Carrie’s Questions

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by Randall S. Frederick

Like lots of other 90’s kids, I grew up secretly watching late night cable stations in the hopes of a quick peek at books, butts, and maybe even learning something about what adults do when they’re alone with each other. Once I found HBO’s Sex and the City, I would pay attention to the times it would air and either encourage my parents to go to bed early (“Oh, you look so tired! You going to bed soon?”) or set my alarm clock to secretly watch it at 2 a.m.

While I liked the show, of course, I was genuinely curious to know what Carrie’s question of the week would be. The skin flicks on other stations didn’t interest me as much as Carrie’s thoughts and feelings on relationships, sexuality, and what it meant to navigate adulthood. Her questions felt important, pressing, and mature to my teenage (re: sexually inexperieced) mind.

And then two years ago, I picked up a couple seasons of the show in a thrift store and started to marathon watch them all over again. The questions are still pretty good, even if they have been answered a few hundred times by copycats by now! It surprised me that while I thought every episode had a central question, they didn’t. It was just that Carrie was so inquisitive, so lost in New York, that even if it wasn’t every episode – she was always wondering something.

Here’s a rundown of all of the questions Carrie asked in Sex & the City!

Season One

  • “I wondered if there wasn’t some kind of physics for beauty. Maybe two models repelled; maybe models could only be attracted to ordinary humans.” [“Models and Mortals”]
  • “Okay, we were attracted to younger men for various reasons. But I couldn’t help but wonder: What do they see in us?” [“Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys”]
  • “Is it that men have an innate aversion to monogamy, or is it more than that? I wondered, In a city like New York, with its infinite possibilities,has monogamy become too much to expect?” [“The Monogamists”]
  • “Samantha left with the Turtle, Brooke left with a better gift … and I left wondering if everyone in Manhattan was settling.” [“The Turtle and the Hare”]
  • “As I watched Laney tear open a terrycloth baby bib … with the same enthusiasm she once reserved … for tearing off rock stars’ pants … I couldn’t help but wonder … Was I next?” [“The Baby Shower”]
  • “But I wondered, What was still buried … deep inside the mommies downstairs?” [“The Baby Shower”]

Season Two

  • “As Miranda went on and on about the new Yankees’ stats … I couldn’t help wondering about my own. Ten years playing in New York. Countless dates. Five real relationships. One serious. All ending in breakups. If I were a ballplayer, I’d be batting … whatever really bad is… Do you know what the odds of catching a fly ball are? I didn’t. I couldn’t help wondering if they were any higher than finding a relationship that would last.” [“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”]
  • “I wondered … Could Susan Sharon’s marriage be that bad … or was their fighting just a form of foreplay?” [“The Awful Truth]
  • “While women are certainly no strangers to faking it … we faked our hair color, cup size. Hell, we’ve even faked fur. I couldn’t help but wonder,Has fear of being alone … suddenly raised the bar on faking? Are we faking more than orgasms?” [“They Shoot Single People, Don’t They?”]
  • “As I walked home, I couldn’t help but wonder … When did being alone become the modern-day equivalent of being a leper?” [“They Shoot Single People, Don’t They?”]
  • “The fact is, the act of cheating is defined by the act of getting caught. One doesn’t exist without the other. I wondered, Was Samantha right? Is cheating like the proverbial tree in the forest? That it doesn’t exist if there’s no one around to catch you?” [“The Cheating Curve”]
  • “I started to wonder, In a city as cynical as New York, is it still possible to believe in love at first sight?” [“The Chicken Dance”]
  • “I wondered, Was New York really any different from New Delhi? Had our class system been replaced by a caste system? And if so, can we date outside our caste?” [“The Man, the Myth, the Viagra”]
  • “I never saw him again but I always wondered two things: Was he able to stay sober? Am I really that good in bed?” [“Was It Good For You?”]
  • “That week, back in the city, I wondered, What was the allure of the twenties?” [“Twenty-Something Girls vs. Thirty-Something Women”]
  • “I couldn’t help but wonder … Can you be friends with an ex?” [“Ex and the City”]

Season Three

  • “I couldn’t help but wonder: Inside every confident, driven, single woman, is there a delicate, fragile princess just waiting to be saved? Was Charlotte right? Do women just wanna be rescued?” [“Where There’s Smoke … “]
  • “I did find it interesting that a discussion about politics ultimately became a discussion about sex. And a discussion about sex ultimately became a question of politics. Which led me to wonder if the two weren’t in fact inextricably linked, and if so, can there be sex without politics?” [“Politically Erect”]
  • “I started to wonder: Are there women in New York who were just there to make us feel bad about ourselves? For Miranda, that woman was a certain Ukrainian housekeeper.” [“Attack of the Five-Foot-Ten Woman”]
  • “Later that night, I couldn’t help but wonder, When the hell did dating become so dump-friendly?” [“No Ifs, Ands, or Butts”]
  • “I couldn’t help but wonder if I really did know the way to let myself out. Charlotte was right. What did l really know about Natasha? Natasha is a woman who likes tea roses.” [“Running With Scissors”]
  • “I couldn’t help but wonder, No matter how far you travel or how much you run from it, can you ever really escape your past?” [“Escape from New York”]
  • “I wondered … Were we all just victims of conditioned responses?” [“Sex and Another City”]
  • “I wondered: In today’s youth-obsessed culture, are the women of my generation growing into mature responsible adults, or are we 34 going on 13?” [“Hot Child In the City”]
  • “While I always ascribed thoughts of karma to the fortune-cookie school psychology, I wondered: Does a string of bad dates really equal one good one?” [“What Goes Around Comes Around”]

Season Four

  • “So there you have it. We’ve got a relationship without sex and sex without a relationship. Which had a better shot at survival? I couldn’t help wonder: What comes first, the chicken or the sex?” [“What’s Sex Got to Do With It?”]
  • “I couldn’t help but wonder what it meant that I wanted to talk to my ex-boyfriend again?” [“Baby, Talk Is Cheap”]
  • “In view of current circumstances, I couldn’t help but wonder: Are men just women with balls?” [“Belles of the Balls”]
  • “They’re people who have recently moved in with someone. As I looked around I wondered how many of them were mid-fight like myself.” [“The Good Fight”]
  • “Although, at what point do separate interests become separate bedrooms? I couldn’t help but wonder: To be in a couple, do you have to put your single self on a shelf?” [“All That Glitters … “]
  • “Because at the end of yet another failed relationship, when all you have are war wounds and self-doubt, you have to wonder, What’s it all worth?” [“Change of a Dress”]
  • “And if you were given a less-than-perfect model, does it mean a life of less-than-perfect relationships? I couldn’t help but wonder: How much does a father figure figure?” [“A ‘Vogue’ Idea”]
  • “I couldn’t help but wonder: Can you make a mistake and miss your fate?” [“I Heart NY”]

Season Five

  • “Later that night, I got to thinking about days gone by. That carefree time when our schedules were as wide open as our hearts. The time before the baggage and breakups and babies began to weigh us all down. I couldn’t help but wonder: Does that sense of adventure still flicker inside of us? Or when it comes to being carefree single girls, have we missed the boat?” [“Anchors Away”]
  • “But in view of certain evidence, I had to wonder: Are we the new bachelors?” [“The Big Journey”]
  • “And I wondered how something so small could suddenly seem so big.” [“The Big Journey”]

Season Six

  • “So, when it comes to finance and dating, I couldn’t help but wonder:Why do we keep investing?” [“To Market, to Market”]
  • “I couldn’t help but wonder: Can you get to a future if your past is present?” [“The Perfect Present”]
  • “I couldn’t help but wonder: When will waiting for the one be done?” [“One”]
  • “I wondered if ‘should’ was another disease plaguing women.” [“Catch-38”]
  • “I couldn’t help but wonder: Without sharing your worlds, can even the hottest relationship stop cold?” [“The Cold War”]

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