Monday, March 27, 2006

Cognitive Dissonance

So first, the rundown.

I spent the past weekend in DC, since Ma and Dad bought me a ticket on Southwest for my birthday. SO much fun...very little SLEEP, but much fun. Friday I flew into BWI at 9:20, at which point Scarlett picked me up and we promptly went the wrong way on the Beltway, in accordance with District of Columbia law. That road is so deceptively looks all pretty and easy and uncomplicated, but seriously, take the one exit ONCE and you'll see why it's all a clever facade. I think I wound up visiting something like eight states, including Alaska, when trying to get to Ikea in College Park once. Criminy. Anyway, we went to South Beach in Bethesda, which we thought would be a nice mid-level activity level on a Friday night...what we found was a bunch of crazy people yelling off the balcony and nothing going on inside. Luckily, we met up with the Feminista as we were going outside, and decided to go to the Rock Bottom instead, which was really awesome and good catching up times. On a side note, the basketball was on in the bar, and I would like to say that I am SO DONE WITH IT.

So at maybe 1 or 2 in the morning, we wrap it up and I go to my hotel, which is awesome. I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott on Connecticut Ave, after an arduous lodging decision process which involved going to and finding the cheapest one listed. It was great! Very clean, perfect location just above Dupont Circle, beautiful lobby, nice staff, and the comfiest bed I have EVER slept in at a hotel. Seriously. Awesome. So I crashed, after lounging around a little and being in complete love with the bed.

SO the next day I get up and hang out a little, write to Grandma and Grandad, watch The Ring Two (I don't was so comfeeeeeeee), look adoringly out of the window at Dupont, the Hilton where we wanted to have the conference one year, and the Washington Monument, and get dressed. Then I toodled around Dupont for a while, making sure to stop by Chipotle (WOO) for lunch and finding a ring that almost exactly matched a pair of earrings Ma has at Beadazzled. I sat in the circle and read for a while, caught up on a couple phone calls to confirm plans and such, then headed for Tenley to have coffee with James Bond. He's doing so, so well, and it was such a relief to not worry about whether or not he hated my guts or not. We caught up on all the usual stuff, and of course it wasn't the same as it was when we were bestest friends, but it was nice to hear what was going on for him and Lara Croft and various mutual friends. He seems so much more confident in his own skin. From there I caught up with Scarlett again and we went to get our nails done in Bethesda and learned from the other woman in the nail salon that you get avian flu from inhaling it, and you can eat avian flu infected birds all you want. Le sigh.

So then there was Shelly's, which was fun, and of course necessitated a detour by Union Station. I had dinner with the Lumberjack and that was fun, although...le sigh, I do not know. In many ways, fantastic to see him. In others, exhausting. There are just some things that are just not me anymore, and it irked me to see him not get that. But regardless, the party REALLY started when we met up with the Russian and his buddies at the Four Ps, which is now called something else...something about green fields I believe. OH my god so good to see him, and to see the Slickster and the Silent Partner again. Just like one big nerdy Model UN gang, back in action. We all got delightfully smashed and sang along with the Irish band that was playing, and the Johnny Cash they threw into the mix. Really, really fun, and nice to meet some of the Russian's law school buddies. So that was a blast, then the Slickster and the Silent Partner headed home and they dropped me at the hotel by way of a flat tire (...ugh) at 3 or 4 in the morning.

...Needless to say, I didn't make it to the loosely planned brunch. Heh.

In the morning, the hotel called a cab for me, which was nice, and packed me off to BWI, which was very nice - I love that kind of red carpetesque treatment, because it shows such nice egalitarianism. Who the hell am I? Some dork from Massachusetts who no one's ever heard of, but you bet your ass they held the door and helped me into the cab and packed my bags into the trunk. And if they are doing it for a tip? That's fine. I love it all the same, because they could just as easily pass me over and take care of other, richer, fancier folks.

At the airport, Southwest overbooked the flight I was supposed to take, so I took a bump to a flight two hours later, and got $280 out of it, so I'm gonna go see Anna Karenina next month! WOOO! It was really serendipitous. Love it.

So here's the cognitive dissonance. I can feel the difference between being here and being there. I am a different person in DC...not so much that you wouldn't recognize me,'s just a feeling, a sense of self. There's no way to say it without sounding snotty, I guess, but when I'm there, I can feel the greatness that is not only all around in the District, but that I feel in myself. In DC, I feel like there is no one better than me, no one smarter, no one who I cannot beat. I don't know what the difference is. I guess it's the way I feel about the city...that anyone can make it if they put the sweat and shoe leather into it. Some of the youngest people in DC are some of the most successful, and they are the ones that people mentally step to one side for. Not always. Obviously, there's a huge age bias in DC, but...somehow it isn't as tough as other places. Maybe just for me. I don't know.

I just want to find my balance between the two. The confidence I have in DC is so different than that that I have here. I want to bring it here, but I think in my head I want to keep the places separate. I love all of my friends so much. I just am never sure how they would react to different aspects of me. I'm guessing only really Anna Karenina, and Speed truly know all aspects of my life. Once upon a time, James Bond did, but I think we're too far gone to really count that anymore. I am not even so sure that no one can SEE all the various layers of personality, I think it might be all in the doses.

How the hell do I know. Mysteries of the human psyche, blah blah blah.

1 comment:

  1. So he's 'James Bond,' eh? I'm not sure he's coordinated enough for a name like that--or suave enough. Wait, I hope we're talking of the same person. If not, whoops.

    Visiting! WOO! And I will no longer be working for a certain caffeine dealer any longer. Long story.

    Oh, and minor issue of the day: Joey the Super-Stupid-Cat killed a hobo spider in my apartment. Yes, a hobo spider. The ones that can kill you. I heart my kitties.

    Trivia: my word to verify for this comment is "ojmvgvig." WTF.