I know, I know, “douche” is technically a french word. I’ll not delve into the origins of the word, nor will I contest its anglophone “urban” connotation. Long-time readers have surely read about my brushes with parisian douche-toolery, but I hope you didn’t expect my accounts of douchetards would cease now that I’m no longer an expat living amidst Paris’ unique form of douchery.
Let’s face it. Douchery is an international phenomenon that is hardly limited by national borders, by urban-rural divides, or by class lines. Part of the anthropological analysis of any city’s dating scene must therefore include some treatment of The Douche Problem.
Before coming to D.C., I’d heard tales of high levels of douchery in the city, most likely due to the fact that it is, after all, the national capital and, therefore, contains high concentrations of people who live, work, breathe and bleed politics. I can’t say that this surprised me at all, but I was still in that euphoric honeymoon phase of my relationship with America, and I was reluctant to come to terms with anything that could possibly shake my faith that my interactions with the opposite sex here must, by default, be better than my experiences in Paris.
But, my first night out in D.C., I came face to face with what I now call the D.C. Doucheoisie (shout-out to my buddy, Andrew Stillman, for coining this term).
At the time, my girlfriend and I were out and about in a part of town whose nightlife demographic was well-known for being… young. Undergraduate and recent-grad age.
< Confession for the sake of context : I am NOT that age. Not by a long shot. >
While we matronly damsels were awaiting our shining carriage to whisk us homeward, one young lad of such age approached me and stated very matter-of-factly:
“I like your jacket.”
I was not wearing a jacket.
It was the height of summer, and the city was the approximate temperature of some of the deeper bowels of hell.
He then proceeded to ask me to accompany him to his place for drinks and, apparently “a good time”.
There really was no transition between his comment on my non-existent jacket and his transparent proposition.
While I admired his ballsiness, I was very keen on going home to bed (it was far past my bedtime), so I gave him a very simple response:
“No, thank you. I’m too old for you.”
But he was not to be deterred.
Mr. Seventy-Two Thousand : “No, you’re not! How old are you? What, 25 or something? Listen, I am 23 years old, and I earn $72 000 per year!”
Man-shopper’s brain : “Oh merciful christ, I can’t believe this is happening.”
Man-shopper’s mouth : “Oh, honey, that’s not the issue here.”
Mr. Seventy-Two Thousand : “Well, what else could it possibly be?”
I was gobsmacked.
I walked away at this point, but instead of “Oh, honey, that’s not the issue here,” this is what my response SHOULD have been:
” How much of that seventy-two thousand
are you willing to part with tonight? “