Mary Grace Garis
February 25, 2016 7:40 am

There was an emotionally fragile time in high school when my happiness hinged on Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf getting together. Their constant game of will they/won’t they tugged on my heart strings; in the middle of my own torrid will they/won’t they high school romance, Chair was ultimate #relationshipgoals. And while I still adore Gossip Girl, my early 20s and time in New York has helped me see that, um, it’s like a laundry list of things you shouldn’t do in a relationship.

But hey, I still think there’s academic value here, even if you it helps you avoid making terrible decisions. In fact, I insist that you dig out your best headband (I have a spare 16 from 2009) and a flip-up LG enV phone right now. We’re going to recap everything Gossip Girl taught us about affairs between friends, last-minute weddings, and the importance of “I love you.”

Having trouble finding a S.O.? Look within your immediate social circle!

This is the biggest, almost defining aspect of the show, the foundation on which Gossip Girl was birthed: you should totally boink your bestie’s main squeeze. Within the Non-Judging Breakfast Club (and the Brooklynite outliers that circled them) people were trading partners like they were sexual Pokemon cards. Initially it came with high intensity drama, but once you got into the later seasons everyone got a little too comfortable with the fact that they had all hooked up with each other. The only two that didn’t go that route were Dan and Jenny, and that’s only because of the whole being biological siblings thing.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend it (and I may have already tested it out), but hey. Every once in a while you’ll find that your close friend (who happens to be your ex’s closest friend) would make an excellent lover. So if you really think it’s worth it, then #yolo, I guess.

If you want to make things official right away, good news: impromptu weddings are exceedingly easy to throw.

That is, if you happen to be a casual millionaire. Gossip Girl saw many weddings during it’s series’ run, and among them at least three were intimate, beautiful, and spur-of-the-moment. Sometimes I think that’s how I should get hitched, because lord knows I’m not going to be marrying some lisping prince who can afford a highly-publisized church wedding (ala Blair’s first marriage). But then I think to Queen B’s second wedding with her in her ice blue dress like, “Well, a lifelong relationship with Elie Saab does have its perks.” And I’m like, “Oh right, rich people with rich people friends, that’s why they can pull this off.”

Don’t wait too long to say “I love you.”

Three words. Eight letters. Chuck and Blair really withheld those words for sake of dramatic tension and viewership, but honestly? It’s really not that hard to say. It’s scary, yes, to make yourself vulnerable like that. But sometimes you need to overcome your pride and put aside the silly games. Maybe it’s because your loved one lost his father in a car crash (or did he) or maybe it’s because you’ve messed up so many times and are looking for repentance, peonies in hand. Either way, go for it! The world won’t end!

Also don’t let anyone sell you to their sleazy uncle to save their hotel. 

Sometimes I remember this happened and I just feel like maybe the lesson is to not go after Chuck Bass. I know, he’s Chuck Bass, but sometimes he’s a monster and we just all deserve better, you know?

If you’re charming enough, the person of your dreams will overlook the fact that you live in Brooklyn like a pauper.

The series kind of dates itself with it’s constant disdain of Brooklyn, as the show arrived like 5 minutes before the borough became huge. Like, eight years later and people my age are moving to the upper 90s because Williamsburg is too ritzy, so.

Whatever the case may be, Dan works hard his way into the heart of golden girl Serena Van Der Woodsen, longtime crush and sometime muse. A defining moment is when Dan defies Grandma Cece (the most badass character in modern television) and sweeps Serena off her feet at Cotillion, literally. Early season one Dan and Serena have a beautiful thing going on, because Dan doesn’t let his status as a boy from Brooklyn (God forbid) stop him from reaching for the should-be-unobtainable golden girl. He judges hard, yeah, but he fights harder.

And if charm doesn’t work, you can always write your way into people’s hearts… and social class.

Gossip Girl, the show and the person behind the moniker, proves that you can show people you love them with your words… and also unceremoniously ruin their lives. If you’re going to take another note from Dan, I would write more essays about meeting your crush and less exposes about how everyone you know is a horrible person.

Oh, Gossip Girl. Serena may dub your tenure a “love letter,” but you retrospectively read more like a break up text. Still, you know I’ve learned a lot, and you know I still love you. Xoxo, Mary Grace.

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