1 The phrase ‘I’d say it’s bang-on average, if not slightly bigger’. Best to steer clear of the size issue. Like us talking about your weight, it can only lead to misunderstanding and hurt.
2 Obsessive accounts of your diet and exercise regime. Men like skinny women, true. But they dislike being exposed to the borderline eating disorders and pathological obsessiveness that produce them. And curvy and sane always beats mad and thin. Eventually.
3 The accusing phrase, ‘What’s wrong with the blue dress, then?’ after we have said we like the red one.
4 Any information about things you thought about buying. We are perfectly happy to admire actual purchases, but yearning for those phantom shoes/dress/bag exasperates us.
5 Stories about other men patronizing you. This will give us an irresistible urge to ruffle your hair and say in a kids-TV voice, ‘Awww, did dey? Did dey do dat to oo?’ I know, sometimes we’re asking for trouble.
6 The word ‘Fine’ as a stand-alone sentence. The scariest syllable in the female vocabulary.
7 The sound of weeping. It destroys us, and it is just bad sportsmanship.
8 Any details of strife you may be having with your female friends. The endless round of hurt and rapprochement that constitutes girls’ friendships mystifies us. If she’s that much trouble just delete her from your cell.
9 The phrase, ‘Can you turn over, you’re snoring’. Great, now that we are both of us awake.
10 The words ‘Am I special? Am I?’ Especially if you are drawing a circle around our nipple with your finger at the time.
11 Your dreams. Unless we’re in them. And in a good light, too. If not, save ‘em for the shrink.