My Self Intervention and Living As A Recovering Douche Bag
Being a douche bag is just like any other addiction: Every morning I wake up is another day I might relapse. I’m not perfect - I think reading this website makes that clear - but I do make a concerted effort to make one less poor person joke than the day prior.
Listen, I'm no doctor, but if I had to guess, I'd say my douchebaggery was learned rather than caused by genetics. My parents are nice, well-mannered, down to earth people. My father recently took a 50% pay cut, and my mother took an 80% pay cut to work as a cashier, just so they could finally move to Florida and live by a beach. That takes humility.
Despite my upbringing, there's only so much a parent can do for their kids before one of those children (me) takes it upon themselves to smoke a cigar on the front porch in basketball shorts and no shirt whilst ashing into a spicy mayo cup, unironically.
That being said, during mid-July this year, I finally started to feel like I was turning the page. I drank less at night, woke up early, walked the dogs I was watching before work, and even read the Wall Street Journal without posting a single picture on Instagram to show my absurdly high IQ. That all changed this past weekend when I, once again, severely relapsed.
This past Saturday morning, I woke up and immediately started my day off strong. I was up by 7 AM, worked for 3 or 4 hours, cut my lawn, pulled weeds like a divorced middle-aged woman, and washed two cars. I was in full-blown responsible dad mode.
As dawn came near, though, my inner frat star, "Chad," took over. I drove to the cigar store to pick up a nice stogie to celebrate my productive week. When I returned home, as mentioned before, I started to smoke without a shirt on, gazing at the AARP demographic that fills my neighbor's houses. Things only progressed from there after a friend arrived and tossed me a Peroni, AKA Italian Heinekens. Next thing I knew, two more friends came over, and the liquor began to pour. Just like that, I was back in my old ways, drinking Kombucha and vodka mixed drinks, calling an Uber to head to a nearby COVID infested bar.
When I walked up to the entrance, I handed the bouncer my passport. He could smell douche bag all over me, or perhaps that was the Dolce and Gabbana cologne I slathered on before leaving the house. He took one look at my passport, then at me, handed it back, and said, "Passport…real responsible."
He wasn't wrong. I had my passport issued back in 2012 when I went to Cancun for spring break. It serves as a constant reminder that my douche bag ways date back to my senior year in high school, as well as my inability to hold onto a license when I drink.
The night progressed and, naturally, the girls we met up got kicked out for not wanting to follow social distancing rules. We let them leave and continued our drinking. Eventually, a point came where it was time to head home. Before asking for the bills, my friend asked if any of us would take a Jager Bomb shot with him…
**Deep Breath** And this pains me to admit….Without hesitation, I volunteered.
I woke up Sunday in a panic, racing to Instagram to erase whatever stories I had posted. The Sunday Scaries were already in full effect. For those of you unaware of what Sunday Scaries are, it's the body's natural relapse response after you spend an entire weekend acting like a full blown douche bag.
Later that Sunday, I attempted to fill that void by continuing my search for a puppy to raise. I assume this decision comes from a similar place of many parents that roam this Earth: Rather than taking the time for some self improvement, let's just raise something instead and see how that goes. In my mind, there's nothing better you can do than rescue a dog and raise it to live a happy life. At least, that's how I sold myself on the idea. Subconsciously, adopting a dog was nothing more than a ploy to buy friends; Quite literally creating a frat.
"Oh, but Bigleys, you're simply overthinking all of this. Don't be so hard on yourself," says someone in the back.
Don't get me wrong, person I just made up, I appreciate the vow of confidence, but of the hundreds of puppies I looked at that night, these were the only two I applied for:
Preston and Paxton?! Being a douche bag had become such a constant in my life that it took over my subconscious. Was I trying to start the sickest Lacrosse team Michigan has ever seen? Was I about to nail Greek letters to my parent's front door? How is it that out of all the adorable canines, I chose the only two frat brothers - Preston and Paxton?
I'm well aware that many of you reading this are generally decent human beings, so it has to be hard for you to understand what it's like to be a douche bag. Changing this kind of behavior isn't as simple as snapping your fingers and doing Sudoku puzzles for fun. I have to examine and reexamine every move I make. I can tell myself I'm saving a dog's life all I want, but deep down inside, I know it's nothing more than buying friends.
That night, I smoked a bowl on the back porch and thought about my past weekend's actions. After finishing, I came in, turned on nighttime yoga with Adriene, stretched out the bad vibes, and then legitimately thought to myself, "It's been a stressful couple of days."
A stressful couple of days? Doing what? Smoking cigars, drinking, and not practicing proper COVID etiquette? It must have been terrifying when you left your garage open for 8 hours - not because there was any possibility of having something stolen in your crime-free neighborhood - but rather the small percentage chance that the rain would splash and hit the freshly washed cars.
Things finally came full circle that next Monday afternoon. During my lunch break, I headed to Kroger to pick up some turkey burgers and rice - 'cuz gainz. I walked into the garage, hopped in my mother's Mercedes, looked in the mirror, and realized just how far down the rabbit hole I had fallen. It wasn't simply the aesthetic of me driving mother's Mercedes, or the fact that I just used the word 'aesthetic;' It was that I amplified that decision by wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt and Jordan brand shorts and shoes. I looked like I was about to sit outside of my old high school for the 2:15 PM bell to pick up my 17, going on 18-year-old girlfriend.
I think it's safe to say that I've officially hit an all-time low. I'm one slip up away from going out in public in Sperry's, Chubbies, a pink polo, a pair of Ray-Ban Clubmasters, and my "Party With Sluts” trucker hat. I'm, quite literally, one more EDM playlist away from becoming the human embodiment of a Chainsmokers concert in the Hampton's.
For those reason's, I ask that you pray for me on my journey to humility. No more driving 45 minutes to get a $50 haircut, strictly because I like it when they put a quarter in the old Coke machine and hand me a beer. It's time I return to my roots, head to a Supercuts, describe what I want, and hope for the best.
Life is better when lived humbly. My journey to normalcy may be a long one, but it's one that I must take before I buy a Ferragamo belt. One day at a time…that's all I can really do.
PS - I'm still getting a dog and threatened violence against myself if my mother bad mouths me when the adoption agency calls her...