I rely on my parents, a lot. Even though they don’t live nearby, my mother is often the first person I go to when things are going wrong. I have close friends, but sometimes there are things I can only tell my mother. When things aren’t going well and when I feel like a failure. I know my parents will love me – no matter what. (After all, that is their job 😉 .)
I am sure I rely on them too much, though I suspect this would be different if I had a partner. I suspect those with lovers or husbands or partners arrive home and whinge to them about their day; seek a hug when they are stressed or fraught with despair; or share their tears when they don’t get a job they expected to.
I have some very close friends who know almost everything about my life, but sometimes I don’t go to them. They are mostly there for me, but I am not their priority and sometimes it is too hard to admit failure to those who don’t HAVE to love you.
I have a number of single and married friends in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Some have kids, some don’t. For most of these friends, their families continue to play a major part in their lives. Parents and siblings feature often in our discussions – in both positive and negative ways.
Like me, for some of my closest friends, their parents (mostly mothers and grandmother in one instance) remain confidants, offering constant and unwavering support and comfort.
As well as the emotional support family provides, there is also the practical assistance that comes from being a member of a family. You babysit, even when it is inconvenient and you help out when someone becomes sick. You attend family get-togethers; from celebrations to annoying family requirements. You make an effort even when you don’t want to. After all, when everything else goes to hell in a handbasket, family is all we might have left.
So, this is what I don’t get. They don’t really appear in SATC. Relatives that is. In my recent spate of viewing random episodes on Pay Television, I watched Charlotte marry Trey. She faltered just before walking down the aisle and grabbed Carrie to seek reassurance. Concerns allayed, Carrie disappeared and an older man emerged from the wings and took Charlotte’s arm to walk to her down the aisle. I can only assume this man was her father, or step-father, or equivalent. But there he was – nameless and almost faceless. Was there a mother I wondered? While planning the perfect wedding, I don’t recall Charlotte ever mentioning a father or mother.
I know the show focused on the friendships, but it also focused on the girls’ lives – and I feel like there was a big chunk missing. In some ways the show was a ‘manual’ for living (albeit in a more luxurious, fun-filled, exciting and extreme world). So, while we learned lessons about men, relationships and friendships we were left in idle ignorance when it comes to dealing with our own families.
We meet Trey’s interfering mother and Steve’s annoying mother. I even have a vague recollection of someone’s mother (Miranda perhaps) dying during the series. But even from that episode, what I remember most is the support she gets from the girls, rather than the loss of a mother.
So, where are they the rest of the time? I mean, did Carrie even have parents? I don’t recall them offering support when she had been dumped by “Big” (again and again), or Aidan. Or any consideration of aging parents in her decision to move to Paris? What about the man who walked Charlotte down the aisle? Where was he during her stressful efforts to conceive a child and through her divorce?
So, I am intrigued. Where were their families? Carrie’s, Charlotte’s, Miranda’s or Samantha’s? We had the horror mother-in-laws, so what about the small-town mothers and fathers or siblings, not fitting into the girls’ NYC lives? A few embarrassing relatives wouldn’t have gone astray – but they are largely absent. Why I wonder? Is family not sexy enough for the city?
Did the four girls really emerge from their childhoods unscathed? What about some residual baggage? Sibling rivalries? Or even some backstories to fill in some of the blanks? After all, where did Samantha’s aversion to ‘love’ come from; and why was Charlotte such so desperate for Park Avenue and the perfect family?
Perhaps a prequel is called for?!