The latest issue of The New Yorker contains a personal essay by Lena Dunham on the much mined subject of her college boyfriend who turned out to be gay, which I’m beginning to think is the most traumatic thing that’s ever happened to her (besides being 11 lbs overweight, of course). It’s not online, but honestly, after reading the abstract, hearing her discuss it in interviews, and seeing him portrayed on Girls, I feel like I already know all I need to know about it.
However, the piece contains a fabulous gem that was not written by Dunham, but her gay ex’s mother. The lynchpin of the story, this lovely bit of passive aggression (aggressive aggression?) perfectly exemplifies the kind of chirpy meanness that can be the intentional or unintentional result of communicating with people like your ex’s parents over social media:
“Hi, Lena — Bill and I remember you with such pleasure and fondness! But it’s time to sever the Facebook connection so I’m going to block you. We wish you all the BEST!”
Was there ever a finer send-off written than “we wish you all the BEST!”? Like Vulture‘s Amanda Dobbins, I sincerely hope it catches on. There’s a chance that his parents weren’t trying to be mean (Facebook etiquette can elude the older generation), but I can’t help wondering if there was something a bit darker behind it. Maybe they never liked her to begin with. Or maybe they disapproved of Dunham’s millennial brand of over-sharing personal essays. (Which, for the record I personally enjoy. Sometimes.) If that’s true, then I can’t imagine they’re too pleased with all that Lena has “shared” about their son’s private struggles with his sexuality since then. In fact, I wouldn’t mind hearing his/their side of the story.