Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Settling in DC

Back in February 2008, I blogged about my reaction to Lori Gottlieb's article in the Atlantic Monthly about single women and settling for Mr. Good Enough. I remember how pissed off and somewhat offended I was by the idea. Last night I attended the discussion of her new book, "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough" at Sixth and I. I haven't read the book but was interested in hearing her talk about these ideas and hear what others thought. My biggest problem with the article was that the basic premise appeared to be that marriage to a man, no matter how boring or physically unappealing, is always a better option for women, especially those who want children, than being alone. Aside from the fact that I think DC just doesn't have a marriage culture, I think the premise calls into question whether the traditional family really is the best and/or only choice for women today, particularly those who live and work in big cities like DC.

One of my favorite quotes in the article is, "Marriage isn't a passion-fest; it's more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business." For the women I know in DC and probably for many others, this is not the kind of marriage they are willing to sign up for. Many of these women are actually running their own nonprofit businesses and don't want a tedious, mundane spouse to come home to. As a lot of women have already done, why not reconfigure life for ourselves in a way where we do get all of our needs met without having to establish a traditional family. Because as many married women know and research has shown, women get much less from marriage than men do. Like many women in their 20's, I used to think I wanted to be married and have children. So I asked myself last night, what is it that I would really want from marriage and being a parent? What I came up with was: love, companionship, sex, and being involved in a child's life. When it comes to the love and companionship, I already get that from my friends and family. They also provide me with a rather fulfilling social life. The sex I can always get from a guy I actually do find physically appealing. And kids? Well, there all sorts of ways to be involved with a child that don't involve marriage: mentoring, hanging out with the children of friends and families, adoption, sperm donor, or even joint custody with a stable guy you know. Kind of like car sharing. Of course, these things may not satisfy all of our needs like maybe, the desire for romantic love. But I've begun to realize that romantic love isn't all its cracked up to be. The older I get the more it seems like an immature, manufactured notion. Me, jaded? Maybe. But anyway, the point is that I think modern women have no reason to feel forced to choose a lifestyle that doesn't fit.

And in DC, why settle for a mediocre cocktail? After the book discussion I headed straight to the Passenger where Nick Brown mixed up a lavender mint daiquiri for me (right). I noticed that on Sundays they're doing a hangover brunch that lasts all day. Now that's genius!

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Friday, June 18, 2010

No Exceptions

I know I've said this before but as time and age creeps on, one thinks that exceptions may apply but - hell no! When it comes to the , "Who Not to Date List", there are no exceptions. Seriously, law enforcement dudes are a no-no, especially for DC cops. Here's a text message exchange with a cop I met on the street recently. And please, remind me why I gave him my number. Drunk, horny, stupid, what? And yes, this is the exact wording.

Him: What's up, watch u up to?

Me: Nothing much

Him: Invite me over I'm bored watching tv

Me: My apt is a wreck. Wanna go for a walk?

Him: (after 20 minutes) Not 2nite got court in the mornin

Me: but didnt u just ask me to invite you over???

I got no response from him. Huh? Am I really supposed to be that stupid as to not recognize a booty call? Why don't men just ask for sex these days? It's much less insulting to a woman's intellect. Ok, so you don't really want to get to know me. You want to come to my place and hit it. Just say that. That way I can say yes or no and not feel like you think I'm a total idiot.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Things Change and Stay the Same

I'm now officially on vacation from everything and have had time to collect some of my thoughts. The last two months have revolved around my regular job, the freelance thing, travel, and figuring out what city other than DC this City Girl should be living in. The where to live part has required some ongoing introspection. I have also felt rather uninspired (and somewhat guilty) about the whole "city girl living in DC" yet writing a blog thing. I mean really, if I'm trying to get the hell out, what do I have to say? Well, as life goes, I end up experiencing all kinds of crazy things I only would in DC that make me question my quest to leave or at least the reasons why.
In no important order:

The Town and Country in the Mayflower Hotel: 5 years ago I worked 3 blocks away and this was a regular happy hour stop for me and several co-workers. Haven't been since then. I stopped in last month and Sam, the infamous bartender, is still doing magic tricks and mixing up the best martinis in town. I was greeted with, "Welcome back. We missed you." How is that for service?

What I didn't know before moving to DC: I love interesting things in a bowl, particularly noodles with stuff. Variations consist of: pho, curry laksa, gamjatang, congee, udon noodle soup....Well, DC Noodle has fed my craving lately with their spicy noodle soup complete with ground peanuts, cilantro, bean sprouts, scallions, and two types of tofu - crispy and soft. Delicious!

Acadiana and TenPenh have two of the best patios in the city - breezy and comfortable. TenPenh even has a Sunday night happy hour from 5:30 until close. This is great for those of you who want to avoid the 9 to 5 crowd and have cocktails and small bites like kobe beef sliders later in the evening.

Shopping Euphoria - The Denim Bar at Pentagon Row. As many women know, shopping for jeans can be a traumatic experience. This place takes all the trauma away - even for a curvy girl like me. And yes, the word 'bar' is for real. I walked in, told the salesperson my dilemma, and was immediately offered a glass of wine while he quickly found jeans suited for me. Jeff was amazing. He demanded (I love forceful men!) that I come out as I tried on each pair for an evaluation. I ended up with a pair of Paige jeans that were perfect for work and partying.

How does marriage and motherhood give women automatic entry into sainthood/super-significance? And why do women validate this craziness? Beyonce, half-naked dancing on a stage, dates a man who "puts a ring on it." Crazy groupies on Basketball Wives are supposedly in a special club all their own because they have gotten married to the lying, cheating athlete. My own past ex-Mr. DJ marries a stripper and all of a sudden I'm the whore because I fooled around with him. More recently, I had a man declare, as I was kicking his ass out, that he would have "wifed" me. Is that even a word we are accepting now? That is, of course, if I had not been such a bad girl. What the hell?

Don't ever date a townie. A rule I should have learned years ago. Absolutely no one who has grown up in and has immediate family in DC, Maryland, or Virginia. Hey, these are things college women learn.

Seems as if there will never be another Red nightclub. I appreciate U Street Music Hall but as a house music head, it just leaves me wanting more. And really, who are these completely uncoordinated yuppies who knock drinks and you on the ground as they so-call dance?

I would never advise a woman who wanted to get married and have children to move to DC. Odds are, you just won't find that guy here. You can go out on dates with men from 25 to 80 all day, everyday (as I did recently all in one night). But get married and establish a family? Not likely.

Amazing art/music events like AudioTrip two weeks ago. DJ Spinna, Rich Medina, and live art, right up the street from me? Come on!

I have never truly been bored in DC. There is always something to do - or drink!

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