1960s · 1990s · Bryn Mawr College · Film · Journalism · Music · Pine Rest 2017 · Self-care · Socie Dinner Party

Socie Dinner Party, Part III. Or Girl, Interrupted 50 years later. Or, the healing properties of going with the flow.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Days since Pine Rest: 13
  • Marital status: Questioning
  • Spiritual status: Judaism
  • Individual status: Questioning
  • Dietary status: Vegetarian, Kosher
  • Drug status: Lithium, coffee and cigarettes
  • Mood: Stable-ish
  • Personality: Myself
  • Sexuality: No thanks.
  • American status: From womb to tomb
  • Sociologist status: From cradle to grave
  • Mental institution street cred: (2) full hospitalization (February-March 2017 and April-May 2016) and (1) partial hospitalization program (July 2016)


Shelley and Tabi wanted to watch  Girl, Interrupted (1999) during our time at Pine Rest. But there was a catch–we could only watch G, PG, or PG-13 movies. Oh my god. You should have seen their movie collection. The only thing I felt like watching from their selection was The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston.

They had books too–lots of weird erotica for bored housewives: 5-7 Danielle Steel books (not even steamy ones like Family Album. Seriously, check out the miniseries if you don’t have time to read 800 pages of sex, love, and betrayal from every perspective imaginable. It’s where I learned about gays and bitchy women. Good stuff.); Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul, and all the NIV bibles you’d ever need. I kept asking for a King James version; the closest I got was a Gideon’s. Ew.

The Jews have the right idea; read the original Old Testament in Hebrew. It requires reading right to left and it requires Saturday school, which I assisted with in 1996-1998. Just before I lost my ever-loving mind as a young adult.

Anyway, I wasn’t allowed to watch Girl, Interrupted until I was released from Pine Rest. So, it was the first movie I queued up. I’m rewatching it today–haven’t seen the flick since 1999-2000 when it was released on television. Enjoy.

SHOWTIME: MARCH 15, 2017, 2:30 PM EST, UTC – 5


Opening scene; Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel playing

Man, Simon and Garfunkel were obsessed with time. I think that’s the human condition, or at least one of them. We’re introduced to some of the sad sacks who haunt the halls of Claymoore. Oh, lord. Whats-her-name Ryder Horowitz is talking about insanity. Well, she’s reading from a memoir. I hate when they announce the movie title in the opening scene. So easy. It’s the book’s fault, not Wino Forever and not the movie. It’s the memoirist, Suzanna.[I heard from a friend; apparently the book is fantastic. Still, a better title could have benefited the memoir immensely. And less pretension.]

She ODs on Aspirin. Eh. That’ll give ya liver failure; not a great option. She’s free from her PTSD flashback and talking to some white male psychiatrist. haha I like Suzanna–she’s a bitch like me. Oh, I get the connection with time now. Also, she hates dogs. lol And she has horrible concentration. ADHD, before it was cool.

Another flashback to mommy issues. Mommy is played by Joanna Kerns from Growing Pains. She’s still super hot. MILFs, why do we need them so badly? Americans are gross out, dude. Barbara Gilchrist, Bonnie’s mom, pushes her way through the party to give a little humblebrag regarding Radcliffe and at least one other Seven Sisters schools. Maybe that’s how Bryn Mawr and Smith got on my radar; I typically blame Lisa Simpson.

Back to the white, male psychiatrist. He’s recommending Claymoore; she hates it. Now we know why she was rushed to the hospital for an old-fashioned stomach pump. Right the psychiatrist is buds with her daddy. He’s appealing to the embedded thirst for prestige that her mother drilled into her brain. Fancy people go there; she’s fancy. He breaks her away from her mommy connection and sends her on to Claymoore behind their backs and in front of their faces. Mommy is cry-cry in the car.

How old is this bitch? 17? Good grief. Cut the cord. I was on my own two weeks after my 18th birthday. Would have been sooner, but I was afraid of the law. My parents would tell me they might call the cops to remove me from the house if I changed the channel. Yeah, I have mommy and daddy issues too. Mine are of the cut and run variety.

Ew, a professor is trying to do the nasty with her baby vagina. In a flashback. Her cabbie is offering a little wisdom that she’s too proud to accept. Pride; not just a male experience, you know. Oh, right. When you’re 17, you think you know everything. Well, bitch. It’s about to get a lot more interesting than your silver spoon beginnings. Buckle the fuck up.

Oh, here’s a black face. The cabbie tells her not to get too comfortable. I would do that guy today. Old white lady is checking her in. Oh, so she’s 18. Of legal age and in a whole lotta denial. Oh, OWL is telling her what to talk about and where to talk about it. Oh, this is a flashback. Oops.

Women today have more choices than burning bras and ending up like their mommies. No, they really don’t. Well, not in the United States. Whoopi is showing her around. That’s nice.

Claymoore, 1969-ish, 2nd floor

Happy music for some reason. The art room?! Fuck them. I had two TV rooms and broken crayons. Ugh, Pine Rest. More like Pine Arrest.

A living room. OK. I guess we had one of those with Fox News playing constantly. Ugh. Crazy people love Republicanism. And a TV room with a bunch of assholes. Whoopi doesn’t take their shit, particularly when it’s racially charged.

Georgina is a good roommate. Suzanna is lucky as fuck. Little girls. Babies. I was locked up with grown ass women. Thank god. Oh, god. Suzanna smokes French ciggies. I smoke the brown man’s tobacco, American Spirits. She discards Georgina when Angelina Jolie shows up in handcuffs. I would too.

Haha Daisy is an asshole. Angelina Jolie likes being at Claymoore. I would too. haha She calls the burned one, Torch. Uh-oh. Where’s Jamie. haha Suzanna who smokes French cigarettes are on the bed. Georgina doesn’t really love Lisa’s intensity. She’s been gone for two weeks. Things move fast at a mental institution. There are finite resources. Hmm . . . looks like Lisa is about to get a Code Green. She fights more than I do. Lisa the mental patient; Jamie was Lisa’s bestfriend. Oh, shit. Jamie’s dead, mothafucka.

Meds time. 10:30 PM EST. Take the meds and ask your doctor tomorrow for other meds. Yeah, same shit, different day. Oh, shit. They call everyone by first and last name. There are tons of women in this psych ward. We only had 12 beds. And they didn’t call us by last names because of HIPAA. Didn’t stop them from laying our vitals chart out in the open where anyone could see things like . . . weight. You know, stuff women don’t mind sharing.

Graduation from some snooty high school
PTSD flashback

The parents are so embarrassed because she fell asleep. Suzanna has some sleep issues. They just came in for night checks to make sure no one is dead in their beds. They do that at Pine Rest too. Every 15 minutes. I jumped up so fast one night. Hold on, my mental patient friend is calling.

<br> A Strange Interlude

Kevin the mental patient is getting out of Pine Rest tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST. He’s meeting with my favorite chaplain, David. I told Kevin to tell David the Chaplain hello. David had his own bible; not some NIV knockoff bullshit. And he’s from Louisiana, so we had lots to talk about. Most of it related to me, but isn’t that the reason for a spiritual consult to begin with. Goddamn it was hard to get a rabbi out to the Oak Unit. That’s a story for another time. Back to the flick.

Oh, right. Night checks. One night, maybe 4-5 days in, I wasn’t drugged up and this guy, Jeff the RN, came in the room and shined a light in my eyes to make sure I was alive. I didn’t know what his angle was, so I jumped out of bed and accused the poor man of the following crimes. “Why the fuck are you coming into a woman’s room in the middle of the fucking night with a goddamn flashlight?! IS THIS WHY YOU KEEP THE WOMEN DRUGGED UP? SO THEY DON’T KNOW YOU’VE BEEN SNEAKING INTO THEIR ROOMS ALL NIGHT, YOU SICK FUCK? Poor Jeff.

Winona is getting to know Georgiana. Funny. Next morning and some good 60s tunes are playing. Oops. I paused the movie to respond to many things on the ol’ BookFace. And goddamnit, Kevin is calling again.

Oh my god, Kevin. People shouldn’t be allowed to roam the Earth with that much sexual energy. It’s hard to shut down. The Greeks knew too well about eros.

A Strange Interlude </br>

Back to the movie. Winona’s having a flashback to what looks like a swinging party. Some guy wants to know where she’s going to enroll in the fall and some MIT ethnobotanist has an interest in her; she shuts him down. What a bitch. Uh-oh. Toby walked in. Bad boy to get back at her mommy with.

7:00 AM Mental institution checks. Wake the fuck up, Suzanna. Stop dreaming about great sex with what’s-his-name. Suicidal ideation pillow talk. Hmm…the 60s were a mysterious time. Forrest Gump taught me that. So did Buster way before 1994.

He shuts her poetic waxing on and on and on down by calling her stupid. haha The bitch needs boundaries. Duh. This kid knows what’s going on; he’s got real problems. Not poor, little rich girl problems. Hmm…he’s a Sagittarius. I’d do him too.

Another round of checks and she’s back at Claymoore. Wake the fuck up, dummy. Jeez, white feminism is so gross. Feminine Mystique bullshit. Whoopi is watching her shave her legs; she’s modest. Must not have sisters; no quiet time in the bathroom. Oh, god. Suzanna wants boundaries. White picket fences, much?

Televised bingo; the Viet Nam draft. Bingo! haha Oh, Toby was drafted. Lisa’s being a bitch all over the place, particularly to Daisy. Lisa has a good relationship with sex and gives good advice about condoms-the American preferred way to keep sperm out of eggs. She smokes, too. But Suzanna’s ciggies are French. Angelina Jolie’s mom was French. Madonna’s mom always wanted to visit France; that’s why Lourdes is called Lourdes.

Lisa asks some intrusive questions and makes fun of Dr. Wick, a lady psychiatrist. Lisa uses bad language because negative attention is better than no attention at all. It’s why children act out when their parents ignore them. It’s probably why Suzanna is in a mental institution.

Welcome, Jeffrey Tambour. He’s getting critical acclaim for Transparent, but I liked him in Mr. Mom. He might be as good a character actor as Gary Oldman, AKA an actor’s actor. Suzanna is rationalizing her suicide. It reminds me of the suicide talk in the Big Chill. That soundtrack was better. So was the writing.

Dr. Tambour wants to know what this bitch is thinking. She can’t take responsibility for her actions. Neither can my stupid husband. Lisa is watching television and trying to sooth one of the patients. The nurse is giving out meds. Must be just before or after lunch.

Daisy is really getting in there with her father; long lingering hugs that remind me of Ferris Bueller’s Day off. Ew. They’re giving Suzanna a laxative. Here’s some medicine and here’s some laxative–18-year-old girls shouldn’t need laxatives to come to grips with reality. It’s a Barbie Doll problem; not a mental illness.

Daisy needs the laxative for her eating disorder. Girls wouldn’t have eating disorders if not for Barbie and Twiggy. The British invasion, indeed. I read once that Elizabeth Hurly said she’d kill herself if she had Marilyn Monroe’s body. No wonder her hot boyfriend fucked a black prostitute in the 1990s.

Que Sera, Sera is playing. Doris Day didn’t have an eating disorder; or did she? Yeah, she probably did. Lisa has problems with Daisy; it’s not the other way around. Lisa embraces an awkward moment; I like the cut of this bitch’s jib. Lisa takes control like a wolf. It’s an alpha-beta dance, just like the animals. Wait a minute, aren’t humans animals? You can learn a lot about people by . . . watching dogs. And you can learn a lot about dogs by watching people. We evolved together. That ethnobotanist could have saved Suzanna a lot of time and constipation.

Lisa got the drugs she wanted and then climbs under Daisy’s bed to see a chicken graveyard. Abused kids become scavengers like dogs. They’ll eat the rind off an orange and horde the rest in their rooms, if you deny them food. Just. Like. Dogs.

The shrinks used to listen to Freud. Psychiatrists only listen to the DSM V (soon to be VII) these days. Homosexuality was in that little bible until the 1980s. We cooked up all kinds of fun therapy for homosexuality. You should google it sometime. It’s fucked up. Americans think the Japanese are messed up because they buy dirty underwear from vending machines. Many cultures think Americans are fucked up because we put family members in mental institutions, rest homes, etc.

What about the Kennedys? Where was their sister Rosemary? One of our best presidents, JFK, did Marilyn Monroe and his father did his own sister in. Ugh. They used to give out frontal lobotomies for promiscuity. And American families went with the flow.

Jokes in a mental institution are fucking hilarious, btw. Suzanna has a phone call from . . .Lisa. She’s filling her in on the BPD diagnosis. haha Tongue your meds. Lisa is teaching stupid Suzanna something I knew how to do at age 8. Fuck, Corey Haim could do it in License to Drive. Helloooo.

The basement

These bitches be cray. Lock picking trash lol. Yeah, that’s something else Americans don’t understand. Total institutions, like the American prison system, don’t rehabilitate. They’re schools for bad behavior. Remember Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption?

Bitches be bowling. This is the most excitement they’ve had in a while. It’s fucking tragic. Feminine Mystique redux. They’re all horrible at bowling. Lisa is a yeller. Oh fuck. The hospital has been there for a long ass time. The tunnels for loons . . . ugh. It wasn’t so long ago that we put our mentally ill in prisons, chained to walls, and sold tickets. Yeah, that was a thing.

Hold on Chicky the mental patient is calling me.


3 thoughts on “Socie Dinner Party, Part III. Or Girl, Interrupted 50 years later. Or, the healing properties of going with the flow.

  1. Here is my story about Susanna Kaysen.

    I was invited to dinner with her prior to her speaking arrangement at my college (this was after I graduated, I believe, though it may have been my last semester there, I am unsure of the dates). This was an exciting opportunity for me as I loved her book and I was a fan of the movie.

    We ate at a local restaurant and I was very shy because that is how I feel when I meet writers I like. She was excited that we had the same shoes on.

    At the lecture she disappointed everyone because they were all there as fans of the movie, not the book, and she hated the movie. Absolutely hated it. She said they got everything wrong (you should read the book; it is very good, and the title makes sense and I would argue it is not pretentious at all). All the casting? Wrong. The timeline? Wrong. She thought it was laughable garbage.

    I would guess not one person there beyond me and the faculty had read the book. They HATED that she hated it. And they hated that she didn’t care that she hated it; she had made so much money selling the rights to the book that she never has to work again.

    The main takeaway from her lecture was: if you’re a writer and you get the opportunity to sell out, do it, because it fucking rules. And I loved her for that.

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