Quarterlife Lessons From the HBO Show “Girls”: S2E6-E9

(Post about the season 2 premiere is here, the post about S2E2 is here, the one about S2E4 is here. S2E5 here. No, I didn’t write about episode 3, and I slacked off for 4 episodes. Stop yelling at me.)

Tonight is going to be the season two finale of the HBO show Girls, in order to honor Lena Dunham, I decided to finally stop procrastinating, hunker down, and blog about the last 4 episodes during my one-month blogging hiatus.

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“Boys” Season 2 6th episode or #16 overall

Or the episode where you realize that Ray is a lot more screwed up that you thought before

(Official HBO recap video and “Inside the Episode”)

This episode is aptly named because just like none of the four central female protagonists have matured into real women yet, none of the male ones are real men either. They’re dudes, they’re guys, and they’re boys.

I love, love, love the scenes with Adam and Ray. When Adam randomly asks Ray for help, he was flattered that someone would deem him manly enough for “extra muscle type of backup.: And when Ray agrees, Adam awkwardly says “Ummm alright. Ummm thank you,” it’s so endearing but you realize that he is simply not used to expressing gratitude. When will our society stop pushing socially constructed gendered roles and instead encourage open communication in men, starting when they’re young’uns? I want to know.

Anyway, I think what happened is that before, Ray at least feels like he’s better than a few people in the world and that included Hannah, but now that Hannah might become a semi-legit writer, he feels the need to belittle her to feel better about himself. Ray tries to get Adam to agree with him, thinking it’ll be real easy to hate on an ex, but Adam surprisingly is very honest about the situation, which is that “everyone’s difficult” and they are both flawed.

LESSONS:

  1. If you have to barf in public, try to do it into a trash can– When Hannah gets offered an e-book deal verbally (…seriously, I would ask for that stuff in a legal document to sign and date), she gets so nervous that she throws up right outside a café, onto a tree by the curb to much of the other patrons’ horror. I used to get sick a lot when I was in elementary school, so I know from personal experience that you should try to master the skill of holding that in or run for the nearest dumpster, ditch, or toilet.
  2. Women and men have very different ideas about what outlines the steps mark the progress of a romantic relationship.- When Booth Jonathan asks Marnie to host a party at his house for him, both Shoshanah and Marnie immediately assumes that this means he thinks she’s girlfriend material when really, Marnie’s just a good PR hostess to him. I can totally see the ladies’ reasoning: “Oh I’ll be presented as the lady of his house to all his friends and party guests? I must be his girlfriend! Totes.” It is tricky to know whether someone introduces you to his friends because he likes you and wants his friends to get to know you, or if as soon as you go to the bathroom, he smirks and boasts to his friends “Yeah so I’ve banging THOSE great tits wassup?!”  Continue reading

24 Signs That Your Date Is Bad News, Based on True Events

One for each year that I’ve been alive! Honest to higher powers if they exist, I did not make up any of these. I experienced the majority of the incidents below, and added a few from my close friends. All happened for reals.

Please, think carefully and consider running for the hills if any of the following occurs. Don’t repeat a known mistake and waste any of your time. See below for why I have several contacts listed in my cell’s phone book as “First name DO NOT PICK UP.”

1. Avoiding or deflecting get-to-know-you questions. For instance-

Q: “How about you? Where did you grow up?”

A: “The South. I loved it. I hate living in California.”

Q: “Oh ok… why do you hate it?”

A: “Why do you care? It’s not important.”

2. Explaining that they’re “only looking for fun and friendship.” Yeah, you know what else starts with the letter F?

3. Letting you pick up a large check at a cash-only place since they didn’t have any bills, promises to pay you back later, and then never did when a miraculous modern invention called the ATM exists.

4. Telling you that he’s currently crashing at his friend’s place because his ex just broke up with him so he had to move out of their apartment.

5. Taking pictures of you without you knowing, only for you to see it on their friend’s phone later. It doesn’t even have to be a scandalous photo. It’s just creepy and they could have just asked.

6. Expressing the statement “I could be with any other girl right now, but I’m here with you instead” in a non-sweet but self-pitying way.

7. They have horrible nicknames for you. Such as “Kiddo” even though they’re only one year older than you. Also this way they don’t have to remember your real name.

8. When you realize that your date is trying to impress strangers harder than they’re trying to impress you. Imagine the following scenario- In the middle of their singing in front of an unfamiliar crowd at a karaoke bar, they take out a harmonica from their pocket for a obviously well-rehearsed solo. You compliment them when they get off the stage purely out of politeness, and they respond with “This place is way too busy. I wish I could do a few more songs. That guy before me was super good.”

9. Asking “Are you sure?” after they asked if they can come up to your apartment after walking you home, and you said no nicely already. You know, just to double-check in case you changed your mind in the last 15 seconds.

10. Forcing you to do anything physical is bad, but forcing you to slow dance with him in public on a street corner against your will is on a whole new level. I’m all for Hallmark/Broadway musical/Disney/romantic comedy moments in real life, but the key word here is CONSENT, y’all.

11. Stating something like “I am really mature for my age.” Some comparable lines would be: “I am really tolerant and open-minded considering my upbringing.” and “I am really funny.” Show it, then there won’t be a need to say it.

12. Being openly insensitive about your background or known insecurities. Such as making fun of the cab driver’s accent when they know that your parents are immigrants whose first language is not English.

13. Speaking for you. Like when the waiter comes by at the end of dinner and asks if you two would like to see the dessert menu, your date says no for both of you without consulting you.

14. Insisting that you’re “crazy” or really drunk, or anything else that you’re not when you have already told them that um you’re not. Sample conversation:

Date: “I like you- I can tell you’re crazy.”

Me: “Um…no, I’m actually not. To be honest, I think I’m overly logical and kind of a Type A control freak.”

Date: “A-ha! That’s how you’re crazy.”

15. Flip-flopping on an answer. For example,

Q: “So how do you know my coworker?”

A: “ Oh let’s not talk about him- he sucks.”

Q: “…Why are you friends with him then if you don’t like him?”

A: “Because he’s awesome!”

16. Comparing you with other women, right in front of you. Exhibit A-

Date: “This feels weird, doesn’t it? I guess your kissing style is just different from other girls I’ve been with before.”

17. Trying to have lengthy conversations with you via text messages, but never asking you to hang out in person.

18. Blaming you for a bad kiss. Sample line: “Your mouth is just kind of small, so I feel like I’m slobbering all over you a bit.”

19. Asking you important questions repeatedly that you already answered before recently. Chances are that he’s seeing so many other girls that he doesn’t remember you specifically, or he didn’t think your reply was important enough to be retained in his memory.

20. Telling you that they “like” you with something attached to the sentence.

(a) “I like you, but if I really like you, then I would actually date you.”

(b) “I like you enough.”

21. Suddenly hailing a cab unexpectedly and wants you to get in the car with them without ever discussing where you’re going first.

22. Preemptively excusing himself, like “I just have never been a good boyfriend.” or “I have always been emotionally detached since my bad childhood.” Saying that that’s just the way you are does not make for a get out of jail free card or a legitimate reason for bad behavior.

23. Responding to your confessional question of “So what are we doing? Are we just friends? Because I’m really attracted to you.” with “…I mean, if it makes you feel better, I am really attracted to you, too.

24. Walking away from you in the middle of the street, without any explanation or saying goodbye.

I totally understand that sometimes there’s just no chemistry between two people, and the date might be bad in the sense that it was boring. BUT there is a huge difference between that and someone just being insensitive, insulting, or condescending. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now go out there and date someone better!

Chin

Why Your Parents Are On Your Case About Being Single

Yesterday I called my dad about something mundane, then the following conversation occurred.

Dad: “How’s work?”
Me: “It’s fine.”
Dad: “Good. Then you can work on something else now. Like getting a boyfriend.”
Me: “EXCUSE ME?!…Oh wait, today’s April Fool’s Day! Good one, Dad! Haha.”
Dad: “Oh, is it? I didn’t realize. No, I’m serious about this.”

For those of you thinking that he is just really into the prank, nope, he went on to explain all the various reasons why I need a man in my life. I tuned out after a while.

This is not the first time he has pressured me. A few months ago, I took him out to fancy dinner for his birthday-

Me: “So how old are you turning, Dad? 59?”
Dad: “No, I’m 60 years old now.”
Me: “Oh really? Oops, sorry!”
Dad: “Yea I’m really old now, so you should really start getting serious about settling down and having kids.”

While I sat there literally with my mouth hanging open in shock, my dad continued with a lengthy description of this “very nice Chinese boy” who is his friend’s nephew or something like that. Yep, my dad tried to play matchmaker for his daughter. Did I mention that I’m only 24 years old?!

My father is also not the only person in my family who has less than gently nudged me about landing a beau. Au contraire, almost every older relative has mentioned something about it at family gatherings. Thank god my mom is the only child because I already have 5 aunts and 2 uncles to nag me.

I assure you that this is not just a phenomenon common with Asian parents’ or in immigrant households. Yes, they might be clinging to more conservative traditional values, but plenty of my friends have experienced similar harassment (And for the last time, not all my friends are cute tiny Asian girls like me, so stop asking me to hook you up).

I used to be incredibly offended and annoyed every single time it happens. I still have the urge to end the conversation or roll my eyes, but recently I had a two-part epiphany.

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Amazing Life Advice from Older and Wiser Ladies

I am trying to take a peek at a store that has not opened yet. This pretty much sums up my attitude in life.

Last week thanks to my job, I had the chance to hang out with twenty women who are mostly mothers for a whole day. I know, don’t be too jealous of me. They were bloggers we invited to an event for Method who makes green cleaning products. These ladies were inspiring with how much they do and how well they do it. As more wine started flowing, I think I actually told some of them that they were role models. How embarrassing!

Anyway, over this course of time, many of them bestowed some valuable life lessons upon me, which I happily and gratefully accepted. I also heard some stories about being pregnant and giving birth, but you can Google those.

This couldn’t have come at a better time since I just turned the age of 24, AND found a strand of grey hair on myself for the first time ever a few weeks ago. Almost everyone’s reaction when they found out how young I am is “Wow, 24! That’s a wonderful age!” But many women slightly older than me have said that quarter life crisis, just like midlife crisis, comes in waves and may last for years. Needless to say, I’m a bit freaked out and scared.

Overall, the ladies told me to not worry so much. I am a Type A person who tries to plan everything in her life, from miniscule things like working out on which weekdays to far away schemes like where I plan to live when I’m 30. Of course, the majority of my meticulous plans fall through, but I can’t help making to do lists, both on paper and in my head.

Many of these smart women admitted that they had similar perspective when they were my age, but gradually came to realize that there’s no point in trying to plan something before the situation arises because you can’t predict the future. Life has turned out SO differently than what they imagined years ago, but they wouldn’t want it any other way. So just deal with making decisions as the choices appear, and not get stressed about them beforehand.

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