The word douche has become the hip thing to say when trying to put someone down. I hear people using it all the time, and it's always the cool ones that do it. I've been trying to work it into my vocabulary recently, so I can be cool like the rest of them. I never would have suspected, after all of this, that I am a douchebag. I think I have been all along.
I've been reading a lot about creating characters for fiction recently. People say that when you're creating your bad guy, be sure to give him depth, and a good reason to do the things that he does. And I've heard this next part in more than one place, they say, nobody thinks of themselves as the bad guy. They're all the hero of their own story. So, it was really weird for me to realize that I was a douche. I've always thought of myself as the hero, the good guy, not the d-bag.
Case in point. The other night, I was hoping to leave work right away. All I had to do, was start a video dub going before I left, and I would be golden. So, the moment the machine became available, I rushed in and started it. Then I grabbed my things and headed for the door. I wasn't working my normal schedule, so I wasn't used to the way things ran, and I forgot that they needed to record a sports thing with the machine first.
The guys who were preparing to do this were a little miffed at me for starting my dub, and they came out to stop me from going home. I was also a little miffed because they stopped me from heading out the door for home. I automatically went into douchebag mode. "Oh, sorry," I said with anger and sarcasm, "I forgot about your bullsh*t sports thing, blah blah blah."
I said this not only in front of the technicians who would be recording this thing, but also right in front of the guy who had worked to prepare the whole thing.
Someone uninvolved, but within earshot said, "Wow," amazed at my lack of respect for anyone and everyone.
At that moment, I realized that I'd gone too far, and I quickly tried to make it sound like a joke. "I mean...your valuable...contribution to us all.."
In the end, I don't think it'll cost me my job or anything, but it could cost me the respect and goodwill of some of the people I work with.
So the next day, I continued to dwell on my outburst, and that's when I came to the realization that I was in fact a douche. This wasn't a new thing. I can think all the way back to college, when a friend of mine suggested to me that he should deal with a teacher that didn't want to give a project that we were working on the go-ahead.
"If you talk to her, you'll get mad and start saying all sorts of stupid, angry things, and then we'll really be screwed," he reasoned. And he was right, that was my defense mechanism. And it continues to be.
So I realized Friday, that I am a douche. You would think that sort of revelation would initiate some sort of resolve to change, but would a douchebag change?
The next day, my wife asked me to figure out which of the kids MP3/Video players still worked. We're about to take our summer vacation, and long drives are much more pleasant when kids have something to keep them engaged. So I started working on that while she cleaned up the house a bit.
Determining the problem with these players was more of a pain than it should be, but I was methodically working my way through it. My wife, however, had finished with her house cleaning, and was ready to move on to the next thing on her checklist, yardwork.
"Are you ready to go help me in the yard?" she asked.
Oh crap, I thought. I was only halfway through my checklist for figuring out the problem with these things. I would forget which player had which problem if I stopped in the middle.
"No," I said flatly.
"But I have to go to work at two," said my wife, "If you don't come and help me now, then I won't be able to get everything done before I go. Can't you do this once I'm gone."
I had a good reason not to jump up and help her. Maybe if I explained it to her nicely, she'd understand and tell me to finish what I was doing. But that's not what I did. I flew into full douche mode, standing up from my desk, shutting down everything, and stomping away, nearly toppling the desk chair in the process.
"Fine, fine. I'll come help you. You just wasted an hour of my time, but fine who cares."
My wife had the stones to say, "If you're going to come out there and act all grumpy like this then don't come, because I don't want to deal with it," because, obviously, I've been a douche all along, acting like this all the time.
I walked out the door to the backyard thinking to myself, "there you go again, douchebag. I thought the plan was to give up on douchebaggery." But I guess that's easier said than done. What's worse is that it's one thing to be a douche to acquaintances and strangers at work, but to do it to my family and those that I care about the most is just awful. At least I recognize that I have a problem, there's that. That's the beginning of the twelve step program isn't it? Hi, I'm Big Anklevich, and I'm a douchebag. Maybe it's a good start on a return trip to being a decent human being again, if I ever was one to begin with.
You may wonder why I'm writing all this down and then posting it on my blog. I couldn't really answer. I'm wondering the same thing. It's not like that's the best way to win friends, telling everyone that you're a douche. Maybe, just putting it down in black and white will help me get it off my chest so that I can move one. I just don't know.
I don't know what to say about comments on this post either. I assume that the comments will be people saying, "Buck up, little camper, you're not a douche, you're just big boned," or, "If you're a douche, then we all are." And I'm not fishing for that, honestly. I would say, don't leave comments on the post, but that feels like a douchebag kind of thing to do. I guess I'll just turn comments off for this one post. I assumed I was too clueless to do that, but it turns out it's an easy enough thing after all. Maybe I'll just bury this post, pre-date it so that it shows up a few posts down the page. I definitely won't tweet about this post, that's for sure.
Crap, I've gone on too long. I guess I'll quit while I'm ahead...who am I kidding...while I'm behind, and move one. Merry Christmas everybody.