A Satire on Living, Loving, and Surviving in Washington, D.C.: A Drink at the Bar

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Le Venue

So, what’s it like living in Washington, D.C.?

I get this question a lot—especially when I’m home in the Midwest.  D.C. is a semi-mythical place to the outside world.  The national view of the Capital is a dichotomous. To some, this city is like that shown in Independence Day—our president flies fighter jets and we give aliens “the finger.” The residents all wear flag pins on their suits as they save the world each day.  View #2 is that everyone who lives in the swamp (D.C. is built on a swamp) is unfeeling and bloodsucking, like the mosquito, and is out of touch with the outside world.

Honestly, Washington, D.C. is like a group of bumbling, young girl scouts on a camping trip. I can say this because I was both a little girl and a girl scout—so no harm in my making fun of myself and my “troop” of friends.  Not many little girls get up in the morning bent on creating chaos and pain—and, like them, most people in D.C. go to work meaning well.  They want to get things done and receive praise—like selling the most Girl Scout cookies, bringing their troop greater glory, and helping people in their community.  Of course, there’s always that one girl who refuses to help paddle the canoe and just wants the next colored sash…but, you can usually win her over by trading some beanie babies—or political favors.

The second-most popular question that I get is; How is the bar scene--how are the people?

I think the biggest surprise after I moved to D.C. were the bars and their dating scene.  Back in good ‘ole Wisconsin and Ohio, bars were primarily dark, low-key places that tended to have a Badger game playing.  You show up in whatever you’re wearing: suit, flannel, hunting gear, wedding dress (it’s happened) and you’re welcomed with open arms.  You also make friends with whoever you’re sitting next to—you might even join friend groups and move on to another bar en masse.

In Washington D.C., people dress up to go out—even to patronize dive bars.  D.C. bars are the salons of revolutionary France--they are where the young, political gentry hang out and talk about themselves--and where the bourgeois go to get noticed.