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Grace DeVoll is currently working as an assistant on a TV show about superheroes, and sometimes confusing it with real life. When she isn't pretending she's Wonder Woman, she enjoys making lists, late night adventure-driving, and dressing up like a princess. You can follow her on twitter @offtothegraces, which would really make her day, or learn more about her here.
It’s about to be my one-year breakup anniversary. Had this been a “normal” breakup, I probably wouldn’t notice such an anniversary. Because I probably would have seen my ex multiple times since the breakup, and possibly slept with him a couple times / thrown his belongings back at him in an emotional post-breakup – “now we’re really done!” – fight, or found myself outside his house, chilling in my car with a boombox sitting shotgun, wondering whether I should blast Dashboard Confessional or Britney Spears to most accurately convey my love.
But this wasn’t a “normal” breakup.
I don’t actually know what “normal” breakup means, but I’m using it “in quotes” to mean that, for every other breakup I’ve been through, there have been unhealthy post-breakup conversations involved. Previous exes have wanted to see me or talk it out or try to get back together or stay friends or whatever people do. But this was a clean, rip-the-band-aid-off sort of breakup. The healthy kind? I don’t know.
So, last night we said goodbye. For a while, and then we’ll come back and it will be season 3 and an ambiguous amount of time will have passed, and it will still be sunny in New York. It could have been a hard goodbye, but they made it so easy! What with all the happy endings and stuff falling right into place, for people who did nothing to earn it.
Warning: this recap may (will) be emotional and will include my wishes for season three. Because if I put them out there in the universe they’ll totally come true, right?
In our last episode before the season finale, each of our characters’ season long struggles come to climactic almost-breaking points. Everyone is losing control, and everyone is alone.
Sexual incompatibility: or, “I don’t know what came over me.”
Wherein Natalya and Adam become boyfriend and girlfriend and not boyfriend and girlfriend. They aren’t into the same movies and they definitely aren’t into the same type of sex. “I’m on the pill,” Natalya says after he aggressively throws pillows off the bed, “but will you come outside of me just in case? And I don’t like to be on top that much or soft touching because it tickles me it takes me out of the moment, but everything else is okay.” Adam – who we’ve seen call Hannah a “really late walker” during sex, not to mention pee on her (twice) – appreciates Natalya’s honesty and goes with it. I immediately wondered in that moment what would happen when it was Adam’s turn to be honest about what he wants, but in the moment he just looked at her and said the perfect thing: “I like how clear you are with me.”
Sometimes, when your characters are behaving rather badly and seeming less and less likeable by the moment, the best storytelling trick is to give them a crippling flaw. Like OCD.
What I used to love about Girls was the “Girls! They’re just like us!” message that seemed to seep through the show’s surface, even in the most unrelatable of settings – eg: a rabbit farm in upstate New York, or a Ted Bundy Brownstone – but I don’t feel that way lately. At least not with Hannah, who is so determined to prove she’s unlike anyone else that she’s on a semi-permanent “you wouldn’t understand” tirade against everyone around her. Even her therapist, who is hired to help. This week was a giant reminder to girls in their (our) 20s that every now and then, it’s okay to take deep breaths, relax, and stop trying to solve the ever-present predicament that is figuring out Who I Am. For like, two seconds.
How to cheat. Or: “It’s really possible that you’ve seen me at a club.”
Shoshanna can’t stop worrying about Jessa, “like, where is she? What is she wearing? Is it linen? What language is she speaking? Is she in a tropical climate or like, somewhere up high, oh my God is she warm enough?” While Marnie and Ray don’t seem as concerned re: Jessa’s whereabouts and sartorial choices, Shoshanna is very preoccupied with Who-Is-Doing-What-Where in this episode. This is probably because, like many girls who start to settle in with their boyfriends, leaving one’s love cave and entering the real world gives you mad FOMO, as soon as you realize people kept living their lives while you were nuzzling under those pink sheets.
So when Radhika, the richest Hindi Shosh knows, rollerblades up to invite Shosh to a college party, Shosh aggressively defends her need to attend: “I am a girl who has found love and disappeared.” This is, obvi, her worst nightmare. Ray patronizingly mocks her air quotes – “pantomime to express your emotions is a crutch we’ve talked about that” – but has no good or real reason to be so disagreeable with Shosh in this moment. When you’re 33 and sleeping in the glass house that is your 21 year-old girlfriend’s bed, you probably shouldn’t throw stones.
Let’s be honest: coming up with pick-up lines can be a big fat struggle. From literary references – “Did you survive Avada Kedavra? ‘Cause you’re drop dead gorgeous.” – to math jokes – “I’ll take you to the limit as X approaches infinity.” – to the more brand name - “Damn, if being sexy was a crime, you’d be guilty as charged, girl!” - game spitting attempts, most efforts simply don’t help you Get Ur Freak On.
And online game spitting is a whole ‘nother ball game! It’s like the difference between an in-class and a take-home final essay. Just your average garden variety pick-up line may have worked, had there been beer goggles and an impatient bartender to obscure your hasty efforts beneath the guise of limited time and messy handwriting, but you had time to proofread and type that shit up. You had time to backspace, spell check and fact check your references on Wikipedia dot com. And in that kind of environment, the ladies expect more from you.
Your message is the definitive link that connects Profile Perusal to First Date, so unless you’re just here to troll (in which case, GTFO), you best be crafting it with care.
So, for those of you who didn’t become experts at online flirting over AOL Instant Messenger in middle school, or have other explanations for your struggles to hit on the women of the WWW, your resident adviser returns to help you snag mad babes.
Below please find a list of the top 5 ways to improve your OKCupid Messaging Skillz/make your stalky Internet self seem like a modern day William Shakespeare:
Before we met Jessa, back in Season 1 Episode 1, Hannah told Marnie, “okay it is so rare that I say this, but I just think she’s fun.” And now here we are, Hannah and Marnie are basically mid-breakup, and Hannah is headed out upstate to accompany Jessa on a visit to her father’s family… rabbit farm. ish. Well, “fun” isn’t necessarily the word I would use to describe Jessa, or this episode. But Hannah and Jessa are still friends and, for the most part, getting along. Which is more than we can say for everyone else!
“See you around, love” or: another kind of friendship.
We open on Hannah’s quizzical face asking Jessa, “are you sure your Dad knew we were coming?” Jessa is sure, but Hannah, ever the talker, still compares the experience to her worst nightmare in middle school – when you’re left behind and all of your friends become aware of your parents’ bad parenting skills. Okay, so maybe not the most sensitive way of phrasing it, considering we’re about to meet Jessa’s pretty much estranged father, but sure, Hannah, speak your mind.
Everyone is falling apart. From puking to drowning to fighting to crying, our characters are displaying all kinds of physical reactions to their personal lives this week. Since last week was Girls’ most naked episode yet, this week the ladies have taken a break from nudity and the focus has shifted toward tears. As much as I appreciated last week’s more thoughtful episode, I’m happy to have (almost all of) the rest of the characters back (miss you, Elijah! Not so much, Charlie!). They provide perspective about important subjects like mood lighting, tacos, and literature. Or, they fall asleep in bathtubs and only get out to remind us that everything sucks and we’re all just depressed people.
Within the conflicting mess of emotions that was this week’s episode, a few little pieces of wisdom emerged from all the nonsense:
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m totally a Megara. I have swishy hip movements and at least one ex-boyfriend who ran off with someone else (she was an elfish pot dealer who was running an “escort service” out of her one bedroom apartment in Studio City, just saying). And there’s still a small part of me that believes my zero to hero is out there somewhere, and that when that day comes I’ll be like “This is me, shouting it from the mountaintops! A star is born!” Then we’ll go the distance and live happily ever after.
This small part of me blossomed when I was just a young, pre-menstrual romantic, mostly concerned with calling the Cinderella costume every time I played dress up with friends. I probably even thought glass slippers would be comfortable. Since then it’s been deteriorating. I think it started around the time Juvenile was advising me to “back that ass up,” and happened to coincide with my first-ever/worst-ever (you get used to it) pit in the stomach from hearing the words, “He cheated on you.”
BREAKING NEWS: Selfish and self-destructive twenty-somethings (who may or may not lack self-awareness) want to be happy, too. Even if they haven’t realized it yet.
Is that so much to ask? … We’ll get to that. Let’s say, first, that having your trash cans to yourself is too much to ask, according to Ray. Since Ray doesn’t have his own space to be territorial about, he gets territorial about Grumpy’s. And trash cans. So Ray flips out at Handsome Neighbor Joshua (Patrick Wilson) when he’s asked to stop dumping coffee grounds in HNJ’s personal trash cans. While they’re at it, why don’t they “just lean against the fence and crack open a frosty one and cup each other’s balls and sing kumbayah,” Ray suggests. Handsome Neighbor Joshua storms out. Hannah – obviously guilty re: the trash cans – leaves the “toxic work environment” that is Grumpy’s, and goes to apologize.
RIP: OKTrends, where nice guys and shirtless bros could turn to all-knowing infographics to learn lessons and know knowledge. Now that OKTrends is once-upon-a-time, I volunteer to step in as adviser for all of you 45-year old creepers out there looking to snag yourself a recent college graduate, alone and vulnerable because she just moved to your city and knows no one. Also for other types of Online Dater Dudez.
About two months ago I joined OKCupid. Mostly for shits and giggles and flattering messages, but also because it’s a practical thing to do. Because you can’t walk into a bar and tell everyone to get out except for “well-educated Jews between the ages of 23 and 29, who live in the more trendy parts of the greater Los Angeles area and enjoy all types of asian and middle eastern cuisine, please.”*
In this week’s episode, we watched Hannah continue to be an unfair beezy wreaking havoc on all of her friendships with reckless abandon, and also caught up with some recently neglected, sorely missed, more likeable characters! Perhaps it’s because she’s contracted an unfortunate case of never-stop-talking disorder, but Hannah’s kind of the worst lately, no?
Thank goodness for the rest of the Girls, or I might actually get frustrated enough to stop watching. Haha. Ha.
And the award for best-written Epic Coke Night Gone Super Fucking Wrong ever to exist on television goes to… Lesley Arfin & Sarah Heyward, for Girls Season 2 Episode 3: Bad Friend. (Credit also due to Lena Dunham and Andrew Rannells for their incredible performances. Those two must have snorted lotsa Vitamin B12 shooting those scenes, and props to them for taking it like champions.)
When I say “Epic Coke Night Gone Super Fucking Wrong,” I don’t mean “wrong” like not fun, or “wrong” like Hannah won’t have anything to write her vulnerability-exposing tell-all essay about after this experience. She does do it with Laird (sp?) at the end, so there’s always that. What I mean is the for serious kind of Wrong that happens when friends do drugs with friends then start feeling selfish and get thoughtless and treat friends poorly. If you’ve ever done/seen people on drugs and this doesn’t sound familiar, you should probably open your eyes more at parties.
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