In Elizabeth Wurtzel’s new essay in the Atlantic, “I Refuse to Be a Grown-Up,” the author of Prozac Nation has something important to say: she might be 45, but she's still down, if you guys know what I mean. In what is perhaps the most idiotic opening sentence in the history of prose, Wurtzel reveals, “I went to a party in Williamsburg, where I definitely do not live.” Definitely not, because that would be crazy.
It’s difficult to summarize her work quickly, but with the aid of bullet points, perhaps I can distill her thoughts and illuminate the genius that is Elizabeth Wurtzel’s latest opus:
· I go to parties
· Some of those parties are in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
· I’m old
· I like to fuck
· I fuck a lot of people
· I have done drugs
· I drink
· Now I am really into being healthy
· Most of the time, I throw away my perfectly good vote in order to support a third party that only exists in New York State and is probably a scam
· I voted for Rudy Giuliani
I imagine that having sex with Elizabeth Wurtzel is akin to reading an Elizabeth Wurtzel essay. It meanders, goes on forever, has no discernable point, and terminates without anyone being satisfied. You also have no idea what happened after you're through. The closest I could come to an actual thesis statement for the piece is a quote from her final paragraph, where she firmly states, “Nothing is more bracing than not being concerned about what other people think.”
Not caring is the hallmark of the youthful mentality. All young people are stereotypically “above it all,” “too cool for school,” “way chill,” and other hip slang phrases used by the kids today. By making the world aware of how little she cares about all the “self-involved” people she meets (translation: people who have families and who are more interested in their children than whatever Wurtzel is talking about), she can solidify her credentials as a youthful person.
Having a flippant, disconnected attitude about the world is a great thing, as Wurtzel demonstrates. How wonderful it must be to exist as a well-adjusted human being who never expends any mental energy on other people. I know I'm constantly worried about how I am perceived, who is talking about me or not talking about me, if my girlfriend is faking orgasms, if the clerk at the grocery store noticed I had my fly open in the checkout line, and if co-workers check the search history on my computer if I leave it unattended. I sincerely doubt Wurtzel has similar neuroses. In fact, I’m completely certain she doesn’t. I envy that freedom, that “devil may care” outlook on life. It’s something I desperately want for myself, which is why I’ve chosen to start fresh and let go of the thing that is bothering me the most. There’s one person in particular I don’t want to consider. I’m done worrying about what they think or how they perceive the world.
That person is, of course, Elizabeth Wurtzel.
Elizabeth, if you are reading this, you have caused me a great deal of emotional distress. You’re always begging me to pay attention to you, and quite frankly, that’s getting about as old as you are. I understand that you’re a lady of advanced age who still finds the time to have coitus with a gentleman caller or two. That’s wonderful for you, but I just don’t give a shit. To quote your latest essay, “People are self-involved… I wish people were judging each other a great deal more, and more carefully, but they are not.”
You’re absolutely right. People are self-involved. Especially you. As such, allow me to now judge you. Your latest bit of meandering narcissism is so transparently self-indulgent, even its target audience, the Atlantic's readers half drunk on white wine and hungry for an internet "think piece," uniformly hate it, at least if the comments are any indication:
“Jay P” goes a little too far by theorizing that you enjoy an overabundance of ice cream. That’s a lazy stereotype of the single female spinster/widow/memoirist... Then again, how do you feel about ice cream? What are your favorite flavors? Do you enjoy spooning cookies 'n' cream straight out of the pint right after having some no-strings-attached sex with some man you met at a party, maybe in Williamsburg, where you don't live? Maybe that can be the subject of your next essay!
No—in order to stay sane, I have to stop caring what you do. Prozac Nation was a long time ago, and even then, you were agonizing to think about. I need to be strong and listen to what my heart is saying, and it's currently telling me, “Please stop caring that Elizabeth Wurtzel has tons of sex.” You said it best when you wrote, “I like doing what I want… I have learned that most things are not my problem.” I mean, talk about spot on. You nailed it, Elizabeth.
Of course, if people follow my lead and stop caring what you do, then that might adversely affect your career prospects. I know from your recent New York magazine article that your finances have seen better days, so you’re going to need to keep booking these freelance writing gigs, and since your number-one topic is Elizabeth Wurtzel, you better hope that people continue to give a fuck about your frankly fairly unremarkable life of hot sex, merlot, and unself-conscious bragging. Maybe you've foreseen that people would get tired of your life and you are now transitioning into being the kind of writer that people read just to gleefully tear down. That would explain your Twitter:
Anyway, Lizzie, this isn’t about you. This is about me. I'm too busy to think about what or who you're doing, or wonder when "hedonism will make a comeback," which, by the way, will probably be when large portions of the world aren't destitute and starving. Hopefully you understand. I didn’t want it to come to this, but you gave me no choice. Your essay sloppily made some cogent points about ignoring the noise in daily life. It’s wise to not let other people get in the way of personal happiness, so I’m not going to let you get in the way of mine. Goodbye forever, Elizabeth Wurtzel. I’ll never listen to you again. Also, I’m deleting your essay from my search history, just in case.
Lastly, please stop calling my house. I do not want to have sex with you again.
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