I’m going to spare you the suspense this time around, so readily apparent is the winner/loser of the title of the Worst this week: It’s Lindsay.
Where do I start with her worst-ness? She thinks Delaware is a country. She also thinks Europe is a country. She thinks the National Air and Space Museum was named after a guy named “Aaron Space.” She cajoles Edgar into making her a coconut cream pie, even though “you’d also have to go to the store for me and buy me ice cream and tampons.”
Perhaps her most unforgivable offense is wearing one of those girly-fied football jerseys, and I realize as soon as I see her in it — with its handmade deep-V-neck and cropped-off bottom and ugh the number is “69” — that of course Lindsay is the kind of girl who would buy this and wear it. Just wear the regular jersey! Women don’t need girly versions of unisex things! We just might need them to come in slightly smaller sizes! She tops this ensemble off with pigtails. Pigtails (if I may make a potentially polarizing claim here) are for porn stars and the prepubescent. Pigtail braids, now, that’s another conversation. But straight-up pigtails? On a grown woman? NO, LINDZER.
She spends the entire episode toying with Edgar’s feelings, twisting her hair around her fingers and somehow getting wing sauce all over her face. Fortunately for Edgar, the hot gay guys at the bar help him see the light: Lindsay is using him, and he needs to focus his flirting energies elsewhere.
Gretchen and Jimmy, meanwhile, are fine-tuning the art of cohabitation. Much as “Gretchen’s corner,” a pile of trash bags full of Gretchen’s clothes, doesn’t bother Jimmy, it’s obviously not cutting it for Gretchen. She wants to be able to call this house — a house whose address, if we’re being nitpicky here, she didn’t even know a week ago — hers, not just Jimmy’s. After all, when she was a kid, she’d say, “Come over and watch Skinemax and drink Zima in my house,” not “in my parents’ house.”
And on top of that, Jimmy is stalling on his second novel, as he explains to his agent in a magnificently self-indulgent rant during a “meeting” in a bar. (Highlights include: “Salinger, Brontë, Ralph Ellison, Sylvia Plath. The expectation of a second novel can paralyze some.” And “Writing is fear! To say that I allow fear to cripple me would be to say I am not, in fact, a writer.”) Jimmy is probably going to have to take some non-novel-related writing gigs while awaiting the arrival of his muse; he can’t get magazine work anymore, since Megan the movie star — remember her? — sued him for writing about having sex with her.
To solve both of these problems, these crazy kids pull a maneuver that warms my Jersey-native heart: They go to the mall. Jimmy hopes to find literary inspiration “amongst the diabetic masses of the American shopper.” Gretchen hopes to find a toothbrush, and all the other paraphernalia of an adult life.
But when Gretchen arrives at off-brand Bed, Bath & Beyond, she gets “cart paralysis.” This is apparently very common! Her interaction with the saleswoman brings my favorite mini-monologue of the night. Gretchen explains that she has no idea what to buy because she has no possessions: “Except for a food processor and, like, 19 thongs. Because even though at first we were like, I am not wearing THAT, the patriarchy somehow convinced us that visible panty lines were unacceptable, so now I've just grown accustomed to the feeling of a fabric rope against my actual asshole all day.” Preach, Gretch. I don’t think you’re that much of an irresponsible monster, even though you did burn down your apartment with a vibrator.
Armed with one of those checklists for college freshmen, Gretchen supermarket-sweeps the store — “A banana holder? Get off the counter, banana, you’re fancy now!” — but, much to the cashier’s dismay, panics at the last minute when asked where she plans to store all her shiny new belongings. (Sidebar: Bullshit, Gretchen doesn’t already own a hair dryer. How am I supposed to believe she gets those soft waves every day?)
This sends her sprinting back to Jimmy to demand, not unreasonably, that he actually make some space for her in his home. Better get used to that Kool Kat poster, Jimmy. I think it’s going to be there a while.
The Worst: Lindsay.
Runners-up: The blue-ribbon winner at that youth art contest, Nazi war criminals, dating married baseball players, getting the mall cop fired.
A few good things: A free bottle of scotch from Chuck Klosterman, Paul’s definition of love, a Bloody Mary drawer, inheriting shit from a woman who thinks you’re her granddaughter.