Sunday, April 13, 2008
High Five, Dcup!
I didn’t expect that Dcup would be the first blogger I’d meet face-to-face. She lives in Georgia, and I live in Maryland, so our paths don’t necessarily cross. But she was in Washington this weekend on business and she emailed me, so we decided to hang out on Saturday. I thought I'd drive into town from my house in Silver Spring and meet her at her swank hotel, thinking “It’s Saturday! It’ll take 20 minutes!” And maybe it would have taken 20 minutes, had it not been for the Cherry Blossom parade (I’d forgotten about it) and the World Bank and IMF meetings (I had no idea). Dcup waited patiently for over an hour as I fought traffic, swerved to avoid oblivious pedestrians, and abandoned hope of street parking.
After weeks of cloudy, chilly drizzle, Saturday was perfect. High 70s, sunny, it felt like May. I wanted to take DCup to Kramerbooks, and we walked to Dupont Circle in the sun, talking about politics, kids, books, houses, cookies and everything else that occurred to us. We were thirsty after the mile and a half walk, so after we looked at books, we found a seat in the café, only to be ejected by an officious hostess who pointed out the “please wait to be seated sign” in a tone that indicated that we were either illiterate, or dangerous insurgents. Well, excuuuuuse us.
Properly installed in an authorized seat, we looked at the menu. We thought about iced tea, with perhaps a cookie to share (it was around 3 pm, not time for a meal). Then we decided that after the walk (which would be repeated), we could each have our own cookie. Then we noticed nachos on the snack menu; these were being delivered to another table even as we sat, so we decided to split an order of nachos. Then we found that there were no cookies to be had. But there was pie…
Dcup had Kahlua Walnut pie, and I had Key Lime pie. Both were delicious (I know this because I tasted hers. She took my word on the Key Lime). Yes, 3 miles of walking were definitely necessary.
I’ve noted previously that having been to a place a dozen times does not in any way guarantee that I won’t get lost, and Saturday was a case in point. Dcup and I walked down Connecticut to H, ending up at Lafayette Park, where she took a nice shot of the White House. If you’re familiar with Washington, you know that the state streets run in large diagonals cutting across the grids formed by the numbered (north/south) and lettered (east-west) streets. Throw a bunch of circles in there, and add in the fact that the letters skip from I (sometimes written as “eye” so as not to be confused with “1”) to K (supposedly because Pierre L’Enfant, the city’s planner, hated John Jay and omitted the letter J, fearing that “J street” would eventually become “Jay street” and interpreted as a tribute to Jay), and you can end up with a problem. Well, I can. As we were leaving Lafayette Park, I specifically told Dcup that whatever we did, we should avoid ending up on New York Avenue (which intersects Pennsylvania diagonally about a block from the White House) because once you’ve headed a block or two north on NY, you are really 6 blocks or so from where you intended to be on Pennsylvania. Thanks to my directional challenge and the nonstop talk (covering Clinton, Obama, the 2000 election (outrage), the 2004 election (depression), and Dcup’s failed love affair with John McCain), we were, of course, headed north on New York, six blocks out of our way. Thank God for landmarks. As I told Dcup, I hate to be given directions that go “east on X for 6 lights, then west on Y for 5 lights…”. I can’t be driving and counting lights. Give me a landmark…an ugly house, a Starbucks, a church with a steeple…
Recognizing several of the shops and restaurants in the area, I finally got us back to Dcup’s hotel, much to my relief (now she’ll only think I’m a little goofy, not a complete moron!) and to hers (where the hell is she taking me?). We needed to chat for another minute (or hour and a half), now covering clothing, nefarious corporate dress codes and our shared fear and hatred of sheer hose, more politics, and Dcup’s desire to own Putty’s Eight Ball Jacket. At 7:30 or so, we finally said goodbye. I’m so glad we got together. Because she’s AWESOME, that’s why.