My platonic male companions are dropping like flies. My most recent loss was very disturbing because it happened so unexpectedly. There was no illness, no accident, no coma, just sudden death. How do other women keep their male friends alive? What am I doing wrong? Am I just really slutty?

The pouring rain, the lightening, and the thunder create the perfect environment for my mood. I am back at my apartment after spending the night hanging out with a friend. My two beers taunt me as they slosh around in my stomach. They are asking for food. I make them a turkey sandwich and go over the events of the evening. It was supposed to be simple. I call up a friend, we hang out, I come home, I eat a sandwich, I eat another sandwich, I watch television, I consume a bag of microwave popcorn, and I go to bed. Yet, here I am: wide-awake, out of microwave popcorn, and very perplexed. Another man bites the dust; another man decides to venture past the line that separates friendly from too friendly.

Please dramatically read the following paragraph out loud using a sarcastic tone and lots of gestures.

I am the woman. My self-created clouds of denial have parted and they have revealed a guilty sky. I am the pretty smelling, soft skinned, eye batting, hair flipping woman and therefore, this is all my fault. I am an evil seductress, and I need to reform my ways. Men are very hard to attract and excite. They have lots of will power. A man will only make a move if he is reacting to strong, desperate signals. I never should have hung out at his apartment wearing sweatpants, an old t-shirt, and no make-up. No wonder he got the wrong idea and thought I wanted sex! I am to blame. After all, it was I who verbally aroused him with detailed stories of my menstrual cycle. It was I who serenaded him with a loud burp, after severe indigestion from a past burrito. Looking back I see the error of my ways. I had a mosquito bite on my chest (around the sternum area) and I scratched it more than once. My lips were chapped and I had no chapstick, so I licked them more than once. When I am cold I cross my arms over my chest, and when I cross my arms over my chest my breasts come closer together, and when my breasts are closer together they form an inviting, seductive, valley of lust. I felt cold in his apartment more than once. I am a whore. I was touching myself, licking my lips, and showing off my cleavage! This poor, innocent, unassuming man had no choice and could not help but maul me like a hungry animal.

I finish up my second sandwich and begin to go over the details of our final, nonsexual moments together. We are sitting on separate couches talking and listening to music. I look at my watch. I tell him I should start heading home. He stands up, I stand up, and we hug goodbye. We are hugging. We are still hugging. Now, I have large, yummy breasts, and therefore am used to men holding me a little longer when they hug me, but now I am starting to feel uncomfortable. He is rubbing my back. This is not good. I have to break away subtly and not make it seem awkward. I have to act in a way that is both virtuous and inoffensive. There is only one thing that meets this criterion: the platonic, yet affectionate, safe, yet lovable kiss on the cheek. I am a genius. I loosen my grip, turn my head, and briskly touch my lips to his cheek. Something goes terribly wrong. The kiss on the cheek is supposed to produce the "pull away, smile, goodbye arm pat." Yet, the moment after my lips touch his skin, I feel something offensively unpleasant: his tongue in my mouth. A kiss on the check is never an invitation for a tongue in the mouth! Did I lick his cheek by accident? Did I unintentionally let my hand travel to his buttocks? Did I mistakenly whisper in his ear, "I want you to ravage me like a wild animal killing his innocent prey?" No, no, and no! I KISSED HIM ON THE CHEEK!

I substitute a bag of potato chips for the microwave popcorn. My hand passes in and out of the greasy bag at a record pace while my mind attempts to keep up. I am starting to believe it is impossible to have healthy, platonic relationships with members of the opposite sex. I am almost to the bottom of the bag and am about to tilt my head back and pour in the crumbs when I stop to pull my hair away from my face. The pause in consumption is beneficial for it is then that I have a small, and probably unoriginal, epiphany. All of the females I know with healthy, friendly, male companions have relationships that share one or more of the following characteristics: at least one party is involved in a romantic attachment outside the friendship, at least one party is an active member of the gay community, and at least one party is extremely unfortunate looking. Therefore, it is definitely possible for men and women to be friends as long as they are not straight, attractive, and single.

I am feeling sad and lethargic, and it is not just the tryptophan from the turkey. I hate when men change the dynamics of a relationship without asking me first. Once a man puts his tongue in my mouth, the friendship is over. All attempts to re-create the past are not only futile and frustrating, but produce results that are both forced and fictional. Why was I upset? Why did I want a guy friend anyway? If I knew our friendship was doomed after his tongue hit my tonsils, why didn't I just pretend I was attracted to him and engage in meaningless sex? These questions popped into my head as I popped popcorn. (I cleaned out my shelf and found the hidden bag). Maybe I should stop trying to find a man that can be both a friend and a sex toy. Maybe I should just use men and then throw them away like tampons. I am feeling angry, confused, and inexplicably vengeful. I need a vice. No! I need a scapegoat-my breasts! I look down upon them and scowl, "this is all your fault, you large, beautiful, creatures of the night!" Actually, I do not blame my breasts for my romantic foibles. I have just always wanted to end a paragraph with the following sentence. As the sun continues to climb higher in the sky, I continue to eat my microwave popcorn and yell at my innocent breasts.