A-Hole: A man who lives in your apartment (rent free), eats your groceries, sleeps in your bed, uses your shampoo/razors/soap/towels, drives your car and tells you he loves you. In his spare time he cheats on you, lies to you, buys drinks for girls, sends secret texts and emails and tells you that you have mental problems.
Barf: What you say when you see your 35 year old boyfriend fawning over one of his 19 year old female students.
Crap Story: This is a story a man tells you about himself that is total bullshit (e.g., "I am incredibly shrewd" or "I have been waiting my whole life to meet you"). It can also be a story about why he didn't answer when you called.
Douche Shuffle: The dance done when a man who believes he is not in your presence, realizes you are there. For example, say you have entered the coffee store he frequents, and you see a girl sitting at a table—a girl you believe he is having an affair with—and so you approach and being chatting with her. You notice his book and cell phone sitting on the table. She is uncomfortable. A door opens and he swaggers in. He has a spring to his step, a sparkle in his eye, chin up and hands in pockets. He notices you and changes his gait, his nonchalance, his cheater's stride. He continues forward with simultaneous horror and delight in his heart. This is the douche shuffle.
Email Persona: This is the absurd grandiose fun-loving personality adopted by your lover when he is speaking to other women on the web. This persona is full of promise and freedom and excitement; he is smart and passionate and interested; eternally attentive. He will use a phrase such as "I am not a religious person, but you were singing ad jingles to me on the street and it was the closest thing I've ever felt to religion. I wish I could have gone away with you then." You recognize this as a persona, because it is how he wooed you.
Fucking Fucker: This is a man who cheats on you and lies about it. For example, say you go to New York for the weekend and call him to talk. Say he doesn't answer but calls the next morning to tell you how much he loves you. Say you talk and then ask what he did last night. Say he yells at you for being psychotic and demanding. Now let's say you believe this and begin to detest yourself. Say that one night, after breaking up, he is drinking a martini. Say he decides to confess that in fact he slept with a girl that night.
Greece Vacation: The trip you take after your relationship has crashed and burned. You go with the purpose of remembering yourself before all these terrible things happened.
Happy: The thing he tried to extinguish within you, but you will find it and make it bright.
Introspection: When you wander around the city of Philadelphia, lie awake at night, write in journal after journal, lose your focus at work, drive in circles and circles and circles, trying to figure out why he stopped loving you.
Jello Shots: His beverage of choice. Popular at the undergrad parties.
Kristmas with Kransuzisch: Title of the movie that will made about your life. It will make no fucking sense but will be comic, and tragic, and comic again.
Love: The thing you can be in…with someone else. Someone who isn't a coward and a liar and an insecure fucked up a-hole from hell.
Martini Marathon: The race you run to the finish line of complete forgetting.
Naked Photos: What you find on his camera. She will be twenty-two, but will look almost twelve. She will have blond highlighted pigtails. Wide doll eyes and a rosy lip-glossed mouth that she will mold into a pout with every flash. She will have small breasts and her body will be virtually hairless. He will have photographed her in the shower, twirling in the living room, kissing his adult male mouth.
Out of Proportion: The accusation he will level against you every time you try to bring an issue out of your inner world of fear and anxiety and into the real world where it can be discussed (in theory). He will tell you that you're blowing (insert example) totally out of proportion. For example, you will say: "I found a receipt from August 11th. It says you got four beers and two burgers at one in the afternoon on Wednesday. You told me you were at Barnes and Noble all day." And he will respond: "We just went out for drinks [in the middle of the day, secretly, and with an age difference of 15 years—and a history of inappropriate mutual flirtation]. I didn't tell you because I knew you'd do this! You're blowing it way out of proportion!"
Parenthetical Naming/Shaming: This is when your lover sends you a note or text that clearly establishes dominance such as: "It takes two to be miserable, Abbi" or "We're just different people, Abbi."
Quick: An unfortunate trait of several men. You can handle it several ways, but sometimes it's easiest to just say "Oh, NO! I thought it was great. Really!" When he breaks up with you suddenly and without explanation, you will wish you had told him: that sucked.
Relief: What you look for, pray for, long for.
Signature Move: The shit he tries to foist on people as genuine and inspired behavior/reactions. Like: feeding the birds in Rittenhouse park. Or: sending an email attachment that is wry and inscrutable. Or: making you feel sorry for him while telling you that you are refreshing, bright and redemptive.
Therapy: A place where you go to bitch about your life. You will need to cut it off when your therapist starts calling you.
Understanding: What you try to provide over and over to the person who does not give a shit about you and/or your feelings. You will say things like: "I don't get it, actually. I don't get why you have pictures of your students on your parents' computer. Please help me understand." Or you will think things like: he's had difficult experiences in life—I just need to be more understanding of his behavior, in that light."
Vomiting Blood Across the Computer Screen: This is what happens when you realize you have been dropped from the Facebook FRIENDS of a man who you have recently begun seeing again. You call him, text him and send an email to inquire whether you've gone mad. He sends an email explaining that it's nothing you did, in particular. He's just had a realization that "you are who you are and I am who I am." Your stomach will feel like its been hit with a truck.
Wine: What you consume when the love of your life is gone and you are lying in bed, unable to sleep, unable to think about anything except how terrifyingly sad you feel.
Xanadu: A literary reference. One of many that his other girls don't recognize. But intelligence, recognition and associative abilities don't mean anything to him.
Years: Time that will go by and you will be grateful for every moment, every learning experience, every night you woke up breathless, moving through the house, looking for something you can't quite place; every car that drove away and you never saw again; every day you found a spot on the wall to stare at, waiting to feel safe in your skin; every moment that came out of nowhere and when you felt it, you took a deep, restoring breath: you were coming back.
Zero: the amount of tolerance you will have for yourself if you find yourself in a shit relationship with a shit man who gets off on giving you shit. You will give him no excuse. You will give yourself no excuse for sticking it out. You will be on the move, out the door, hitting the box in the living room with your best girls.