Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lessons Learned (and Not Learned)

It's been two months since I moved to DC. So, I think it's time for a 2 month check-in.

Don't worry, I won't make you read "check-ins" for every random monthly anniversary (like those couples who want you to congratulate them for their four-and-a-half month anniversaries and every half anniversary in between.)

In just eight weeks, I've learned quite a few important DC life lessons. I will now share these words of wisdom with you fine folks. 

Things I've Learned in DC

1. My alphabet 
Ok, so I always knew my alphabet but, due to the alphabetically named streets in DC, I know it much better. I no longer have to sing the song to myself in order to determine if I'm walking in the right direction towards my destination. If I'm trying to get to S and I'm on P then I know, if I look up and I'm on M, then I have been walking in the wrong direction. (Yeah, sometimes it takes me a few letters to realize it. Or, sometimes I'm too busy window shopping to notice until I'm a few letters down.)

2. Pace yourself
When walking up the Metro escalator, you need to pace yourself, especially if it's Dupont Circle. No one is impressed that you can juggle a tote bag and an umbrella while also sprinting up the steepest escalators you've ever seen. And, they certainly aren't impressed when you're wheezing and close to death at the top. I insist on walking up the escalators instead of just standing and riding because I think of it as a bonus work-out. I like the way my muscles burn. I don't like the way my lungs burn. And, I'm pretty sure the people around me don't like the gasping sounds.

This is a picture I tried to take while walking up the escalator. I should add that to the list. Don't try to do that. 
3. It is possible to surreptitiously hold on to strangers for balance on the Metro
But, you have to be very stealth. (Which is probably redundant with "surreptitiously." But I want to really drive this point home. I also wanted to show my knowledge of SAT vocabulary.) Really, my encroachment on the stranger's personal space is his own damn fault. Hey, gentlemen who are 6 ft+, how about you hold on to the railing on the ceiling instead of blocking the poles for the shorter folks? I was hoping you would notice as I,  all 5 foot 2 (and a half!) of me,  stood on my tip-toes to try to hold on above my head. But, you didn't. Even when I timidly said, "Excuse me. Excuse me." So, instead I held on to your brief case. I'm the reason you were inexplicably jerked backwards whenever there was a sudden stop. 

4. Walking over a mile to and from the Metro is not a good time to break-in new shoes.
I had a picture of my cut, busted feet but then I realized that would be gross. You guys haven't done anything to me so why would I do that to you? 

5. Sometimes you have to break-down and buy some Aerosoles. 

Fortunately, they've started making some styles that aren't total Mom loafers. (Sorry, Moms. And, loafers.)

6. Proper public bathroom selection
If you have to use a public restroom, it is worth it to walk out of your way to use the customers-only restroom at Hello Cupcake vs the customers-only restroom at Subway. Sure, I could buy a bottle of water or something at Subway. But why would I do that when I can BUY A CUPCAKE?

7. Hell hath no fury like a cab driver trying to turn left at a cross walk. 
This doesn't really need elaboration. As the old saying goes, "Check yo' self before they wreck yo' self."

8. You always have access to pharmaceuticals
You are never more than 10 yards from a drug store. In my neighborhood alone, I can walk to 3 CVS locations and a Walgreens all within one mile of me.

9. There is still wildlife in the city
This is just an excuse to tell you about the time I almost got eaten by a fox. Some might say that "eaten by a fox" is a bit of an exaggeration but I think those people weren't there so they don't know what they're talking about. I was walking on the Rock Creek Park trails, trying to figure out which entrance took me to where I live when ahead of me about 100 feet - ok, 100 yards - was a real-life FOX! I froze. It heard me and it froze too. And then I ran like hell in the other direction. That's when it tried to eat me. And, by "tried to eat me" I guess I should clarify that I mean "ran in the opposite direction of me." But, it was pretty intense. I haven't run that fast since my very last cross country meet in high school when I realized that as soon as I crossed the finish line I would never have to run cross country again. That wily ol' fox thought he was going to get me. Good thing I'm so brave. Moral of the long drawn-out story? Just because you live in the city doesn't mean you shouldn't watch out for real-life foxes.   

10. I haven't learned a 10th thing but I couldn't leave it lingering at 9. 
Plus, how am I ever going to beat that fox story, right?

Thing I've NOT Learned in DC

1. The location of my DVD remote control.

2. How to do my make-up so that it doesn't melt off my face on the Metro. 
There is a 5 minute window prior to boarding the train when I look presentable to the world. 

3. How to gracefully walk in ran boots. 
Especially when I'm clomping up those escalators.  

I neglected to mention the awesome concert I went to this past weekend. I guess I was too busy trying to learn stuff and fight off wildlife.

My perpetual concert date, Lauren Hughes, and I went to see The Avett Brothers at George Mason. Ironically, it took me moving to DC to get tickets to see Carolina's own Avett Bros. Hailing from Concord, NC, the Avett Brothers presented a true NC Meets DC moment. I'd  wanted to see them in concert for a while but tickets would always sell out before I could get them. So, I was pumped when Lauren said tickets were still available. We danced our hearts out. She bought a t-shirt. I bought a pretzel. It was glorious.

The t-shirt.

Cheers to the Avett Brothers

That's them down there. 

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