Men + Myself + God

Things I Fear Thursday: I’m a Douche-Bag

by P. Braithwaite

pexels-photoOver the last few weeks, I tripped and fell into a snake pit of perpetually-adolescent men. I know exactly when it happened: I wore a tight dress one night, and nothing was ever the same. Now, everywhere I turn, I am in the company of a functional idiot (aka a douche-bag). I went on a date with one. I spent all night with another one. I’ve had meals with more than a few, and have been in yearlong text message threads with about 5 different idiots. This has never bothered me before, as I am a person who suffers fools lightly. In fact, I enjoy a good fool with the politeness of a mad queen: I love to be entertained until I don’t…

But I digress…

Over brunch on Sunday, after a few beverages and some mediocre chicken and waffles, I looked up with a sobriety uncharacteristic of Sunday brunch. My eyes danced wildly around my brunch table as I realized I was surrounded on all sides by really attractive, accomplished, functional-adult male idiots. As if reading my mind, one of them leaned in way too close, put his hand over my plate, and asked me if I was going to finish my waffle.

I wanted to stab him with my fork, but stopped myself…

Where am I? Who am I? I thought as I moved my plate out of his reach. At what point does the constant company of douche bags make you one by association?

No answers emerged, so I shot-gunned my mimosa for good measure (red flag), and thought: Why do we call really obnoxious men douche-bags, anyway?

For those unfamiliar, the actual definition of a douche bag is “a sterile container which holds the fluid used for giving a vaginal douche.” By that definition, the douche-bag is a good and noble tool used for general hygiene and/or medical intervention. To be a douche-bag, it would seem, is to be a vessel of healing and benevolence for women everywhere. The douche-bag is a healer! The douche-bag plunges into the unknown with good fortune and well-intentions.

The douche-bag can ruin your vaginal ecosystem, if you aren’t careful…

The good folks as Slate wrote a brief history on how the term ‘douche’ became an insult. In the piece, Brian Palmer writes:

…The Historical Dictionary of American Slang traces the epithet douche to a 1968 collection of college slang compiled at Brown University, which defined the word as “a person who always does the wrong thing.” The insult douchebag is somewhat older. The 1939 novel Ninety Times Guilty includes a pimp named Jimmy Douchebag, and the Historical Dictionary of American Slang traces the epithetical usage to a 1946 journal article about military slang, which offered the definition “a military misfit.”

These days, it’s not entirely clear what it means to call someone a douche or a douchebag. The Oxford English Dictionary defines douchebag, in its epithetical sense, as a “general term of disparagement,” or more specifically as “an unattractive or boring person.”…There’s some support for douche as simply a nonspecific term of disparagement, much like its fellow d-words dick, dillweed, and dipshit…

I don’t want to be a douche-bag. Actually, that’s not true – -I don’t really care if I’m a douche-bag, and some days I’m convinced I am one. What I FEAR, however, is that my douche-baggery is the fatal flaw that keeps me from having fulfilling romantic relationships with mature men.  Maybe if I wasn’t a d-bag, I’d have brunch with proper gentlemen, some nice boy or girl would marry me, and I’d learn to sip mimosas like an adult.

….but that’s a different post for a different day…


Note: I have no evidence that he man in this picture is a douche-bag.

File under: Things I’m writing instead of writing my book.


by P. Braithwaite




Is it just me, or does the world feel like a pressure cooker? Maybe it always has. Or maybe I’m old enough to feel tension crush my bones. We talk privilege and injustice. We trade binaries — sharp lines. We argue, repost, unfollow and overshare. We intellectualize heartache and scream across our newsfeeds. We love…we grieve…we yell at one another.

And I, disoriented, don’t know where to put my voice.

I still don’t know how to use my voice.

I’m still the 7 year old girl who reads in trees (though she might fall). I’m still so shy I want to hide when I enter rooms alone. I still cry when I think I’ve made a bad impression. I’m still the girl who wants a love so deep she’d suffocate to find it. I haven’t yet escaped my own self-loathing.

No one taught me I’m entitled to love the sound of my own voice…


image credit: Bells Design

Me, You, Everyone and No One: Thoughts On Wanderlust and Loneliness

by P. Braithwaite


On the plane back to ‘The States’ from Brazil, I pressed my nose against the window and watched America become a diorama of herself. That’s my favorite part of airplane travel. Streets too wide to cross are the width of a finger tip. A city that swallows horizons fits on a ping-pong table. And so, fueled by months away, fatigue, and this perspective, I cried for the entire 30 minutes of initial descent. I’m still not sure why (this song helped), but I sobbed quietly in my seat while my Brazilian neighbor pretended not to notice. There was sadness. And there was relief. There was excitement. And there was confusion. The feelings dissolved into each other like cotton candy hit by water.

I’m left with a sweetness that turns bitter in my mouth.  Read the rest of this entry »