Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So I live in DC

I've been in DC for awhile now and here are a few of my initial observations:

Traffic is the worst. Like, really. Like old ladies driving in a monsoon in Tucson crossed with Guinean cab drivers bad- although somehow with fewer accidents... In the first week I've been lost, honked at, flipped off and almost crashed into- several times. This girl comes from a city with one interstate (well, maybe two- but who goes to the south side, really?), so this is nuts. Thank god for the metro, which brings me to my next point...

Walking. It is HOT. Tucson hot plus humidity. Ouch. The metro is a great way to get around, but of course you have to walk to get to the stations. If you thought you looked cute when you left your house just go ahead and dump a bucket of sweat over your head before you leave so you know what you'll really look like in an hour. Not even close to cute. 

I wish you could make friends on the metro. The way you do in airplanes (yeah, sorry, I'm totally that person). Instead, people just insert iPod ear pieces into their ears and try not to get caught staring at the often absurd sights sitting across from them. Or, they make it very clear that they are super-fun, popular people, and you are not. For instance, while learning to use the metro, perhaps you are followed by a group of teenage girls who laugh and openly mock you every time you swipe your card the wrong way, or go to the wrong escalator and then have to sprint to the other side of the metro station to make your train, or try to get off the metro on the wrong side of the car. I haven't seen that viral video of the kids being mean to the bus monitor, but I image it was very similar to my experience on the metro. Except, as I was leaving I turned around and hissed "you're fatttt" and then ran as fast as I could. Hopefully they all have eating disorders now.

On the bright side, I had serious concerns I was going to be the untrendiest person in DC with my endless, boring tank-top-and-cardigan-and-flip-flop combinations. I even told M I was going to have to go shopping for some cool clothes when we got here, to which he responded "Honey, you look great in anything you wear." Obviously, this was code for "Honey, no matter how much money you spend trying, you'll never look trendy, so please, don't." While I am still mad at M for saying (not-saying) this, it turns out I may be okay! While I may not be dressed up all fashiony, I'm at least pragmatic. Have you ever seen a bunch of disgustingly sweaty, trendy, name-brand-suit-and-tie-wearing thirty-somethings trying to keep cool and calm while sitting on a hot metro surrounded by a bunch of ridiculously dressed tourists and their bratty children who are screaming, spilling and crawling all over? I have. My tank tops and flip-flops win. 

Ahhh, apartment living. I swore, after my first apartment with my first roommate and our first peeping tom incident, that I would never live in an apartment again. But alas, here I am. It's not bad here, although it'll certainly be better when my half-a-food-processor arrives. There's a pool, tennis courts and some other work-out stuff, but most importantly, there is a store on site that sells wine. I guess it'll be okay after all.

My second day here I went to the Safeway (as opposed to the unSafeway I tried to go to the first day- that didn't end well for anybody) and bought everything I need, plus some, for the kitchen. I have this feeling that if the kitchen is fully stocked, then I will be okay. There is no rationale behind this feeling, as my homemaker skills are nil, but it may have something to do with seeing The Road two years ago. If the world ends and we're in DC, there will be no food in ANY of the grocery stores, but guess what? There will be food at my house. You'd think I would have learned to stop hoarding food after moving out of the last house and spending two full days working on moving out of my last kitchen, or maybe my accumulation of the "road-trip 10" should've been enough of a deterrent, but no. I will not eat a hair-less cat.

(M has informed me that no one gets this. The cat hunt from the opening scene from The Road-- am I the only one who was disturbed enough to remember this?)

I've been spending a lot of time at Target as well. There are several reasons for this: a) I know how to get there; b) It's something to do; c) It's basically like watching Real Housewives of DC, LIVE. M would disagree, but it's also a great way for us to save money. As much as I would love to buy clothes at this Target, all the size S and M clothes are always sold out. I do not know how this is possible, because I know the real housewives of DC are not buying them- apparently Target brands don't go well with Louis Vitton. Until Target figures out that I lurk there for fun and they could make some money off me by simply stocking those sizes, I'll consider it their loss. Beyond that, watching screaming, obnoxious children go crazy all over their sleep-deprived mothers who are fighting on the phones with their husbands about who is going to pick the cat up from the kitty day spa is a great form of birth control. How's that for some savings, love?*

The dogs are adjusting. They still walk up to the car every time we go outside, expecting to begin the journey to our next destination, but they'll catch on eventually.

When we first arrived Loki was so terrified the balcony was going to fall (or that jerky Kima was going to push him off) that he never ventured out. He has only started to take the first steps onto the balcony. And that's only because we put his food out there. So, he spends most his time inside, hoping something will fall from one of the shelves in our overstocked kitchen or that I will leave the treats out and walk into the next room. This often works out in his favor.

Kima has a new-found confidence looking out from her fourth-floor perch. Anytime a human, dog, car, rabbit, bird or nothing moves underneath our apartment, the entire apartment complex is warned of the certain impending doom by a serious of ferocious barks and sing-songy howls that sound somewhat like what I would image a distressed sea-lion would sound like. And, of course, Loki stands a few feet behind her (inside the apartment) and accompanies her, alternating between barking and horribly pathetic whining that is reminiscent of a prepubescent boy trying to sing--since he knows he's not supposed to bark (good dog?)--lending himself to what turns into a beautiful cacophony of angry, dying sea mammals. I'm sure the coast guard (or a talent scout) will be here soon.

Here is a link to another person with interesting pets in an apartment complex:

The curling iron gets it next time, lady.
I start French soon and we are worried that during the day the dogs may get so angry about being locked in a one-bedroom apartment, they may throw their potty training and good dog reservations to the wind and just start peeing on and chewing up our things to extract their revenge. This is clearly the most obvious way to make their point, and they are well aware that we understand it. In fact, our lack of writing utensils, hair supplies, headlamps, shoes and nice flooring are fully attributable to the dogs being overwhelmingly disappointed by our performance as dog parents. Shame on us for going out to dinner and a movie!!

In an attempt to stop the violence against my hair accessories and M's shoes, we have decided to get a patio-potty station for our delightful (aka ridiculously spoiled) dogs. We found a few online, but M thinks they are ridiculously priced, and we can make one ourselves, so we are planning on doing this project this weekend!! I actually already ordered one online. I'm just playing along with the idea that we might actually make a design, go to Home Depot, spend money on both tools and supplies and spend our free time doing a labor intensive project that is destined to be a lopsided patch of dirt on our patio, when we could be eating tapas and drinking sangria. There's about a 0% chance of that actually happening. I'll tell M when we get to Home Depot, if he doesn't naturally come to that conclusion himself.

In the meantime, I try and keep the dogs active and healthy. There is a dog park nearby that we occasionally visit, and sometimes when I'm feeling particularly lazy (often), I just race them up and down the apartment hallways. This is a delightful way to zap their energy and leave them too tired to be obnoxious. Racing them this way is a precise science. There is a delicate balance between racing the dogs long enough to exhaust them and avoiding making people look away from their regularly scheduled HBO programs, get off the couch and investigate the circus of dying sea lions performing outside their doors. So far, my scientific calculations have been precise and we haven't been caught. However, I'm always scared someone is going to walk out with their kids, and a toddler will be doggy-head-butted down the hallway. I suppose I'm willing to take that risk. Kids heal quickly, right?

I haven't made many friends at the apartment complex. This can mostly be attributed to the fact that either my dogs are knocking over their kids or I'm missing opportunities to meet people because I'm spending so much time at Target. I do occasionally interact with some of the moms in the complex. This normally occurs as I walk by a group of them, oohing and ahhhing at their offspring on the playground, as I head to the convience store. While they don't look at me as I'm headed into the store, I can feel the pitiful glances towards me as I walk out of the store and back towards our apartment with a bottle of wine (for dinner). I can almost hear their sympathetic thoughts "Poor girl! She looks to be about child bearing age, and yet she has no babies, nothing to fulfill her life the way ours are fulfilled! She just has wine. She probably wishes she could have babies, so she could be happy like us, sitting here together and exchanging glances at the playground. What a sad, drunk lady." It's like doing the housewife walk of shame.

But yes, I am jealous! I would like to be a part of a club, or a clique, or have a friend. But, until I find another sarcastic 30-something that enjoys wine and making an ass of herself, I'm afraid my only hope is the playground moms. After days of contemplation, I think I have found the way to win a place in their circle, without immediately giving birth to a 2-year-old: flour baby! I will make sure my flour baby has a cute little button nose and big round blue eyes, with cute little rope arms so I can drag it from obstacle to obstacle on the playground. I will talk with all the other moms about how complete my life is now, how much more advanced my child is when compared to an average baby of the same age and how much I looooove poopy diapers and housework. I'd certainly make friends then.

My kid's cuter than yours.

Or maybe that's too much effort and I should just keep going to Target. Me and the lady at the Starbucks counter are getting pretty close.

* I just said all of that to keep M happy and lure him into a false sense of security regarding both the amount of money I spend at Target and wanting a baby. Momma totally wants a baby. And a nanny.


  1. HAHAHAHAHA!! Your link also reminded me of something you would do to get out of fines for having pets at a no-pet complex :) This is hilarious!

  2. Ha ha yeah right, those moms are for sure jealous. They are thinking, how do I become friends with that wino.

  3. Haha, oh man I totally hear you on the "what do you mean there aren't any childless, cool, sarcastic 20-30 somethings just hanging out at home all day for me to be friends with?" It sucks, it totally does. Hopefully Togo will be better. International school teachers often make great buddies, they were our best friends at post before we had a baby. And then, yes a baby =mega social life, albeit one that usually ends at 6pm on the dot.

  4. Sadly enough, I have the "I have kids, you have no kids so let's not be friends" experience at post. Boo! Hoping you don't get that in Togo, but here in Manila making friends has sucked, even after being here for more than a year (on the bright side, I have a bunch of single and childless couples in DC, so at least I had a social life before, and looking forward to getting that back next year when we get to FSI).

  5. Sorry that we weren't there at the same time - I'd love to be hanging out by the pool or bbqs sipping wine and chatting. I've got kids - but thankfully they can do the playground thing by themselves (and they do come in handy for those after dinner errands to the convenience store for ice cream!).