When we last left our story, Jessica Cabot didn’t give a fuck. It was Valentine’s Day 2012 and Jessica, single and totally cool with it due to valuable life lessons she had learned, wrote this now vaguely infamous blog post about it.
The blog post became vaguely infamous insofar as Jessica’s publicizing of her emotional wounds ended up becoming a web-series. Jessica originally posted it expecting no one would read it, as she was reasonable in assuming. However, Jessica’s emotional wounds seemed to strike a chord, and more people than she expected read her blog post. This kind of freaked Jessica out a little because, again, she thought she was vomiting her vulnerability into a void.
One of the people who read the blog post was a hot shot Hollywood producer Jessica had worked with. He met up with her at a bar to encourage her to ride “The Lena Dunham Wave”. Jessica, at this point, was a little embarrassed to be compared to Lena Dunham, and also felt that writing about her dating life was the very last thing she wanted to do because she feared being “type cast” as another white bitch looking for love. “Like honestly, who cares?” is what Jessica thought.
It turned out people did care. And somehow writing about her failed love life came naturally to Jessica. So Jessica followed through on this path in the hopes of becoming well-renowned and successful. Her blog evolved into a web-series called “Shitty Boyfriends” that is featured on Refinery 29, starring Sandra Oh and executive produced by Lisa Kudrow, no big deal.
The creating of the web-series was a journey in and of itself, one that Jessica probably shouldn’t get too deep into because she would like to work in Hollywood again at some point and so for the record Jessica only has super positive things to say about the experience…
Well, as an omniscient narrator who’s views do not reflect those of Refinery 29 Et al., I will admit there were various times in the process that Jessica wondered if maybe she was somewhat exploiting herself. Everything she was writing was based on herself (at least originally). And even though her original blog post had ended quite definitively, “Jessica Cabot doesn’t give a fuck,” Jessica felt that maybe deep down inside she still did kind of give a fuck, not to mention Jessica realized maybe she didn’t have love as figured out as she would like to believe she did. She often felt exposed in ways that were uncomfortable – indeed, a regular Lena Dunham-type getting (metaphorically) naked in front of a bunch of people who were going to judge her for it.
So let’s catch up with Jessica and see how Valentine’s Day went for her since that fateful 2012 Valentine’s Day that shook up Jessica’s life. Why not?
February 14, 2013
Jessica’s “not giving a fuck” attitude has paid off in spades. She has a super hot date. He’s really, really hot. Also very talented. This is key. The lesson she learned in previous years was “don’t be with just anyone just because you don’t want to be alone.” Well this isn’t just anyone.
Not only is he super hot and extremely talented, but he is also on TV. Jessica really gave a shit about the fact that this guy was hot, talented, and a successful persona in TV. Jessica’s dream had always been to be a late night talk show host, and so the prospect of him made her feel like she was close to two dreams at once – her desire to be a part of a hot, talented power couple and also to infiltrate the world of late night television.
This hot, talented guy invites Jessica to come see his show. He tells her she can invite her friend, and so Jessica does. Jessica wears high heels to the show. Jessica rarely wears high heels because deep down she always feels like the chubby, nerdy 13 year old girl she once was who was obsessed with Lord of the Rings and saw Fellowship 11 times in theaters, aka a person who decidedly does not wear heels. However, for this night Jessica loves playing the role of “hot bitch with high heels who has a VIP pass to park on the lot of this television studio and has green room access.”
At this point in her life, all of this shit really matters to her, because it makes her feel important. Jessica loves feeling important. Jessica and her friend do shots in the green room, because they are in their 20s and that’s what people who are in their 20s and are super cool do, it seems.
The show is interesting, but mostly Jessica loves watching her super hot talented guy do his thing while thinking to herself, “I know him! I have a date with him!”
After the show Jessica, the hot talented guy, and her friend go to a restaurant nearby. Jessica’s friend invites her own “guy she’s dating” and the four of them have a very grown-up, important, high heeled Valentine’s Day double date. Jessica performs a card trick for her hot date because she is learning magic at the Magic Castle at this point in her life and so she’s pretty sure she impressed him. This is important, because Jessica hopes that she is impressive and attractive enough to live this kind of life forever.
Jessica returns home, jubilant beyond belief. She dances in her room to “Dancing in the Moonlight”. She is quite literally over the moon. This was the best Valentine’s Day Ever. And to be honest, maybe it still is.
But Jessica learns something about herself in subsequent years, which is mostly that when she dances jubilantly in her room at night she is quite likely to wake up in the morning with a hangover. And her hangover might reveal very uncomfortable but key details about reality, as hangovers often do. Like the eventual reality that Jessica and this hot guy do not have much in common, at least where it pertains to things that actually matter at the end of the day. She will come to learn in the future that he is the kind of guy that “hates the new Ghostbusters, but not because he’s a misogynist.” Jessica will also come to learn more about herself, like that she has very little tolerance for men who did not like the new Ghostbusters but feel the need to shit on it a lot and then claim to not be a misogynist. If you’re not a misogynist and didn’t like a movie that is steeped in sexist criticism, maybe don’t say anything at all? Jessica will realize that her feminism is somewhat unforgiving in this regard, and that no matter how hot and talented a guy is it won’t feel very satisfying in the long run if she doesn’t feel herself acknowledged for her own hotness and talent.
February 14, 2014
Jessica is dating a guy again, but this time he’s a super nice guy who she met through mutual friends. Jessica did not initially expect this relationship to become anything, partly because she didn’t think she and this guy had very much in common. He is very nice though. Jessica wants to “give it a shot”. She doesn’t feel like she’s being with someone “just for the sake of being with someone” but she also does have a deep down sneaking suspicion that something is “missing”. She doesn’t know exactly what it is that’s missing but she would prefer to ignore this feeling in preference of having something “good” “work out” for once.
Jessica, the guy she’s dating, and one of their mutual friends go to a night club together. “Night clubs” aren’t really Jessica’s thing, but she dances like an insane person. She does seem to have a penchant for dancing like a fucking weirdo at clubs to mock how seriously everyone seems to take themselves in such venues. Jessica is having her version of fun.
Jessica’s fun continues when she sees an old co-worker. Jessica knows for a fact that this old co-worker hates her. Jessica doesn’t exactly return the favor of hating her old co-worker, she mostly finds the whole situation to be somewhat humorous. You see, Jessica and this old co-worker got in a big fight at their former job. Jessica felt that her old co-worker had been needlessly oppressive in her management position, and so Jessica did something sassy and probably rude to her co-worker… something in the vein of deliberately dancing like a freak to mock the people around her in a night club. Jessica’s co-worker did not take too kindly to Jessica mocking of her management skills, as is understandable. So Jessica’s co-worker called Jessica into her office, where she and Jessica got into a heated argument about their disagreement. Jessica expressed the fact that she felt her co-worker was taking herself and their job too seriously and making it needlessly miserable, and Jessica’s co-worker expressed her frustration that Jessica did not take the job seriously enough. The conversation ended with Jessica’s co-worker telling Jessica, “Just for the record, never ever, start a fight with someone at work.” Jessica found this advice somewhat ironic because she was pretty sure it was her co-worker who kind of started the fight in the first place, but whatever.
So here they are together again, years later, in a night club on Valentine’s Day. Ever the instigator, Jessica walks right up to her co-worker and acts pleasantly happy to see her. This is kind of a bitchy thing of Jessica to do, to be honest, because Jessica knows her co-worker is not happy to see her. The two exchange mild pleasantries, but it is still clear that Jessica’s co-worker is forever displeased with Jessica and that she was not especially happy to see her.
After leaving the night club, Jessica thinks about how there are just some people in this world who are going to hate her, like that co-worker. It wasn’t exactly Jessica’s fault, per se, that their personalities clashed. Maybe Jessica could have done some things a little differently to be more respectful of their differences.
Deep down Jessica wonders if this wasn’t exactly a coincidence that she saw someone who hates her on this night. She suspects that perhaps her own Valentine’s Day date could one day become one of these people too, a person who just kind of hates her. It’s feeling very (500) Days of Summer-y to Jessica. How did she become the villain manic pixie dream girl of someone else’s life? It’s not that she is actively trying to be this person, but her efforts at finding happiness and contentment in her romantic life with someone who should be the right person are failing… She is also coming to realize that she’s not always the victim.
Literally a week later Jessica meets the boy who will become her boyfriend for the next two years.
February 14, 2015
Jessica Cabot has a boyfriend! For real this time. Like a boyfriend who is hot, talented, but who also gets her. They go to a dog beach in Malibu with Jessica’s dog, Rita.
It is the first time Jessica’s dog has been to the beach. Jessica is very aware in this moment of how fleeting life is. Sunsets kind of do that for her.
February 14, 2016
Jessica and the same boyfriend are at it again, and this time Jessica has planned the most perfect Valentine’s Day in the world for the two of them. Cinespia (cool LA organization that plays cool movies) is playing Moulin Rouge! at a fancy theater in Downtown LA and to top it all off they are serving Bay Cities Deli sandwiches, imported all the way from the other side of town in Santa Monica.
Moulin Rouge! is pretty much Jessica’s favorite movie of all time. To her it represents the epitome of what love is. Ewan McGregor singing “Your Song” is about as close to “true love” as Jessica has ever really experienced.
Jessica can’t wait for this extremely perfect Valentine’s Day, but she and her boyfriend arrive somewhat late to the theater for extremely valid reasons – they were both working that day. Jessica does not eat dinner and purposefully shows up famished, ready to eat a Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities Deli.
They arrive late only to find that beers cost an unruly $15 and that the theater has run out of sandwiches.
Jessica panics. Her perfect Valentine’s Day is already imperfect. No SANDWICHES!? Sure, Jessica and her boyfriend could go eat a shitty slice of pizza at the place next door, but Jessica intuitively knows neither of them will be happy about this. It’ll probably just ruin the movie completely.
Jessica is already unhappy. She laments how much money they spent on these tickets when neither of them really feel that financially comfortable at this moment in time. Jessica also suspects her boyfriend is pissed about the $15 beer, and as a people pleaser she can’t live with this. Jessica’s boyfriend leaves the decision up to Jessica since he knows that this day is more about her whims than his.
Jessica feels trapped. She is going to regret not seeing the movie. Though she has seen Moulin Rouge! millions of times she has never before seen it in a theater with other people, let alone with a boyfriend. But she is also going to regret staying, feeling too hangry to properly enjoy the moment and too concerned about other people’s feelings to not feel guilty for staying. Jessica announces that they should go and later sends Cinespia a letter asking for a refund while comparing herself to Liz Lemon in her love of sandwiches. She does get a refund.
Jessica and her boyfriend instead have a quiet evening in comfortable pajamas, eating dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant they both like. Jessica wonders if this is what love is really about anyway, not necessarily always getting exactly what you want but compromising and enjoying the pleasure of the other person’s company in simple moments.
A part of her will always kind of wish she had gotten to see the movie in theaters though.
February 14, 2017
Jessica and her two-year boyfriend have since parted ways. Jessica is back to the same place she was when we last left our story off, single on Valentine’s Day. The relationship didn’t work out for various reasons, as most don’t. Jessica hopes that she has at least learned enough since her “Shitty Boyfriends” days to protect the intimacy of that relationship by not sharing very much. She hopes that she has learned to not exploit herself (and others) by revealing vulnerabilities that are maybe part of the story just for Jessica to privately know.
Jessica tries to avoid this particular Valentine’s Day by pretending it doesn’t matter, that once again she “doesn’t give a fuck.”
But Jessica really does give a fuck. Jessica still wants love, something as fabulous as Ewan McGregor and deli meat sandwiches.
Jessica knows that it is an arbitrary day in some respects. We can express love to one another 364 other days too, it doesn’t have to just be this one. But for better or worse Jessica can’t help but admit to herself that of all the holidays this one is particularly emotionally charged for her, if only because it seems to be a significant marker in where she is at in her own psychological journey towards love and self-love.
Self-love seems to be a particularly big theme this year for Jessica. So she does the most romantic thing she can think of for herself, which is go to a library to write an emotional blog post about her failed love life and the lessons she’s learned.
Jessica isn’t sure what the lesson is this year, exactly. Maybe the lesson is just that she doesn’t have to pretend that she doesn’t care, or to pretend that she does have it all figured out.
Jessica Cabot gives a fuck.