Huffington Post this week has scraped right through the bottom of the internet barrel, and presented us with two photographic galleries of relationship ‘deal-breakers’. These are things which, if your new girl/boyfriend finds them in your flat, will mean an instant end to your relationship. Things deemed so important that people must eradicate them from their home at all costs lest they risk terrifying future partners.
For the record, and in the interests of full disclosure, here are some of mine:
Girlonthenet’s deal breakers
1. A signed photograph of Nadine Dorries.
2. A sofa smeared in fresh human excrement.
3. A well-thumbed copy of Neil Strauss’ hateful twat-manual ‘The Game’.
4. A bathroom cabinet filled with homeopathic remedies.
5. A severed human head.
With these in mind, I had a look through the HuffPo galleries, at the things they’d elevate to ‘deal breaker’ status. For the record, I’m expecting horror: racist literature, blood-splattered walls, cavepaintings drawn in one’s own faeces, etc.
Deal breakers for women
Here is a selection of HuffPo’s top ‘deal breakers’ for women – the things that, if found in a man’s apartment, would put them off for life.
1. An empty toilet roll tube. Because women, as well as being prolific urinators, are also incapable of asking you where you keep the spare loo roll.
2. A cheap Ikea coffee table. Because if you are poor and you cannot afford a nice antique coffee table, then you do not deserve coffee-cup relief. Put that cup on the fucking floor like the cheap, tasteless scumbag you are. You think I’m joking, but this is what the journo actually suggests.
3. Hair in the sink/dirty dishes/dirty sheets. These are all variations on a theme. Basically, gents, they’re telling you that all women will give a significant and powerful flying fuck about how clean your house is. Learn to de-scale a kettle or you will die alone.
4. Toothpaste in the sink. I might be alone in this, but my first thoughts were ‘what the crying FUCK is wrong with toothpaste?’ The journo kindly explains: “This is a total gross out.” What? Why? Toothpaste is a product designed to a) go in your mouth and b) make it clean. Describing it as a ‘gross-out’ displays levels of squeamishness that any sensible human would struggle to sustain.
5. No hand towel in the bathroom. That’s right – being unable to dry your hands after washing is not just an inconvenience, it is a DEAL BREAKER. If a woman has wet hands she categorically will not fuck you. As someone who has a) jeans and b) the initiative to dry my hands on my jeans should I ever find myself lacking a hand towel, this was the deal breaker for me, and the point at which I gave up on this particular gallery.
Luckily for me, you and no doubt the rest of civilisation, there was another gallery – one which evened out the balance by explaining the heinous and absolutely deal breaking crimes that women commit, as listed by the men who have broken deals because of them.
Deal breakers for men
1. Stuffed toys/blankets/dolls. Basically anything from your childhood: items from your childhood are liable to turn a man off. Burn them.
2. Pictures of your exes. Because the thought of you having ever been with another man is a turn-off so huge that no man could ever overcome it – DEAL BREAKER, remember?
3. Cats. Men clearly associate cats with bad things – spinsters, wicked witches, and Tom off of Tom and Jerry. Luckily, though, cats are the only pets mentioned, so feel free to choose from anything else in the animal kingdom. Personally I’m a big fan of snakes.
4. Nice cups. Because men will only drink things from either pint glasses or mugs, and will take any offer of beverages in a more delicate drinking receptacle as a slur on their masculinity. Remember this is not just a ‘nice to have’, it’s a DEAL BREAKER, so if you give a man coffee in a china cup, don’t be surprised if he hurls it on the carpet then storms out of your house screaming ‘I thought you were SERIOUS about this RELATIONSHIP.’
5. Tampons. And this was the point at which my head exploded, splurging gory mess all over the nice cups I keep on my cheap Ikea coffee table. I couldn’t even clean up the splurge, because when I went to the bathroom I realised I had neither hand towels nor toilet roll. So instead I just accepted that my flat would be permanently covered in blood. From now on, once every four weeks, I’ll have to wander my flat, menstruating mournfully, unable to staunch the flow with tampons in case men who love me feel a bit uncomfortable when they spot them lurking in the back of the bathroom cabinet.
I joke, of course. I am no more going to stop using tampons than I’m going to start regularly washing my sheets. But that’s not because I don’t care what men think, it’s because I am 100% confident that most people don’t actually see this stuff as a ‘deal breaker.’
It’s only a bit of fun, GOTN, you idiot
I don’t mind people playing up to stereotypes a bit to get a laugh. I don’t even mind people being a bit shallow sometimes and joking that they couldn’t possibly go out with someone who couldn’t pick their dirty pants up off the bedroom floor. But what I do object to is when lazy journos assume that humans are about seven bajillion times more shallow than we actually are.
I’m far more likely to have dirty bedsheets and a cheap Ikea coffee table than some of the guys I’ve fucked. I’ve got ex-boyfriends who will rant about my inability to clean the bathroom. I’ve fucked guys who’ve had piles of dirty washing up, plugholes that look like they need to be shaved, and – on occasion – no fucking bedsheets whatsoever. And yet none of these things has ever been a ‘deal breaker’ – for me or for my open-minded shags.
We humans are a beautifully disgusting collection of weirdos, so why are we still reading lazy jokes that make us all look like predictable, automated arseholes?
Most people will see these things for what they are – there probably won’t be men reading it thinking ‘oh God, that’s me. I never have hand towels available, it’s no wonder I’m so miserable and alone.’ But there will be women whose friends joke that they need to ditch their cats before they can find a boyfriend. There’ll be girls who feel like they should buy nice cups and soft furnishings if they’re going to be a ‘proper’ grown-up. There’ll be boys who have a weird discomfort around tampons despite the fact that they’re actually – you know – a pretty fucking normal thing to have lying around the house.
Men are filthy, indolent slobs and women are collectors of pretty, homely things. Girls hate it when guys don’t put the toilet seat down, and guys hate it when girls menstruate. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Boys are blue, girls are pink.
It’s a joke, I get it. It’s just a really fucking old one.