Last night every woman in America lost some of their closest friends. I never really believed that a television show could mean quite so much until the conclusion of Sex and the City. It sounds silly, but because every woman is Carrie, and every woman has parts of Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte within her, these archetypes have served as a model for that ideal group of friends we all wish we had, unless of course we're lucky enough to have found it.

We have not been voyeurs in the lives of these women--we have been participants. Because Carrie narrated to us as things happened, because she asked so many questions rather than only giving answers, we have all become involved in this collection of amazing friendships. We have desired these bonds, we've felt this love, and we strive to maintain these in our hectic lives, so we feel that for a half an hour every Sunday night we're just one of these girls.

We've feared with Miranda and played men with Samantha. We've rejoiced with Charlotte, and cried, and rejoiced again. With Carrie we've fallen in love, been needy, hated men, and searched for all the answers. As the characters questioned their own lives, so did we. We found these answers within ourselves.

The last episode was not about each of the women finding love. The last episode was about each of the women finding themselves and letting themselves be truly loved for all that they are. Yeah, some of it was dependent on the guys--Big made quite the effort (finally) and Smith is the man of all of our dreams--but none of that could have happened without the women's quest for answers within themselves.

Samantha finally admitted that she wanted real love, that she wanted more than sex, and she finally accepted Smith's efforts at a real relationship.

Charlotte finally found her happy ending. He wasn't tall, dark, and handsome, but short, bald, and Jewish started looking pretty good to her. The baby wasn't hers and wasn't the perfect little blonde prep school kid, but that beautiful little girl from China would be their daughter.

Miranda found herself capable of real, truly deep love in a house in Brooklyn with a real family. The single cynical lawyer found herself bathing her mother-in-law. She had a family.

And Carrie. Carrie stopped looking for the archetype. She stopped waiting for that guy who would come rescue her and whisk her away from it all. When one whisked her off to Paris, she left him to go back. When Big came to rescue her, she tripped him. She took Big out of the archetype and made him real. Made him part of her life instead of something that would take her out of her life.

Sex and the City taught us a bit about New York, a bit more about designer shoes, a little about love, a lot about sex, and a whole heck of a lot about real friendship. Most of all, though, it taught us how to ask the right questions and find the answers within our hearts. Sex and the City taught us about ourselves.

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