This piece was inspired by actual events and actual men. Sample size = 3
1. Burp. The smelly kind
2. Fart. The smellier kind
3. Touch yourself. Your fly should already be zipped.
4. Make Freudian references to your mother
5. Bigamy references of any kind
6. Aversion to fruit and other virtuous food
7. Argue that my version of Islam is unenlightened
8. Look at me for approval before every bite, every step, every move
9. Reference “retards,” “gays,” and other vastly inappropriate and unkind generalizations
10. Make fun of your sister’s husband, or any other family member
11. Passive aggressive behavior: “You’ve been screening my calls,” “I told you I wasn’t a total loser”
12. Invade my personal life by taking over my family
13. Not get the hint I’m annoyed at you and want you to leave immediately
14. Think that fights and arguments are healthy relationship banter
15. Buy presents belatedly, and from an online thrift store
16. Refuse to wear gel in your frizzy, thinning hair
17. Sing along to your car radio in an awkward, high-pitched, voice-cracking squeal, especially when the song is out of your narrow range
18. Chapped lips
19. Road rage
20. Insist that you’re right even when you’re not and you and I know both know you’re not and I’ve shown you a Wikipedia entry confirming you’re wrong
21. Say “good times” when you’re with me, as though it were a nostalgic memory. It was, maybe, five seconds ago.
22. Be “over” everything perpetually. You’re “over” politics, “over” trends, “over” frozen yogurt.
23. Leave your dirty laundry, including used underwear, in my car in 90-degree temperatures while I unsuspectingly drive my family around in it.
24. Belabor your mental health problems and the litany of anti-psychotic medication you’re on. “This is my version of lithium.”
25. Underemployment, unemployment.
26. Communism (see #25)
27. Point out girls who you think are hot who obviously don’t resemble me
28. Point out guys who you think are hot who are actually hotter than you. This tells me: (1) you don’t think you’re hot (so I won’t); (2) you aren’t as hot as other guys (so maybe I should look elsewhere); and (3) I can do better than you (so maybe I will).
29. Introduce yourself as a “writer,” “historian,” or “philosopher.” No, you’re not. See also #25.
30. Ask me to introduce you to other girls (i.e.: my friends) after we’ve ended our relationship.
31. Introduce yourself as an animated character from “Rocky and Bullwinkle” because your given name is too “ethnic.”
32. If humanity has put its collective brain together to invent machines to cut the hair on your head then they’ve undoubtedly done the same for the hair that is sneaking out of your nose and ears. Please look into that.
33. Long fingernails.
35. When discussing Kim Kardashian’s “curves,” showcase your knowledge of the English vocabulary by using “volumptuous” instead of “voluptuous.” See also #27 (above).
36. Tell me that you went through a phase of “yellow fever.”
37. Find my “innocence” endearing when I pretend not to get a dirty joke. My pretend ignorance is perhaps a hopeless attempt to salvage the dignity of our conversation.
38. Ask me how many children I want to have with you before even knowing where I graduated from.
39. Speak our mother tongue in an unintelligible accent that causes me to suffer second-hand embarrassment. Practice with someone else.
40. Imply that every shared interest or experience is proof our souls knew each other before this life.
41. Order my food for me.
42. Inability to pay for a phone card while abroad. Insist that we must rely on email instead. My inbox just lost your email address.
43. Take me to dinner but make no offer to pay. Then discover that your Metrocard is empty and borrow $2.25 to get home.
44. Ignore established cultural practice of being polite when I offer to pay for your dress-shirt when you complain it’s too expensive. Instead, take up as generous offer. This will earn you the title of eunuch.
45. Stare at the bill on the table in front of us. Offer to pay when the restaurant asks us to leave.
46. Call a mutual friend at midnight to discuss details of my relationship with you. Muse that I may be too impulsive.
47. Act like a fob to endear yourself to others when your last trip to Pakistan consisted of a 2-week long stay in a major city. You spent most of that trip in the bathroom.
48. Tell me about past relationships where girls have been too needy for you. Proceed to show me exactly what that means.
49. Refuse self-improvement while telling me eagerly you’re excited to “see the results, inshaAllah” from my workout regimen.
50. Push me to the limit of writing a ridiculous, unbelievable list of your deviation from societal norms, hygienic standards, and human decency. It was the easiest part of our relationship. Thank you.