Why I liked GIRLS so much? A love letter from South America.
I always watched shows about girls on the USA and UK, and I always been a fan of them, maybe one of the reason is that I’m an only child, my mom was 35 years old when she had me, so when I was 12 she was already near to her 50ths, for that reason I grew up without any young woman role model really close to me, most of my females cousins are way older than me, and lived 4 hours distance to my house, so my best friends was the girls from T.V. and my friends from school.
Young woman role models for me, was always coming from the T.V. screen, for example, “Clarissa knows it all” when I had 10 years old, “Sabrina the teenage witch” on my 13, “Buffy the vampire slayer” during my 14 and 15 years old I guess , and I can remember I saw “The OC” every day for like a year when I was ending high school; I saw all this girls falling in love, talking about sex, fighting with boys, moving on through high school, going to college, and later on, living on the campus, fighting with roommates, expectations, sadness, and all the kind of things that I was feeling too, back on those day I assumed I was going to face similar things when my time to attend to the university will arrive, or with my first time, my first boyfriend, my first job, my first paycheck!. When I saw those teenage drama shows I dreamed about becoming one f those gals one day, because into my eyes they were independent, and can take care of their own business.
But is very well known that dreams not always came true as we wishes, and I understood that when I have to accept the fact that I will not be able to move away from the house of my parents during my university studies, that was my first reality check. Well, in 2015, while still living under the same roof with my parents, sorting out most of my university credits, and dealing with anxiety/depression, I saw the first episode of GIRLS, when I finished, I wonder myself what the hell I could do if my parents decided to stop help me financially with my studies, and not because I was a spoiled brat, but because I live in a country where:
- The unemployoment rates are increasing every year. http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/economia/desempleo-aumento-durante-ultimo-ano-gobierno-maduro_20615
- Where at least 4 of 10 women suffers of gender violence. http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/sociedad/venezuela-supera-promedio-mundial-violencia-genero_664
- The number of murders are more higher than countries in actual wars. http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/sucesos/2016-cerrara-con-28479-muertes-violentas_73008
- Also, we have a strict biometric food control. http://www.digitalrightslac.net/en/tu-huella-digital-por-un-kilo-de-harina-biometrica-y-privacidad-en-venezuela/ (yes is like URSS, and Cuba meets Minority Report and became a Black Mirror episode, only this is my real life)
Venezuela can be a really scary place right now, specially for a unemployed young woman.
If I was on the place of Hannah, on her writer shoes, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t survive only by myself, a Venezuelan writer only being paid with our money, bolivares? Only writing on tumblr blogs and working on coffee shops? No way, I couldn’t have a half time job while exploring the city with intense relationships and artistic meltdowns, no way, that is just dumb for someone who can buy only two pieces of bread in one day, also, forget about writing, that’s also dumb when you are hungry and desperate, frightened by the night, or for that scary neighbor, or of being evicted without any place to crash, or afraid to, let’s see EVERYTHING. Imagine Shoshana not also scared for not graduating on time, but also because she has stomach pain and can’t find an antacid, and when she find a drugstore that have it, she can’t afford it, oh yes, and still missing a credit for graduation, damned!.
I saw with great interest and curiosity Elijah jumping to one job to another and another, and to no job at all, I watched all the singing revelation happened to Marnie, Shoshana moving to Japan, Jessa being, well Jessa, a total free spirit/drug addict nihilist, that really weird Adam person, what he did for living? Oh yes, his grandma sent him checks and I assume some acting gigs?, and one of my favorite character, maybe because I find him very familiar to me, that neurotic sweet man called Ray, working on in all his middle aged troubles, surrounded for these mostly selfish crazy people.
Because, yes! They were selfish, a lot, they were care free, dicks also, and jerks with themselves and toward others, most of the time watching the episodes I asked myself: “How the hell this GIRLS can be so damn mean? Where they can find the time to feel and experience so many things? I’m just exhausted having the thought of going out and taking the bus”
And even when I strongly consider myself living under a dictatorship, I’m also very secure of the times I’m living, this dictatorship is occurring during the 21th century, and certainly is getting more and more repressive every day, but, there are things unable to be erased from my mind, like the Internet, smart phones, foreign TV shows, foreign music, and yes, my principles about how freedom should be, and sadly to the dictatorship (and for me) I consider those GIRLS free, so, is really hard for me at my 26 years old just pretend my dreams are finding food, and enjoying electricity.
I can’t erase my expectations, and because of that, I can’t help feeling a little sad with some aspects of my life, like the time when my mom showed me a picture on Instagram of his daughter’s friend graduation from Berkeley University, she was like:
– Look, what is this? What is he saying?
— Well mom, that’s his daughter, on her graduation from Berkeley (because I had to translate for her) and he’s saying he is very happy for her.
aaaahm, did you tasted that fine bread I bought for you after being two hours on line under the rain with another 50 hungry souls? It was good isn’t? No?
I didn’t know what to do, so I tried to be funny, but the truth is I felt fucking sad, because I’m very close to become a civil engineer, I speak two languages, I know how to use several engineer softwares, I’ve been volunteering for almost 4 years, I draw, I worked with kids, half time on my university, on internships, but here I am crying my eyes out every time I see another fellow student killed during a protest, thinking all day where I can buy cheap food, being a hostage inside my own country; that’s not freedom, it can’t be, that’s not how Jessa and Marnie lived, I watched the all thing, I can tell.
I once read that GIRLS has showed women how important is failure, and yes, that’s right, that’s the reason I liked so much, I enjoyed all their falls, all the times they were just being crazy, even when that made me feel very upset, because is something that honestly wish I had.
Changes of career, being pregnant, moving places, travel, getting sick, rent a room, or simply having sex, all of the things that a young adult should be doing, including mistakes or failures, are out of discussion for Venezuelans, we are not only been denied the possibilities of failure, also our ratio of possibilities is getting smaller every week, we are living only by our necessities, and as my father told me once “when your necessities occupies the place of possibilities, you are not living”.
So yes, I liked a lot those irresponsible GIRLS, because they were living, maybe living on failure, but in the end they were living, and sometimes I honestly feel, like I’m not.
Originally published at ensayoyerror2017.wordpress.com on May 17, 2017.