Archive | October, 2013

The Most Blasphemous Thing a D.C. 20-Something Can Say

31 Oct

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Ok guys. I’m going to make another confession, one that I know is going to amount to heresy for a D.C. young professional in her 20s.

I hate happy hour. 

I know. I KNOW. Who the fuck doesn’t love happy hour? It’s a great way to get drunk for cheap, bond better with people you don’t know that well and, in certain fields, meet people that will be valuable professional connections.

But when I came home after an absurdly long (and slightly hungover…) day at the office and saw this GIF, it just perfectly encapsulated why I would so much rather come home and flop into a chair while the rest of YoPro DC schmoozes and boozes from 5:30-6:30 7:30 8:00 just one more drink oh what the hell let’s order flatbread pizzas, pound tequila shots and dance.

Here are the top 3 cons:

  • It’s never just one quick drink. In addition to the obvious rejoinder – why would you ever stop at just one drink, even though it’s 5 pm on a Tuesday and not 11 pm on a Friday? – the entire freaking point of half of these happy hours is to drink enough that it’s not weird. So that you don’t feel weird that you tried to combine your regular friends with your coworkers with your random high school friend who’s just not good at socializing. So that you have the courage to ask the one important person there for their card. Etc. So expect to get drunk. Which brings me to…
  • SO FUCKING HUNGRY. Maybe this is a fundamental problem with the way our days are structured in modern society, but there is no way you’re not starving at 5:30 or 6 pm unless you forgot to eat lunch until 3, or at 4 you availed yourself of the donuts that a coworker brought in because how the fuck else were you going to get through the day. (Did I do this today? Maybe). With happy hour drinks inevitably come happy hour foods. Expect to eat all kinds of nonsensical fried shit because they’re happy hour appetizers and they don’t really count. I’m not even talking mozz sticks and calamari, either. DC establishments know their HH clientele, and they get really creative with the fried plates, from breaded mac and cheese bites to fried cheese and spinach balls to god knows what else. You’ll feel great about all those calories on the metro ride home at 10 pm, I promise.
  • Remember all that shit you had to do? Last week, I wrote about how the real world sucks and it’s really hard to get everything done that adulthood expects of us. One problem with that is that there just isn’t enough time outside of the workday to do the random stuff that piles up on you. And nothing sucks more than coming home from an inadvertently extended HH at basically bedtime and feeling like it’s not even worth it to tipsily write your roommate that check or look for that Macy’s receipt or sort the mail. Oh, and LOL if you think you can go to happy hour and still remember to pick up your dry cleaning because in case you hadn’t noticed, that shit closes basically at the time you switch from beer to vodka.

I’m not trying to be a hater. Ok, maybe I am. But I’m just saying that I’ve been home for 3.5 hours and I’ve already managed to call my mom, call my aunt, do a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, cook dinner, reload the dishwasher, help my younger sister with an assignment, watch 20 minutes of a weird Netflix movie before losing interest, and finally put in that Amazon order that I’ve been putting off for days.

It’s been a really productive few hours, is what I’m trying to say.

And you better believe I cracked a beer while I got all that shit done. Happy hour came to Betty, bitches.

The Look

30 Oct

Here I am, a quarter to midnight, re-watching the entire series of The Office on Netflix, when “Niagra, Part 2” begins. I know from experience that it’s going to make me cry (weddings, real or fake, always do).

Jim and Pam are, in the eyes of at least 83% of the female population, television’s ultimate couple. The two actors are incredible at making their chemistry and love jump off the screen so that the audience truly believes they are that perfect married couple. And countless girls (myself included) have put Jim Halpert at the top of their ideal husband list.

Weird inside jokes and romantic gestures aside, I think the one thing that always made them so lovely to watch was the fact that they always exchanged “the look” with each other. You know what I’m talking about. The director of The Office always made sure to include the looks of pure adoration that Jim would exchange with Pam. Because he knows… those looks are what make the relationship so powerful.

My Mom and Dad divorced when I was 5, so I grew up watching my parents exchange barely-civil looks rather than loving ones. However, I do have grandparents that still give each other those Real looks. They are my real-life Jim and Pam.

My PopPop was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease a number of years ago. Over the past year, he has faded rather quickly. He doesn’t know any of us, or any of his past life. He’s in the last stage, meaning he doesn’t really eat or speak anymore and can’t perform basic functions like dressing himself. And my Grandma, who is a saint, refuses to put him in a home because she wants to be the one who takes care of him.

It’s really hard to see him when I go home to visit, just because it’s painful to see a man who was so talented and intelligent be reduced to incoherent mumbles in a chair. He doesn’t even know the woman across the room from him is his wife of almost 52 years. But what’s incredible is that he does know he loves her. How do I know this? Because he still gives her that look.

He relies on her for everything – from feeding him, to changing him, to helping him walk across the room – complete and total trust. He isn’t able to say basic sentences, and yet I’ve still heard him say “I love you” to her. He will be staring blankly at a wall one minute, but as soon as he sees her, his face lights up. He doesn’t know what my grandma’s name is, but he does know that she is the single most important person in this world. It’s beautiful to see that even when you strip a person down to their most basic, fragile state, their wife/husband is still the number one thing in their heart.

I want that look. I want it so badly. I want someone who will cut off part of his tie on his wedding day just to make me feel better.

I want someone who will take care of me even if I don’t know their name anymore. Someone who reaches across the table to hold my hand without even thinking – because they know that’s where it belongs. I don’t like saying I want to be like Jim and Pam. They aren’t real. But my grandparents are. They have a real life, they’ve dealt with real problems, and they have experienced real love.

I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years. I could say it was for any number of reasons… but when I get down to the bottom of it all, it’s because I stopped getting “the look” from him. And now I’m afraid that I’ll never find someone who will give me that look, not just in the beginning of the relationship, or for a few years, but forever.

I guess I have high standards for any future relationship. My ex said they were too high. Initially after the break up I thought I made a mistake, and that maybe I needed to realize that what I wanted wasn’t possible. But whenever I see my PopPop give my Grandma that look, even after everything that has happened, I know my standards are exactly where they should be. I won’t settle for less than what they have. And neither should anyone else.

Belle

 

I Regressed to 1775 and Found my Inner Femme Sole

29 Oct

This weekend, I went to Colonial Williamsburg to learn accurate facts about this nation’s history, naturally. Most of the things went in one ear and out the other. Most, but not all.

As it turns out, the rules in those times stated that a single woman had the same rights as a man while she was single (fun fact: voting back in those times was not a right, it was a civil duty that if a man failed to fulfill ended in a fine). I am sure that it was not as clear in practice as it was in theory, but at least it was acknowledge that women had the right to own property, a right to her own earnings, and many more. Here’s the kicker: two individuals became one as far as law was concerned in the 18th century, as in a woman lost all her rights to her husband.

The following events take place in R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse. A strapping lad (who was definitely older than the average life expectancy of 1762) led us on a tour of this tres classy establishment. In one of the rooms, he pointed to a map and asked if any of the gentlemen were interested in “land speculation”, and I decided to respond with a confident “of course”. Now, this man had to stay in character, so he said that in his times it was very possible for a woman who has been single for a long, long, long time (his emphasis, not mine) also known as a “Femme Sole” to be interested in land speculation. I obviously accepted this title proudly (and perhaps a just a tiny bit bitterly).

From there, we were lead to a dining room where we were able to sample Mr. Charlton’s coffee and hot cocoa. An older black woman told us her story of living in 1762 Williamsburg as free woman, while we sipped on very rich, dense, delicious hot chocolate. One thing led to another, and somehow I told her that I would not like to be married, given that I like my rights. She was not happy with my response.

“You can’t think like that honey. A beautiful girl like you, you would make such a great ornament to your husband”

“I can be a great ornament to myself”

“Oh well honey, that is selfish!”

“Exactly”

“You are shameless”

The look of horror on her face was priceless. She asked me what my dad would think, I  told her that he doesn’t live in Williamsburg, and then she proceeded with her story. As we began getting up to exit the Coffeehouse, this woman pulled me aside, grabbed my face with her hands, looked me in the eyes and repeated her advice “You can’t think like that honey, seriously. You should find a man and get married”.

I obviously am in a position that is NOTHING AT ALL like her character. However, I don’t want to get married. Which led to the following thoughts:

1. When the institution of marriage was established, life expectancy was less than half of what it is today. In other words, when you said “forever” back then, you probably just meant 7 to 12 years.

2. Today, we live for about 80 years.If a marriage lasted the average length of a marriage in Colonial times, our divorce rate would be MUCH smaller.

So…

3. What if a marriage was only good for 10 years (or another limited time period, the 10 is not scientifici)?

4. After those 10 years, you would have to get re-married which would force individuals to stop and think about the status of their relationships.

I don’t think this would necessarily mean more people would choose to not remarry, but don’t you think that it would allow couples to think about what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs work? It would force people to COMMUNICATE!!

This might be a radical suggestion. But as it was pointed out to me, a Femme Sole was a radical kind of woman. And I am here to shake things up.

Hot 4 Dads

28 Oct

by Capitol Jill

*warning: extreme cuteness lies ahead*

So it goes without saying that I am obsessed with babies.

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Hear that? Thats the sound of my ovaries exploding with joy.

And this has never been a real problem before, aside from keeping it a secret from the men I date (turns out its not good to talk about your love for babies too soon in a relationship, go figure!)

But it has recently become apparent that my love for babies has exploded beyond just baby blogs, pictures, and watching. I now look at the MEN carrying the babies too! Is it just me, or is there ANYTHING more attractive than a cute guy with a baby????  I have some examples below…

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A well-placed baby can elevate even an average looking man into something extraordinary. (Also, John Krasinski, world’s most perfect man. My heart is melting)

I’ve tried to analyze exactly WHY I am so turned on by men with babies. I’d imagine it has something to do with the fact that you know they have  a nurturing side, and are probably interested in maintaining a long-term relationship. You can see the actual product of that relationship. He seems to know what it takes to be a good boyfriend! And these are not things you can assume when you meet a guy grinding in the dark at St. Ex.

This problem crops up everywhere. I’ll be casually wine shopping at the british corner store, when I see the cutest baby in the next aisle. Loving babies, I smile at the infant. But often, my gaze wanders upwards, to the man who is holding (or, even hotter, BABY WEARING) the child. And I keep smiling. Often, they smile back, and then I realize that I am hitting on a dad! With a baby!

Seriously, is there any better proof that a man is taken than having a baby strapped to his body? I feel like I am becoming a homewrecker! Every man I smile at has a wife (or baby-mama) at home, one who pushed this thing out and therefore does not deserve to have her man oggled while shopping for aged brie. I feel the shame, and yet, I still cannot stop.

And it being fall, it seems that babies and their hot dads are EVERYWHERE. All over the park, shopping at the market, riding the metro. Its a veritable buffet of sexy dads. Eastern Market is a particularly dense minefield of foxy fathers.

Don’t even get me started on dads with babies in COSTUME. I just can’t. I die. Halloween is going to be rough this year.

gratuitous photo of a baby DRESSED AS A LAMB!!

I might have a problem.

But I’m kind of OK with it.

Anyone else? Bueller?

XOXO,

Capitol Jill

Reality Bites: The Dark Side of #PGP

24 Oct

Dear readers, I have a confession to make.

Before I get into it, though, some background on where I’m coming from. When I was a junior in high school, a friend described me as “independent – to a fault,” and I thought it was an apt description of me. I enjoyed the challenge of handling things alone, and was often stubborn about asking for help because I thought I could handle it better on my own.

Six-odd years later, that remains a really good description of my personality, whether it’s at work, in life in general, or whatever. When I lived in New York, I didn’t even like taking cabs, because I felt like it was more ‘independent’ or ‘self-reliant’ to take the subway. (nb: that has all changed since I came to DC, because WMATA vs. Uber – are you kidding me?).

The independence factor is probably the one reason that I have been having a fucking baller time in DC since moving here. I got my current job pretty much on my own, I made friends on my own, and I even found my janky-ass apartment without much help from anyone. I think that’s really contributed to my enjoyment of all of those aspects of my lifestyle (i.e. it’s why I put up with a washer/dryer that dates back to 1979 – because hey, I snagged it on my own!). I know it sounds nuts. But it’s the way I am. I’ve loved living on my own, paying my own bills, dealing with problems my own way, even if it’s not the perfect way.

But I must confess: in the past few weeks, I’ve started to feel like – well, like I need help. All of a sudden, handling mundane life issues by myself has become So. Fucking. Hard. Dealing with the fallout of a lost wallet? Getting the washer repaired? Remembering to order new contact lenses before the old ones run out? Installing a shelf when there’s no one around to tell me whether it’s straight and centered? Running back and forth between my doctor and my old health insurance and my new health insurance trying to figure out who’s responsible for a bill?

It’s all so hard. It’s all weighing on me so hard. And I no longer feel exhilarated by my independence. I feel FUCKING DEPRESSED by it, because I’m constantly being told that I don’t have the life skills to handle it. Every day, I come home from work and feel like there’s another thing I have to do – and I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t WANT to call my parents and have them handle it all for me, and ordinarily my independent-to-a-fault self wouldn’t dream of it, but I’m feeling like I have no other choice.

Which brings me to the title of this post. #PGP, or #PostGradProblems, is a favorite website of the Stop Requested ladies (may I personally recommend their always-on-point Twitter feed?). The idea is basically to point out silly life things that post-grads are bad at doing, like cooking health food or not getting drunk on Monday nights and making out with co-workers. It’s a similar idea to this BuzzFeed article that really speaks to my soul.

Before reality started crashing down on me like this, I thought #PGP was hilarious, because it was poking lighthearted fun at the idea of being a dysfunctional 20-something. And I was able to laugh at it because I was only dysfunctional on things that didn’t matter, like eating too many burritos or falling asleep at my desk or whatever.

Now, though, the website (which I still adore) is starting to hit a little too close to home, because I’m realizing that post-grad life is actually really goddamn hard. Even though I’ve got a job and an apartment and can make rent, I’m still having trouble with little things like remembering to get my dry cleaning and replacing the batteries in the remote and researching grad programs and keeping the cabinet stocked with cleaning supplies. I feel so frozen in place, unable to handle so many important things in my life! #PostGradProblems has become #PostGradParalysis.

It’s so true what your parents say when you complained about your homework: just wait till you enter the real world. I’m here in the real world, and it was awesome for a while, but now I feel like it’s crushing my soul.

I think this is just a phase. And I desperately hope it is. Because I think adulthood is awesome – I guess I just haven’t quite figured it all out yet.

The DC 15

23 Oct

The Freshman 15. Some of us were fortunate enough to escape it during our initial year of collegiate glory, while others wound up wearing sweatpants and t-shirts all year round for a reason. Others weren’t plagued by this problem until the upperclassmen years. Senior projects and mid-term exams that were a bit more difficult than Freshman Speech class and led to serious stress eating.

 

Then there are those of us who didn’t find the Freshman 15 until a few years after that… in Washington DC. That would be me. For the past several months, I’ve been trying to figure out why my clothes have mysteriously been getting smaller and smaller… I have 12 pairs of jeans in my closet, but rotate between the only 3 pairs that still comfortably button. Now that it’s fall, I can’t hide behind flowy sundresses and elastic waistline skirts for work and happy hours.

Although initially I couldn’t figure out what was happening, I began to notice some habits that I picked up since moving here… Retrospectively, I’ve also figured out a few ways to get myself back to normal. I’m a little late for bikini season, but maybe I can pull off a sexy looking sweater.

 

Problems:

4. I’m writing this as my stomach is full of tostitos and cookie dough. There has been more than one occasion where I have called this a “standard well-rounded dinner”. It goes without saying that maybe I should swap some microwave chicken nuggets with 4 layers of ketchup for green beans or a salad.

3. Drunk eating. I really need to stop binge-eating after going out. If I have a bag of shredded cheese in my fridge and I come home late Friday night… I will find it… and I will devour every last bit of it. Maybe there’s some type of Pavlov’s dog experiment I can try to get myself out of this delicious habit…

you ate the whole wheel of cheese gif

2. Bottomless (food and drink) Brunch… need I say more?

1. Corporate America. I sit on my butt every single day for at least 5 or 6 hours staring at a computer. Before I had this “desk job”, I would be out with friends, babysitting crazy 2 year old twins, yard work, etc… But real world life isn’t giving me those opportunities anymore. So now I have to figure out if I’d rather have a steady paycheck or a nicer butt… #firstworldprobs


Solutions:

4. I’m a major proponent of Capital Bike Share. Not only do I save a ton of money from the metro, I also save time! I can actually bike places on weekends faster than waiting 18 minutes for the next orange line. Unfortunately, the cooler the weather gets, the less likely I am to ride my bike to work. But I also need to remind myself that DC isn’t Wisconsin. It may get chilly, but for now, riding a bike is totally doable.

3. I decided to join a gym. Paying $50 a month is motivation for me to get there 2 or 3 times a week for a class (personal favorites: Boxing and Body Pump). Unfortunately, I’m quite accident prone and managed to whack myself in the left eye while using an elastic resistance band… maybe I need a hot personal trainer?

2. Dieting is not my thing. I enjoy food way too much. Besides, we all claim we’re going to start dieting, but we usually say this with an extra large sub sticking halfway down our throats. So, yeah… let’s forget about #2.

1. Stop resorting to drinking only beer when out at a bar. Yes – it is the cheaper option. But we’re all yopros… and we should be able to afford a Gin and Ginger or an extra dirty martini every once in a while to offset the beer-calories.

 

So what do you think, readers? Any healthy advice for a girl like me?

 

Belle

My Perfect Week

22 Oct

by Stacie Smack

This is the story of my Senior Week (and how my journey to become Barney Stinson began).

I was a bit of a late bloomer: my first kiss and my first “time” happened within weeks of each other, both in the latter half of my college career. I am aware that this is not that uncommon, but I obviously felt like a total freak. It happened while I was abroad, he had an accent, we had a short-lived sexmance (is there really not a word like short-lived romance without the emotional implications but that also isn’t a hook-up without making me sound slutty? Guess not!). I thought: this is it. I am finally a woman.

I will go back to school and finish up college strong. My sexual experience and prowess will emanate from me, I will build some history, and maybe even get into a relationship! It’s going to be amazing.

Except it wasn’t.

I got back to the US, and everything went back to how it was, nunnery style. Until Senior Week. That week after all exams are done, when you are supposed to feel sad about the end of four amazing years and blah blah blah. For me it had a slightly different meaning. This is best told in chronological order.

Night 1: Indian Jason Siegel

My friends and I started the first night of the week by getting dolled up and going into the Big City to go “clubbing”. The place had some ridiculous name like G Lounge. It was my first time using my female prowess [and a lot of tequila] in an assertive manner. The tight skirt, the vodka sodas, and the loud music were all working in my favor. I picked my target, threw a coy smile, and attempted to walk in a straight line. Within 10 minutes, I was sitting on his lap and we were talking about irrelevant things that I definitely wasn’t listening to. He may or may not have been wearing a fedora. I am obviously SO glad none of my friends were there to smack some sense into me and save me from leaving with him (not). But I did leave with him. What a victory. Until he wouldn’t let me sleep on his bed (though at least I was able to cross “couch” off the list). So, I hopped on a cab at around 5am and $65 later, I was home and riding the high of a mediocre bang. What the hell was I thinking?

Night 2: The Baseball Tiger

The second day of graduation festivities ended with an outdoor event in the woods. There was a sexy bonfire, we were double fisting champagne bottles, and there was nothing left to lose. I somehow ended up talking to Him. The All-Star Varsity Athlete on his way to work for ESPN. The one who dated the Volleyball player,that tall leggy blonde who whose ass was the reason Spandex shorts were designed. The one who is too beautiful for me to approach and who would never talk to me – we literally had never spoken to each other before. Conveniently, my tall gorgeous swimmer friend was also there vying for his attention, but I refused to bow down from the challenge. And because all good things happen after 2am, I weaseled my way into his cellphone, and after some flirty texting (which started with him thanking me for champagne and me saying something along the lines of “Anytime. I am very giving”) he laced his shoes back on and walked on over to my dorm. And it was good. At least for the two minutes that he was able to keep it up (and for which he apologized profusely). I would have kept him around but he was too busy chasing after different (cooler and thinner) tail.

Night 3: LaX Bro

This next one, I had been wanting for over a year. He seemed attainable at first. Until I found out he was president of his fraternity and on the Lacrosse team. I guess I have a thing for the ones I can’t have. He was later described to me as “a LaX bro who smoked too much but was kind of smart who also got belligerently drunk too often”. I really just heard “bro” and patted myself on the back. My assertiveness was aided by copious amounts of 99 Peaches and champagne (I encourage all to try it) and the inspirational words of Asher Roth. The whole class had just come back from a night of bowling, and there were kegs waiting for us on the quad. As it generally goes with real love stories, we ran into each other while waiting in line to get Natty Lite. We talked for approximately 4 minutes, ultimately resulting in an agreement to GTFO. We “walked” through the woods, which ended well for me but not so much for my dress with a lace back. Back in my room, he asked me if it was going to be awkward the next day, since we would see each other the next day. Fun fact men: it’s only awkward because YOU make it so.

Night 4: The German Ronaldinho

I never drink beer. Like almost never. But it was our last college Keg night. “Call me maybe” was playing, my girlfriends and I were dancing like true WOO girls, most likely without our shirts on, and I was drinking beer. It was the same 300 people that started college with me doing the same thing we did our first Thursday of school. There wasn’t a lot to look forward to, since I had tackled a couple of the big-ticket items on my wish list. But then I met this skinny, tall, sexy German soccer player who was in the States with an exchange program in some city and was visiting a friend for the night (I think). We danced. We didn’t talk. We left, and I got grass burns on my knees for the first time… romantically outside of his friend’s fraternity. Between the frat and the cafeteria to be precise.  I might actually still have his number. Should I text him?

Night 5: The Dim Witted One

This was the last night, the night before we walked in our cap and gowns. We had our “Last Chance Party” which is hopefully pretty self explanatory. But in case you don’t know, it’s the night where you get drunk and confess your true feelings of love to the crush you’ve had for four years (or for four minutes, the rules are flexible). We were handed readily available ribbons in exchange for a last chance. I managed to lip-lock with Dave, a guy from my Econ class that was maybe 27 and a woodsman from the Rockies with a mysterious air. And then, he said no. No. No sex. Say What? At about 2:30am (when as discussed, all good things happen), an ex Water Polo-er turned Rugby player hands me a ribbon. He nods. I nod back. He winks. I try to wink. There was no cuddling; I had to kick him out after an hour because I just couldn’t tolerate his cigarette breath near my face.

This could either be the lowest point of my college career, or the highest goal achieved.

Monday Musings: Sense and Sensibility and Love

21 Oct

By Capitol Jill

Dear Readers, I am in a poetic mood today. Therefore, I share with you one of my favorite poems, which always gets me thinking…

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

  If this be error and upon me proved,

  I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

This famous sonnet also features prominently in a scene from one of my favorite Jane Austen adaptations, Sense and Sensibility (1995) by Ang Lee. In this scene, Marianne Dashwood (played by Kate Winslet) is looking over the hills at Willoughby’s house, the man she loved, who has taken a wealthy bride.

And just to make it more epic, it happens to be raining. And then Marianne catches brain fever and almost dies… oh, so fantastic.

Now I am not pretending to be a film critic by any means, but for me this scene was always the point where Marianne realized that Willoughby never truly loved her. At least, he was willing to sacrifice any love that he had for the security of a large income. And that just cannot be love, can it?

{Of course, the overwhelming theme of this book is that Marianne follows her “sensibility” too much, while Elinor (her older sister, played by Emma Thompson) follows her “Sense”. After all, Marianne says things as silly as this:}

Regardless, every time I watch this movie (which is quite often, to be honest!), I spend time thinking about love, and wondering what it is.

 

I am probably more of a Elinor in this situation, but I will talk about that later. For now, I leave you with this question:

Have you ever been in love, readers? Is this what it felt like?

You know you love Jane Austen,

Capitol Jill

11 Ways Boots Are Just Like Boys

16 Oct

by Brownout Betty

As the temperature dips below 70, I’ve been forced into the realization that my reliable collection of ballet flats just isn’t going to cut it the way it did in the summer. And that means one thing – boot shopping. I’ve realized that Ke$ha was on to something in her musical masterpiece “Boots and Boys.” The two commodities, essential as they both are to the livelihood of a 20-something girl in the city, have a lot in common.

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Let me count the ways:

11. You can’t pick just ANY pair of boots. They’re a fucking big investment that you’re going to spend a lot of time and money on (how many pairs of boots could I have bought with all the cash I dropped on Uber to my boy’s apartment?).  And they’ll be a pretty big part of keeping you warm this winter. Ahem.

10. The first date with a pair of boots is always amazing. You walk around with them, check yourselves out in the mirror – you look great together. It’s only after a little while that you realize that something’s off.

9. And when something’s off, it’s SERIOUSLY off.  When it comes to something that’s going to be your companion for like 6 months, DAMN STRAIGHT EVERYTHING IS A DEALBREAKER. You should have seen me in Nine West angsting over the fact that one of my feet was moving around a tiny bit. It was the equivalent of finding out that a guy is a libertarian.

8. Still, once you’ve committed by going on 2 measly dates (the equivalent of  looking at your feet in 2 different mirrors in the store, because what if one’s a fat mirror or something?) it’s SO HARD to be honest with yourself that this is a losing battle. You’ll make excuses for the stupid boots no matter what your best friend tells you, because you’ve already made the commitment, however tiny.

7. Going online seems like a great idea when you’re frustrated with  all of the existing options (or lack thereof)…

6. …but when you start buying online, you have basically zero control over what you’re getting into. Size is off? Just not a good fit? Sigh. But sending them back once you’ve already made the investment is such a hassle.

5. Sometimes it’s fun to be impulsive and just go for it with boots that you haven’t really thought through…

4. …but then comes the major buyer’s remorse the morning after. You look at the condom wrapper receipt and ask yourself what on earth you were thinking.

3. When some time passes and they stop being up to snuff, you face an existential dilemma: invest in re-heeling and make them good as new? Or buy a new pair? Part of you feels like you can make good with what you already have by just putting in a little effort and upgrading the status quo. But part of you wants to just kick the poor guy(s) to the curb and hope that a cuter replacement will come along.

2. It’s so hard to commit to just one pair of boots. Because what you want totally depends on your mood.

And finally…

1. Length matters. ‘Nuff said.

 

My Burrito Ballad

16 Oct

I have a bone to pick with DCIst… And by bone – I mean burrito. Although I typically enjoy and relate to much of what they post, I have to draw the line at this specific tortilla-filled blog that was pointed out to me last week. Check it out. After reading the entire article and not seeing my favorite burrito restaurant as one of the Top 10 Burrito places to eat in DC, I began to feel incredibly Hangry.

“Is D.C. a burrito town? That’s debatable. Like bagels, there isn’t one must-have burrito that comes to mind when one closes their eyes and thinks “burrito.”

Ummm excuse me? Stop Requested. There IS in fact a place that comes to mind when I close my eyes and think of burritos: Mexican Sol. This little hole-in-the-wall joint located on H Street is exactly what my 3am self needs on a fairly regular basis. I rarely see more than 4 people in line for their food… but granted that may be due to the fact that most sane people are asleep by the time I’m getting my dinner. Point is: It has not yet been fully discovered by the greater public. This place is Gold.

Although I live on the other side of the city, frequenting H street is still more or less a standard on any random Saturday night – particularly due to the fact that I have a number of friends that I can crash with nearby. But I choose H Street for more than just that. I choose it because at the end of my night, I know where I’ll be: Passed out halfway down Capital Jill’s hallway with my stomach happily full of brown rice, salsa, black beans, and various unknown spices… courtesy of Mexican Sol.

Each time I walk into this little establishment, I’m greeted by the warm smell of everything that is right with this world: also known as a sweetly scented mixture of chicken and avocado. Welcome to my burrito sanctuary. The floor is dirty, the tables may or may not have been wiped down in the past 72 hours, and there’s definitely no reason to enter the bathroom. You came for burritos. And gosh darnit, you’re gonna get a freaking masterpiece.

After you’ve had roughly 3 shots of SocoLime, 2 Yuenglings, and a drink or two from that interesting “investment banker from Norway” (right…), eating anything with flavor sounds like a good idea. But I promise you that after watching that tortilla grill, you will literally drool a little bit as the chef heaps (yes – I said HEAPS) monstrous piles of cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo onto your prized possession, and you will no longer be craving some lame McChicken from down the road.

The DCist lays claim to places like the Tex Mex Burrito which describes itself as “pretty straight forward”… Thank you – That’s very enticing. Maybe you’d like to be surrounded by your favorite politicians at Tortilla Coast… Stacey is a fan of the Chipotle Quesarito – which I can appreciate. However, I refuse to compare a chain restaurant to this rare beauty. Most of the places listed on the DCist article are not meant for  people who are trying to appease their late night hunger struggle-bus while avoiding anymore condescending stares from the outside world.

In the absurdly high number of times that I have been there, I have not yet been judged for my unrelenting insistence on ordering in a British accent, or my tendency to exaggerate just how much guacamole should be applied to my meal. No one looks at me oddly whenever I exclaim: “BEST BURRITO EVER” for the 3rd time in 7 minutes… because everyone around me is too busy eating – and agreeing. The best way to describe how I feel about this burrito is by quoting The Ode to You, Sweet, Sweet Burrito by Buzz Feed. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I’m not saying Mexican Sol is the classiest joint you will come across while partying it up down the road from Little Miss Whiskey’s. But it has easily grilled its way into the hearts of many of my friends. When spirits are high and low, when you’ve finally realized that ordering a water instead of another Vodka Soda is a solid idea, and your feet have finally given up on the fact that you wore heels instead of boots… find yourself in front of H Street’s best kept burrito secret. You won’t be disappointed. And next time, maybe DCist won’t neglect to leave Mexican Sol off their list.

Happy Munching!
Belle

And in return, you will stuff my stomach.