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Friends and the City…and the Country…and the Suburbs…

Miranda doesn't understand why her friends are ecstatic about their own vibrators
So HBO didn't want to compete with Oscar-mania -- I understand that. But I still think the network missed a bet by not broadcasting the last Sex and the City on February 29, Sadie Hawkins Day. The series' heroines -- Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha -- never flinched when it came to choosing their dance partners or their lives.

For six wonderful seasons, these four friends made their choices and took their chances on everything from clothes to careers, bed warmers to vibrators. And thanks to the show's wonderful writing, they didn't always make the right choices, but they always managed to muddle through.

More importantly, the way they muddled through spoke to the way real women of the early 21st century survive their lives -- with a lot of help from their friends.

I suspect lunch or dinner "with the girls" became something more than a social occasion about the same time humanity discovered fire. But its importance only increased over the past thirty years when women added the stress of a professional career to their traditional expectations of caretaking and child-rearing.

We lunch to escape our jobs. We use Cosmopolitans as an excuse for confession or to find the courage to ask for help. By sharing food and time, we share our burdens and lighten each other's load.

When Miranda's increasingly senile mother-in-law went wandering alone through the wilds of Brooklyn, Miranda didn't think twice about going after her. Charlotte was there. Miranda knew Charlotte would watch Miranda's son for as long as needed.

When my most definitely not senile mother drives me to the edge of madness and beyond, I ruthlessly impose on my friends. I pay back the favor by engaging and distracting their moms, their children, sometimes even their grandchildren.

Sometimes the remedy for what ails us can be found in tea and sympathy. Sometimes it takes a good, strong belt of something decidedly alcoholic. But never alone. That would defeat the purpose.

The same could be said of a Sex and the City movie. I don’t want the writers to defeat the purpose of the series’ happy ending. I know that things will go south from here, that the characters’ lives will continue to teeter between triumph and tragedy. Don’t make me watch it. I don’t want to see it. I need my fictional friends to enjoy their fantasy lives almost as much as I need my real friends to help me get through my real life.

Of course, an HBO special on the art of Manolo Blahnik would always be welcome…

Jean Marie Ward

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