The One about the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

“Yesterday I had dinner with my best friend and his crazy girlfriend”, he says nonchalantly when I ask him what he’s been up to during the weekend.

A tiny alarm goes off inside my head every time a man uses the word crazy to describe a woman. Unless we are discussing someone who is suffering from an actual mental illness (note: in which case we must definitely refrain from using this word), dropping the c-word is a characterisation that I find equal parts vague and disrespectful, if not offensive. Even worse, if someone you’re dating describes their ex-girlfriend(s) as crazy, I would strongly urge you to pay the bill, grab your coat and run as fast as you can. There are high chances that these women were perfectly sane until they went into a relationship with him, which is when he drove them mad.

And yes, we might all be mad here in a very Alice in Wonderland manner, but labelling a person with just a single word seems unfair. Firstly to them, because you are summarising their existence in a single, tiny word, and secondly, to the person at the receiving end of this utterance because you have denied them the chance to hear more about the third person; neither of us is going to be objective but I need an opportunity to form an opinion of my own. Give me hard facts and insignificant details, verbs and polysyllabic nouns. A bore is someone who – to me – would show you photos of their pet every time they meet you so you can fake enthusiasm at how more handsome it has become. To someone else, it could be someone who has been having the same breakfast every single day since they were sixteen. Evil sounds like Regina George to me; to you it might be Darth Vader.


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