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Girls, Everything Isn’t Literally #TheWorst

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Oh man, in between farting uncontrollably and finally knowing what a sore hip feels like, I mostly like to scowl at young women eating brunch with their friends while I drink black coffee alone. I’m almost 30. I’ve seen everything. I haven’t had a decent erection in three years. Yet these bitches are sitting here talking about how they’re “so old” now because they were home by midnight. They’re “so old” now because they don’t even care how they’re dressed. They’re “so old” they can’t drop the five pounds they put on this year, in spite of their rigorous exercise routine of occasionally walking from their front door to the Uber parked outside.

I get it, you have to talk about something. You need to fill that void during brunch between your friend planning next week’s engagement party and that other ugly friend saying ugly people shit. But my God, ladies. There are actual thoughts inside your heads, yet you insist on reciting the same script: I’m so fat, I’m so literally I just can’t, I’m so tired, I’m so old, I never have sex, I’m so awkward, but other than that, I’m doing AMAZING and on and on and all I can do is pop another baby aspirin and wonder where it all went so wrong.

You could reason from that first paragraph that I’m a woman hater, and I am. I hate them so much that I actually LOVE them. You follow me? It makes perfect sense. I’m not dismissive. I yearn to understand them. I’m desperate in the regard, my love is so complete. I’m like an obsessed scientist, thrilled by every discovery and forlorn in every experiment failed. (I’m also certainly aware of my own gender’s failings but I’m not going to write about them, because this is TFM and no one comes here to start existentially questioning themselves. That’s what your bank’s website is for.) But what is with the young female’s penchant for superlatives? When did everything become the best or the worst or the girthiest? Why is “OH MY GOD” always said with such high drama, even when her friend is simply relaying the bus schedule? Why would anyone converse that way? Wouldn’t they all sort of talk in aggressive, over-emphasized platitudes until they realized nothing was really happening and just sigh out an exhausted, “oh, fuck it”?

We all know how hashtags started, right? A bunch of programmers used them to categorize certain photos or tweets or blogs in order to index whatever they posted. So, if you posted a photo of crackers, you’d hashtag “#crackers” so that later, someone could easily search #crackers and find a bunch of photos of–yeah, you guessed it–crackers. Then, as a joke, someone along the way ironically hashtagged something that would never need indexing, like “#lizardnuts.” The joke here is obviously that this photo or tweet about a wrinkly, old crossing gaurd to your 40 followers would be the only one involving lizard nuts, and why would anyone ever search for lizard nuts? “Ha ha,” went the nerds, and then they crept back into Skyrim, not knowing what they hath wrought. Somehow the jokey hashtag crept into popular culture and now a friend who goes to the beach might Instagram a scene and hashtag it “#beach #sunnyday #ohshitimsunburned.” Except they’re not doing it as an ironic in-joke anymore, or even to index anything. The joke has become so widely used it ceased to be a joke. Now it’s common vernacular. Your mom will now take a photo of her grandson and hashtag “#ilovehimsomuch” without a hint of irony, believing this has become a suitable form of communication, when she could have just written that simple statement as a full declarative sentence. The world turns another day and ever headlong, we hurtle into death.

This same phenomenon is occurring in the speech patterns of many young women. Somewhere, during a brunch conversation about astrophysics or something, one of the girls in the group started talking kind of excitedly about monotonous shit, the disparity of subject matter versus the emphasis of being kind of funny. “I just can’t EVEN HANDLE emails from my boss anymore,” may have been said. So, too, perhaps, “My legs are THE FATTEST.” I’m sure it was hilarious for a while, playing up the dramatic ditz for laughs, over-emphasizing things that would never need emphasis. That irony became a shield for people to hide behind, a way of avoiding actual, honest to God conversation, and somewhere along the way, like hashtags, it ceased to be a joke. It became a way to speak. So now, I can no longer go to the diner to do my large-print crossword book in peace without some 25-year-old woman announcing how damn old she is.

It’s fine. Really, I’m dealing with it, guys. We have a support group and we meet on Wednesday. It’s not that I even want women to stop talking this way, it’s more that I want them to understand WHY they’re talking this way. As in: it’s supposed to be a joke. Forget that and your opinions cease to matter and your personality becomes nothing more than an affectation. And that is just THE WORST.

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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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