Friday, July 5, 2013

Girls and women

I shared Laurie Penny's article last week on Facebook, highlighting a paragraph that appealed to me in particular, especially at that point in my life: "It’s definitely easier to be a girl than it is to do the work of being a grown woman, especially when you know that grown women are far more fearful to the men whose approval seems so vital to your happiness. And yet something in me was rebelling against the idea of being a character in somebody else’s story. I wanted to write my own."
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the distinction between the two, but also about how much the TV show Girls reflects experiences that many of us, even on the other side of the ocean, live through in our mid twenties. I like to call these years the quarter life crisis, because that's the general feeling I've been living with: a constant interogation about where I'm going and why my trajectory is so different from that of my parents, and the one they taught me I should have, for that matter.
But going back to Girls (I've been obsessed with watching the two seasons for a second time, since I have so much school work to do), I saw this caption a few days ago and I almost cried. It was about when Hannah asked Adam "If you don't like ice cream, what do you like?" and he answered "I like you". I mean, who says that?
I really wish I could say my Adam turned into that guy who "was always here". I wish at least one of my Adams did. But in my experience, it doesn't work like that. A guy who doesn't respect you and only sees you as a random hook up will not wake up one day and say "You chase me like I’m in the fucking Beatles for six months and then when I finally get comfortable with things, you wanna shrug?" He will not go and tell people "I had this girlfriend who at first I didn’t like very much, or, I didn’t take her very seriously, I guess. She just seemed like, you know, a piece of ass. But she was persistent, man. And she just hung around, and hung around, and showed up at my place—and gradually, it started to feel better when she was there. It wasn’t “love” the way I imagined it. I just felt weird if I didn’t know what she was up to or whatever. And I liked knowing that she was just gonna be there, and warm, and staying the night." That. never. happens. to. me.
But generally, if we look closer, Girls is a simulacrum for what becoming a woman means to some of the people of our generation. We learn from Marnie's self-searching adventure, we learn from Hannah's self-abandonment chaos, from Shoshanna's rants and mostly from Jessa, who is her own brand of charming. I think that no matter how much we grow up, we'll always be vulnerable to our desires, especially to those we cannot explain. And at the end of the day, we should just own it.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Birthday wishlist. Second edition

 Now, you might remember last year's birthday wishlist. These things seem to work in the long run. I bought most of the stuff on that list, but it doesn't really matter , they're still presents :D I was going to write a post on how I'm on a freaking rollercoaster lately, but my friends keep bugging me to write the list. Truth be told, this year I want less stuff and more... well,, things you cannot buy. So here it goes.

1. A great party
I want to finally be able to say, wow, my birthday this year was fun. Especially since all the ages from here to 35 are like second on my "ages I hate" list (23 still sucks the most). So I want people to not despise each other on my birthday, to drink and be merry. I want them to wear the stupid princess paper tiaras I'll bring. I will not take no for an answer. I want them to eat my muffins, I'm obviously baking for my own birthday, duuh. And I'm thinking about spicy. And generally, I want to feel at home and at peace and leave that damn party with a smile on my face.
2. An OK on my PhD report
Yep. I have to present my PhD first research report right on my birthday. Needless to say, I am way behind and I know I will panic and I will eventually turn something in. But I want it to be fine, I wanna start my third year and I really wish people will be supportive and help me from now on with my paper. I really wanted this degree and now I want it even more because I can't wait to move on.
3. Another tattoo
I know the last one has just healed, but I really really have my mind set on this awesome kitty/jolly roger idea, where I will use Emily Strange's Sabbath's head as an inspiration. The crossed bones are definitely a must. I'm thinking the interior of my right foot. That's because no matter how many people in my life will want her gone, my kitty will always be one of my centers of balance.
4. Dr. Martens
There had to be shoes on this list. Thing is I went with my friend to the shop to get a pair and they didn't have his size. Instead, I found my dream pair I had been staring at for a while. So I'm buying them. When I'm done with my report. To congratulate myself.
5. New (ear)rings
I want to change my ear and belly piercing jewelry with some simple rings with a ball. The tiniest ones, with that stupid ball I can never get in. It's silly, but these are the things on my mind when I think about going around getting myself stuff. But I never do, because I'm a lazy bastard.
6. Llosa
Yes, apart from shoes, there also had to be books on this list. I've been buying myself Rushdie and Joseph Conrad and goddess knows what, but I've been yearning to follow up on my readings of Llosa, epecially after his visit to my city and the wonderful speech he gave.
7. A mix tape
Seriously, I never ever know what to listen to. And I also think a mix tape is something personal, that one person gives another to convey a message, to strenghten a bond. The last mix tape (OK, CD) I got was in my first year of college. It would be nice to have somebody put together a set of songs for me, that would take some commitment and I could use some of that lately.