Monday, November 25, 2013
The 5 DC Things I Will Never Do
I have to wake up at sunshine o'clock tomorrow morning to drive down to DC and find myself an apartment because I am starting work next week!!! Of course, it's midnight and instead of sleeping I am laying in bed blogging and worrying about the transition. I am psyched to move and start my job, but that doesn't mean my previous misgivings about life in Washington have ceased to exist. Here are 5 DC behaviors I promise never to emulate, as much to myself as to you:
1) Introduce people by their jobs. This is the number one complaint that people have about DC and I've already started to catch myself doing it. I cringe when I meet someone and their first question is, "What do you do?" especially when this evokes a snarky little quip about my profession or a game of six degrees of separation. Don't get me wrong, I want to know what you do for a living eventually and of course my job is a huge part of my identity, but the second I start confusing where people work with who they are, I'm on the next Amtrak back to New York.
2) Pretend I know things I don't. I don't care how ignorant I sound, if you mention someone or something casually in conversation and I don't know about it, I'm gonna ask you. And I will be asking a lot because as much as I know about campaigns, I know very little about what happens in other facets of politics. Even in the campaign world, I've never been one of those people with an encyclopedic knowledge of who's running where. DC people causally mention elected officials and other politicos in front of me all the time and then act stunned when I don't recognize the name and even more stunned that I fessed up and asked. I complained about this to a DC friend the other day and he said "why don't you just sit back and listen and then you'll eventually absorb it?" Because I am curious and like to learn things and because name-dropping politicians or bills or events and then feigning disbelief that someone else doesn't know the same things you do is a shitty way to be. You should be embarrassed, not me. (By the way, I just googled "who is the Mayor of Washington, DC?" So you can safely mention Vincent Gray in front of me.)
3) Stop being spontaneous. Here is something I really don't understand about DC. You need to reserve people like 1,000 years in advance if you want to do something with them, only to have them cancel last minute half the time because of work. I thought maybe this was just me, but one of my old campaign friends brought this up too last time I was down there. I get that lives are busy and people are focused on their jobs, but for me one of the greatest joys of friendship is being able to call someone and say, "Hey, what are you doing?" and have it turn into an unexpectedly awesome evening. After all, you're talking to a girl who once went on a cross-country road trip as a second date.
4) Play fantasy football. I think this might be a function of the bro-yness of campaign people, but why is everyone I know in politics so into football? Especially fake football. I don't get it. I do plan on learning the rules to football though.
5) Act like DC can go toe to toe with New York. Here are some things DC has over New York: my friends (the ones who live in DC, not New York), slightly lower cost of living, jobs I want, the Federal government. Here are some things New York has over DC: Practically everything else. I'm not saying there are not good or unique things about DC or that I don't intend to find them and have a lot of fun there, but any sentence that starts "DC has just as much..." No, no it does not. For culture, food, diversity, public transportation, DC does not even come CLOSE to touching New York City. People who claim otherwise sound sad and pathetic and seem to be missing out on enjoying the city for what it is and the character it has by pretending it's something it's not.
Sorry for being such a DC you next Tuesday. I really am excited about this new adventure! DC natives and transplants, what should I look forward to about DC? I know you have recommendations for me!
Campaign Love and Mine,