On the cusp of a new Sex & the City movie (WHY?), the age-old backhand girl-on-girl slap is back: “You’re such a Miranda.”
Since the dawn of Carrie Bradshaw, women from 15 to dead have molded themselves in her likeness – the perfect zenith on the promiscuous bell curve between slutty Samantha and Charlotte the prude. But one character falls completely off the map of female role models – the gender ambiguous, emotionally-unstable Miranda.
Even after Season 6 producers threw Cynthia Nixon a bone in the form of a cute haircut and great plotline to make up for the years of overalls and awkward injuries, no twenty- or thirty-something woman wants to be considered a Miranda.
It can be disguised as a compliment to someone’s career ambition, their affinity for short bartenders or their new, “trendy” haircut, but don’t be fooled. When a girl calls another girl a “Miranda,” it is always, always meant as an insult.
After “Mean Girls” exposed the secret world of sabotaging other girls (I lost a fortune on all the fat-packed African Protein Bars I had been force-feeding my dieting friends), the fairer sex had to get a little more creative in finding ways to make each other feel terrible without crossing the line into Regina territory.
Having been told that I’m one of the most passive-aggressive beings north of the Mason-Dixon line (I try to limit it just to work correspondence, where deleting the “best” from my “regards” usually makes me feel vindicated), I feel that a little “wait… does she really like my dress?” remark goes a long way when needed. But as a penance for my passive, maybe-sins, I feel the need to expose some of the best phrases and one-liners in my aresenal - the compliments that double as revenge.
The Passive-Aggressive Toolbox
That’s so great… for you. It’s a really good look… for you. He’s such a great guy… for you. It’s the short and sweet way of telling someone that their selection - whether it be an entrée or a fiancé - is the perfect selection for someone with no standards and a lazy eye.
“I don’t know how you fit it all into a day – I have trouble doing really high quality work on just one job.”
I suspect this one runs rampant in the career woman vs. stay-at home mom debate, but the subtle implication is the same whether you’re packing in volunteering, kids or an active social life on top of work: “You are doing low quality work in your low quality life. Fail.”
“…if you want.”
This is one of my least favorite to hear and one of the most effective to use. Telling someone they can come – if they want – tells them that sure, they’re welcome, if they have nothing better to do than to tag along on your full and active social life.
“You must spend a lot of money on clothes.”
This is the closest thing to a white-flag in the passive-aggressive world – an admission that there really is nothing wrong with your appearance. But the most skilled mean girls go down swinging, and thereby must get in an insinuation that it’s not YOU that looks nice, but rather the sum of many store-bought parts.
It’s exhausting at times, figuring if someone’s insulting you or if maybe they really do just think tweed is “such a classic look.” Deciphering passive-aggressive comments is ahead of high heels (but below giving birth) on the list of reasons why sometimes it’s so hard to be a girl. But at least for the next few months, Sex and the City 2 (WHY?) can provide a little clarity in a world full of shades of grey: Being called a Miranda is always, always an insult.