Well, it had to happen sooner or later, a guest blog from the Mrs. Idiot. I tend to interrupt and talk over Mr. Idiot in normal conversation and at parties, so this is just the natural progression of things, I guess. I had to ask permission, because, knowing I tend to ask forgiveness rather than permission usually, the Idiot has high security on the blog access. But, he graciously has agreed to give over the soapbox because I just got home from Washington D.C. and have several thoughts to share. I went for a seminar for tax attorneys, which you might think would not produce any chuckle-worthy moments, but you'd be wrong. Random musings of the Idiot's idiot wife, in chronological order:
1. I arrived the same day as the Million More March. I discovered this when I walked out of my hotel, right down the street from the Capitol. It was readily and immediately apparent. I was the only white girl for miles, or at least many blocks. It was a million black muslims and one white catholic girl milling about. I began singing the "One of these things just doesn't belong" song from Sesame Street in my head to calm the extreme self-consciousness, but I suspect my smile and casual, breezy strolling style (trying for a certain "look, I could have been raised in the ghetto too" jauntiness) looked more like full rigor had set in and I was still trying to move muscles despite that. I made the quick calculation to get dinner somewhere close, to go, and disappear back into the white suburban enclave of my hotel room. I suspect I amused many a person with my jaunty rigor style and someone is probably off blogging right now about the zombie white girl.
2. Although I don't need to hit 100 in my lifetime, I did go to a bar. It was a regular looking microbrewery with sports on TV, The Capitol City Cafe---housed in the former main Post Office or something like that-- but it was manned by Washington wannabes. I asked for something "like a Sam Adams Light" and with total horror and snobbery, the bartender says "I don't even know what that is". Right. So I said "ok, that means something that is the opposite of Guinness" (I know, I know, Mr. Idiot bravely puts up with my terrible beer taste) and he brought me an Apricot Wheat Beer. Which was terrific for those of us who drink beer but don't really like it--kinda like a Zima with a pinch of Orange Schnapps. Mmmmmm!
I then put in my dinner order (way too much food but I was going back to white island and didn't want to venture out again, so felt like I was getting supplies) and waited. That is where the strangeness came in. The bartender started talking about what he did in his off hours with the patron next to me. You know how in Hollywood every bartender or barista is an actor? I think the Washington bartenders want to be pundits. This guys spends more than 2 hours each morning reading all the papers--all of which papers I'm not sure, but all of them, whichever mattered. Then he reads Internet stuff then the TV. Why, why, why??? is what I was thinking in my head and then he said "and it was awesome, in the 2004 election? I called it down to the .5% difference. I got each state right, except one or two, but I got it, man, I called it." He then talked about his research which included going to Irish betting sites where one can bet on the US presidential election. So, I says "did you bet then? if you were so certain?" He glared at me and said, "No, but I will next time." He glared at me a little more and then ignored me as a clear example of the hayseeds who live outside the Beltway who deserve nothing except to be shot.
3. My new favorite show is Inked on the Discovery Channel. Not to be confused with Miami Ink, this is the one with Pink's fiancee, Carey Hart (not to be confused with Corey Hart) and some other guy who own a tattoo parlor in the Vegas Hard Rock. I stayed in bed for a good portion of Sunday morning watching bad TV (guilty pleasure!) and saw several episodes in a row. I love it because it shows that everyone works with idiots and blowhards, and some are way more tattoo'd than the ones I work with. And it shows that really really drunk people in Vegas have straaaaannnnngggggeeee ideas.
4. Ok, this is getting long, I fear the Idiot is going to complain, so I'll hurry along. Sunday I walked the Mall from the Capitol to the Washington Monument and giggled several times thinking of a recent conversation with the Teen. As an aside--while walking the Mall the day after the March, I doubt that a million people showed up, but a million empty Aquafina bottles sure did. Anyway, the Teen is going to Washington for her 8th grade trip and in bringing me the forms and telling her dad and I about the trip, she said she would need extra money because they were going to the "mall" and she might find a cool shirt or something to buy. We should probably be ashamed that our otherwise extremely bright Teen thinks the Mall is a mall, but it is too funny to feel too bad about. There are so many years of future therapy racking up already by our parenting skills, no doubt, this can't be more than one or two additional sessions.
5. Washingtonians think wayyyyy too highly of themselves. I disliked their self-importance immensely. Ok, I was dealing with fellow lawyers, who tend to be tools as we all know, but this bunch was extra special. They seemed to think, not by virtue of any individual beauty or brains, but simply by virtue of living in Washington that they were to be congratulated, that they were better than the rest of us and generally, were some sort of higher beings. The women and men I came across were totally prissy and uptight neurotics--and this is coming from a recovering prissy and uptight neurotic (I mean, I am doing this "in chronological order")---they wore slacks and suit coats or full suits to the seminar. I always thought a seminar was the same as Casual Friday. Back in Cincinnati, it would have been a mix of casual, business casual and the oddball suit, and here in New Hampshire there is a lot of flannel at seminars---really, I mean it, there aren't a ton of attorneys up here and the ones here haven't received the manual yet on how to dress like an attorney (Rule #1 being No Flannel), but these people were so totally impressed with themselves in their khaki slacks, loafers and gold-buttoned navy sport jackets, I couldn't believe it. Smug bastards---I think we should just get rid of this Beltway, wherever it is and make them mingle with the rest of us and our pedestrian Sam Adams Light tastebuds and Levi's and see how they cope. Blech to them.
6. I have learned that I am currently without a culture. I'm not quite from the Midwest anymore and not yet from the Northeast, so stuck somewhere in between--like Tom Hanks in The Terminal (it may, in fact, be nothing like that, as I haven't seen the movie, but it seems like it could be like that) I've taken on some disturbing New England qualities: I started almost every conversation with something about the Red Sox and I was HOT in DC when all indicators (other tourists, the Million More, the thermometer etc) said it was chilly. I had to put the hotel room temp at 55 and snuggle under the duvet in order to sleep---simulating home conditions best I could. I considered it might be early onset menopause, but New England onset is more likely. Also, I was not overly chit-chatty--this being totally against my Midwestern roots. Mr. Idiot has blossomed back here into the true curmudgeon he was born to be (in flannel), but I thought I had withstood the appeal of not even trying to be polite. Not so, it turns out. I even wore my iPod in the airport to AVOID conversation. That has never happened before and I think I may have lost my membership in the Midwest club for doing so. I'll continue to fight it, but there may come a day when I am as bad of a driver as any other New Englander.
7. And finally, the most important thing I realized this weekend, is that I talk to my husband A LOT. He used to complain about it all the time and shoot me looks that said "are you STILL talking?" but had given that up in recent years because the Younger One talks way more than I do and we've apparently just beaten him mute on the subject. So I had forgotten how much I jabber on to him every day. I started almost every other sentence this trip with "I was telling my husband...." or "I was saying to my husband...." and I realized, "wow, I talk A LOT and I talk to him A LOT" because I was also thinking all the time--Oh, I wish the Idiot was here so I could tell him about this or that or the other. I only called him 4 times the first day (and once was just for reassurance in the sea of muslims--he was with me when I was afraid of some Lutherans up in Wisconsin one time---I had just seen "Children of the Corn" and it seemed rational to be fearful at the time---so knew he could talk me through it) then once a day (or so) after that. But, props to the man for pretending to listen most of the time!