I’ve Gone Native

Just about 365 days ago, I left the reasonable rent prices and open highways of the Midwest to move to Our Nation’s Capital. It’s been a mildly crazy, oddly remarkable and whirlwindish time; arguably the best and worst year of my life. And I think I now qualify as a Washingtonian. Or at least I’m close enough to pass. The signs:

  • I’ve personally verified the Pentagon Is Full Of Hot Men myth. Yup. I took a tour and trust me; it’s like a single girl’s Mecca over there.
  • The entire Metro map is seared into my brain. And in case of a sick passenger delay, I’ve got bus alternatives memorized.
  • I’ve been indoctrinated with profound, unexplainable tourist hatred. And I can spot a sightseer at ten paces, even without the obvious fanny pack, monument brochures or matchy tie-dye shirts.
  • I’m in the Big Bag Brigade. By which I mean I carry my heels, workout clothes, lunch, intellectually impressive novel, iPod, miscellaneous Lawyerly papers, assorted girly stuff and wallet in a purse the size of Ethiopia.
  • I participate in the daily Blackberry Jam at Farragut West.
  • It’s instinctual to swerve around sidewalk grates.
  • I desperately want Bravo to film a reality show set in PG County.
  • My couch is on visitor rotation from late April to early September. Plus, I’ve been to the Natural History Museum so many times that I’ve named the dinosaurs.
  • Half my acquaintances are applying for programs/currently obtaining/have a Master’s Degree. The other half are attorneys.
  • I consider time of day, footwear, weather, potential protest factor and Metro’s maintenance plans when choosing a route to my destination.
  • When I meet somebody, I’ve a compulsion to establish what they do, where they went where to school, their political affiliation, and their general level of douchery in the first two seconds of conversation.
  • I have strong opinions on the Giant vs. Safeway vs. Harris Teeter debate.
  • I’ve learned that straight men from Georgetown wear one of the following at all times: popped collars, bow ties or boat shoes.
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11 Responses to “I’ve Gone Native”

  1. James Walker Says:

    Hi there,

    Just caught your response on TwentySomething bloggers. I’ve been in DC for a little bit and must say that once you’ve got this down you qualify:

    “When I meet somebody, I’ve a compulsion to establish what they do, where they went where to school, their political affiliation, and their general level of douchery in the first two seconds of conversation.”

    Welcome to the DC/MD/VA club!

    James

    LOL! I’ve been validated by somebody I don’t know. I’m so in. (and thanks for stopping in!)

  2. Doug Says:

    You are definitely a DC’er nowm there’s no question about it. Of course, if you’ve lived here for more than… say…. a month – then you qualify as a DC’er. No one is actually -from- here. 2 quick things — firstly, I’m really interested to meet you now so I can find out my level of douchery… and secondly — screw giant and teeter and etc. Wegmans!!! Of course, they don’t have one in DC, they closest is in Fairfax… but it’s so much better!!!

    Wegmans? I’ve heard it mentioned in reverent whispers. Sorta like the Heaven of Grocery Stores. But I’ve never been…

  3. LiLu Says:

    I’m in the Big Bag Brigade. By which I mean I carry my heels, workout clothes, lunch, intellectually impressive novel, iPod, miscellaneous Lawyerly papers, assorted girly stuff and wallet in a purse the size of Ethiopia.

    A freaking MEN. And I walk 2 miles to and from work as well, like a mule. At least it’s good for the bootay…

    If I recall, you had a clutch the first time I met you…

  4. heidi Says:

    omg. I have like a gazillion bags the size of ethiopa that change depending on day of the week, what i’m doing after work, and what color my shoes are…sad but true.

    i find that the dudes that wear the popped collars are slightly less douchey than the dudes who wear boat shoes and/or bow ties.

    and re: ““When I meet somebody, I’ve a compulsion to establish what they do, where they went where to school, their political affiliation, and their general level of douchery in the first two seconds of conversation.””

    I still do that and i’ve been here 2 1/2 years….:/

    I’m thinking of starting a big bag facebook group, because clearly, I am not alone in this behavior…

  5. Lindsey B Says:

    I am about to reach my 2 year anniversary of living in DC. Your discriptions of a DC native fit me like a glove except I can go one further.

    * Quadrent Snob: If something/someone isn’t in Northwest:
    A) He/She/It doesn’t matter
    B) He/She/It is scary
    C) It doen’t matter if A and B is true or not. I’m not going!

    Thus confirming why I need to exit Rosslyn immediately.

  6. Stella Says:

    I don’t even know where to begin. There is so much I would add to this. Like how motorcades have been reduced to casual annoyances that just impede my ability to cross the street in a timely manner. Or how spotting an obscure political strategist at Corner Bakery provides enough bragging rights to text message everyone you know. And who hasn’t become irrationally mad on Metro escalators when someone blocks the walking lane? Sigh…I love DC.

    I briefly considered motorcades and spotting a talking head, but I secretly still love both and am in no way meh about ’em. Thus, they hinder my Washingtonian street cred and were left off the list. And escalators/SmarTrip Cards/Metro Generally? You’re so right.

  7. Sean Says:

    Happy Anniversary! I was about to write that Wegmans is clearly the winner of the Giant/Safeway/Harris Teeter debate, but Doug beat me to it.

    Thanks Sean! And brilliant minds, etc etc.

  8. AnonaEsq Says:

    “When I meet somebody, I’ve a compulsion to establish what they do, where they went where to school, their political affiliation, and their general level of douchery in the first two seconds of conversation.”

    You did that before you moved.

    Not like this! That was like the warm up for the grand performance.

  9. lifebreathedeasier Says:

    I think this is the best list of Washingtonian behavior I’ve seen! I’ve just passed my one year anniversary here too and I definitely agree with these. And now that the Congressional Holiday Reception season has begun, you can add to that list that Hill interns can be found at the party with the best free food and/or open bar! Of course, I can often be found there as well, but no one said that was a bad thing….

    Also, is the Pentagon really Full of Hot Men? Might need to be getting me a tour!

    Hmmm…Can’t blame the Hill interns. I mean, open bar? And go!

  10. Herb Says:

    I have lived here long enough that I establish my general level of douchery in the first two seconds by deflecting questions about what I do, where I went to school and my political affiliation. I mean really, if they were connected at all they would know who I am.

    You are the only one actually worth knowing. Besides myself, of course.

  11. J.M. Tewkesbury Says:

    Every time I go to a D.C. function–whether it’s a blogger meet up or some whoop-dee-do social fundraiser black tie optional whatever–I swear beforehand that I am not going engage in the Golden Questions (What do you do? Where did you go to school? What’s your political affiliation?) And yet… I ALWAYS DO! Drives me nuts. I’d like to think I’m deeper than that and can find things to ask people about themselves that are infinitely more interesting.

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