Have you ever thought your life is a living TV show?
For the fans of Sex and The City (the show not the movie), you probably remember the scene when Mr. Big got married to Natasha couples of months after breaking up with Carrie. And every time now I recall my friend telling me that my ex-boyfriend has got engaged, I just replay the scene when Carrie finds out Mr.Big’s marriage on the Sunday Times. Sadly, Carrie and Mr.Big’s relationship is a fictional story that mirrors my relationship with this ex.
After finishing all seasons of this show, I was struck by the surprise that my personality is similar to Carrie. In the relationship with Mr.Big, particularly. How she handles problems, how she reacts to a certain phase in a relationship with Mr.Big is truly I was when I was with this Mr. X.
Aside from all relationship she had with other guys, she falls for Mr. Big for his confidence, intelligence, and how he does small things that matter. But at the same time, they have a communication problem. Mr. Big hardly communicates his feelings and sometimes makes his own decision without consulting with her. On the other hand, Carrie is emotional and often pushes his limit to show that she matters to him. Though she was not sure if she wants to settle down or not she desperately needs to know the fact that Mr. Big will offer it to her. But Mr. Big does not yet have the answer for her. Not yet at the moment.
One day, Mr. Big has to work overseas for months and he does not tell Carrie the moment he knows it and waits until the day he leaves for the airport. From there, their relationship got messy. Carrie even gets more emotional, screaming to him, throwing bad words and eventually breaks up with him. A few months later, they meet again with Mr. Big is already with someone else. Natasha. Carrie thinks it is just a goofy relationship but alas later Mr. Big tells her they have got engaged. Then not so long afterward, she reads in Sunday Times they officially tie the knot.
I started Mr. X a month after entering the exit from a relationship I doubted would have any good ending at the first place. We crossed path again after the first shot did not seem the right time. My story with him was quite full of signs. The time I just got broke up with a guy before him, I met him coincidentally in a street. Then a week later I had to work in the place he used to work, connecting us in the line again.
The very first beginning was pretty. Everything was about a destination. He was spontaneous and romantic. Our big first official date was in Bali, having a road trip, stopping at a beach while listening to music, sailing to a separated beautiful island, spending the time to get to know each other better. On Valentine’s Day, he took me to a surprising formal dinner I had never done before and said: “You deserve this.” Months later, we continued our adventurous trip to Cambodia, then outer islands of Bali with his family, then to a small city in Java, Solo, and the greatest city of all my travel destinations: Seoul.
Among the fun travels we did, our fights reflected Carrie and Mr. Big. I was emotional, obsessive and perfectionist. I loved to get things as I wished. Facing his laid-back attitude with his smoking and gaming habit was quite a hardship for me. I expected much from him to take me seriously, to invest in our relationship more. When I talked about the future, he seemed to avoid it and freaked out silently. I often doubted we wanted the same thing so, in Seoul, I finally popped up a question I was so much afraid of. But the time felt right, the ambiance felt supporting as hell. It was winter, New Year’s Eve. We walked miles in the main street with thousands of people to countdown and kiss.
So when it was 00.00 we kissed in the cold and I asked him:
“Don’t take this wrong. I don’t rush you or anything. I just want to know. Is it possible that someday, not now, not next year, you want to marry me?”
(Looking me in the eye and cupping my face) “Hey, it should be me asking you this. (mirroring Robin Scherbatsky) You are an idiot.”
Our breakup was ugly. Just like Carrie, I slammed him with words I regret until now. First few months after we broke up, we seemed scattered. I was totally going a rough patch. I didn’t know about him. But I did. I lost myself and signed myself up to a therapist. I got a subscription from the therapist to inject some of the positive affirmation every day to get exactly what I affirm. The therapist also suggested me to affirm to forget him and let him go.
Before I did as she told, I confirmed to him about this healing process and asked if there was a chance for us to get back together one day, one very later time. Sadly, he closed the door. Not even a slight window opportunity. He confirmed with cry instead of anger: “I can’t be with you anymore. I can’t be with someone who left me that easy. I’m so sorry but we won’t be together anymore.” Devastated I was, we never spoke again until the first Christmas after our breakup, I sent a Merry Christmas to him when he I guessed already began a new journey with his new girlfriend.
And like Carrie, I also thought it was just a relationship he would end up in limbo again someday in the future. Deep, deep down, maybe I unconsciously still have a little hope of us in the future. Then so as Carrie, it dipped me to my own pit when knowing he was already engaged with this girl after me. Not even a year of their relationship. To describe how I feel, let me rephrase the scene from How I Met Your Mother when Ted finds out Robin gets engaged with Barney (Season 8 episode 13):
“Kids, at that point in my life, I have been hurt quite a few times already. (Flashing back all scenes he got hurt). But when I saw that text message and found out that Robin was engaged, it was like..(all hurting scene again)..times a million.”
We may have broken up more than a year and it’s not that I have not yet moved on from him. I am happy for him if she is “The One” who can make him happy just like what he always wants to in life: Be Happy. It just makes me lower myself. It gets me thinking how less valuable I was to him. How easy he has moved on. How fast he decides to settle down when it took a hundred times to show me he would be the last for me. And the most torturing line is: how forgettable I am for him after those memories we store very well. Just like flipping hands, not so long after our heartbreak, he takes her to another stage.
And how I and Carrie has a similar line when knowing this news (Season 3 episode 3)
Charlotte: “He was the right man for you
Carrie: “I know, I know that. It’s not him, it’s the whole wedding. And it’s her. HER. She has shiny hair, Style Section, Vera Wang. And I’m the sex columnist next to ads for penile implants.”
Referring to this scene, Carrie speaks for me. It’s her who makes him want to settle down. It’s her whom he just had been with for numbers of months not even a year. It is her getting the real proposal from him. A whisper penetrated to my ear: it could be me.
I don’t know if this is just me who resembles my story to fictional stories or those scenes actually are from reality. It just feels so true. Another funny thing is when I remember the final scene of La La Land. I watched this movie with him. In the end, we glanced to each other and was in silence for a moment as we thought we could be like Sebastian and Mia. At that time we possibly drifted apart for long distance we might encounter. True to this movie’s ending, we separated our way. He is Mia who eventually settles down, having a family. I am Sebastian, opening a dream bar of his own.
Of all the beautiful memories they once had, they were just memories they won’t mean anything when the time has come to storage. Timing rules it all. Just like Carrie and Mr. Big, just like Ted and Robin, just like Mia and Sebastian. They could be the best for each other once but when they missed the time, those memories had to be dampened down.
Illustration by @ayugunawati_