Dog Days

My parents didn’t believe that crap.

After I was accepted to the Semester in Washington program, I pitched moving to D.C. in the summer, rather than fall so I could acclimate to the city before school started.

They knew when they said yes I was just going to spend the summer months campaigning to be D.C.’s go-to party girl.

In May I moved into the self-proclaimed “luxury apartment” complete with doorman and a first-floor convenience store pimping Top Ramen noodle packages for a dollar.

It turned out that my argument’s rationale materialized. Right after moving in, my mom remembers me calling in tears, “I’m just not a city girl!”

It seems I forgot my Mary Tyler Moore hat.  It was probably a fish-out-of-water situation, one of the many reasons it was a good idea to leave the small college campus for a while.

To afford the ramen ransom, we would rent out the extra room, the living room floor, and the bathtub to friends or friends of friends who were just going to be in D.C. for a couple weeks.

Our first renter was a 24-year-old Latina who was doing research for her graduate degree.  She loved to Salsa and learned from other Salsa’ers that if you take the plastic insert out of your wallet, you can slip one of the plastic tabs under your armpit into your bra.


You don’t need to bring your purse to the club.

I never went with her but would love to have seen how she paid the bill. Maybe this was an ingenious way to get a guy to go to second base.  “Hey, I know we just met – but can you reach down into my bra so I can pay my tab?”

We lived in the heart of Foggy Bottom and were within walking distance of a Metro station, the bars of Georgetown, and the Safeway located in Monica’s hideout; the Watergate.

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(Sample of M’s handwriting)

That summer she spent her time writing handwritten apologies to her neighbors for the media fuss. Mailbox nameplates Dole, Bader-Ginsburg, Weinberger, and Baker, were among the 250 that received them.

In 1999, they were fetching 115 packages of ramen on eBay.

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