Had by a Cad

May 14, 2012

Spoiler alert: Girls, Episode 5, Hard Being Easy 


As a studious observer of the human heart, trusted keeper of stories and secrets, maker of lessons, experienced practitioner of temptation and seduction, and eager student of maleness in all its forms, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been utterly duped, deceived, swindled, fooled, hookwinked, bamboozled, deluded and beguiled by a cad. I’m 55, and I’m still making rookie mistakes.

I really thought Adam was starting to feel something for Hannah. I didn’t listen to the guys here. They called it easily: Adam is stringing Hannah along, he doesn’t give a shit.

“But no!” I thought. Actions speak louder than words! Hannah told him she really cares about him, she told him she wanted to stop seeing him because it feels so shitty that he doesn’t care, and he pulled her in for a passionate kiss. Surely not even a guy as self-indulgent as Adam would look at those tear-filled eyes and see one more opportunity to get laid!  I wish.

The day after their most recent hookup, Hannah shares her good news with Jessa:

Hannah: I have a boyfriend.

Jessa: Who?

Hannah: Adam. I told him everything, how he was torturing me, how sad I was, and he responded in such a lovely way…he like kissed me and kissed me and kissed me and he said, “Be who you are” and he touched my face and like we’re basically together now.

Later that same day, Hannah drops by Adam’s apartment unannounced, as usual. (A necessity when your “boyfriend” doesn’t answer your texts or calls, I suppose.) Also as usual, Adam is shirtless, displaying his pale squishy torso, ew. I don’t believe we’ve ever seen this guy in a shirt. Hannah comes up from behind and rubs against him.

Adam: What are you doing? 

Hannah: What does it look like I’m doing?

Adam:  You shouldn’t do that.

Hannah: Why?

Adam: Because we like said we wouldn’t or whatever.

Hannah: We did?

Adam: Uh, yah! You did.

Hannah: When did I say that?

Adam: Yesterday. You told me everything you want out of a relationship and all the ways I was fucking you up. 

Hannah: Yeah, but then you kissed me.

Adam: You looked sad.

Hannah: Then we had sex.

Adam: Because we were kissing.

This is the part where women start screaming, “Dick! Douche! Asshole!” In hindsight, it’s clear that Hannah projected her own sense of empathy onto Adam. Big mistake. She also rationalized all of his previous behavior and chose to focus on what appeared to be a slight shift in the dynamic, a change for the better, a flipping of the player. In other words, Hannah was an idiot. But how could I be such an idiot?

My theory is that there is something hardwired in women. We want to nurture that which cries out for nurturing. We want to believe that when a man stares into our eyes, cups our face in his hands, and says something that sounds profound, he is having the same emotional experience that we are.

My thought process went something like this:

Adam is so disconnected, so heartless, such a dick! Hannah is such an idiot, I can’t stand watching her making a fool of herself all the time. He doesn’t even pretend to like her, why is she settling for that?

Oh look, Hannah is speaking her mind! She is telling Adam what she wants, and she is telling him how she feels. Oh wow, she just told him how much she cares about him, and how it’s causing her to feel so hurt by his indifference. She’s starting to cry. And she’s saying that she knows he won’t change. Adam is about to say, “OK, I get it” and close the door.

But wait! Adam is reaching out to Hannah. He pulls her to him, and he’s telling her that he has strong feelings about what she just said. He urges her (with passion!) to be herself. This time is different, I can feel it! He’s been taking advantage of Hannah because she allowed it, but now that she’s stood up for herself, he sees her in a new light. He respects her, and that’s sexy!

Plus, Adam might be a dick, but he can’t be that much of a dick. He can’t be that guy who sees a girl’s teary confessional as an opportunity to get it in. That would make him more than selfish, more than narcissistic even, that would make Adam a sociopath. And there really aren’t that many sociopaths around, right? Except on blogs?

It used to be that actions speak louder than words, but all bets are off. Actions and words can both be lies, lies, lies. If Lena Dunham is right, and sex is a battleground, you should arm yourself well and trust only one thing: the white flag of surrender. Trust, but verify. Until he calls you his girlfriend, no sex. Witnesses would be ideal. Because apparently even I can’t properly judge a cad anymore. There are just too many of them around.

My other favorite moments from this week’s episode:

Dunham disses the feminist doctrine of Male = Violence

It was subtle – maybe you missed it.

After getting really pissed at Hannah and Marnie re Hannah’s diary entry, Charlie sputters, “You know what? I wouldn’t even want to stay here if I wanted to.” He then upends the coffee table he made Marnie. As gentle Charlie finally shows some anger, Hannah shouts, “That’s the kind of thing you do right before you hit us. Don’t hit us! Don’t hit us!”  With a “Fuck you!” he storms out of the apartment.

Charlie as the male who still prefers relationship sex

Charlie: You’re not in love with me.

Marnie: Are you in love with me?

Charlie: I don’t care!

Marnie: How can you not care?

Charlie: I decided on you, OK? Don’t you get it? I don’t wanna go fucking other girls then walk around feeling thrilled and then sad or empty or whatever. I like the smell of your hair and I like the sound of your voice and I fucking decided on you!

If only Charlie hadn’t followed up by begging Marnie during sex: “Don’t abandon me, don’t abandon me!”