“Drinking is not a social asset, like learning to dance well. it is only a matter of personal preference. Helen Valentine & Alice Thompson Better than Beauty.
I just read that Cat Marnell is getting paid five hundred large for her memoir about being rich and a drug addict because she’s TOTES INTERESTING, YOU GUYS. I’ve read some of her stuff, and, like hanging out with your drunk/high friends, it’s utterly boring. Because, newsflash, drugs make you insufferably dull.
But I’m not here to criticize Marnell’s boring, uninteresting, faux-edgy scraps of notebook garbage. No, rather, I’m here to write about yet another problem we women have to face, and that’s the pressure to be a “hot mess.”
I’m pretty straight-edge. I drink tea and coffee, sure, and I have a glass of wine once in awhile (like, maybe once a month) I’ve never smoked or touched drugs, and I even hesitate to take prescriptions. In the literary sense, that means I am boring. I don’t know if it’s some sort of misguided attempt at feminism (GIRLS CAN DO DRUGS JUST AS WELL AS BOYS!!!) or what, but the rich-girl-on-party-drugs memoir seems to remain a trend long after the publication of Prozac Nation and Smashed (both of which were boring and made me want to hit the narrator).
At the risk of sounding old, doing drugs does not make you interesting. Being rich and doing drugs makes you even less interesting. The fact that you were strung out at Fashion Week, Ms. Marnell, does not a good story make. Instead of making you seem fashionable, it merely makes you exactly what you are–a spoiled, selfish, rich whiny tramp.
But driving to go see Jurassic Park the other night, a bunch of drunk girls staggered out in front of our car, screaming in the face-melting banshee way only drunk girls can scream. One of them, the fat friend of the group (in Oneonta, the ratio is 3 party girls to 1 fat friend), was wearing cutoff shorts crammed so far up her chubby cheeks they could be considered a g-string and a shapeless crop top with considerable flab hanging out over the acid-washed waistband of the aforementioned shorts. And all I could wonder was did she look in the mirror and think damn, I look good! And at the end of this night, when she’s puking her guts out in the garbage can of the dorm room of whatever guy drew the short straw to take her home, will she still be thinking damn, this is the best night of my life!
I don’t know. I’m not one of those types of girls. Maybe it’s because I never had the money or the glamour to get away with it. Maybe D.A.R.E worked, I don’t know. But one time I asked Matthew if he though I was boring because I’d never done drugs (or even been drunk, for that matter) and although he said “of course not,” I wish I could go back to that Me and tell her “Even if he (or anyone else) says yes, darling, he can go cook a radish, because you are more interesting than any angel-dusted trollop could ever be.”