You Guys I Am Starting To Feel Sorry For Elizabeth Wurtzel
Whenever Elizabeth Wurtzel, former It Girl and onetime Blessed Voice of Our Sad Gen X, writes something new, the Internet dies a little inside. Take this New York mag piece, all 89 million words of it, which we specifically used in our nonfiction writing class (yes, which we TAUGHT, MOTHERFUCKERS) as an example of WHY YOU SHOULD NOT BE WRITING ABOUT YOURSELVES, UNDERGRADS, THIS IS WHAT YOU SOUND LIKE, MY GOD.
Last week — presumably because an editor was actually assigned? — Wurtzel gifted us with a far more cohesive and coherent account, on the topic of Dudes On TV Who Have Boned Elizabeth Wurtzel. It was much better than that New York mag piece, even though she totally subtweeted her affair with a married man, and didn’t do too much to cover his identity, and Gawker pretty quickly gave us Sads by hypothesizing quite persuasively that the affair was with the frontman for the Old 97s. 🙁
Rhett Miller and his wife have probably had some pretty tense conversations lately. And that’s some passive-aggressive bullshit, Elizabeth Wurtzel. Don’t put someone in the path of a frying pan, 10 years after the fact, because you have a deadline and no ideas.
(Also, we could totally do a story on California State Senators Who Have Boned Rebecca Schoenkopf, or Very Famous Painters Who Have Hit On Rebecca Schoenkopf, or Here Are Some Minor Rock Stars Who May Or May Not Have Successfully Attempted Sex With Rebecca Schoenkopf, or Look At All These Midlevel Authors Who Totally Wanted to Do Sex On Rebecca Schoenkopf, or This One Time, I Am Pretty Sure I Fucked A Homeless Dude, By Rebecca Schoenkopf. But we do not do write those stories, because we are a lady.)
But here is the thing, and we are not being “ironic,” or “sarcastic,” or “snarky,” which is a word that we do not actually use, gross: the same day we read the Wurtzel piece (in Thought Catalog!) on how Dudes on TV Just Cannot Get Enough of That Hotsky Totsky Elizabeth Wurtzel, we also read an interview with her in Vocativ that is so completely out-of-touch and mired-in-her-own miasma, we actually started feeling sorry for Elizabeth Wurtzel. The interview itself reads as though it could be (very good) fiction/satire.
Look at how little Wurtzel responds to anything outside of herself:
The waitress returned and asked if we were ready to order. Wurtzel wanted to know if I planned to eat, and I said I only wanted a drink. “I might get a salad,” she announced. “I did say we should have a glass of wine, but you don’t have to or anything, if you have to go back to work.” She smiled with her lips pursed, like a sympathetic mother. “I think it’s sort of very European to drink during the day.”
The waitress was still waiting, and had started tapping her pad with her pen. But Wurtzel pulled out an iPhone in a silver, bedazzled case. She lives near a mid-century furniture shop, she said, and it was showing a sculpture exhibit. She wanted me to see the sculptures because they’re “a-mazing.” “I live on this block that has all these antique stores,” she added. “I guess antiques used to mean something that was one hundred years old. I guess now it just means old things.” She frowned for a second, and the waitress said she would come back. Wurtzel ignored her, and I tried to steer the conversation towards her Daily Beast essay.
A) That is unbelievably rude, and I am sorry, waitress. But B) If Elizabeth Wurtzel does not ignore the waitress to fuck around on her bedazzled iPhone, how will she know she is better than the waitress? And if she is not better than the waitress, will Elizabeth Wurtzel have any reason to live?
She is middle-aged now, and all her stories about Elizabeth Wurtzel feature her taut body and supreme fuckability, and hey, we get it, we too like being fuckable! Like, we like being fuckable so much that we sort of snicker at all our anti-street-harassment friends, because, honestly, being street-harassed kind of makes our day! (Except for the kissy-smacky noises, which are disturbing and repulsive, and probably if someone said “you have really hot breasts man, I would love to suck them,” that would also not be great street harassment. In fact, our favorite form of street harassment is utter respectful silence when we walk by, because of how they are so wowed by us they can’t look and talk at the same time. That counts as street harassment, right? RIGHT?)
There is a lot more Elizabeth Wurtzel in that interview with Elizabeth Wurtzel, including some shitty things she says about Lena Dunham, who she at least admits is doing amazing work, but over whom she seems to be seething with jealousy because Elizabeth Wurtzel was the Voice Of Her (Our) Generation once and now all Elizabeth Wurtzel can write about anymore is Elizabeth Wurtzel Is Still Young And Beautiful Dammit YES SHE IS, and then Mike Spies, the author of the Vocativ piece, includes a recent picture of Wurtzel that is so fucked up and boiled looking and what has Elizabeth Wurtzel done to her gorgeous face, Jesus, JUST AGE. IT’S OKAY.
So. This might not sound like we are feeling sorry for Elizabeth Wurtzel, but we do in fact feel sorry for Elizabeth Wurtzel. While many of us in our 40s feel that last hotness that we assume comes from our body trying to get all babied up one last time before our ovaries kill themselves, we also feel great because our lives are kind of cohering and coming together. People start taking us seriously (sort of). Our careers may be somewhat kicking ass. We might have the authority we were working toward our whole professional lives. We just — many of us — fucking feel good, at least more often than we used to.
And Elizabeth Wurtzel still longs to be 26, when she was that It Girl, and can’t for the life of her let herself grow up. She wrote 5,500 words about it at New York mag, and no editor ever told her no.