MTV’s Girl Code is returning for its second season tomorrow in Canada and the US. I’m thinking of watching the premiere to help me get in the right frame of mind for my Halloween costume this year: Oldest Lady in Existence. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s sold as a no holds barred guide to living as a Millennial woman with an adventurous attitude and a hearty sense of humour. There are lots of dick jokes and references to sex positions and liquor and discussions about texting etiquette. And guys, it makes me feel SO OLD. Watching Girl Code makes me feel like a betrayer of both my gender and my generation.
I’m a Millennial woman. I’m 25. I grew up watching Boy Meets World, playing with Crazy Bones, and begging my mom for Lunchables. I went to university and got my generation’s requisite bachelor’s degree. I have a vagina. And that’s about where the similarities end between me and the women on shows like Girl Code, GIRLS, and all the other edgy comedies — the Millennial answers to Sex and the City — geared at fun-loving women my age. Externally, I’m 25; internally, I’m 105.
I get that not every show needs to be everything to every person, but these shows aren’t just ill-suited to me; they’re comically unrelatable. I’m not saying this as an insult to the shows, their creators, or their stars. I just can’t help but marvel at how completely disconnected they make me feel from my peers. They make me feel like an oblivious Uncle Leo type. And then my insecurities step up and turn that feeling of disconnection into feelings of inadequacy. These shows, with their glorification of the carefree, passionate, frank, complicated, adventurous Millennial woman make me feel just as inadequate as the patriarchal ideas of femininity they’re fighting against. Great — I can’t cook a perfect roast OR rock a sequin mini-dress with an IDGAF attitude.
Do I even qualify as female?
An incomplete list of the things in Girl Code that I can’t even begin to empathize with (warning: this list makes me seem like the least fun person ever, in addition to being the oldest person ever):
Dating: I married my husband at 22, and have been with him since high school. I’ve never dated. Unless eating lunch in the school cafeteria counts as a date.
Drinking: Not interested. If I did drink, I’d probably be a total lightweight anyway, just like my mom. I don’t know what’s in a Manhattan. What qualifies as a “dry” martini?
Clubbing and bar-hopping: Not only don’t I drink, I’m also a shy introvert who finds crowds and loud noises overwhelming (kind of like an abused shelter dog).
Adult roommates: Aforementioned husband takes care of the communal living problem (and he never steals my clothes).
Hovering to pee: Is this really still a thing, ladies? I thought everyone knew by now that your cell phone is way filthier than any toilet seat. And also that hovering causes UTIs.
One night stands: Husband again (phew).
Waxing: Incredibly low pain tolerance, right here! Razors are my best friend.
Driving: At 25, I still don’t have a license. So not only can I not related to driving, I also can’t related to driving poorly while texting and applying lipstick at the same time.
Texting and emojis: Up until a few months ago, I was one of those people who still had a texting limit on my cell plan, and I budgeted those texts carefully — no “k”s or “hey”s, it was a full paragraph or nothing. Are emojis like MSN emoticons, just more Japanese-y?
Confidently attacking problems with a no-nonsense attitude and a zest for life: Just not my style. I’m more of a “stewing and plotting” type than a “confidently attacking” one.
Y’know how you just have to avoid some things because they’re guaranteed to make you feel irrationally crappy about yourself? For some people, it’s Cosmo Magazine. For others, it’s stores that only carry up to a size 6 (which they call an XL). For others still, it’s anything to do with Ina Garten’s perfection. For me, Girl Code is just one of those things.
It makes me feel like a trillion year old, chronically out of touch grump-bag. It makes me second guess this life of mine that has led me to miss out on so many shared, Millennial-centric experiences — for about five seconds, until I remind myself that I’ve made the choices that were right for me.
So all the rest of your Millennial gals can watch Girl Code and laugh about that time you banged a really greasy dude or debate how many emojis are too many emojis. I’ll just be over here, watching The Mentalist with an afghan on my lap, sipping a cup of prune juice and asking my friend’s kid to explain again what “twerking” is.
Hannah McIlveen is a freelance graphic designer and TV-obsessed writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. She grew up riding horses and reading Roald Dahl books, got an art degree, and then spent the next several years moving around the country and watching television. Her greatest goals in life are to write good stuff, produce a web series, build a house with her husband, and have six cats at once. Hannah has contributed to BitchMagazine.org and is a staff blogger for the soon-to-launch TeenSized.com. She also writes her own daily blog, Click Watch Write. Hannah can be accosted on Twitter @ClickWatchWrite.