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Five Reasons Big Would Have Preferred Miranda in Real Life

April 7, 2010

Miranda gives a fiery toast at Char and Harry's wedding

Sex and the City often did an excellent job partnering off the main cast with folks they would in all likelihood end up with in REAL Life. Charlotte and Harry being the most exquisite example of this. Harry proved to be a sympathetic, yet uncompromising mirror, reflecting the inescapable reality that Charlotte often voted against her own interests in matters of the heart. Her initial resistance was not a matter of physical desire – they had chemistry instantly, though the writers were quite clumsy showing the audience this – but an uncomfortable feeling many of us have when confronted by a person who challenges our status quo. Char always wanted a partner who was traditional, independent and accepted her “as is”, yet she MARRIED Trey, who embodied NONE of those characteristics. Harry, of course, embodied them all.

Samantha wanted independence, yet push back from a CARING partner who was invested enough to call her out when she wasn’t being her best self. And btw, Samantha was 95% her best self throughout the series, being the biggest advocate, the most loyal – even when it was completely UNDESERVED as was often the case – and, of course, the least judgmental. No matter how much her friends dissed her life choices, ridiculed her relationships or indulged in Schadenfreuden at her expense, She always loved them and forgave them without question. But that’s another topic for another Samantha related post.

As for Big and Miranda, what did they want?

Don't they look like a married couple?

They wanted someone to LEAVE THEM THE HELL ALONE and they were perfect for each other

Miranda and Big shared a common belief system regarding money.

  • Miranda and Big – regardless of whether or not you agreed with their values regarding financial matters, and that’s a discussion for another day – were in sync. Given that financial incongruity is a chief factor in divorce, it stands to reason that a couple wishing to avoid being visited by the God of Acrimony would parse out their relationship to money in order to ensure they framed it the same way. It’s clear from how many times Carrie expressed wonder or frustration regarding the way in which Big navigated money there were strong incompatibilities.

Miranda and Big had the same values

  • Miranda and Big – star professionals in their respective fields of law and finance – took their work life very seriously. Not only that, they had a clear understanding of the sacrifices required to not only sustain their current level of success – not that they looked to merely coast – but also what kind of people they ought to tangle with – not that they ever dated them – in order to stay on course.

Miranda and Big were homebodies

  • Miranda and Big were the only characters I observed shown spending time at home because they WANTED to and enjoyed it. Miranda had “Jules and Mimi” and Big had his Billy Joel records, hot tub and fine Napa wines.

Miranda and Big did not dig on relationship “chow chow”

  • Oh sure Samantha might have coined the phrase, but on more than one occasion Miranda and Big had to say to Steve or Carrie in one way or another, “Okay, let’s save an hour. Tell me what I’m supposed to do/say/feel here and I can do/say/feel it and get on with my day.” Though I believe Big said this very thing in the second season when Carrie was chow chowing about wanting him to sleep at her place or allowing her to leave her crap at his place. Miranda generally had this conversation with Steve once per episode.

Miranda and Big were of commiserate levels of attractiveness

  • Political correctness aside, sociologists present compelling arguments for folks being realistic and judgment free regarding their own level of attractiveness and seek out partners of similar attractiveness. So if we’re saying it’s a scale from 1 to 10 then a “5” would probably find themselves most happy with other 4s, 5s and 6s, maybe 7s, but the five would need to have other status factors such as weath, acclaim or societally recognized success. Sure anyone can marry anyone, but they have the best shot of long term partnership if they are realistic about their “value” on the mate selection stock exchange. But don’t take it from me. Take it from me:

    You Get What You Get. People do not like to hear this! They want to hear about meeting cute, arrows from cupid and core shaking. That’s bullshit. None of my partners were core shakers! They were all guys who entered my world in some undramatic way, and while not entirely escaping notice, didn’t exactly “get the party started” so to speak. You can have a lot of ideas, fantasies and hopes for your romantic life, but at the end of the day, you get what you get. It’s pretty much up to you to decide whether or not to be okay with this

    and…

    If at first you don’t succeed LOWER YOUR FUCKING STANDARDS. Most people (myself included) have a pretty unrealistic view of their worth on the dating stock exchange. We think we’re earners when we’re really probably junk bonds! Nothing wrong with Junk Bonds, except when people try to act as though they are anything other than, well junk bonds. Romance is about getting your product (you) into the hands of the right consumer (who you get) and ensuring that product is as attractive as possible to THAT targeted consumer. Not to EVERY consumer, but ones appropriate for your product. It’s like people on Craigslist who try to sell an old smoky flea ridden couch for 500 bucks. Just because it was worth that much to you doesn’t mean anyone else wants that piece of crap. Mark it down to 100 bucks and be grateful for the legitimate offers you get.

    and finally…

    Hurrah! We all get someone!
    Seriously we do. We all eventually get someone we actually like who likes us back and who makes our hearts flip. They may not be the hottest, richest, smartest or even the funniest, but we get someone we don’t hate. They might not have all the qualities on those stupid lists we all carry around in heads. They might be too tall or too short or too fat or too thin, but we get someone. Fortunately, our hearts, if open, aren’t as stupid or picky as our brains.

    From “Many (Un)happy Returns”

As for Carrie, well Aleks was perfect for her. Ab-dab-dab *holds up hand*. We’ll tackle the Deus Ex Smack-ina with all the analysis of DV when used as a trope to send away an extraneous character in an another post. Don’t worry, I got something good in store for you.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2010 8:26 pm

    Wow, I never thought about it this way… Miranda definitely seemed the type who wanted sex but wasn’t really interested in sticking around for the morning chow chow. And poor Big always looked like the reasonable grown up to Carrie’s adorable but spoiled child. They really would have been perfect together.

    Anyway, I like the way you use this show as a framing device to talk about relationships. I’ve witnessed (and participated in) way too much dating fail because of people not being realistic about their market value.

  2. April 7, 2010 8:28 pm

    Anyway, I like the way you use this show as a framing device to talk about relationships. I’ve witnessed (and participated in) way too much dating fail because of people not being realistic about their market value.

    To be clear I am not making judgments about looks or even suggesting that I endorse lookism. What I am suggesting is while we work to dismantle this whole system we really need to find partners in crime and unfortunately, for the time being that means dancing with the system that brung ya.

  3. April 7, 2010 8:31 pm

    Well I wasn’t just talking about looks. In fact one thing I did notice early in my adulthood was how someone I didn’t think was attractive often got more attractive (1) once I got to know her, or (2) once I saw her with someone else (who was clearly more aware than I was).

  4. April 7, 2010 8:36 pm

    Well I wasn’t just talking about looks. In fact one thing I did notice early in my adulthood was how someone I didn’t think was attractive often got more attractive (1) once I got to know her, or (2) once I saw her with someone else (who was clearly more aware than I was).

    Exactly. There are strong indications social influence can enhance the way in which folks view others and that’s definitely a conversation worth having. Though at end of the day it still probably won’t be able to undue the effects of society’s dictated standards of attractiveness. At least not in the long term.

  5. April 7, 2010 8:41 pm

    Though at end of the day it still probably won’t be able to undue the effects of society’s dictated standards of attractiveness. At least not in the long term.

    I’m not so sure. Like with dismantling oppression, once you become aware that you’ve been programmed to find certain physical characteristics attractive, you can start breaking that down and (I think) over time start appreciating characteristics you used to dismiss as unappealing. I’m talking here about skin color but also body type, voice (an important one for me), hair etc.

  6. April 7, 2010 8:44 pm

    Like with dismantling oppression, once you become aware that you’ve been programmed to find certain physical characteristics attractive, you can start breaking that down and (I think) over time start appreciating characteristics you used to dismiss as unappealing. I’m talking here about skin color but also body type, voice (an important one for me), hair etc.

    I think you’re absolutely on the mark here, Yoko. I need to be mindful sometimes that sociology provides some answers but is not in of itself THE ANSWER.

  7. msjacks permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:24 pm

    They would have amazing make up sex.

  8. hsofia permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:38 pm

    Never thought about this before, but you make a strong case! I must admit I never liked Big, though.

  9. April 7, 2010 10:09 pm

    Never thought about this before, but you make a strong case! I must admit I never liked Big, though.

    I think part of the reason it’s easy to dislike Big – and I’ve had my times of that too – is the show is framed from Carrie’s perspective so in a sense we’re only seeing these characters through her eyes, despite having all this action taking place.

    So I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt in many cases because while I didn’t always like his behavior I do not blame her disappointment on him, but rather on Carrie who was told from the beginning what kind of person he was BY HIM.

    As La Mommie says, “When a man tells you he ain’t the marrying kind he’s not lying.”

    So I think a lot of times Carrie was the architect of her own misfortune by attributing relationship goals to Big that he never claimed to have.

  10. hsofia permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:14 pm

    As La Mommie says, “When a man tells you he ain’t the marrying kind he’s not lying.”

    This is true, and as the series went on, I went through a neutral feeling about him, to being very disgusted by him, to (by the end of the movie) feeling just sort of resigned. I also liked Carrie very strongly in the beginning, but as time wore on she actually became my least favorite of the girls. And she usually was more interesting when dating guys who were not Big.

  11. Candice permalink
    April 7, 2010 11:46 pm

    When I think of Big I think of that Oprahism “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I also think “OMG so hot.”

  12. April 8, 2010 12:20 am

    I also liked Carrie very strongly in the beginning, but as time wore on she actually became my least favorite of the girls. And she usually was more interesting when dating guys who were not Big.

    Quoted for truth!

    When I think of Big I think of that Oprahism “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I also think “OMG so hot.”

    Yes and YES.

  13. araymondjohnson permalink
    April 8, 2010 8:37 am

    I often find the central character of a show the most annoying (e.g. Carrie, Buffy, Nate) and that’s a good point about how the show gets told from their perspective, that might also relate — I want them to get their damn head upright and looking forward, not at their own navels and assholes.

    I like thinking about this combination…..omg, have you done the legwork on FANFIC related to this pairing?!?

  14. evmaroon permalink
    April 8, 2010 11:23 am

    This post is full of win! Sorry, I just wanted to sound all WASPy there. I can’t think of any Arab phrases other than, “please don’t shoot me!” And that wouldn’t have worked in this context.

    But I lovelovelove what you said in this post, and those kinds of mismatches in SATC always chafed me a little. Still I loved the characters and I loved the way the writers loved the city. But I especially adored this:

    Samantha wanted independence, yet push back from a CARING partner who was invested enough to call her out when she wasn’t being her best self. And btw, Samantha was 95% her best self throughout the series, being the biggest advocate, the most loyal – even when it was completely UNDESERVED as was often the case – and, of course, the least judgmental.

    Yes, a thousand times over—Samantha is the friend that keeps the friend group together when they’d otherwise snark themselves out of existence. I would smile my face off to see more of your thoughts on Samantha.

    It was so great to read, imma gonna go back now and read it again!

  15. April 8, 2010 1:57 pm

    Yes, a thousand times over—Samantha is the friend that keeps the friend group together when they’d otherwise snark themselves out of existence. I would smile my face off to see more of your thoughts on Samantha.

    Here’s what I have in store:

    • Friend like Sam
    • Deux es Smack-ina: Why framing Aleks as a physical abuser is problematic
    • Our Carrie, Ourselves: some thoughts about Carrie the writer
    • In defense of Bunny MacDougall, that lovable racist
  16. evmaroon permalink
    April 8, 2010 2:32 pm

    Squee! I can’t wait!

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