Tag Archives: female friendship

The most dramatic thing to happen on Grey’s Anatomy. Ever.

More dramatic than the bomb in the guy’s chest? Than the house made of candles on the hillside? Than the plane crash that killed Lexi and Mark? Than the shooter who roamed the halls of Seattle Grace? More dramatic than the time that Meredith died? I know, right? That show is craaaaay.

Screenshot_10_28_13_11_10_PM-4Yes, what happened on Grey’s Anatomy two weeks ago was true drama (skip to 34:00). For those of you who quit this bad boy when it jumped the shark half a decade ago, Meredith and Christina are still best friends, but much else has changed [SPOILER ALERT. Ha, as if anyone waits with bated breath for Grey’s spoilers]. Meredith married Derek and they have two adorable children, Zola and baby Bailey. Christina got married and then divorced when her husband Owen couldn’t abide by her consistent refusal to have children (I mean, come on…. she told him that when they got together, but that’s not the point…) They are both still surgeons at Seattle Grace (renamed Sloane Grey Memorial).

What drama could this mundane divergence of paths produce? There were no bones protruding from skin, no organs spilling on to slick linoleum floors. Nope, no guts and gore here, just good old fashioned human drama. Christina and Meredith had planned an elaborate surgery. Meredith’s day took a turn with kiddie emergencies left and right. Christina boxed her out of the surgery and replaced her with a more prepared doctor, Dr. Bailey. And then this:

Meredith: You stole that surgery from me. 

Christina: I am sorry. I really wish you could have been in there with me. 

Meredith: I worked my ass off to do that surgery with you and you stole it from me. That was low.

Christina: Meredith, you were unprepared, you were unfocused, and you were late. I didn’t steal that surgery from you. I rescued that surgery from you, because you couldn’t do it.

Meredith: I understand that you believe you are god’s gift to medicine, but I am every bit as talented and competent a surgeon as you are.

Christina: No, you’re not. I’m sorry, but you’re not. And that’s, that’s okay. You have different priorities now. You’ve cut back on your clinical hours. You log less time in the OR, I mean, you don’t do research. And I get it, I mean, you have Zola, and baby Bailey, and you want to be a good mom.

Meredith: I don’t believe you! You are saying that I can’t be a good surgeon and a mom.

Christina: Of course not! Dr. Bailey’s a mom, and she was fantastic in there! 

Meredith: Then what are you saying? 

Christina: I’m saying, I’m saying… Bailey never let up. She lives here. Callie? Never let up. Ellis Grey [Meredith’s mother] never let up. And I know you don’t want to be your mother. I’m saying, you and I started running down the same road at the same time, and at a certain point, you let up. You slowed down. And don’t say that I don’t support that, because I do. You made your choices, and they are valid choices, but don’t pretend they don’t affect your skills. You are a very good surgeon, but we’re in different places now. And that’s okay.

Ahhhhh, oh Grey’s, I love you so. For all the deserved flack it gets for melodrama and oversimplified dialogue (whenever Shonda wants you to get an emotional point all she knows how to do is repeat it three times with different inflection. I need you. I need you. I need you. Check it, she does it on Scandal too), she does tap into the political side of female friendship with some serious know-how.

I would rather have conversations like this than landslides and biker brawl mayhem in the emergency room any day. These conversations are hard, way harder than corralling sexting interns or sobbing family members, and they feel real. Your friends will make different decisions than you would make for yourself, or than you would make for them. It’s hard, because you love them, and you trust them, but you’re scared for them, and you’re scared for yourself. You don’t know what’s right or what will happen and when someone who has been running the same race as you for a long time suddenly veers left or slows down or speeds up, it’s hard not to wonder if you should be following suit. Trying to read your own motives and values in the shadows cast by people you love and trust… that shit is complicated and lovely and challenging.

Take notes, Shonda, and keep it up.

Related Post: How Grey’s got gay marriage right. 

Related Post: How The Good Wife gets the second wave vs. third wave tension right



Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Media

The Best Things I Read on the Internet, 2012

Like last year, I’m doing a Best Things I read on the Internet list. This is obviously in no way complete or comprehensive, it is merely a tiny slice of the internet that I really enjoyed and I hope you enjoy too.

  • How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in AmericaGawker (Kiese Laymon): I’ve read this essay about violence and race and home and promise so many times. There are phrases I’m sure will stick with me forever, “I’m a waste of writing’s time,” and “I wish I could get my Yoda on right now and surmise all this shit into a clean sociopolitical pull-quote that shows supreme knowledge and absolute emotional transformation, but I don’t want to lie.”
  • “Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Sociopath?”New York Times (Jennifer Kahn): In the wake of Sandy Hook, this investigation of psychopathy in children hits particularly hard. How early can you identify the traits of psychopathy, and what do you do about it?
  • “Expectations”The New Yorker (Katherine Boo): This is the story of the uneasy relationship between an aspiring politician, Michael Bennet, and a high school on the edge of disfunction (or maybe over it?) in Denver. We talk about turnaround schools, benchmarks, races to the top, but what does that actually look like reflected back in the faces of teenagers?
  • “The Last Tower” – Harpers (Ben Austen) – For you Chicagoans, or those who wish to be Chicagoans, the towers of Cabrini-Green hold a particular and problematic place in our recent history. I walk by the remains of them every day. How did they start? Where they wrong from the beginning? Could they have been saved? Should they have been saved?
  • “Transformation and Transcendance: The Power of Female Friendship”The Rumpus (Emily Rapp): I hate, hate, hate the title of this essay if only because of how many potential readers might be turned off by it’s hippie-dippy enlightenment vibe. It’s so amazing and fantastic that I want every single person to read it. This was the first thing I ever read of Rapp’s, and I’ve been hooked since.
  • “Click and Drag” – xkcd (Randall Munroe): This isn’t an essay, per se, but I find it profound and delightful nonetheless. In an interactive cartoon, “Click and Drag” is about finding small pleasures, and remembering how much of the world there always is to explore.
  • “Odd Blood: Serodiscordancy, or, Life with an HIV-Positive Partner” The Atlantic (John Fram): A piece of the HIV puzzle we don’t see exposed very often, “Odd Blood” is a lyrically written account of a relationship in which one partner is HIV-positive and the other is not.

Part 2 coming later this week!


Filed under Really Good Writing by Other People

For a Good Time, Call the Ladies of “For a Good Time Call”

If you are a cheapskate freeloader like me, Spotify frequently interrupts your 90s R&B jam sesh with some annoying ads hawking this product or that service. Most annoying of all? The back-and-forth breathy giggles of Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller as they hype their new movie, For a Good Time Call. It’s about phone sex, you guys, so you know it’s going to be edgy and hip.

As I am the definition of edgy and hip (on edge and wide of hip?), I took Graynor and Miller up on their invitation and by golly, a good time was had by all.

Top 5 Things to Like About For a Good Time Call

1. For us, by us: You know what is definitively better than old men talking about women’s vaginas (looking at you, GOP…), young women talking about vaginas! You know why? They have them! Call was written by two women in their twenties, Miller and Katie Ann Naylon. Ari Graynor was also the executive producer.

2. Happy endings come in all shapes and sizes: No, not those kinds of happy endings. Without giving away all the juicy details, let me just say that according to Call, there’s more than one way end up on the winning side of a two-hour movie about women in their twenties. Dudes are well and good and all, but they  are not the only ticket to a happy ending. Career success counts. Friendship counts. Emotional wellness counts. Oh haiii, women are complicated and men do not solve all the problems!

3. Sexual reputations = complicated: Avoiding spoilers, one of my favorite elements of Call was its willingness to play with stereotypes of female sexuality. What begins as a straight-up, boring, been-there-seen-that slut/prude dichotomy takes some fun twists and lands in a much more nuanced space. Wait, you mean you can’t tell shit about a person’s sexual history by the way they dress? Mind blown.

4. Female friends are not just sidekicks: More attention lately (thanks to Girls and Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be) has been to paid the specific intensity of girl on girl friendships. In my opinion, phone sex is just the backdrop for a pretty excellent exploration of the potent combination of admiration, devotion, jealousy, insecurity, and love that form the bedrock of most uber-tight lady bonds.

5. Jumpsuits:

Related Post: I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild

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Filed under Art, Gender, Hollywood, Sex

Monday Scraps 69

1. AMERICANA: Max Fisher at The Atlantic interviews new visitors to the U.S. about what surprises them most. Grocery stores and nursing homes, apparently.

2. RACE: If you read one thing on this list (but I hope you read it all), read Kiese Laymon’s essay “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America” about race, racism, violence, Mississippi, and 8,000 other things. Content aside, the prose will bowl you over (Gawker).

3. FRIENDS: I love love love this Roxane Gay list of tips on being friends with another woman: 7A: Don’t be totally rude about truth telling and consider how much truth is actually needed to get the job done. Finesse goes a long way. 7B: These conversations are more fun when preceded by an emphatic, ‘GIRL.'”

4. BIKINI: The internet is a strange place. Exhibit A: Matchbook, which pairs bikinis with beach reading by literally matching the pattern of a bikini and the cover a book…

5. WRITING: Chicago writer Megan Stielstra in a lovely essay on finding, or not finding, a room of one’s own in which to work (The Rumpus).

6. OLYMPICS: Divers’ faces while diving. You’re welcome.

Related Post: Sunday 68: Your twenties, POV of a condom, Jason Alexander, Hope Solo.

Related Post: Sunday 67: Lego The Wire, Caterina Fake, models without makeup


Filed under Books, Chicago, Gender, Media, Politics, Sports