‘I’d never want to make you change for me’

There are a lot of opinions about “And Just Like That,” the SATC reboot.

I’ll say yes, it’s outlandish and dark. But as an original fan of the HBO series and not the “SATC-light” episodes that air on E! with no sex, swearing or sense, I will say that it’s been pretty satisfying overall to see where my girls ended up.

In any event, I think we can all agree that the music is on point.

Carrie and Mr. Big were dancing to one of my all-time favorites in the season opener, “Hello It’s Me.” And we heard the song throughout the 10-episode season.

Made me think of one of MY Mr. Bigs.

My own (first?) “John Preston” also died. Probably at the same age.

I know this because his daughter reached out to me recently to tell me.

Which, truth be told, my heart knew when it happened.

She was reading our old emails. Which, I don’t even know if I still have. Probably not, because I’m not all that sentimental.

Or maybe I do and I’m just afraid to remember those days.

He was in Arlington and I was in Alexandria. We went to the theater and museums and cafes and beer gardens.

So the story goes, I got a job in Rockville and never had time for anything but interstate commutes and way-too-long workdays.

Mostly true.

The rest of the truth is, our age gap felt so big then. And here was another guy with kids — his daughter was running her high school theater troupe and his son was starting to show signs of not being as independent as his dad hoped he would be.

(Um, hello THEME.)

His son eventually found his way. And his daughter has babies of her own now.

She sent me photos of the son she named after her dad.

I told her some stories she would appreciate and maybe remember, of times spent with them. Things I can’t even vaguely describe here without them becoming easily Googlable.

I didn’t tell her about those heady days when it was just us.

Nor did I admit I thought there’d be a better match for me out there if I would just free myself up for it.

We did stay Facebook friends. Although when I saw him go to the mat and defend a tRumper’s right to tRump, I deleted him.

I mean, that was SO HIM. He was in the service (the Air Force?) so hell yes, he fought to defend our right to do whatever the fuck it is we want to do.

But I just couldn’t support letting trumpers trump. And I will defend MY right to do that, till the bitter end.

He sent me a new friend request that I ignored.

I don’t know that we would have been close again.

But I heard “Hello It’s Me” today, as I have many times. And I remembered sitting in the IHOP with him in Del Ray (not to be confused with the Delray where I live now), having coffee and talking about the black-and-white movie we’d just watched at some Smithsonian or another.

He was the one who’d pointed out the song. He knew I needed to fly. That a middle-aged guy with kids and a “lifer” job with the government wasn’t enough for me. That he was at peace with his lot in life and didn’t expect the same from me.

Funny I’d end up gravitating to similar situations. Where suddenly the age gap didn’t seem so big. Where it still might not have been enough but I was willing to entertain that it could very well end up being more.

I know we end up repeating the same situations until we get them right.

But I can’t help but wonder (H/T Carrie), if what’s meant for you won’t pass you by, what happens if it comes around again and you still don’t know what to do with it?

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