If you’re ever around me and I suddenly start to seem like much more of a douche bag than normal, but you can’t put your finger on exactly why, I’m nervous.

My gestures give me away when I’m nervous or intimidated or lacking for the appropriate social response. And the reason you think I’m a bigger douche than normal (mileage varies by person on this one) is because all of my non-verbals are making me less like me, and more like some oily shithead trying to talk you into a used car you don’t want or an overpriced bottle of wine at some white tablecloth restaurant in the part of town you hate.

I don’t know why this is, but I realized it recently while at a work function where I was the youngest person there by a lot, and outranked title-wise by several pay grades. The social anxiety I have largely eradicated came back in full force, and manifested in some unbearable choad who points at people like he’s firing a gun while making a click with his cheek and winking. Then he pops his knuckles and looks at his phone.

Who the fuck is this? I wondered.

And then I couldn’t turn it off. And then I realized why. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. Anytime I’m in some situation I’m not immediately in command of, Captain D-Bag emerges and starts piloting the ship toward its unseemly destination of making a reference no one understands followed by a call for cocktails that lands with a thud. Love ya, babe. [point, click noise with mouth, wink, barf, die]

You’d think I would have noticed this by now, but you’d be surprised by the sheer number of unapologetic, unblinking, and un-self-conscious douche nozzles I deal with on a daily basis. In a lot of ways, I fit right in. And that’s truly horrifying in more ways than I care to examine.

By the way, all of this goes for double whenever I chew gum. I cannot chew gum without looking like King of the Insufferable, Axe Body Spray-wearing Cheesedicks. It’s hilarious. I look like a Blues Brother if he were really into lacrosse and Dave Matthews Band.

This one makes even less sense to me. I’ve actually watched myself chew gum in a mirror to try and figure it out. I chew normally, and yep, d-bag. Then I try to fix it, and I look even more ridiculous. I usually end up looking like an oil painting in a haunted mansion where the eyes follow you wherever you go. So I just go back to chewing like a d-bag with impunity.

I think very few of us want to douche it up (except for embedded ironic hipsters, who Kyle Kinane describes as having “a Golden Girls neck tattoo and on a unicycle” not knowing what they even really like), but sometimes it’s hard to exterminate every last vestige of it.

I’ll get there one day, I’m sure. Until then, love ya, babe.

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