The Bitch has Landed. Very softly.

The title of this month’s book is, as you can see, Why Men Love Bitches. I’m afraid I have no experience in this area as, when it comes to relationships, the title of my book would be something like, Why Men are Relatively Indifferent (and Sometimes Quite Mean) Towards Pushovers.

Sure, when it comes to casual sex, I can be a total bitch. But once ensconced in a relationship I become, as one ex described me, like a 1950s housewife. I just can’t do confrontation; I am the queen of the quiet life and would much rather just suck it up and get over the many minor irritations in life than make a big fuss and possibly start an argument. Because surely my time could always be better spent sleeping or watching TV than fighting.

But seeing as how I have, oh, exactly zero healthy relationships under my belt, I figured that if the Geordie and I are indeed setting sail on the Good Ship Relationship (me vomiting below deck the whole way, mind) I should probably try a different tack because obviously this whole Revolutionary Road shtick hasn’t been working for me.

It’s time to be a bitch.

Test one: So the Geordie has made a couple of irksome “don’t get fat” jokes. I find this irritating on several reasons:

  1. Surely it is on the first page of the male-to-female handbook that men should not make comments about a woman’s hair, clothes, weight or menstrual cycle. In fact, I think John Hannah touched upon this nicely in Sliding Doors.
  2. Dude subsists entirely off of takeaways and does no exercise. As a result, he has a small little paunch (which I find adorable). I do not go around smacking cakes out of his hand and poking at it because it is NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
  3. In truth, I think he should just be quietly grateful that he gets to have sex with me. He certainly should not be trying to impart body issues onto me.

I’d been ignoring these jokes up until yesterday, when I told him I’d decided to skip the gym that night in order to go shopping.

“Go you for choosing shopping over the gym,” he emailed. “As long as you don’t go cakes shopping you’re fine.”

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Normally, I would just brood about this comment for a while and then run it past 7 of my closest friends asking for their responses.

Instead, I only ran it past my best friend, who kindly confirmed that it was a dickhead thing to say. So I summoned up all the inner bitch I could manage:

“Better watch it, sweet pea – you’re on thin ice with the cake comments.” (Apparently I find it marginally easier to be a bitch if I channel a 1940s tough-talking New York dame). Even writing this relatively non-confrontational statement filled me with more anxiety that I’d care to admit, but I knew that I had to say something. Otherwise the brooding (or, as my family like to refer to our repressed emotions, the “rageball”) will one day result in an ulcer .

He responded immediately.

“Blimey. Apologies for invoking your inner Midwestern schoolmarm. I just suddenly realized I should look out for my own interests.”

I conferred with the best friend. Was it an apology? It was not. A further confrontational statement was necessary.

I was feeling a bit nauseated at this point.

“If you continue along this vein, your interests will be a relatively moot point. In future, lay off the fat jokes.”

My anxiety levels were now at Orange Alert.

“I knew my big mouth would get me into bother one of these days. Sorry.”

Huh.

I know this sounds unbelievably, shockingly lame, but that was pretty much the most confrontational exchange I’ve ever instigated. And while it nearly gave me a heart attack and certainly made me EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE, it did feel good to air my grievances and get things (hopefully) resolved.

I’ve just got to start channeling my inner Joan Collins (which is kind of an awesome prospect, really…).

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