I guess I can spoil the surprise: it was just over two weeks ago. Like most people, I’ve never really considered myself a douche. I suppose if I’d ever stopped to do some self-reflection, I’d have conceded that I do have some definite douche qualities. But, a full-fledged, certified douche? I hadn’t ever thought of myself that way.
In doing some quick research, it turns out that’s the case for most douches. I asked a bunch of guys that I consider to be douches, and almost to a man, none of them felt they fit under the category of “douche”. Hard to see the forest through the trees, and all that.
The exact timing of this discovery (like I’d said, two weeks or so ago) and the method through which I discovered (Gchat) are immaterial when compared to the actual nature of the discovery and facts contained therein. I’ll get to them in a moment, but before we do… a little back story.
I met this girl probably five years ago, we both went to the same college—she having graduated a year after I did. We’d had some mutual friends and met through them one night at a bar in the city. Over the course of time, we’d wind up hanging out a number of times in a relationship that boiled down to, primarily, alcohol and intercourse. Now, for women reading this, it’s probably pretty apparent to you where this is headed—Duh, she thought you were a douche because you fucking WERE a douche! You can’t just treat a girl like that and not expect to be thought of that way! And to you, inner-monologue, I say, fair enough. But, I’ll also add, at the time* I felt as if it was a pretty mutually understood situation we found ourselves in. There would be no formal dates, no gifts, no hugs. It was, as they say, what it was.
That took place probably 3-4 years ago at this point. Since then, we’ve both moved on to various other partners (spreading our seed, y’all!) and randomly, a few weeks back, she and I spoke over gChat, that oh-so-familiar time-suck provided by our great pals at Google.
Somehow in the conversation, a guy she had dated in the past had come up. She described him as “a complete douche” and proceeded to detail several things he did that were, unequivocally, things a complete douche would do. So, we moved forward. We discussed my female situation (more on that, in full, when we get to the next episode) and a few other topics until we landed on the question of whether or not I was still living in the same place I had lived when we fooled around.
I still am, so I said yes. She asked if I was still living with my roommate, a peach of a young gent. I still am, so I said yes.
It was at this point I sort of had a sense for where this might be going. She started talking about this one time my roommate had made her french toast (for reasons unknown, I wasn’t there) and how he helped her sister (who also lived in the building at the time) with a car break-in once. So, to sort of help my case—which, in comparison to his on a nice-ness scale, will always pale—I simply typed in that I felt that, as swell of a guy as he is, I am as well, simply in my own, albeit different, way.
Her exact response, perhaps the highlight of the entire exchange:
The simplicity. The honesty. What’s not to love? She’d follow that up with this:
You weren’t that nice to me at all. I mean, I was kind of a mess when I met you, admittedly, but I don’t have a lot of fond memories. In terms of power-ranking my “ex’s” of any kind, you’re like just a few notches above [that previous guy we’d just called a douche].
Once I’d clarified that above, in this case, meant better, I surmised that I had to be, by the square is a rectangle, rectangle isn’t a square rule, a douche. Her response:
A different kind of douche, but kind a douche nonetheless. But that other guy I was talking about was a racist homophobic. I think deep down you have a good heart.
I may have lied before. That may have been my favorite part. Truly, it is hard to pick, isn’t it? I loved that the ordering of men from her past went, Racist/Homophobic/Expensive tastes douche… then me. But, thankfully, that wasn’t wholly true:
lolol No wait, there’s also an ex of mine that turned out to be a heroin addict.
Alrighty. So, to recap… it goes, Heroin addict, Racist homophobe, Scott Spinelli. That’s some company. She assured me that I was more “like a funny Disney villian”, which isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world to be told. We ended by me saying I’d maybe see her around, which wasn’t (honestly) any sort of invitation or olive branch, simply what I felt was a nice thing to say to someone that lives in the same town as I do, to end an otherwise strange conversation. She countered with yet another honest, simple response.
And so there you have it. That’s how I found out that I was a douche. Honestly, kind of felt like this.
And while I know, nothing wildly specific was provided and that the way I acted with this girl wasn’t necessarily in-line with the Gentleman’s Guide, it’s still quite something to be flat-out-told: You. Are. A. Douche.
Live to fight another day, I suppose.
*I went back and looked at some of our old conversations, via e-mail and chat. Of course, none of this is hard evidence, and this girl did say that she didn’t expect to be–for lack of a better term–wooed, but nothing I found suggested I was actively acting like a douche. OK, I’m done providing desperate-attempt-efforts to explain away what can be only be described as douche.
I thought about how I wanted to do this for a few days now. Did I want to do a top-10 style list? Maybe I could figure some way to set up groups and rank that way?* How about taking those groups and doing some sort of outlandish, March Madness-style tournament?** What about using an excerpt from my soon-to-be-published novel where the characters briefly discuss something similar?
Ultimately, I decided against all of those for the following reasons… 1) played out… 2) way too much effort… 3) not even I’m that big of a self-promoter (or, am I… as you read a site written by me created by me with the partial intent of promoting a book by me?)
I settled on just picking a handful, and breaking them down. Simple, to the point. Let’s get started.