We’ve been watching the television series Sex and the City which neither my husband nor I had ever seen before. We just started Season six and I got to thinking how this program is the polar opposite of my life. It’s not much like any of my friends lives either. The show is based in New York City. I live in the countryside, outside a relatively small town, in a sparsely populated, mostly rural county.
The group of best friends from Sex and the City are all svelte and stylishly dressed. They wear well fitted and often skimpy, slinky clothing on their jaunts around town. They love their shoes. The main character, Carrie Bradshaw, even has a shoe obsession. She spends hundreds of dollars on her Manolo Blaniks and such. In one episode, the girls calculate that Carrie has spent approximately $40,000 on shoes and that is why she has no down payment to buy her apartment.
The ladies frequent night clubs, swank parties, and upscale restaurants. The women focus mostly on looking for the perfect man for relationship material or deciding whether they are content to go it alone in life. Sights of the city abound, from the normal New York City Street scenes to images of the majestic skyline at night.
My life is quite different. I am… well…not so svelte. I once was but that has been a couple decades ago. I don’t know how someone who subsists on fancy restaurant fare and takeout and works on a computer in her apartment, like Carrie, can maintain a size 2. I guess because it’s television. I hike two to three miles most days, work in vegetable and multiple flower gardens, rake mountains of leaves, etc. and am nowhere near a size 2, or even a size with a single digit.
And their shoes! Most of their shoes I would ruin on my way to the mailbox. That is why my shoe collection consists of sneakers, hiking boots, athletic sandals, and plastic clogs that I can rinse off with the hose after a day of gardening. On a bad day I’m may even be rinsing dog poo off my shoes.
On to clothing comparisons. No shiny, high maintenance fabrics here. In the summertime, I wear tank tops made of serviceable fabric, no silk or dry clean only items! And shorts or capri pants. In the cooler months, it’s sweaters and jeans. For “fancy” times out, it’s usually a Lands End slip on dress with sandals or boots. One of my main considerations when purchasing new clothing is, “What will happen when a dog jumps on this?” I also prefer no-snag fabrics that cat toenails are not going to shred. Priorities, people!
The Sex and the City girls may have their outings at exciting events and locations, but I have some worthy experiences too. I don’t often go out to eat in restaurants and rarely get takeout. Mostly, this is because we can cook far better at home than most of prepared foods we can find around here. That and the fact that there are no exciting restaurants in our town. In the summertime, I go into the garden, see what is ready to harvest, and use it to prepare dinner. That is the peak of freshness. We are decent cooks from years of practice and are usually happier with what we cook at home. We make Indian, Mexican, Italian, Greek, and other assorted cuisines in addition to good old American selections.
We don’t have New York landmarks or a city skyline to gaze upon, but we do have lakes and beautiful sunsets to watch from our porch. I have the satisfaction of sitting on my patio with my dogs and taking in wonderful sights and scents of flowers that I have grown with my own hands. It used to be that I spent little time on our patio because it was not fenced in. Now it is entirely fenced, and our five dogs can be with me whether I am working or relaxing there. The only hitch in this set up is when we have a foster dog that has not been trained to stay out of the flowerbeds. It is a little more work, but a leash solves that problem.
I’m not saying that the city is bad. It is not. It is just not for me. My priorities lead me in other directions. I have not lived “in town” in 35 years. Town is someplace I go when I have a specific task that must be completed. And my very favorite reason for going into town has never once been mentioned on Sex and the City. The library!!! I find this rather odd as Carrie makes her living as a writer. I never see her, or any of the characters, read. Granted her newspaper column is about sex and relationships. They must be too busy making experiences!
As this column comes to an end, it’s time for me to put on my raincoat and hat to take the dogs out in this heavy rain and pick up the soggy dog piles before coming in to dish up five bowls of kibble.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.