A picture of a typical douchebaguette with duck face.

It’s difficult for me to admit this, but I was a solid douchebaguette during the first few years I could legally drink. But I am now a recovered douchebaguette (10 years!), and I hope that by coming clean other ladies will feel comfortable acknowledging and coming to terms with this phase of their past. I had buried that part of my personality in the deepest chasm of my unconscious, but it clawed its way out on a recent visit to the Whiskey Garden (2800 Bledsoe St., Ste. 150). My powers of repression stuffed the flirty, pretentious monster back down into its shallow grave, but I briefly came face-to-face with the ghost of myself as a 20-something and it wasn’t pretty.

Back in my post-college-but-still-going-hard-on-the-weekend years, I constantly sought out the newest bar and actually looked forward to seeing a line at the door. I fully enjoyed the confidence boost that came with walking past that line with the help of booty pants and the flirty (slutty) friend who somehow knew (hooked up with) the door guys. Once inside the plush lounge/ rooftop patio/ bottle service cantina/ insert-trendy-word for bar, the subtle hunt for free drinks from my male douche counterparts began. Eye contact or just creeping in next to a dude who happened to be ordering at the bar sometimes did the trick. But for me, being wing-woman to my “outgoing” friend always worked. Fortunately, it’s standard libation courtesy to buy drinks for both friends, not just the one a guy is hitting on. Thanks, Mandy!

I swear I wasn’t a tease lacking in self-respect. Leeching free drinks from desperate guys was just kind of what I did when I went out at that age. I wasn’t hurting anyone, unless you count the mild (crushing) disappointment guys felt when they realized I’d given them a fake phone number. Sorry, Ben!


I was at the Whiskey Garden – the newish West 7th bar is exactly the sort of see-and-be-hit-on type of bar I would have frequented in my younger days – when my inner douchebaguette seeped through a hairline crack in my psychic dam. Maybe it just recognized the environs: There was no line at the entrance to skip when I arrived, however there were strings of lights, a tiny pool, fake foliage, fancy seating, and a dedicated shot bar that I did not visit because I was too embarrassed to ask for a buttery nipple at my age. There were several long-in-the-tooth-looking guys nearby who may not have been quite as aware of their age though. They stood out like older lions looking for a wounded gazelle, but the post-Colonial tournament liquid courage was flowing through them. I had to smile when I spotted a millennial douchebaguette enjoying her free booze from them. Older golf spectator guys are such easy targets, and they usually have superior taste in alcohol. Good job, Kendall!

Being surrounded by dudes buying drinks for hot young girls in exchange for attention felt so nostalgic, comforting, and finally, annoying. I left as the line was forming outside and the bar was getting packed, just the way the old douchebaguette me would have loved. I made the decision then and there to leave that part of me behind and let the new generation of douchebaguettes keep all of the free drinks for themselves. But if you’re a young, hot lass looking for an endless supply of shallow compliments and receding hairlines, the Whiskey Garden might be your bag. Free drinks await.