i learn what “bitters” are today

i started watching the hbo show girls because billboards told me to. i was hesitant because i love sex and the city, and girls promised to be its antithesis. i pictured zooey deschanel iconically poised in every scene… sipping chai tea stage left, occupying wall street soft focus, indulging, as hipsters do, in a passé art: curing meats, polishing silver or adjusting a horn-rimmed monocle– a fanfare of cultural savviness inciting a community urge to compete for the most obsolete pastime, so that they can give a class on “how to give your canary flaxen hair.” …….

i pictured a lot of what i saw when i actually watched the show. and i was right that the show would capitalize on the tender wound of my new york experience: me being a girl, 22, working (basically) for free, being academically over qualified but disastrously unemployable from lack of standardized experience and schmooze capabilities, and frustrated, as ever, by a fragmented society where one must subscribe to the cultural values of external forces: neighborhoods (hanna: “i live in greenpoint, not williamsburg, big difference!”), music, education, race. in the same way you hate your doppleganger, i hate this show (though i like to think i’d be somewhere in between carrie and hanna, aesthetically and in terms of material needs). and the writing is so good, lena dunham is the tina fey of this dark-umentary of nyc girl life. ultimately, any girl on the show and any girl watching the show just wants to be lena, because now she’s famous for being such a smart writer, for creating a story and sentences that are so piercingly true that we are repulsed by the inherent narcissism of watching our lives recapitulated on the big (or laptop) screen.


my drink at dinner tonight was called “alfonso” and it had ingredients: bitters, ginger, brut, and vermouth. i didn’t know what bitters were but my friend told me. they’re not the categorical taste mentally added to your cocktail (“here sir, your drink is CONCEPTUALLY bitter”), they’re THINGS, real things, distilled from fruits and herbs and possess individual flavor.

i think girls is bitters; i think i’m bitters too some of the time. i don’t like it, and i think that’s why i won’t watch the show anymore.


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