Hello, my name is Alexandra Gekas and I am a single woman living in New York City who used to watch "Sex and the City." I can assure you that I did not come to New York City to live the life of "Sex in the City." But I also did not know just how unrealistic and off-base that show was when I arrived five years ago -- otherwise I probably would have stayed away.
Don't get me wrong, I love this city. Its power, its energy, its diversity... That's why people are willing to sacrifice so much to stay here. New York is like that sexy guy who makes you miserable but he's just so exciting that you can't resist him. But after watching the new ABC show "Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23" and in anticipation of the upcoming HBO show "Girls," I've realized that (a) I have not let myself admit just how hard it really is and (b) not only am I not alone, but there are so many of me that my life has become a television cliché.
The premise of "Don't Trust the B..." is that June from Indiana comes to New York City with a great apartment paid for by her great new employer with her fiance on his way. At 26 years old, her life is right on course when it all comes crashing in and she's forced to move in with Chloe, a hard-knock New Yorker who tries to con her out of a few months' rent, but fails. (June turns out to be tougher than she looks and Chloe turns out not to be half bad. I'm sensing BFFs in the near future.) Then there's Lena Dunham's "Girls," which looks like it will be more realistic and gritty, but with the same premise -- young post-college women come to New York City to live the "dream," only to find out it's more of a pizza-and-scuzzy-guy-filled nightmare of rats and long subway rides to low-paying (or no-paying) jobs.
I don't mean to be a grump. This morning I lost my wallet and realized that without it I had no subway card and no money, a.k.a. no way to get to work without walking 50 minutes in my uncomfortable boots and business casual attire. I had no one to call for help, either. My friends are scattered around the city and were probably already at work, anyway. But I will say one thing. With the recent economic disaster, the influx of eager, young upwardly-mobile women and the reality that New York City really is a place where "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere," television has caught on to the fact that "Sex and the City" just doesn't resonate anymore.
So yes, my life is a television cliché. But at least television is catching up and at least it's a cliché that shows not only the truth of the matter, but that I have an entire community of women who totally understand why I cried in front of the bank teller this morning over the $2.50 I needed for subway fare. And hey, with no one to call, I did have to solve the problem myself. And certainly there's something to be said for that.