An update!

Here I am eternally in Washington DC. 

I first visited as a wee babe (12 I think). Our step-dad took me and my sister on a vacation without our mom in a misguided effort to bond over -checks notes- our mutual love of civil war history? Anyway, an attempt was made. We had gotten off to a rocky start, and though we preferred pondering the pools of EconoLodge over the literal reflecting pool, and the malls of northern virginia over the literal national mall, I still remember that trip, fifty years later. Neither my mom nor my wife had ever been, however, so since I'm there anyway, they hitched a ride on my plane and went.

Although I was working (hill visits, conferencing, etc.), I put together an itinerary of sorts - all the touristy things you can do without looking like a tourist - aaand we threw that away after our very first Uber, a Peruvian driver convinced us to swap out the very first restaurant I picked with a place he used to work, Pisco y Nazca, not too far from where we were staying. It was great, and my mom spoke Spanish the entire time, and I am embarrassed to admit as much as I consider myself a professional alcoholic that was the first time I ever had a Pisco Sour.

We did stick to some of my recommendations. I made reservations at Old Ebbitt Grill and Martin's Tavern, and was able to score White House tour tickets. I bought them a bus tour, which they apparently really liked, and they were able to see the Holocaust and American History museums. I only joined them at the Portrait Gallery and Eastern Market on the last day, and then promptly became cranky on the plane ride before ruining the whole visit on a mad dash to drive home. It's the kind of visit they will tell their grandchildren about, 50 years from now, a mix of wonder and horror and Americana. But it was good y'all.

In DC, even the doors of congress know they done wrong.

Eternally puzzling.

Unfortunately, the DC trip was supposed to atone for another bad moment on my part, where i freaked out when agreeing to do something social with her group.

we have different groups of friends. she is completely comfortable with my group, but when she asks me to join her group, it's misery. i find myself standing around not knowing what to say, completely unable to join any conversation and becoming more and more desperate to escape. 

it doesn't help that for whatever reason, my wife doesn't talk to me at these occasions (BECAUSE SHE SEES ME PLENTY AT HOME), which makes sense, she's there with her friends and can see me every day (WHERE SHE SEES ME PLENTY), but i don't mingle particularly well. usually i take a separate car so I can escape, but once a year I make the woeful decision to share a ride. 

On this occasion, since I couldn't drive home, I said I would borrow her car and go home, since she could get a ride home with her sister, and then hitch back home with one of the kids. So I snuck away without saying goodbye to the hosts or the other 50 people and of course realized she still had the keys to her own car, and then had to walk back miserably to the party and confess I had tried and failed to leave without a proper, mature farewell, and then lots of other mishaps happened and my mental state collapsed terribly, and some of this is a blank space baby, but at one point i found myself ecstatically behind the wheel driving very fast, and I kid you not, at one point, I found myself looking back through the rearview mirror, thinking what? that they had sent out a posse? NO ONE IS CHASING YOU BRANDON TRYING TO MAKE YOU RETURN TO A PARTY WHERE YOU WERE CLEARLY MAKING EVERYONE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH YOUR UNHAPPINESS. I looked back a couple of times just in case and took a detour off the main road just in case.

i acknowledge that i'm not normal and the gap isn't getting closer with age 


marty mankins said…
My first time in DC was when I was 9. I didn't return for a proper visit until I was 53.
brando said…
I went three times last year, and looking like 3 times again this year. If it wasn't such a long flight, I'd probably look forward to the trips a little more.

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