Many of you have heard of the 5 Love Languages, made famous to me by my old boyfriend who asked me what mine were and then tripped on acid and cheated on me one week later. In spite of my rocky introduction to the concept of love languages, I am in full support of knowing this about yourself, as well as your partner. Understanding how we accept love and give love – and how your partner is able to receive and give love in return – make relationships and communication all the sweeter.
There are a couple more that I need in order to feel fully heard and understood, however. If my relentless aggression and French fry addiction have yet to deter you – keep reading. This list is for you.
Shutting the fuck up
This sounds unjustly harsh, I know. Hear me out for a moment. I don’t mean I want you to be seen, and never heard. Look, I’m not a church elder looking for any excuse to misuse bible verses and silence women. I just mean that there are a few times when you should really take a backseat and not be the leader, or even co-contributor, of a conversation. If I love you, then you’re someone I respect and admire. I value your input. But I do not need you to show up to a conversation about feminism or issues that affect women exclusively with anything but an open mind and tender heart. It’s exhausting having to explain my humanity time and time again. It’s a special, Florida-during-bike-week circle of hell having to argue with a man that considers himself a feminist and explain to him that actually: feminism IS NOT about you, was not built for you, and although you do benefit from feminism (getting rid of harmful male archetypes is awesome, I’m here for it), it is not your place to lead the conversation or try to teach me about my own lived experiences. Just writing those last few sentences was so tiring, I think I’ll skip my workout today. Thanks, weak male allies! (Jillian Michaels, ignore this). Also – if you happen to be a guy that belongs to a marginalized group I am not a part of (maybe you’re non-white, or Muslim, or an immigrant), then I also need to shut the fuck up and just listen when the conversation pertains to your experiences, and I look forward to being able to learn from you.
Never eating a banana in front of me
Bananas are delicious. However, the noises they emit, whilst fighting for their lives as your thin upper lip curves around the tip to mash it, sound like a boot squelching through mud or a foul, stained child eating frozen yogurt with its mouth agape and this combination of sight and sound is enough to entice me to commit a murder. So please. Don’t.
Political activism that verges on full blown vigilante aggression
Let’s rally together, march in protests for causes besides the ones we obviously benefit from (and not be self-congratulatory about it), angrily call our senators, hammer out passionate letters to our congressmen and women, press the pencil so hard into the paper that the lead splits in two, furiously shove the papers off the desk, press our bodies on top of our DSA pamphlets, tear each other’s Climate Change is REAL shirts from neck to navel…. anyways.
Agreeing that Casey Affleck should not have won, let alone been allowed to attend, the Oscars
This is self-explanatory, for all the same reasons I’d be happy to throw a wooden barrel at Woody Allen in a western saloon bar fight.
Putting up with me
If you can manage these, I’m already in love with you. Come, crawl into these sheets I don’t wash often enough. Lay your head gently on this pillow etched with the ghosts of mascara past. Let me burn a pancake for you. I’ll brew us some coffee and accidentally pour both portions into my mug out of habit, but I’ll hand it to you and make another pot later. Look at this tiny thread on the fray of my soul. Here, pull it a little harder. Let me unravel for you.