Three weeks ago you came into our lives from the local Fred Meyer, your label redolent of simpler times, your frosted plastic bottle hinting at the orange bounty therein. Since then you’ve selflessly contributed cleanliness and good smell to me every day, but I’m afraid one more douse of shower water–even with your cap off–yielded none of your essence this morning. This was not a surprise as during the past week you’ve seemed less and less your vibrant, sudsy self. After much debate, we decided to put you down in the recycle bin this afternoon, retiring you with the cardboard, tin cans and random paper-y trash, where you’ll rest until the garbage man comes on Wednesday.

Dear Future Boyfriend:

Please do not be nice to me.

Kindness will only be misinterpreted as interest. If you show concern when I am weary, call because you miss me, or twirl my hair adoringly between your fingers, the fortress around my fragile heart will weaken. If you remember my birthday, I will imagine you want something kinky in bed; like eating the cake you brought home off my ass. If you send me flowers for no reason, I will, naturally, assume there is a reason. And it will probably not be good. Open the door for me, and I’ll trip on the threshold of terrified; knowing that one day you’ll walk out that very same door. Buy me a present of any worth, and I’ll denounce it as one of many lovely parting gifts to come.

We both know chivalry is dead. Let’s keep it that way.

 

Please do not be a good cook.

I have worked extremely hard to keep this body nice for you. I have binged, purged, starved, counted calories, declined carbohydrates, obsessed over organics, and lived for weeks on nothing but peppermint tea and pickles. I have run to the moon and back, bicycled twice ‘round the equator and aerobicised, jazzercised – even watercised – my way to keeping this ass tight; tight enough so you can bounce a quarter off it. If you are a master in the kitchen, my resolve might wane and my caloric intake will surpass that of a sedentary six-year-old.

Before you know it, I’ll be wearing that size six and neither of us wants that, do we?

 

Please be a gym rat, muscle-head and/or marathon man.

Despite my quarter-bouncing ass from which you will eat cake, please reduce me with your bulging guns, your rippling six-pack and your quivering quadriceps. I will strive to keep up with you, but I’ll never win. Because I eat so very little, I will faint every third hour, on the half-hour, thus requiring your big strong arms to pick me up and feed me another pickle. If you happen not to be a gym rat, please then, as a courtesy, be the polar opposite. Ignore your own beer gut, love handles and man-boobs, but demand physical perfection from me regardless.

God knows, there’s always someone younger, prettier and fitter around every corner. And speaking of God…

 

Please be a religious zealot.

Chasten me with your deep and awe-inspiring faith. Belittle me with one-on-one conversations with your personal Higher Power. Strip me of my own beliefs and elucidate the error of my ways. Riddle me with rhetoric and rhyme, rationalities and reason. Inspire me with idiosyncrasy, deride me with dogma.

And then we can go to brunch after.

 

Please, please. Just hit me. 

Physical bruises heal so much more quickly than emotional scars. I’d prefer you break my wrist than break my heart. Go ahead. Get it out. Beat me, strike me, smack me down. Jump on me, thump on me, wallop me good. Use a belt, a rope, your hand, your shoe – just not your mind, not your tongue, not your wit, not your charm.

Send me to the hospital instead.

 

Maybe there I’ll find someone who will show me compassion, someone who’ll nourish me, someone who will run the distance alongside me, someone to pray with me and someone who will heal my open wounds.