shoes had doubled. So had the rents, which meant it wasn’t just Miranda who was banished to Brooklyn. But two things seemed to have stayed the same. Brunch and men. I quickly met an awful lot of spectacular, unmarried women and not a single spectacular, unmarried man. I was dating for the first time in my life and it was not going according to plan. Yes, I went on dates, yes I met plenty of fellas but dear god, it was difficult. The artistic types were depressed and penniless, the businessmen were cocky and unpleasant and the nice guys turned out to be the biggest tossposts of all. I admit I was naïve, I’d really only had one proper relationship with a perfectly normal, perfectly nice and perfectly unexciting man that lasted for seven years. Seven long, content but incredibly dull years. I was ready for some excitement. I just wasn’t quite ready for how much excitement was waiting for me… to go from a gentle turn on the teacup ride to a twenty-four-seven rollercoaster ride was altogether too much.
The dates started thick and fast and I met some really great guys, made some friends, a couple of enemies and found the odd hilarious weirdo who I always knew would make good material one day. Thank goodness that day has finally come.
Happily, for every dodgy date, I met a wonderful woman. I’d always been a girl who had one or two close friends but when you’re working your arse off and stuck in a rut of a relationship, sometimes you lose touch with your BFFs. Not so in New York. While the city is undeniably a magnet for the emotionally unstable and undercover arseholes, it also attracts some of the world’s most generous, interesting and fun women you could ever hope to meet. It felt like I was making a new soulmate every single day – they were just missing one vital appendage. But I soon learned it was better to surround yourself with fantastic friends than disappointing dudes. Not that I didn’t keep some of those dudes around far too long. Not that I’m not still seeing someone I probably shouldn’t be… But I digress, each lady date was better than the last and before I knew it, I had found the most fantastic group of friends, women I know will be in my life forever, whether it’s for a week away at the beach, living it up, or an evening on the sofa, eating ourselves blind. We’re all in the same boat and we’re all pulling together, suddenly the Sex and the City women made sense. Never had the support of brilliant women been more important, New York is an impossible place to be if you’re alone. Luckily, I never was. Between living the city of my dreams and finding the world’s best girlfriends, I’m pretty bloody happy. So while I have my eyes and my heart open for a man who can measure up, I can rest easy knowing I’ve already met the love(s) of my life, and that’s something special.
Every week (or so) I’ll be answering one of Carrie’s questions because what’s the point in wondering, right?
Next week: Can Women Have Sex Like Men?