The City Restores Our Faith in Womankind ... Sort of

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Photo: Courtesy of MTV

Last week we proclaimed that Whitney Port was a doormat. Don't let this week's headline fool you, for we are far from eating our words. Whitney is a doormat, but finally on last night's episode of The City she gave us hope that she is sick of letting Jay and Olivia stomp all over her in their muddy, muddy shoes. Jay does the shittiest thing a boyfriend could do to a girlfriend by telling her he has to go out of town indefinitely in a few days. Harnessing her anger and inner diva, Whitney seriously contemplates singlehood. She also succeeds in making Olivia look like a damn fool at the office without Blair Waldorf games. But as usual, she winds up wallowing and crying in her designer sweatsuit and million-dollar apartment, so our work here is not close to finished.

Lesson 1: Giving a guy friend advice about his girlfriend.
Do: Keep the girl’s feeling’s as well as your friend’s in mind. We thought Bromance was over, but this episode opens with Adam and Jay on a romantic date at the Angelika. Jay tells Adam he has to go on tour for two months and doesn’t know what to do about Whitney but would love for their relationship to “stay strong.” Adam sees right through this, because he says, “Girls are throwing their panties onstage for you, man. How are you ever going to survive a tour?” We can't imagine ladies doing this, but Jay is a manslut, so he’ll find a way to get around wherever he is, no matter how bad he smells. Adam tells him not to wait to tell Whitney. It’s sound advice and slightly makes up for what an asshole he was to Allie.
Don’t: Withhold good advice. Jay knew about the tour since before Miami — a whole two episodes ago — and told Adam. So why are they having this conversation now?

Lesson 2: Preparing for a big, important work presentation.
Do: Work with your partner. As part of their Fashion Week preparations at DVF, Whitney and Olivia have to give a presentation about a new handbag line to the international PR team. Whitney is nervous, but Olivia says it’ll be super easy. When they get down to the nitty-gritty (if you can call it that) away from the bosses, Whitney tries to get Olivia to work with her, but Olivia — because she is a hard-core bitch — doesn’t even look at Whitney.
Don’t: Put your ego before your work. Olivia wants to prove she doesn’t have to pay attention to perform menial assignments like giving a presentation to 25 people. While Whitney, uh, strategizes, Olivia takes pictures of the bags on her digital camera. She reminds us of a child who can’t behave at dinner without crayons and a coloring book. Sure, this silly assignment was probably made up by MTV, but that’s why if she fails because she doesn’t know what’s going on, she’ll look really dumb.

Lesson 3: Telling your girlfriend you have to go away for a while.
Don’t: Tell her with anger and a faux aura of distress. We were in a very similar situation to Whitney in this episode (except the guy who left us was going across an ocean forever and knew what showers and razors were), so we feel for Whitney when Jay arrives to their dinner date to tell her he has to go on tour. He is angry throughout the exchange, even though Whitney isn’t hostile at all. She says she doesn’t want to have to worry about him. “You don’t trust me?” Jay counters in a horrible, angry tone. Why would he bring it up if he wasn’t a cheater?
Do: Tell her as soon as you know. Whitney is angry that Jay knew about the tour since before Miami but didn’t tell her, though her tone hardly matches his. Now, when our long-lost lover told us he was planning to move across the ocean for the rest of his life and had known this for the duration of the five months we’d been together, the shock was enough to sap our appetite for a week (until we got back together, which ultimately ended in disaster, but we digress). We can all agree that Whitney does not need to go a week living on soy lattes and water alone.
Don’t: Tell her in public. These conversations should always be had in private in case someone has to cry. At least Whitney was in the restaurant and not on an airplane returning from a tropical island with baggage claim and customs to endure before she can escape Jay. Whitney simply walks out on him, leaving him to drink himself horny and stupid alone.

Lesson 4: Knowing when it’s time to be single.
Do: Listen to your own best advice. Whitney runs crying to Erin to discuss her Jay situation. She wonders if she's overreacting, which Erin reassures her she's not. “I don’t even know if he really likes me,” Whitney says. “I’m, like, drowning in this. I feel like everything is crashing down on me right now and I need to take some control.” Yes! Praise the gods of reality television — Whitney Port has reached a turning point. Her character has an arc! So … why isn’t she single already?
Don’t: Confuse yourself by thinking of how great things used to be. Whitney reminisces about the night she met Jay and they made out in public like animals. She reasons that must mean she really likes him, because that’s so out of character for her. Aw. It was for all of us before we moved here, Whit! But that’s not love. That’s getting drunk in a bar in New York before you know better.

Lesson 5: Giving a presentation to the international PR team at DVF.
Do: Speak coherently. Despite her nerves, Whitney has adequately prepared for her big presentation and delivers a spiel about the new handbags not being a burden that has DVF nodding in approval.
Don’t: Blather like an idiot. Olivia's so nervous she can’t even form a sentence. Looks like Whitney beat her at her own game! Knowing the editor of Vanity Fair won’t get you very far in PR if, when you have the opportunity to pitch him, you can’t even say “python handbag” without stuttering.

Lesson 6: Recognizing what you deserve in a relationship.
Do: Carry the fighting boardroom spirit into the relationship talk. Whitney nailed her presentation, but will she nail her love life? When Jay comes over, Whitney tells him she wants to work on their relationship and isn’t ready to give up. Sigh. Jay says he feels like he’s always doing something wrong, which he should because he is. So why is he on the offensive while Whitney shrivels into her bajillion-dollar apartment?
Don’t: Let a man manipulate you into thinking you need him. The most repulsive thing about Jay is not how gross he looks eating chips, or how sweaty he gets when he sings his pansy Tamarama music, or his choice of neon-orange eyewear — it’s how manipulative he is. He tells Whitney she’s always the one who’s angry and has a problem and is "ridiculous" for not trusting him. Waiting to tell her about the tour was also a manipulative move — he could mentally prepare for the breakup he’s wanted since day one while she couldn’t. Whitney says she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who thinks she’s a burden, but it’s obvious she still wants his greasy ass. If she weren’t letting him win, she’d tell him to shove it and get the hell out of her house before he soils the upholstery. But instead, as Jay breaks up with her, she says, “So basically I don’t mean enough to try to make it work at this point.” Sadly, she’s right, and ugh, it hurts to watch because she’s letting him win. Jay walks out without as much as a hug good-bye. News flash, sister: In a healthy relationship both people win. Yes, that’s an embarrassingly cheesy thing to say, but you don’t want to be with the guy who gets irrationally angry at you when you are acting rationally. Not to mention the guy who cheats on you while he’s living in your apartment. For free. You want the guy who will be faithful to you, come home to sleep with you at night, take interest in your work, and make you tomato-and-chive omelettes on Sunday mornings. They’re out there. You might go through customs in tears once, but you don’t have to ever again!

Next week: Whitney calls Lauren for advice! Will LC have all the answers? Does it matter, since it’s the perfect segue to the fifth and final season of The Hills?