1. Adults in their thirties still play 7 minutes in heaven.
There is something about Jess and Nick stuck in a closet and refusing to make out with each other that seems too easy. It is awkwardly middle-school yet perfectly fitting to their characters. I must admit: Zooey Deschanel’s adorkable-ness feels like an infantilization. Seeing a thirty-three year old woman who loves polka-dots and cupcakes makes me remember our society fears aging with a passion I reserve for dancing to Beyoncé after a few drinks. But of course, it’s just who Jess is, and I get it. Kate Upton, the world’s hottest woman, is twenty. She’s a baby! She makes me feel this overwhelming anxiety of “Oh my god, men are attracted to women who are younger than me?? Am I old?” But, no, of course I am not old. Apparently, I have a lot to look forward to in my thirties. Soon, I’ll fall in love with my handsome roommate after the two of us are forced into closed quarters, while my friends chant: “KISS” “KISS” “KISS”. A girl can only dream.
2. Fist-bumps aren’t sexy.
When Jess’s ex, Sam, wakes up in the morning, he first checks his email, then fist-bumps her and finally asks the rhetorical question: “How do you always look so beautiful in the morning?” Gross. His goofiness might be endearing at first, but grows old quickly. You can’t seal a compliment with a fist-bump. It is also a major turn off to give praise to compensate for checking your email. Essentially, you can either shower your girlfriend with admiration or fist-bump her first thing in the morning, but pick your battles, you cannot do both.
3. Men and women can be friends, as long as they’re not secretly in love with each other.
THAT KISS! ‘Twas a kiss to move mountains. The sexual tension palpable throughout the episode exploded with a “Madonna-kissing-Britney” shock factor. The satisfaction of Nick grabbing Jess’ arm in the hallway, initiating their steamy, secretive make out sesh, felt incredible… Until we realize it only increases their sexual tension for the next two episodes. Jess and Nick should be together. They are the Ross and Rachel of our generation. Just as Ross and Rachel could not be friends, nor can (read: should) Jess and Nick. They can’t even brush their teeth together without joking about having sex. Men and women can be platonic friends, undoubtedly. If that friendship means suppressing feelings of desire for the other person, however, you’re only hurting yourself. Don’t try to be BFFs with somebody you are secretly DTF.
4. Take “No Nail Oaths” Seriously.
The “No Nail Oath,” refers to an agreement made by Nick, Winston and Schmidt not to sleep with their one female roommate, Jess. In an effort to assuage resentment, the oath stated that if one broke the contract, they all must sleep with her. This seemed like another bizarre middle-school moment. Are women still property? Do men still think they’re entitled to a woman’s body without her consent, based on competition or masculine instincts? While I disliked the oath, the takeaway was clear: impulses can be dangerous.
In the episode “Table 34,” Cece and Nick show us how spontaneous decisions can hurt the people we love. Nick randomly decided to kiss Jess, causing her relationship to end. Cece comes to the frightening realization that she has lived her life entirely based on impulse. Although we should all take the occasional risk, doing so without considering the feelings of others can cause significant pain.
5. Feminine Charm Can Get You Out of Anything (if you’re Zooey Deschanel).
When Schmidt and Jess argue over a parking spot, Nick must chose the deserving victor. Lucky for Jess, she is totally cute! Her irresistible sweater nibbling leaves Nick no choice. He sites wanting to be a “good guy”, but her behavior feels manipulative and Nick’s choice seems stemmed in his attraction to Jess. But, hey, Jess gets what she wants. So, in the words of Missy Elliott: “Ain’t no shame ladies, do your thang. Just make sure you’re ahead of the game.”