We were delighted Olivia was back on last night's episode of The City. Her bitchiness merely underscored how desperately Whitney needs to, for lack of a better term, grow a pair. She's got a co-worker and a boyfriend who walk all over her, and she lays there and takes it like the doormat she is. We would love just once for her to stand up for herself and show the 16-year-old girls out there watching that moving to New York isn't all about dating douchebags and getting stabbed in the back. Sure, there's plenty of that, but at some point a girl has to stop taking shit and start playing the game. Allow us to guide you, Whit!
Lesson 1: Pulling looks for an Elle cover shoot.
Don’t: Dwell on color only. Olivia and Whitney must pull spring looks for Jessica Alba for the cover of Elle’s spring fashion issue. Olivia is in charge, which is probably for the best since based on the second-to-last episode Whitney probably doesn’t even know what Elle is. Olivia pulls a sage-green dress. Whitney says it’s not right because it’s too much of the same color and pulls an ivory-printed number. Olivia again says it’s not right because it’s too much of the same color.
Do: Consider the person wearing the clothes. Not once when Olivia and Whitney are pulling the clothes do they mention anything except color. They said “color” so many times you’d think the word was a five-minute fad, like this fall's latex leggings. But what about Jessica Alba's personal style? That said we can’t be too hard on the girls for not mentioning this, because we wouldn’t know how to define Jessica Alba’s style either. It’s like trying to count the number of drinks you had after a night out; when you start, you realize you blacked out a lot of stuff.
Lesson 2: Setting boundaries with your significant other/douchebag boyfriend.
Do: Explain your needs clearly. Whitney and Jay go to dinner at Double Crown, and she asks him how his apartment hunt is going. Jay is a lazy bastard, so the best he can offer her is that he’s made a few calls, which means he’s done nothing. Whitney explains she doesn’t want to be living with Jay under “forced” circumstances, and if she were going to choose to live with a guy she would rather it be a carefully made decision.
Don’t: Lay there like a doormat while your man walks all over you. “So I think we understand what’s going on here,” Whitney says. Jay, exasperated, says yes. Whitney’s sidelong gaze indicates she knows Jay doesn’t give a damn about her needs. But she doesn’t say anything. Right then would have been the perfect time to give Jay an ultimatum like, “If you haven’t found an apartment in ten days, I’m going to have a ‘bleach-Jay’s-things’ party when you’re out catching STDs in the meatpacking district.”
Lesson 3: Clawing your way to the top.
Do: Take credit for other people’s successes. So Elle shoots Whitney's look for the March cover. Alixe asks who pulled the look, and Olivia promptly said she did even though she only told Whitney she thought it wouldn’t work. She seems like the kind of person who would think she deserved credit, since she was “in charge” and did discuss the outfit with Whitney. It’s a slimy move but a smart one — Anna Wintour has stolen a few ideas in her day, after all, according to Jerry Oppenheimer's biography Front Row.
Do: What Anna Wintour would do. Whitney lets Olivia take credit for her selection while the bosses lavish praise on her, and she says stupid things like, “Styling — you know, I’m passionate about it so I might as well, you know, use it.” If A-Dubs were in Whitney’s shoes she would have at least done something subtly nasty, like gift Olivia a designer dress that was too small for her and insist she try it on in front of her co-workers.
Lesson 4: Having self-respect.
Don’t: Tolerate your man coming home at dawn. Whitney complains to Allie and Erin that Jay comes home at 5:30 in the morning. “Where has the passion gone? Where is the excitement?” she wonders. This sounds like something a married woman who's considering divorce would say. “Can I deal with it or not?” she asks. This question isn’t even worth posing since, seeing as she’s miserable, the answer is no. Jay is a shit, and the law of dating when you’re unhappy with someone is: There is always someone better for you out there. If you’re 22 or 23 and sound like an old married woman, it's high time you went out and danced on a table somewhere to reclaim your youth.
Do: See other people if your man shows no respect for you. Erin tells Whitney she hopes Jay is performing sexual favors in exchange for her hospitality. He should since they’re presumably home together a lot, and people who haven't been dating long should want to get it on all the time. But he’s out getting drunk and ogling go-go dancers with Adam. Whitney should have a guy over so Jay walks in on them when he comes home. Then he’d have to pack his shit and leave. The other guy could even threaten him on the way out. It would be amazing!
Lesson 5: How not to attract the ire of young women nationwide.
Don't: Go to Pink Elephant to pick up girls. Like the last time Jay took a shower, Pink Elephant is so five years ago. You can't even go there for the faux elitism anymore — at this point it's just embarrassing. Sure, they go to Cain, which is also embarrassing, but at least that place has added “Luxe” to its name and put up a few new streamers inside to pretend it’s only so three years ago.
Don't: Refer to women as if they're pieces of food. Adam and Jay talk about picking up chicks. “One good thing about living with her — I don’t really need to take her out so much,” Jay tells Adam. We’d like to believe there are men in this city who don’t think this way. Evidently, Adam’s not one of them. He’s mad about Allie moving out and says, “I’m definitely not in the mood to be chasing around some ass every night.” We have no idea what this means, but it’s a revolting thing to say and cancels out how hot he is. Jay wonders who "that little dumpling over there" is, at which point we vomited.
Lesson 6: Schmoozing at the office luncheon.
Do: Eat! Diane Von Furstenberg makes a cameo in this episode — finally — and she's the only one eating lunch, accounting for one of maybe three instances where people have actually consumed calories on this show. Love her.
Don’t: Have painfully awkward conversations. Whitney and Olivia discuss the Elle cover with creative director Joe Zee. We love Joe, but the poor guy was forced into taping this conversation with Whitney and Olivia and has no idea what to say since Whitney and Olivia are idiots and can't think of things to say back to him. Way to look like interns, ladies.
Lesson 7: Dealing with hangovers.
Do: Walk it off before you go on a date with your girlfriend. Jay and Whitney go to dinner, and Whitney complains about Olivia. Again. Of course Jay wants to kill himself because it's the most boring conversation in the world. Eventually, he cracks and blurts out, "I'm dying today." Whitney, who clearly needs to get out more, says she doesn't get what Jay could be doing out until 6 a.m. "Binge-drinking," Jay responds. What is he — 12?
Don’t: Talk about it. One of the most annoying things in the world is when people dwell on how hung-over they are. Sure, mention it if you got a good story out of your previous night's exploits. But dwelling on it is even more boring than listening to Whitney talk about herself.
Lesson 8: Realizing you have to dump your boyfriend and move on.
Do: End it if your man is fooling around with his ex. Allie and Whitney meet at the comically carb-laden Amy's Bread to commiserate about how they'll probably have to break up with their boyfriends. Allie reveals Jay bumped into his ex at Pink Elephant. Whitney sheds a tear, and it seems like she realizes what she has to do.
Do: Be excited about being single! It's not like these girls have biological-clock concerns. They should be happy they're getting rid of guys who treat them like shit! They should go shopping for minuscule outfits and plan a ladies night! But instead they sit there looking like they'll have to go live on a diseased, miserable island for single people.