Several weeks ago, British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward’s foul choice of words, “I’d like my life back,” made more headlines than the foul oil spill his oil company has created. His company’s exploded rig killed 11, has made the lives of thousand upon thousand Gulf residents irreparably worse (never mind the ecosystem that has been devastated, which includes millions of animals and plant life), and he was thinking about how he’d been inconvenienced. In the annals of insensitivity, this has to be somewhere at the top. It made me think about the most insensitive things women have said to me, and the guys I know—here’s the 10 that were worth mentioning:
1. “Yes….yes yes yes yes YES.”
That was my attempt at a fake orgasm (I don’t actually know what they sound like, having only heard real ones). By far the most crushing thing we never knew you said to us were these 6, 10, 15, or 2 words, grunts, or inaudible sentences scratched into our backs.
2. “Grow a pair.”
My friend Jeff’s girlfriend told him this recently, when he was relaying some problems he was having at work. Jeff didn’t really need or want her advice on how to manage an inconsiderate boss, he was just venting to his girlfriend, whose problems he listens to all the time, without telling her to “grow a uterus” (or whatever the female equivalent might be).
3. “I’m pregnant….just kidding.”
The space between the “pregnant” and the “just kidding” obviously determines the awfulness of this phrase’s impact (and the severity of our heart attack), but it is the worst joke ever. Worst. Joke. Ever.
4. “He’d kick your ass.”
Excuse me? We are your assigned protector. We are the manliest man you have ever met, ever will meet, or can even imagine. Telling us that anyone—even a grizzly bear or some sort of terminator from the future—can beat us up is equivalent to us flipping through a magazine and physically pointing out the women we think are better looking than you. It’s ridiculous, I know, but we like to think we’re tough (true story: An ex told me her friend, a mixed martial artist, could kick my ass—my response: “not at Jeopardy.”)
5. ” “
I could think of no syllabic combination to properly represent the sound it makes when your hands come down on our heads during oral sex—the international sign for “you fail.” There’s really no way to do this without hurting our precious little feelings (“I need you inside me” is a good one, but only if you actually prefer to have the sex instead—which is totally possible; maybe you don’t come “like that” or maybe his skills just reside in places other than his tongue—because if it’s a first time situation, you’re entering into a crap shoot).
6. “Jeremy used to take me to dinner at least four times a week.”
It’s amazing Jeremy found time to do that while he was sleeping with your friend, and acting like the general d*bag you’ve made him out to be. What’s worse is when the ex actually isn’t terrible, and your comparisons make us think that you miss him, still need to get over him, and are only with us because he wouldn’t take you back. The only time we ever really want to hear about the ex is in a very straightforward context where we are clearly superior (as in, “Jeremy could never make me come. You’re my sex magician—my vagician.”).
“Why do you want my number?”__
Obviously this is specific to a context: When a guy you don’t like is asking you for your number. I’ve been asked this before. Totally devastating. I think I literally replied with “…so I can call you.” Smooth.
8. “I’m not nearly drunk enough to have sex with you.”
Said to my friend the morning after his first sleepover with the girl he’d started seeing. She saw him as more of a 10-drinks-in hookup than an in-the-morning-light kind of lover.
9. “Do you even remember where the gym is?”
We’re sensitive about our looks too, OK? While I definitely think fitness should be encouraged by both parties in a relationship, it has to be done the right way, and pointing out our flabbiness is not it. The other day, my friend Janine pointed to where my flat stomach used to be and referred to it as my “girlfriend belly.” I almost cried (not really, but I was bummed).
10. “Is it in?”
A classic for a reason. No explanation necessary.
__What’s the meanest thing you’ve ever said to a guy? What was his reaction?
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