First, in my defense, the invitation e-mail to see the new "Sex and the City" movie was in fact addressed to me.
Well, sort of.
OK, I was in the CC: line, not the To: line. And here's how my friend Deb began it:
Paula (Jason) --
So I suppose you could interpret that as the future Mrs. Wilde being invited and me simply being informed.
Nevertheless, I took it as a formal invite, and since I'd been looking forward to seeing Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte on the big screen, I RSVP'ed a pair of yes replies.
What could be wrong with that?
Much to my surprise, a lot -- at least in the estimation of my more macho brethren.
As it turns out, willingly going to see "Sex and the City" will get your man card suspended indefinitely, if not revoked.
Complaining that it didn't live up to your lofty expectations only makes it worse. I believe a few of my so-called friends are planning an intervention.
Nonetheless, I make no apologies. There actually are a few male friends of mine (at least the ones I have left after my trip to the cineplex) who have also seen the film, although they claim to have done so as part of a quid pro quo arrangement with their significant others. One, who happened to attend the same showing as I did at Mayfair Mall, went in exchange for his girlfriend seeing the new Indiana Jones flick (allegedly). Another struck a deal with his wife for something entirely unmentionable in this blog.
Me? No negotiating was necessary. I actually wanted to see it more than Paula. I think the only reasons she went were to see our friend Deb, to attend the post-movie get-together at Firefly in Wauwatosa, and to make sure I didn't embarrass her too badly.
What I don't get is, what's so bad about a straight man liking "Sex and the City?" (Entertainment Weekly's Dan Snierson actually asked the same question in EW's double issue devoted to the SATC movie, which of course I read cover-to-cover.)
First of all, I always thought it was effective counterintelligence, helping me understand what goes on behind the estrogen curtain. While understanding that it was only a TV show, it contained plenty of useful hints toward understanding the opposite sex. (Except for this one: Virtually every woman in the theater last Saturday cheered the opening credits of the film. The. Opening. Credits. Wow.)
Second, being a writer -- and a single one for most of the show's six-year run -- I enjoyed the way the show was told through Carrie Bradshaw's column. I doubt OnMilwaukee.com will ask me to do an advice column anytime soon, of course, but I identified with so much of the writing process.
And finally, my favorite show on TV now is "Entourage" -- the long writers strike having delayed the new season is killing me -- also on HBO and the male mirror image of SATC. Vince, E, Turtle and Drama make up the ultimate guys' guys crew, but the storylines aren't altogether different from what the girls talked about.
Having been relegated to edited TBS reruns for my occasional SATC fix -- I had the full DVD set but lost it in a custody battle following my last breakup -- I was looking forward to the film. Which is probably why I was so disappointed. I wanted the movie to be something more than just an elongated episode, and that's all it was to me -- 2 hours and 15 minutes of not-bad-but-nothing-special.
Of course, the day wasn't a total loss. In exchange for having my masculinity called into question, I got to spend the entire day with 17 women.
So maybe I'm not the stupid one here after all.
Jason Wilde, a Milwaukee native who graduated from Greendale Martin Luther High School and the University of Wisconsin, is a two-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner and a Wisconsin Newspaper Association award winner.