Saturday, October 29, 2005

College, Redux

It's Saturday night. Prime Halloween Party time. So what does a good Washingtonian do? Go to a party!

What am I doing? Sitting at home working on a couple over-due projects, sitting in the same room as a friend working on gradschool applications.

That's right. Exciting life in DC.

But it's got me thinking: what makes sometehing exciting? Being excited about it. I think too many times we do things because they're supposed to be exciting, not because, as an individual, I feel it will be exciting. I for one have been looking forward to sitting at home on a Saturday night, doing little besides reading, writing, and rummaging through files.

For the 99.975% of the world who don't really know the way DC operates, it's a town cut into fours. There's a north-south, and an east-west line running through the Capitol. Conveniently, then, there is a NW, NE, SW, and SE area of town. There's something particular about the social culture in NW (the part where I live). It's home to Adams-Morgan, the Zoo, Dupont Circle, Downtown, and I guess technically, Georgetown (though it's sort of the 5th wheel).

Its something that I guess I had absorbed, but didn't really conciously recognize until last night: it's uncommon to interact with people sans-alcohol. Bars, liquor stores, neighborhood 'groceries' do superb business in this town. I noticed it last night because I was at a Halloween party at a friend's place in Wheaton--great party Rach! The thing is, Wheaton is far, far away from the house of wonks. About 8 or 9 miles away. It's metro-accessible, but not easily--and not if one of your roommates is wearing a 3x3 foot wrapped box, a bow, and the sticker "To: Women, From: God". What do you do in this situation? If you're me, you drive.

As driver, it means I wasn't in charge of depleting the party's beer supply. It was one of the first times I'd been out at night in this city and not had more than a beer or two. It's strange. There isn't pressure to drink necessarily, it's more that someone doesn't really feel like going home yet, and without a drink one oughtn't be in the bar. Like I said, it a cultural oddity.

Today, on the way to play frisbee even FARTHER away from the house, the topic came up with several other friends--one of whom had been wearing afore mentioned box the night before--and the consensus was that it is uncommon to NOT be drinking while socializing. And then last week's chili feed came up, and how it was a refreshing change from the unclear traditions around here.

Anyway, just wanted to give a little insight to DC culture--if that isn't too big of a stretch.

1 comment:

Genya said...

And you could write me distracting emails...so I could procrastinate on my Plan B paper... on a Saturday night... on Halloween weekend... What the hell am I doing at home???