An open letter to men, regarding Chinese takeout

I keep many thoughts to myself while indulging in a taste of the Orient, and it’s not because of the cashew chicken clogging my windpipe.

A girl is at her most vulnerable while consuming Chinese takeout: when alone, the room is likely dark, sunlight blocked by blankets pinned to the walls, limiting visibility. Last-last night’s mascara has seeped into the creases below the eyes on night one, then back into the eyeballs on night two, further obstructing sight. Deodorant has not been applied for over 48 hours, masking the scent of any approaching predator. The DVD menu of 10 Things I Hate About You is blaring the same 15 seconds of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” on repeat, overpowering the sound of an axe shattering the kitchen window.

When accompanied by a man-friend, vulnerability takes on an entirely new meaning. A twist of circumstances has led to us selecting a dining genre that is generally reserved for suburban children on busy school nights, businessmen having airport breakfasts, or self-loathing 20-something women at 3pm on Saturdays. Now that we’re here, let me tell you what I think:

Don’t tell me I “can’t actually eat all of that”. Regardless of what my previous intentions were, now that you’ve made this asinine statement I’m determined to prove you wrong.

If there’s an odd number of potstickers, I get the extra, even if I’m just saving it for later.

Your comment about the saturated fat in orange chicken is almost as unwelcome as your incorrect pronunciation of “General Tso”. I may be just a white girl but I at least have the dignity to verse myself in common American-Chinese dishes, or else keep silent.

Trying to divide our meal into “first” and “second” servings is ignorant and futile. This is an ongoing, overlapping process where beginnings and ends perpetually blur, and if you aren’t okay with that, you can stop after your “first” helping, good sir.

If I want to grip two chopsticks in each hand and shovel noodles at my face in haphazard heaps, let me.

If you think the grease dripping down my chin onto my shirt is unappealing, you shouldn’t have bought me Chinese food. If you didn’t buy me Chinese food, why the hell are you in the room with me while I eat it? Four entrees, two appetizers and a side of rice costs less than $20, so if you aren’t down to cover that, good luck paying for your Uber home, asshole.

And with that, I’m going to open both of the fortune cookies because you have no future and I control my own destiny.

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