In anticipation of the season 5 premiere, I recently started re-watching Girls on HBO. If I thought this show was relatable when it aired in 2012, it speaks to my soul in 2016. Everyone thinks they “are” one of the characters from Girls. You’re Hannah, the writer, or Jessa, the world-traveler, or Shoshanna, the only one with any sense. But while I was watching, I had a troubling thought: Am I Marnie?
My editor (fine, my mother) warned me that I shouldn’t liken myself to Marnie’s whiney ass. But I am an artist and my literary voice will not be stifled. Okay, that sounded way more “Hannah” than “Marnie.”
Anyway, no one wants to be the “Marnie” of their friend group. Sure, we all want to look like Marnie, but no one wants to see themselves as the uptight one. But there is a scene in the season 2 finale where Marnie and Charlie are eating lunch, and she says something about being “settled down.” Charlie has a kind of weird reaction, like he doesn’t consider Marnie and him to be that serious of a couple, and she leaves the restaurant. Outside, he asks what’s up, and she says that she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. Her exact words are, “I want to see you every morning, and I want to make you a snack every night, and eventually I want to have your little brown babies.” (Talk about hitting close to home.) Charlie says that’s what he wants too, and they leave hand-in-hand, to live happily ever after.
PSYCH. In the first episode of season 3, Marnie is devastated over her recent breakup with Charlie. “We bought the ingredients to make grilled pizzas, and we were going to make grilled pizzas, and the day we were supposed to make grilled pizzas he f*cking left me.”
I know this is sort of meant to be a joke. We’re expected to laugh at how self-absorbed and delusional Marnie is about everything in her life–in this instance, her breakup. So you were going to make grilled pizzas (whatever that is). Who cares?
But there is so much more than that going on here. Why would Charlie buy the ingredients to make grilled pizzas with Marnie if he was just going to break up with her? It’s not about grilled pizzas (even though I’ve said “grilled pizzas” 6 times now). It’s about the fact that Charlie and Marnie had been making future plans up until the moment that he walked out on her.
When you go through a breakup, sometimes you focus on insignificant details (grilled pizzas) and lose sight of what’s really bothering you. You stress about not having enough boxes to move your stuff out because you don’t want to remember how excited you were when you moved it all in. You freak out about your broken lease because you aren’t ready to deal with your broken heart. You worry about who gets the dog because it’s easier to think about how the breakup will affect your puppy’s life than your own.
If anyone was wondering, the puppy is with my family in Tennessee. I couldn’t bring him to New York. So in the end, I guess neither of us got the dog. And maybe neither of us was ready for that big of a commitment, anyway.
I wish I could say this was the second part of a six-piece installment covering my breakup, sponsored by MailChimp. Okay fine, I wish this was Serial. But I have no idea how long I’m going to ramble on about this shit. Taylor Swift gets to go on tour every time she gets dumped, so whatever. A few of my friends have told me I should write about my life post-breakup. I told you what it was like losing my car keys, but do I miss driving? Of course I do. But the truth is, I probably don’t have room for a car in New York, anyway. I take the subway now.
A few episodes later on Girls, Marnie tells Elijah what happened when she finally saw Charlie. He called her and said that he loved her–even considered proposing to her–but that they needed to talk about some things first. She said okay, and waited for him all day. He eventually showed up with a friend from work, packed up his stuff, and left with no explanation. Later, Marnie hears that Charlie’s business has gone under and that “he’s, like, working in a sneakers store.” In the words of Queen Bey, “I bet it sucks to be you right now.”
Referencing such a killer breakup song reminds me that I never posted the breakup playlist I promised. I had a whole list of songs in mind, from Fleetwood Mac (Silver Springs) to Cee Lo Green (F*ck You, obviously). But really the aforementioned Beyoncé song (Best Thing I Never Had) is your best bet, and when that doesn’t do the trick, there’s always Alanis Morissette (You Oughta Know). Plus all of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album.