20 jaar geleden kwam ‘Sex & The City’ op antenne. Gebaseerd op het boek van columniste Candace Bushnell die 35 was toen haar eerste ‘S&TC’-stukje in The New York Observer verscheen. Het was een verfrissende serie van 4 vriendinnen in hun thirtysometing-jaren – net als wij toen – die alles maar dan ook A.L.L.E.S bespreekbaar maakten.

‘Sex and The City’ was all over the place. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda en Charlotte namen ons mee in hun lifestyle en kleine en grote verdrietjes. Zovele vrouwen herkenden hen in de personages. geilden op de outfits en droomden even hard mee met Carrie over Mr. Big. (De serie blijven we nog altijd beter vinden dan de films.)

In de late jaren ’90 ging S&TC op antenne, we kunnen het ons amper voorstellen dat in die jaren slechts een paar (!) happy few mensen een GSM hadden en het was ook in die jaren dat het print medium king was. Stel je voor dat Carrie zou facebooken of tweeten… de tv-serie zou waarschijnlijk niet eens zoveel impact hebben.

Schrijfster Candace (nu 59!) overleefde toen in NY in een superklein appartementje. In de serie woont Carrie in een superkleine studio. Het blijft ons fascinberen hoe ze toch bulkte van het geld om die mega-dure spullen te kopen haha.

Zoals vele jonge vrouwen in NY deelde ze het appartement met een andere vriendin, Anne. ’s Avonds kwamen nog 3 andere vriendinnen langs om over hun dag te vertellen.

We citeren uit het interview dat S&TC- auteur Candace Bushnell (nu 59) gaf aan de NYTimes

Bushnell: I didn’t have a place to live. Anne and I made a deal. I had to answer the phone and pretend to be her secretary and I could live there. I slept on a foldout couch. I had no money. I probably made $2,000 a month. When you want to do something, who cares?

Bushnell:  “It was a lot of talking, spilling of our lives: “Hey, this is what happened to me.” We were the “Sex and the City” women. We were in our mid-30s. We were supposed to be married. Married or C.E.O.s. And somehow, we just hadn’t gotten there.”

Bushnell: “When I got the column, I felt, “I know what to do with this.” If I’d have gotten the column when I was 28, I just wouldn’t have known what to do with it.”

Bushnell: There was constant angst. “What’s going to happen to me? What’s going to happen to all of us whose lives aren’t following the script?” I can’t say it was bleak because, listen, we had a lot of girlfriends who were having a great time. But this wasn’t a group of women that people were saying, “You’re fabulous. You go, girls.” Instead, we were really considered pariahs.

Bushnell: There were quite a few women who thought they were Samantha. A lot of that is due to the TV show. There’s a Carrie in every town and there’s a Samantha in every town — and I’ve met them all.

Over uitgaan in tijden dat Facebook of social media niet bestonden

Like many young, ambitious New Yorkers in the era before social media, Ms. Bushnell viewed going out as part of her job. On any night of the week, she might attend a book party, a fashion event or go to the Bowery Bar, a downtown watering hole in a converted gas station that appeared frequently in her column.

Bushnell: It would be pretty usual to have six to 10 invitations a night. Of course, they’d come in the mail. Because people still sent invitations by mail, not email. And people made schedules. You’d make a schedule of the parties you were going to and in what order. Bret Easton Ellis had a big white board. He’d put all of his events and engagements that he had to go to on it.

Over haar eerste deal met de uitgever

Bushnell: Ron is the publisher of Vogue magazine for a reason. The man knows how to make a deal. I don’t know what he said, but the next thing I know, Judy is saying, “Yes, Morgan, we should do this as a book,” and Morgan’s like, “O.K., I’ll offer you $20,000.” And Mr. Big, Ron Galotti, said, “Oh, come on. Make it 25.”

Bushnell: It’s about relationships and power and status and pecking order — which is something that everybody in New York understands because you live it every day. Everybody lives these little indignities. Somebody at the very top of the heap talks to you, you’re like a little bird: “I’m going to take this crumb back to my nest, and I’m going to survive on this crumb for the next three days.”

Wat toen wel en niet kon in vrouwenbladen.

Bushnell: There’s a lot of pressure to depict men in a way that fits the Cinderella narrative of love and relationships and that a man is going to come through in the end. And “Sex and the City” was an opportunity to show a truth about men and relationships that I was not allowed to do in women’s magazines, and to a certain extent, in women’s publishing.

Bushnell: That’s all I wanted to do, write books. When I moved to New York, I thought that I was just going to start writing novels and they would be published. And I was 35 and I was really facing, “Am I ever going to write a book?” I put everything in my life on the line so that I can publish a book and somehow make it. You know, that’s the thing about “Sex and the City.” It’s written by somebody who is desperate for a roof over their head, really.

Bron: NYTimes


Sex and the city Candace Bushnell today