–I need a drink, too. I’ll get you a drink.
Honestly, what if I enjoy the drink? What happens then?
-I’d love to hear what you think happens then.
I’ll tell you what happens. We go play beer pong with your two roommates until I end up back at yours in Murray Hill?
-Yeah, that’s right. How did you know that?
And then we’ll have to listen to your roommate have sex with Hilary or Emily or whatever the girl’s name is until we fall asleep. And then a year later, we’re still playing beer pong in the same bars with your friends. Except now you feel pressured to get married and have kids ’cause you think that’s what I want. Then in the summers, drive up to the Hamptons to meet his parents, wondering the whole ride if they’re going to think you’re pretty enough.
Wondering the whole ride, if they’re going to think you’re smart enough. Because no one is. And then we have to drink shitty chardonnay. At a shitty garden party. And have shitty conversations. About shitty people. With his shitty mother. Who, let’s face it, doesn’t think you’re smart enough.
Who, let’s face it, doesn’t think you’re pretty enough.
Because no one is.
No one ever will be.
-What was all that shit? Look, I’m just talking about a drink.
Yeah, but it wasn’t just a drink, though, was it? It was a marriage proposal.
This scene from That Awkward Moment, Zac Efron’s (extremely enjoyable in my opinion) 2014 rom-com, might be the most beautiful, exoteric explanation of dating today.
I almost choked on my overpriced theatre Diet Coke when I first heard this dialogue. It sounded as if the writers took my bitchy bar thoughts right from my head. My heart bleeds for Ellie as she refuses this mans drink, his marriage proposal, because I, too, have spent the better part of my youth in some form of an jello shot engagement. A jello shot engagement here is the privileged, millennial version of a shot gun wedding. Instead of a lack of birth control and NRA enthusiasts keeping us together its social pressure and the need for a reliable date to themed parties.
As young women, many of us have this masochistic tendency to fall in love with boys with shitty mothers who invite us to shitty parties. Who will never think we’re petty enough. smart enough. For me, perhaps, it was the need to send a big “f you” to all the girls and their mothers who looked at me like a parasite, as if to say, yes I can make your sons fall in love with me. I can live in your world. But maybe it’s just because we can’t help but be attracted to that pretty, well-groomed douche bag. We know he’ll catch our eye across the bar and make us feel like the only girl in the room and then forget to show up to brunch with our parents the next day. Because god forbid we ever meet a man that treats us like we deserve to be treated, well where is the fun in that?
But is it all really so bleak?
Many of us graduate from this phase when we realize that there are men, not boys, who know it’s more than just a drink. There are men who won’t catch your eye across the bar, because he’ll be at your side. There are men who make it to brunch, and remember your father’s favorite beer or your mother’s favorite flower. There are men who know you’re smart enough-beautiful.-and would never let their mothers make you feel any different. There are good, good men.
So keep your head up girl, its just a phase. And until then, just remember, you’ll never end up like Hillary or Emily or what’s her name .