July 17, 2001
The non-relationship between nonentities Kevin and Lori has notched up to another level: paranoia. Lori has begun to notice that Kevin flirts with everyone, including that inoffensive piece of fluff Rachel. They're touching each other! She's giving him a massage! He's giving her that little smirk that Lori thought was her special smirk, meant only for her! Malik astutely describes Lori as the type to pursue relationships, not to be pursued. It seems that in this case, the chaste might be the most chased.
And so Lori seems doomed to a particularly messy heartbreak. Kevin tells his fellow frat fellow Mike that Lori just isn't his type. After a beat, he then adds the cringe-worthy sentiment, "Not that something couldn't happen down the line." If you are curious just what Kevin's type is, it is a simple three point plan: no smoking, likes to work out and "is cool with everything." He actually has a girl back in Austin who has all these winning elements, but you know, she's thousands of miles away.
Resident naif Rachel has problems of her own, darlings. Her little towhead self is just too young to go where the other housemates go. Most nights, she finds herself walking back to her lonely, cavernous house alone, while her compadres are whooping it up in flashy, trashy nightspots. (Lucky for us, we're not treated to the sad sight of Rachel wolfing down ranch-flavored Bugles and pawing through her roommates' medicine chests.) All this enforced solitude is enough to make a girl do something foolish! Like break the law and get molested!
Earlier in the episode, Mike asserted that Rachel was "not as innocent as she seems." But, we learn, mes amis, that he is full of crapola. Rachel does reveal that she has "made out" with some guys, but when the other Real Worlders begin to quiz her about geography, i.e. "south of the border," "snowy mountain slopes," she beats a fast retreat. Not a well-traveled chicklet, this one.
She may not know her geography, but Rachel does want to have fun in this great, bustling city, so she persuades her housemates to pay 25 dollars each to dance at an underage club. Extravagant pricing notwithstanding, everyone seems to have a fine time frolicking amidst the strobe lights. It could be a perfectly carefree celebration of youth and good times.
But, wait a minute, who's that over in that dark corner? Kevin and Lori provide almost more entertainment than the dancing, it turns out. The other kids watch in barely suppressed prurient glee as Lori wraps herself around Kevin like a boa constrictor. Kevin gives Lori a quick kiss. Could this be the beginning of the hook-up?
Nope. Non. Nyet. As soon as he can disentangle himself from Lori's desperate grip, Kevin issues the kicker. "I don't want to be with you." Well, that sure puts a damper on things, doesn't it? Lori's feline face crumples in on itself, but she seems to accept her fate; she merely pronounces herself "bummed." Meanwhile, Kevin's already planning his pursuit of Rachel. At bedtime, he asks the other guys if they think Rachel likes him.
The two threads of the story intersect briefly when Rachel and Lori accompany the guys to the bachelor pad of Mike's frat brother Jeff. In this testosterone-heavy atmosphere, the girls are completely ignored and slump almost comatose on the sofa. When they aren't ignored, they are subjected to inane conversation and leering looks. Rachel and Lori were brought along to this seventh circle of Hell because Jeff can obtain a fake i.d. for Miss Underage. No one wants to pay another 25 dollars for her sake, darlings! Rachel feels pressured to get a fake i.d., even though "they're expensive and I think a little bit illegal." And, as we'll see, it won't even be worth this trouble! It would probably have been better for Rachel to slouch around in pajamas and eat bonbons. That way of spending one's free time is so underrated, I believe.
The sigh of relief from the girls is almost audible when the guys leave, even if it means more boredom. Lori answers Jeff's phone and freaks out his girlfriend with her femme fatale voice (if Rachel answered it, the girlfriend would assume there was some sort of helium leak in the room). They eat the snacks left on the table. They commiserate about being unwanted and alone, but assert their essential worthiness. "We're so cute!" Rachel exclaims. "Nobody wants us!" Lori replies, although she may have to change the "us" to a "me," if Kevin does follow his evil, virgin-busting plan.
Jeff manages to procure a "horrible fake" (in the honest words of Mike) for Rachel, but it will have to do, dark brown hair or no. The next step is to make Rachel look older than 13 years old, and the other girls seem to equate this with looking like a two-bit hooker. Poor Rachel is forced to give up her beloved corduroy for a leather bustier ("I want to see some breasts!" drill sergeant Coral commands, somewhat futilely). Lori works on Rachel's face until it looks like a Kewpie doll that a 2 year old painted with Magic Marker. Rachel is officially ready to hit the town.
The fake i.d. does its job, but more because of the bouncer's reluctance to turn away any nubile female flesh. He stares at that card for five minutes or so, and you can tell from his smirk that he knows its fake, but Rachel is in, anyway. Not for long, though- some leather-clad lothario dances over and immediately begins to refer to his nether regions in explicit terms. Rachel, nauseated and frightened, flees. Her brief contact with the world of non-virginity has left her permanently scarred.
Meanwhile, Lori's tough façade is crumbling. She frets that Kevin is treating her differently now that he's rejected her. She searches for his face in every room. She's convinced that he likes everyone else in the world better than her. She tries to convince herself that she's no longer attracted to his skinny neck, his pointy features, his lack of personality. She does not succeed. Refreshingly, she understands that she's being an ass, but right now, she just doesn't have any other distractions to keep her from being a complete emotional mess. I happen to completely agree with Coral when she encourages Lori to find another object of desire, "Why are you chasing this boy?" We get the feeling that Lori doesn't know, either.
Does Lori just "want to be wanted," as Kevin says? Will she shape up? Will she get a hobby? Only time will tell, my friends.
Who's Shirtless: The guys share some giggly boy talk in the bedroom. It's like a slumber party in there! None of them, of course, wear shirts to bed.
Who Cries: Lori's holding it in.
Most Annoying: Lori claims that she doesn't want to be the "pathetic girl," but she is, anyway.
Best Quote: Enter this one into your lame rejection file, courtesy of Kevin: "I think you're beautiful, but I don't want to date you, because I like you so much."
Next Week: Valentine's Day massacre, anyone? Mike gets on Coral's bad side again.