My friend DK came to town this weekend for a visit. There were some antics and hijinks, definitely a lot of laughs and even a few tears. All around good weekend. Here are some highlights. Or is it lowlights?
- The Articles of Confederation
DK wanted to do something cultural. This is not my bag. Especially in this town. I live here; I can go to the museums whenever I want. What this means is that I never go to museums. But when an out-of-town guest is here, I’ll go. Sorta reluctantly, but I’ll put a smile on my face.
DK, nerd that she is, wanted to go see the Constitution. Me? I have a pocket copy of the Constitution that, you know, I can read without squinting. But okay, National Archives it is. DK was sure that I 1) didn’t want to go, and 2) would mock her for wanting to do something so ridiculous. For the record, I was perfectly happy to go, if not only because DK wanted to go and I wanted to spend time with her, and because I could mock DK relentlessly. (To be fair, I would have mocked her relentlessly regardless of what we decided to do, and she should have known that.)
When she was online researching the National Archives, DK said, “The Article of Confederation? Oh, we are so going there.” She claims that this was her being funny. Unfortunately for DK, I know her better. She was jazzed up for the American history experience. I’m just glad that years of spending time with me has beaten the awe and wonder from her.
- “I guess that’s just the kind of people they are…”
Unlike others, I use the phrase “shit show” only sparingly. This is in part because I don’t like using the word “shit.” It’s not that I’m a prude. If you keep up with the blog, you know that my favorite word is fuck. Unless I’m taking the Lord’s name in vein, because then that’s my favorite. I also don’t love the word “asshole.” I think it’s maybe the imagery.
Anyway, our visit to the National Archives was, indeed, a shit show.
When we got there had to wait in line (WHAT?!) outside (NO WAY!) in the cold (G-d damn it!) for an hour (YOU’VE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!). After getting through security and using the restroom, we then had to queue up in yet another line to see the Constitution. More than once I told DK that this was why I didn’t go to museums in DC.
But that wasn’t even the worst part.
The worst part was this. So we got in the weird line to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. According to the map, it was in the Rotunda. Fine. A side show in this area – meaning, you had to leave the actual line to go see it – was the Magna Carta. It was a “facsimile”, as they call all the copies in the National Archives. I’m not sure why, in this day and age, they would continue to call “copies” “facsimiles”, but that’s for another time.
Regardless, I wasn’t interested. Neither were the six people ahead of us. So we moved forward toward the line for the main attraction. DK was right behind me.
This is when the antics began.
According to the folks in the line, DK and I had cut the line. I had no idea what the fuck their problem was; we were in line for the main attraction, not the side-show Magna Carta bullshit. I ignored them; DK did not.
Green Jacket Lady (probably from the Midwest, sarcastically and passive-aggressively): Yeah, we all waited in line and the line goes back there so…
Green Jacket Lady (agitation and rudeness level growing): We all waited in line and it goes back that way. You are cutting the line.
Me & DK: [Silence]
Lady 2 (who I thought was just in line in front of me, but really was a mole from the weird secondary Magna-Carta-detour line was that starting to the left): Well, these people have all been waiting in line. You need to follow the line back there.
Me & DK: [Silence]
Midwestern Lady behind me (who didn’t seem crazy, despite the red bow in her hair): But doesn’t that other line seem to be going back to see the Magna Carta? We’re hoping to see the Constitution.
Lady 2: But the line goes back there. All these people have been waiting in line.
Midwestern Lady: But are they in line for the Constitution or the Magna Carta? I don’t want to get in another line.
Lady 2 & Green Jacket Lady (in unison… and loud… and agitated): It’s one line!
DK [waving her hands dismissively]: You’re ahead of us in line. Don’t worry about what we’re doing.
[2 minutes go by…]
Random Guy from secondary line: The line goes back there. We have all been waiting. You are cutting the line.
Me [grabbing my head with both hands and muttering “G-d, enough” under my breath): [Silence]
Randoms behind Random Guy in secondary line: Well, I guess that’s just the kind of people they are…” [to the person next to her, but loud enough for us to hear].
DK: Jesus Christ.
Me (Agitated and grabbing my head again, contemplating how much more of this I can take before I start screaming….): [Silence]
Security Guard enters: Who cut the line?
Another Random Guy from secondary line: These two girls. [Pointing to me and DK, ignoring the six other people ahead of us who also “cut” the line. I believe our fellow “cutters” weren’t getting harassed because there were two gigantic men with them. One even had a scary handlebar mustache. So at least these wingnuts knew enough not to threaten to have the biker tossed out for “cutting” the line.]
Security Guard: There isn’t “one” line. The line that you all [meaning secondary line people] are in is for the Emancipation Proclamation. The line that they [meaning DK and me] are in is for the Constitution. The Magna Carta isn’t part of the “line”; it’s just the waiting area. So no one cut the line.
Random Guy 2: Well, there aren’t any signs to explain that. You know, you really should tape up a piece of paper or something so people know.
DK: We tried to explain that to them. They didn’t want to listen. So we can see the Constitution from here?
Security Guard: Yes. I’ll let you through.
At this point, the security guard let me and DK pass through to the Rotunda, bypassing the entire line which was easily at an hour-long wait, where we saw the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. The other idiots just continued to wait in that ridiculous “line” to see the Emancipation Proclamation.
Trust, it took every ounce of energy I had left not to channel my grandmother and go back to those idiots in the line to thank them, loudly and as sarcastically as I could, for helping us to cut the entire line.
On Saturday night, DK and I met her friends – all fellow New Jerseyians – at Bar Pilar for dinner. The food was really very good. The company?….
So the food was great. I swear, I’m upset with myself that I always forget Bar Pilar as an option. It’s very near my apartment, the food is solid, and they do small plates, which I love. And if you’re sharing, a meal there can be totally affordable. Even for an unemployed person like myself.
The company, on the other hand? That’s more complicated. I really liked all three of these people. I think it was partly because, as fellow New Jerseyians, I completely understood their personalities, senses of humor, and speech patterns. But there was this one awkward moment – and it happen fast and furiously.
Within 5 minutes of meeting these folks, this guy told me I wasn’t very nice. He said exactly that. “Well, you’re not very nice so…”
Upon hearing this charge against me, I think my reaction looked something like this:
I have no recollection of what came after the “so” because the voices in my head leapt into action. I’m not sure what it is about me that suggests that you can tell me that I’m not very nice. And even if that’s true, I’m not sure this guy amassed the requisite data to make such a determination in 5 minutes. I’m not saying it’s not possible to size someone up in 5 minutes or less. But this was crazy.
Making matters worse, as soon as this guy said that I wasn’t very nice, the other three people at the table immediately chimed in with, “Oh, ignore him.” “What are you talking about?” “He’s not serious.” I know that these things were said 1) to make me feel better, and 2) out of embarrassment, which seemed to be an emotion that this guy did not have. Instead, it made me wonder how it was that I was tricked into going to dinner with, and sitting directly across from, someone who likely was going to insult me. I’ll have to revisit this with DK.
DK and I cooked dinner together her last night here. The menu was one that, I think, can only happen in New Jersey…. or by NJ refugees: latkas and sausage and peppers. That’s right. DK made her famous latkas (I say famous because I had them once a few years back and have been harassing her to make them for me ever since), and I made sausage and peppers, which are not famous in large part because I’ve never made it before. Don’t get me wrong. My mother and grandmother and aunts have made sausage and peppers a thousand times before. But I’ve never made it. I have to say, it was super easy and quite delicious. And because we used turkey sausage instead of pork, I feel like it was healthier than it normally is.
HC, who is a vegetarian, LOVED sausage and peppers in his former life as a meat-eater. Though he did not give into temptation, not even to taste the really amazing onions and peppers, he kept saying things like, “You can just make this without the sausage, right? I mean, you can just leave out the meat, right?”
Wrong. With the sausage, it’s a meal. Without the sausage, it’s a side dish that should be put on meat. Well, I guess you can put the peppers and onions on bread. Alone. Without anything else. But that is the saddest culinary thing I can think of right now.
But HC was persistant. “What about cooking it with vegetarian sausage? Then it would be a meal. Can’t you make it like that?” Perhaps it was the pure patheticness of HC’s persistence, but I agreed to make this dish with faux sausage. We’ll see.
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