“I’m free!” (almost)

“Whatever happened to Jenn,” you muse, perusing these pages in vain, “One minute she was slurping down mussels preparing for a Parisian adventure, the next she’s MIA, some 29 days since. What gives?”

Well, dear readers, contrary to desire, I did not get whisked away by some Gallic patron to a Loire chateau. No, I returned to DC to be sucked in to that dreaded vortex known as the Ultimate Circle of Hell, or the Gauntlet of Doom. I mean of course, the DC convention.

For those of us who work in DC for national associations, this means frantic weeks of progressively stressful organization, mired in impossible logistics, in fearful preparation for the week when your loving members descend on you from all corners of the USA, to burrow down in the depths of a soulless downtown hotel, to be force-fed endless rounds of policy, politics, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.

It’s certainly fascinating to step outside the Beltway Bubble and carry on conversations with Iowans and Alaskans and so forth. Members come here starry-eyed and easily impressed, lacking the jaded resignation that residents have regarding the political machine in our midst. For them, DC is only about politics. I found myself explaining the “Taxation Without Representation” license plates to several people. All of them were shocked – they had no idea that DC residents pay high federal income taxes but have no vote in Congress. I convinced them to go back to their home states and tell everyone – instead of pushing the organization’s message for the convention, I was pushing DC. How did that happen?

Lately I’ve been finding myself saying negative things about DC. That it’s a city desperate for middle class acceptance, too scared to dream higher, begging hat in hand to any two-bit developer that can promise a Target.
Lately we’ve been thinking about leaving the city we’ve spent half our lives in, for someplace more cosmopolitan, exciting, vibrant – perhaps even for the greatest city in the world.

And though I still feel that way, and feel like a Judas for it, this week has revived my fierce protective love for our misunderstood, misrepresented town. Expounding on her beauty, her history, and her culture to people who never dreamed there was a DC outside of Capitol City, well, that’s kept me going through the Convention Circle of Hell. And I’m grateful.

So, it all ends tomorrow, and I’m going to jump back into DC wholeheartedly to celebrate my survival, and toast her with renewed vigor.

2 Comments so far

  1. Medusa (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

    Reading the title of this post, I thought it was a reference to the show “Are You Being Served?”

  2. Jenn L (unregistered) on June 21st, 2006 @ 12:44 am

    Actually I was going for The Who’s Tommy (what, Jenn likes 60’s rock opera? no way!!) but whatever works…

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