Since returning from the desert, my already limited ability to tolerate mansplainers has evaporated entirely. Exhibit A: I was just cowering at Oslo coffee shop, waiting for the thunderstorm to subside while working on an overdue essay. In sails a former suitor, and by this I mean a man with whom mildly flirted for years though I’ve always rebuffed his direct invitations. I call this man The Crossword Bandit, or Bandy, because he often fills out the New York Times crossword incorrectly in ink, a transgression some may consider a dealbreaker in and of itself.

 Today he started to hold forth on his favorite topic: the toxicity of any diet containing carbohydrates, “even whole grains.”  He delivered this lecture while staring pointedly at my body, which was looking especially matronly in the tent dress in which I like to write. Suffice it to say I cut him off at the knees.

“I get that being a zealot on this topic helps you feel you will never die,” I said. “But I don’t have the bandwidth for your sermon today.”

“This has nothing to do with zealousness,” he railed.

“You mean zeal,” I said calmly.

The Bandit turned red, opened and shut his mouth a few times, and then ran back into the thunderstorm, calling over his shoulder, “Have a nice life!”

I mean, I get that correcting someone’s grammar is bad blood on my part. But telling a woman–a grown-ass woman–to cut out carbs is a real low in male-female congress. As Beztie said upon hearing this story, “Go body-shame some weaker human, Mister Man.” Better yet, body-shame no one, ever.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy