My apartment is filled with detritus from various roommates whose names and numbers I’ve lost over the years. Often, the things that are small enough to be left behind go unnoticed for many roommates, until it’s unclear who left them in the first place. The Panic Years is not one of them.
The vast majority of the 20 plus roommates I’ve coincided with the time that I lived with Gigi, so we have a lot of the same horror stories. One of our worst roommates was a sublet, Spoiled Barbie. She had the entitlement of a Kardashian, the boyfriend of my dreams, and the looks of Mattel’s most popular toy. At her interview, she seemed so nice, but that quickly disappeared.
After I came back from tour, we allowed her to live in our dining room for a month, which was stressful for all everyone, but especially our third roommate Guru, who loathed her. She stapled shower curtains into our walls without permission. I leave the staples to remind myself that letting anyone live in the common area is a terrible idea. Spoiled Barbie was always pouting, usually to or at her boyfriend, Drummer Ken. Her greatest contribution to my life was the $50 I made selling her futon when she left it in the living room.
The Panic Years is a self-help book for girls who are still single at the spinsterly age of twenty-six and have begun to melt down at the sight of their friends’ happy engagements, weddings, and pregnancies. The book does not aspre to help these girls overcome their jealousy and find the joy within; it is a how-to guide to exploit your friends’ connections to the fullest to find a husband as quickly as possible. It does not address the idea of turning thirty and still being single, at which point I assume you should either start adopting cats or, if allergic, just off yourself. It uses acronyms like PF for “Potential Fiance”, and advises that you can find one anywhere. The author, Doree Lewak, lists her sole interests as “relationships and dating” in Amazon’s biography section. This book is the most preposterous and anti-feminist book I have ever read the first four pages of before completely dissolving in laughter. Gigi and I used to read this book aloud to each other in Katherine Hepburn’s voice all the time.*
*Ed. Note: Katherine Hepburn has nothing to do with this book or panicking in general. Gigi and I both just happen to do really, really good impressions. My Hepburn rivals my Seinfeld.