Monthly Archives: December 2010

a musing on recently trendy slang

i’ve noticed that the word ‘douche’ or ‘douchebag’ is being used quite a bit by even my most intimate circle of friends to denote ‘a person or attitude that is unpleasant or uncaring’. and M remarked a while back that she’s not particularly fond of it and doesn’t use it herself, because she thinks it’s misogynistic.

i don’t use those kinds of phrases much, mostly if i’m going to call anyone a bad name i call them an ass[hole]. this is surely unfairly denigrating that most important part of us upright striding beings, but it is absolutely universal and doesn’t single any group out over any other. [bastard=children of unmarried parents, bitch=women, dick=men, etc…] i’ve also tried to scrub out of my language words that evoke the struggles that some people face every day [lame, retard, crazy, etc. i struggle with crazy, and do slip up with that one. it’s mostly because i haven’t quite decided how much i can legitimately reclaim it as someone who has a lot of mental illness in my life. but that’s another post.]

so douche. it’s a pejorative term. its literal meaning is “a device used to introduce a stream of water into the body for medical or hygienic reasons, or the stream of water itself.” (thanks wikipedia) but obviously most of the time it’s used to irrigate the vagina.

now, most hippie womens’ health texts do not encourage the practice of douching. most of my friends are hippies of some sort or another. so, they might be using this phrase pejoratively because they personally think that the practice of douching is bad, bad for women, bad for vaginas. so they might be using it in a way that’s not misogynist.

but [there’s always a but!] given the phrase’s widespread acceptance in straight culture, i’m going to hypothesize that M is right, and that the reason that ‘douche’ is considered an appropriate way to heap scorn upon someone is that people think that vaginas are gross. not that douches are gross.

and that’s misogynist.

so i don’t use douche, and i kind of wish that no one did, kind of like i wish that many fewer people casually used ‘bitch’ to describe their female co-workers/ex-best-friends/difficult female relatives.

professional blues

i probably shouldn’t write about work here, and i won’t say anything specific, but instead just meditate on hard times for a moment. i’ve been out of school for several months now, looking for a job steadily during that time. i haven’t sent out tons and tons of applications, because what i’m looking for is really specific, but i also believe that i’m an extremely well-qualified candidate for the thing i’m looking for.

and i’ve sent out all these job applications, and had one interview. one. for a temp job, and i didn’t get it. i understand how hard it is right now with the bad economy and funding for just about everything drying up. but i want to know why i’m not getting interviews. i know people who get interviews all the time and flub them. i don’t, as a rule, flub interviews. i shine in interviews. i convince people who think i’m woefully underqualified that i might just have what it takes after all. even the job i didn’t get gave me tons of positive feedback on the interview.

but now my student loan payments are coming due, and i really thought that by this time it would have happened. i would have found something amazing. or at least good enough. as the year gets darker and colder, and the bills that i was just about covering comfortably almost double with the addition of my loan payments, i feel like i’m sinking into a kind of darkness. i hate being dependent on the kindness of anyone — even my beloved spouse, who is subsidizing me right now. i hate looking at myself in the mirror, growing puffy with lack of exercise and wearing old clothes that were either purchased three or four years ago or in thrift stores. i feel like my brain is slowly atrophying with the dullness of my temp job.

i know this will pass, or at least i cling to the hope that it will. i have lots of good days. i am surrounded by good friends and i have a warm place to live and food to eat and even health and dental insurance. but i want to be able to provide those things for myself. and more than that, i want to be challenged and appreciated and useful. i want to be employed not only to provide material things for myself and my loved ones, but to be contributing to the cultural exchange of ideas and work. i love working. i love going to work and having colleagues and the drama of having big deadlines to meet and the challenge it takes to meet them. i’m sad right now because i don’t have those things, and i’m not creative or disciplined enough to manufacture them for myself. some people have a day job, and a creative endeavor that is their true sustenance. for me, my work is my sustenance. which is why i’ve been selective about what to apply for — but now, i suppose i’m paying the price.

i’m really struggling with how sad and hopeless i feel about all this. i’m frustrated with myself on all sorts of levels. i can’t get away from the self-blame — if i were just more ambitious, if i had sent out more applications, if i had taken different classes or developed different skills i wouldn’t be suffering this way. if i were less gay. if i were more corporate. if i were smarter or more savvy or less self-indulgent. i don’t even know what i should be — the hard thing is that it feels like what i am is wrong.

this will pass i know but i just had to get it out of my system. thanks for reading.

***update***

literally just this minute i was notified of a job interview. maybe i just needed to wallow in misery for a while. the universe uses me as a yo-yo. whatever. i feel a bit better now.

i hear the way you lie…

so, you remember my post about that eminem & rihanna song, where i discuss how painful and difficult it is for me to listen to it, and how i do and don’t identify with it.  and lo and behold, some amazing people remade it with a message of empowerment and survival.

i am so glad.  it is like a perfect antidote.  and though it gets a tiny bit corny in a couple of spots, i’m just so happy it’s out there, and when i think about that song i can think about this version now too.

enjoy!