Friday is the Season 2 finale of my new obsession The Carrie Diaries. So far the show is not confirmed to return for a third season which means that I may have to say goodbye to baby Bradshaw, baby Bradshaw’s incredible clothing, the town of Castlebury, Connecticut, and the cutest boys on that side of 1985. It’s a tragedy that I’m getting more and more used to ever since the evil TV gods cancelled both Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B in one season. With The Carrie Diaries, I feel particularly saddened — after all, I was really rooting for these characters. I was learning so much! There’s something very refreshing about watching the world through Carrie Bradshaw’s non-jaded eyes.
While Sex and the City often featured Carrie behaving in ways that even Hannah Horvath would consider self-absorbed, this version of Carrie Bradshaw is more thoughtful, earnest, and interesting. She tries to be a good person and sometimes, she sucks at it — because who doesn’t sometimes? The Carrie Diaries is a great show for the inner teenager inside all of us, trying to navigate our way through the trials and tribulations that come with growing up. (And, in many ways, aren’t we all still “growing up?”)
While I’m sure someone told me all of this advice at one point in my life, I’ve always preferred to get my tips on how to live from The CW. Here are the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten from The Carrie Diaries on navigating relationships, friendships, and, basically, life in general.
(Oh, spoilers ahead!)
People Who Love You Can Disappoint You, Even If You Did Nothing Wrong.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but, sometimes, your friends will suck. Like, really, really suck. Like kiss your freshly-off-the-market-ex on the mouth, in the middle of a bar, with apparently no fucks given about your feelings. This happened on The Carrie Diaries when Maggie kissed Carrie’s (just-broken-up-with) boyfriend Sebastian during a momentary crisis in her own life. Maggie apologized to Carrie the next day, and Carrie was not having it. Because, umm, would you?
Eventually, the two friends made up — it took a while, but, eventually, Maggie and Carrie worked out their issues. The truth is, Maggie loved Carrie and loved being her friend — it was her own personal baggage that made her a shitty one. The lesson I took away from this? That, sometimes, people suck. Basically, that’s it. People suck, but it’s up to you to decide whether the love and bond that you have is strong enough to overcome their own momentary suckiness.
Maggie will probably, on some level, always be insecure and self-involved. She might always make things about her and she might betray Carrie again in the future. It might just be the kind of person she is. But the lesson here isn’t that you should put up with terrible friends as much as it is that it is completely your decision as to whether or not you want to. If you can understand how your friends operate, you can decide whether they are operating on a plane that you want to stay on. If you can’t? Feel free to be like Carrie did at first and dip. If you think it’s worthwhile, you know who this person is — and maybe it will help you understand them better in the future.
It’s Okay To Ask For What You Want Out Of A Relationship
Carrie’s playwright boyfriend Adam was perfect — no, seriously, look at him, and tell me that he’s not perfect — until he started enforcing his strict writer’s regimen on Carrie. Ultimately, Carrie felt stifled by Adam’s supposed “help” and told him that she needed a guy who would support her, not belittle her. (If only grown-up Carrie could have done this earlier with Big…) It ended the relationship, because neither of them were willing to budge on how they felt about the issue. While I was bummed to see less of the incredibly hot Adam, I definitely understood Carrie’s conflict — sometimes, a girl needs to do what she needs to do.
There Aren’t Any Real Rules For Sex — You Do You, Girl
One of the things that surprised me about The Carrie Diaries was how frank the characters were about sex without ever veering into gratuitous or sleazy territory. The high school characters on this show explore their sexual selves, which often leads to awkward, embarrassing, and sometimes uncomfortable moments. One of the things that is nice about the sex on The Carrie Diaries is that it shows how each character relates differently to it. Carrie wanted to wait for someone special and ended up doing it with someone who wasn’t the most special. Maggie used sex as a way to build her confidence, while sex made Mouse feel even more insecure in her relationship. Donna was proud of her sexuality (she is Samantha’s cousin, after all) and Walt was confused about how sex with his new boyfriend would even work. Basically The Carrie Diaries says that there is no wrong way to approach your sexuality, and as long as you are comfortable, responsible, safe and happy (and your partner is the same) there aren’t any rules.
Honesty Is Always (Well, Most Of The Times) The Best Policy
As any teen soap enthusiast will tell you, having a character omit the truth or, gasp!, lie to another person is the easiest way to formulate the plot of that episode. Lies are hard! Lying to your friends to spare their feelings often backfires, as it did when Carrie lied to Samantha about wanting her to move out of their apartment, or when Sebastian neglected to tell Carrie that he saw her dad making out with some lady in his car. Lying and keeping secrets are the easiest ways to crack the foundation of any friendship or relationship.
The Carrie Diaries also taught us that sometimes it’s more important to keep a friend’s secret when they need you to. Carrie and her friends supported Walt by letting him come out of the closet in his own time and protected Maggie from the rumor mill at school after her pregnancy. Sometimes being a friend means knowing when to keep their most personal secrets hidden — no matter what juicy rumor gossip police are dying for you to verify.
Not All Friendships Or Relationships Will Last Forever (But Some Will)
Ever wonder why we don’t see any of Carrie’s high school friends drinking Cosmos and running around Manhattan with her SATC foursome? Or why — despite seeming ever-so endgame — Sebastian isn’t the one building Carrie the closet in the penthouse on Park Ave.? The truth is that not all friendships or relationships are built to last forever. People change (Carrie, for example, ends up kind of sucking as a person a lot of the time, as opposed to being adorable and wide-eyed as she is here) and sometimes we change too much for the people in our lives to be able to grow with us. That’s perfectly fine.
On the other hand, some friendships are built to last — even the ones that seem the most unexpected. Samantha and Carrie’s friendship has remained intact when a lot of other friendships have ended. Oftentimes it can be hard to identify which friends will remain with you for years to come — I know that I’m surprised by the people I’ve drifted from, and also the people who I have been able to keep close — but I think the importance thing here is to value your friendships and relationships for what they are, when they are. Treat your friends well because you’ll never know who you’ll end up growing with, instead of growing apart.