During our many years of studying the guidos of the most important sociological experiment of our time, we have learned their many strange and sundry byways and dynamics, but the one we thought we knew the best was how their romantic relationships work. There is either strict monogamy or strict philandering with nothing in between. Even a straying eye or an offhanded compliment from one guy to another girl who is not his girlfriend could cause his mate to fly into a murderous rage. Then how do we solve a problem like The Situation, who on the day after "proposing" to the girl he bangs to make her is girlfriend, he's already flirting with girls at the club and getting them to grind all up on him?
Before we get to that, let us look first at the mysterious vocabulary of the guidos, so we know just what they're talking about.
Tapped Out: This does not refer to a resource being depleted. No, the etymology of this word is from the world of professional wrestling which was considered the official sport of the guido culture until UFC came along and its popularity and the characters involved seemed to have supplanted WWE. Anyway, tapping out is a person who is so drunk that he has given up on the fight to remain in control of his body and its functions, like in a tag team match, when a member of the pair is so punch drunk he must stumble around the ring and tap his partner so that he can sit on the sidelines and recover.
We learned last week that the courting rituals between guido and guidette are even more complicated than we initially suspected. They treat going steady with a person, even a person who the guido has been having sex with for years, as if it is a sort of marriage proposal. There is no itinerant stage between booty calls and "'til death do us part," as evidenced by The Situation and Paula making it "official." And as soon as she becomes his girlfriend, Paula starts acting differently: she engages in sex acts that were previously off the table, she is stopping by the Shore Store to check on him, and, most importantly, she now has spies at the club.
Yes, being at the club is the proving ground for a guido in a relationship. Just look at what it is doing to JWOWW and Roger. She tried to break up a fight he was in and he shoved her, broke her foot (maybe), and now they might break up. The problem seems to be that Roger, the Mayor of Seaside Heights, does not like going to the club with JWOWW, even though it is a chance to meet all his constituents. It seems that Roger might be jealous of JWOWW. He says that they don't really live together because every year she goes off to live with her friends. Yes, Roger, she does, but that is because it is her job to be in this experiment. It is her job to go to the club. It is her job to get drunk and act messy and be around fights. You knew that when you agreed to date her, and now you have a problem because more people pay attention to her? Is that why you're always trying to make her feel bad about things you did? Is it because you need to feel better about yourself? Whatever, Roger. So, they agree not to go to the club together anymore. That is until later when he's at the club and surprises JWOWW by bringing all her closest friends. That was really sweet. I know why Jenni keeps going back.
So, yes, The Situation goes to the club on day one of being in a couple and what does he do? He starts looking for girls to hit on. Now, this is sort of excusable behavior. I don't think it's appropriate for someone in a monogamous relationship to be actively hitting on other people, but The Situation is already having a hard time going to the club. In the past, he would go to Karma, get shitfaced, pick up girls, and go home. This is what he has known his whole life. Now he is sober. That has already interfered with his only hobby, which is clubbing. Now he can't hit on girl's either? What is he to do? Relearn years of behavior overnight? It's sort of like in AA when they tell people not to quit drinking and smoking at the same time, because it's too much.
That is why it is prudent for Paula to have spies at the club, to keep him from doing something he will regret and to keep him in line. What makes sense is her female friend confronting The Sitch, but when that guy stops him from letting a girl "bounce on his lap," that is odd. Girl Code, the ethical standard codified by guido women, says that girls have to make sure another girl's boyfriend is not cheating around them. Guido Guy Code dictates that no man should get in the way of another man's sexual conquest, no matter how immoral that conquest is. However, if the female is a member of the man's family, Family Code precedes Guy Code and he can stop her. Therefore, the only explanation is that Paula is somehow related to the guy who stops Sitch from getting a lap dance by a girl who looks like she learned her dance moves from those dancing flowers that you used to buy at the Sharper Image that recognize when music is playing.
Even after getting caught, The Situation says he didn't do anything "technically" wrong. He knows he did something spiritually wrong, by getting the girl in his junk, but now he's standing by semantics. That's not a guido thing, that's just a guy thing. Anyway, everyone in the house is taking bets on how long Sitch and Paula stay together. I don't know, I think if she can forgive him for this, they're going to make it a long time.
Speaking of couples that stand the test of time, DJ Paulie D and Vinny are stronger than ever and one of their mutual interests that keep them together is pulling pranks. They pulled the most perfect prank ever on Deena. She has a preponderance of pictures of her boyfriend Chris next to her bed, mostly to remind her every morning when she wakes up that she is not a lesbian. We all know that Deena bats for the other team, and no matter how much she loves Chris, her affinity for women will always shine through, especially when she's drunk. She also copes to deal with her suppressed sexual orientation, which makes for a nasty and rather sloppy conundrum.
Anyway, DJ Vinnny D (which is what their Us Weekly portmanteau would be) decide that they are going to replace the pictures of Deena and Chris with pictures of themselves. Not only is this hilarious because it is harmless and hits Deena in her most sensitive spot, but it replaces heteronormative images with a homosexual subtext, something that is already going on in Deena's mind. They are reaching deep into her psyche and trying to pull the real, true, queer Deena out using their homosocial (we have no proof that their relationship is sexual...yet) and monogamous bond. The plan goes off without a hitch, Deena sees the pictures and laughs at them. All seems to be fine.
All is fine until Deena goes out drinking with Ronnie. It's one thing to have a "meatball day" every once in awhile, but for Deena they are becoming more and more frequent and she is trying to scrounge up anyone she can find to go with her, and when they don't, she goes alone. This is Deena trying to drown her sorrows, not search for the fun. The glass is shattered and the blast is spilling all over the floor like a puddle of urine behind an abandoned bar at Karma. She gets drunk with Ronnie and then goes out that night with the crew. The next day, before she can even sober up, she's back at the bar getting shitfaced again. She is so into drinking that Sammi and Ronnie leave her at the bar.
When they get home the Duck Phone quacks and it is Deena's mother, who is the guido version of Judge Judy, Judge Serafina. When Judge Serafina finds out Deena is on the boardwalk she immediately intuits that she is drunk and calls Sammi out for not dragging her daughter home so that she can avoid another arrest. Sammi is right, Deena is an adult and she should be treated like one. Deena totters home, barely escaping another incarceration, and her mother calls again. Deena immediately says, "I'm drunk," and Judge Serafina pounds her gavel so heavily into Deena's head, she is now malformed.
What Judge Serafina said is true, Deena has not learned her lesson. That means there is something darker and more troubling behind her drinking than just trying to have fun. It's one thing to be a meatball, it's another thing to fall into a pattern of abuse. The Situation should give this girl a pamphlet. Judge Serafina says that she is going to pick up her daughter and bring her home. What? This is not a class trip. This is not your decision to make. Sure, your daughter is in trouble, but you have to let her make her own decisions or else she is just going to keep repeating this same pattern until she winds up face down in the gutter choking on her own thong (I've seen it happen before, and it's grisly).
Deena eventually relents and tells her mother to pick her up, but then calls her boyfriend and tries to get him to pick him up. In the other room Sammi and Ronnie jeer at her because she's perfectly happy every day until she gets drunk and then she irrationally cries and screams about the same thing over and over and annoys everyone in the house until she sobers up and forgets about it again. What? Really you two? Isn't that exactly what you two did with your relationship for three years! And now you're picking on Deena for doing the same thing. Oh god.
Chris won't come pick up Deena and Judge Serafina is on her way. Is this the reckoning for our little meatball? Is she going to be dragged away an shipped off to an asylum or is she just going to continue to rot away in the house, clucking sobs while squatting in the bean bag chair next to her evil god, the Duck Phone, the tears streaming down her face and plopping into her naked lap, her hands to lazy to stop them, and her eyes to sad to dry.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: MTV]