Monday, July 13, 2009

The Douchebag Conundrum

I was having dinner recently with my dear friend Valerie. We had met in college at Student Government Association meetings, and had once worked together after college. I was telling her a story about Bad News Gary. It went a little something like this:

I was at work and needed to go outside to fetch something from my truck. Bad News Gary was standing outside smoking a cigarette.

As I walked by he said, "Man, you've got a lot of gray hair."

I looked at him, "Yeah, maybe. I doesn't bother me any."

"You should dye your hair, like me," he says, with that creepy smirk of his.

"Yeah?" I said, "Lemme see." He pulls off his ratty baseball hat to show what can best be described as a six-week-old Just For Men wash-out of a dye job. I sort of snort and cough a little, trying not to crack up. "Dude. Your hair is purple. You look like a douchebag."

"Whoa whoa WHOA." Valerie waves her napkin in the air for extra emphasis. "That is COMPLETELY inappropriate!"


"Douchebag? DOUCHEBAG?!?"

This was shocking to me. I felt "douchebag", "douche", and "douchiness" were perfectly acceptable terms when used in a casual conversation. Granted, I wouldn't call someone a douchebag in front of my Gramma, but we were old friends, and this word was tame compared to some of the conversations Val and I had had in the past. She was a stalwart opponent to its use. She seemed almost scandalized.

"Do you even know what a douchebag IS?" she asked. Jokingly, I said I did not, but that it had something to do with walking with your mom on the beach. We asked our server if she could give us any insight on the matter.

"Well, personally, I NEVER swear," she said. This was, again, shocking to me. Swearing? I put calling someone a douchebag on par with calling them a putz. Surely, not the nicest thing you can call someone, but it's not like saying something nasty about a fella's mother. Plus, it seems as if it has become something else, a way to describe a certain type of moron, usually a "dude", overly confident, and oblivious to how ridiculous he is. There is ample proof on the interwebs to prove this. Like this. And this. And this.

I would love for someone to prove me wrong on this, if you are out there.

[Thanks to my lovely friend Morgan for some help on this post. Check out her blog, she makes some pretty, pretty things. And buy flowers from her, dammit.]

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