Men Who Treat Women Like Jeremy Kraft Does in Shopgirl.

There are very few women who come to “the big city” that don’t end up feeling like Mirabelle Buttersfield. As Ray Porter (Steve Martin) narrates, “She keeps working to make connections, but the pile of near misses is starting to overwhelm her. What Mirabelle needs is an omniscient voice to illuminate and spotlight her and to inform everyone that this one has value.” That omniscient voice is in no way Jeremy Kraft (Jason Schwartzman), nor does he in any way spotlight her and inform everyone that she has value.

As one of the first “promising” suitors Mirabelle meets after her stint in L.A. (which is, these days, just a satellite version of Williamsburg or vice versa), Jeremy makes his presence known to her in the laundromat after awkwardly announcing, “Hey! I mean, hello.” His insertion into her life is just as abrupt as his departure, with the opportunity to tour with a band based on his graphic design job for an amp company taking precedence over getting to know Mirabelle. But even before this slight, it is his oblivion to the inherent tenets of human decency that results in the utter debasement of Mirabelle.

Like most women, however, she is willing to give him a chance based on the desperation caused by the ratio alone, asking cautiously, “Are you the kind of person that takes time to get to know, and then once you get to know them…they’re fabulous?” Jeremy, of course, assures her that he’s just that, even though the sole reason he initially decided to talk to her was to ask for change. But since he already struck up a conversation, he figures, well, “Might as well ask her out. She’s not a total troll.”

The date Jeremy “takes” her on is every girl’s worst fears realized as he makes her pay for the entire dinner and then, when given the privilege of coming back to her apartment, doesn’t even have the gentlemanliness to carry a condom in his wallet and instead inquires, “Do you have a baggy?” When Mirabelle asks what for, he casually replies, “If you had, like, a jiffy baggy…well, I could, I could, like, use it, you know.” In short, she is regarded as a second-rate orifice akin to leftover food rather than the elegant and delicate flower that she is. Even if Ray, her equally as inadequate older suitor, made her sob uncontrollably at times, at least he was a master in the art of gallant behavior–something that’s become more submerged in obscurity than Atlantis.

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