My introduction to Schmidt was at a time when I was prone to weeping, nay, wailing on park benches at one o’clock in the morning(my friends know this is intended to be humorous,not pitiful.) Since then, I can draw a line straighter than the average 1950s pretentious white patriarch, between a terrible night and a Schmidt-induced chortle (maybe even guffaw.)
I spent most of my days seated on a bed that seemed to suck my ability to get out of it, on one side of a tiny college room that I shared with roommates I didn’t like and a mind I hated. The only reason I spent so much time in that room was because my friend was almost always there and she was almost always watching a comedy series. It was in that state of things generally sucking that I caught a scene in New Girl, a show that would gradually become my go to distraction/band-aid on the days life cut a little deeper than my dysfunctional mind could rationalize.
In this scene, Schmidt, Nick and Winston are equal parts watching Jess cook and staring at her cleavage.
Schmidt: Well, it took a year, she’s finally cooking and cleaning. I knew this would pay off eventually.
Jess: Does everybody like egg pie?
Schmidt: Jess, I believe the word that you’re looking for is free tata.
Jess: Oh Schmidt, stop staring at my frittatas. *laughs*
(Did you guys catch the wordplay? And the sexism, but mostly the wordplay?)
Winston: You gotta do something Nick, my sister is coming, my mother is coming.
Jess: I love being unemployed. I love it!
Nick: Look, if I lost my job a week ago, I’d be deep in a porn-hole by now. The images, the things I would have seen by now…
Schmidt: Jess are you cooking a frittata in a saucepan? What is this? Prison?
Nick and Winston: Jar, that’s the jar for sure.
Schmidt: Yeah I know, I already got the money.
At this point, Schmidt goes ahead to put money in the douchebag jar that was designed solely to make putting up with him a little more rewarding.
Schmidt is such an annoyance, Nick once told Jess, “you are not emotionally, mentally and spiritually prepared to throw these d-bags a party” when she suggested that they throw Schmidt a surprise party for his twenty-ninth birthday. In Nick’s defence (and for context), Schmidt once went to a party named “bros before hoes on the moon.” The dress code was yacht-flair. Another one of Schmidt’s friends legally changed his name to Doin’it. Schmidt once threw a party to celebrate his healed penis; an announcement of sorts-he was ready to have sex again. And the theme,-wait for it-danger.
That said, watching Schmidt transition from the fat guy that used way too much lube the first time he had sex so he kept sliding off, to a sex-crazed asshole and finally a devoted husband and stay at home dad, was the highlight of my college life I would say.
In my third year when I was just beginning to accept that a career path in Actuarial Science would make me absolutely miserable, it was Schmidt saying something funny that got me off the floor long enough to study for a CAT. This one time when the thought of having two terrifying cats in one week: one in Probability and Statistics and the other one in Actuarial Math, straight up caused an emotional breakdown, the only thing that got me through that afternoon was Schmidt asking Winston:
“If you think those shoes are brown, what colour do you think you are?” Winston is Black and colour-blind. He had been insisting that his green shoes were brown.
My favourite memory of college was my roommate and I binge-watching New Girl, laughing our faces off. Silly things like Schmidt cramping at an anti-gang initiative, or Nick teaching Schmidt to do laundry right before they sat under a fort singing Foreigner’s I Want To Know What Love Is, in an attempt to teach Nick how to love, even though it was supposed to be Boys’ night. They should have been drinking beer (not sangria), having sex with strange women, but instead, they were holding our fractured lives together. Because on nights like those, we could forget that none of us had forgotten the trauma that the prospect of homelessness was. We could pretend that the men in our lives that we loved and gave everything to only ever disappointed and gas-lit us. We could forget that we were so broke it was laughable. I could pretend that going to class everyday didn’t slam my heart against my rib-cage so hard, there are times I had to physically stop to catch my breath.
It was Schmidt’s bachelor party that provided that little moment of solace that eventually built up into the confidence to think, “hey babe, you’re not asking for too much.” Because if Schmidt can get into a fight he didn’t need to prove that he can take care of his fiancé, then you deserve friendships that don’t exacerbate your mental health. Because I have spent evenings, trying to get an explanation from someone that ignored me for months. I have listened to half-baked explanations and asked, implored even, “why are you pushing me away?”
I have accepted half-assed apologies, only this time with the resolution that comes with the distant crack of a heart that is done trying. I have gone home and watched New Girl for the umpteenth time, trying to blink away tears, at least until everyone is asleep. I have watched Schmidt break up with Cece because he can’t handle that she is a model. I have listened to Cece ask Schmidt, “why are you pushing me away?” I have thought to myself, Schmidt as he is right now: emotionally stunted, insecure, broken penis and all… he doesn’t deserve Cece.
Other than the one paramount rule: If you’re gonna get your heart broken, you could at least get good dick out of it (I’d missed doing these kinda puns), I’m just too much person to be loved in bare minimums. Schmidt has amused me enough times to know that.
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Feature image courtesy of google images.