Are Men Like Taxis?
I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge Sex and the City fan. Love it. Can’t get enough. Watch it from the beginning at least once a year.
Why do I love it so much? Well, one, I love New York and SATC is just a giant love letter to the greatest city in the world. Two, shoes on shoes on shoes. All the shoes. It's dirty, dirty shoe porn. Three, the enduring, amazing, true-love friendship of the four main characters. And, four, it actually makes you think.
SATC takes on big life questions either through the lens of Carrie’s column or when the four women have chats over brunch. During one such brunch, they bring up the Taxicab Theory. The theory is that, basically, men are like taxis. When they are ready to commit to a relationship, they turn their “available” light on and the first woman to climb aboard is The One.
Charlotte and Miranda explain it better:
Charlotte: Sometimes you just know, it’s like, magic, it’s fate.
Miranda: It’s not fate, his light is on, that’s all.
Charlotte: What light?
Miranda: Men are like cabs, when they’re available their light goes on. They wake up one day and decide they’re ready to settle down, have babies, whatever, and they turn their light on. Next woman they pickup, boom, that’s the one they’ll marry. It’s not fate, it’s dumb luck.
Charlotte: I’m sorry, I refuse to believe that love is that random.
Miranda: Please, it’s all about timing. You gotta get ‘em when their light's on.
Miranda is saying that men can’t be in a relationship until they're ready, and that readiness is completely separate from the woman. Any woman will do. Charlotte’s argument is that two people have to choose to be together, which means finding the right woman is an important part of the equation.
Who do you think is right?
Everyone, men and women alike, need to be ready to be in a relationship for one to work out. You can’t be successful in love if you’re not ready to be, whether that readiness means loving yourself first, accepting the work necessary to keep love alive, or being mentally and emotionally prepared to make a commitment to another person.
But, is that readiness a conscious choice? Is it random, independent of the other person, like Miranda argues? Or, can a certain person make someone else ready?
I prefer to think, like Charlotte, that love is a choice. I’m not talking about attraction—we can’t really choose who we’re attracted to—I’m talking about lasting, let’s-build-a life-together love. The kind of love that goes beyond the physical into a true partnership. That kind of love? That’s 100% a choice.
You have to choose to be with someone, and that someone can’t be just anyone, even though the act of choosing can look like almost anything. Putting your career on hold to move to another city in support of your partner’s career. Bringing home burritos from your girlfriend’s favorite spot because you know it will make her smile. Having an argument with your husband and then putting aside your anger in favor of understanding and compromise. Choices.
So, who’s right: Miranda or Charlotte?
Maybe they’re both a bit right. You have to choose to be in a relationship with someone in order to make it work just as much as you have to be ready to make that choice.
Or, in other words, a man has to be ready to turn his taxi light on. But once a woman climbs aboard, they have to choose to keep driving together.