My standard advice to my family when we’re traveling is to say we’re from Maryland, not Washington, D.C. Not that I’m ashamed of my hometown, but the conversation always goes the same if saying you’re from Washington. (I never say D.C.)
“That damned (name any president, senator or congress person,” they’ll say and start rambling about the federal government.
To all visiting our fair city, here’s one piece of advice – don’t talk politics with locals.
I try to explain to out-of-towners that Washingtonians do not run the government. We don’t live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or impose unfair taxes or laws.
We’re just everyday people, some of whom work for the government. But, we’re not the government. The president is not from here. Neither is your senator or congress person. You sent them to us, not the other way around.
If you try to engage a native Washingtonian on politics, at best you’ll receive a polite dismissal because we’re tired of it. At worst, you’ll get an unwanted earful. It doesn’t matter what political party you’re discussing, we don’t care to discuss it.
Now back to talking about the weather, cherry blossoms and rotten traffic.
My mom gets mad at me whenever I come home and refuse to drive during the day. I hop on the ’36’ bus from SE, cross the Anacostia River, catch the subway and go wherever I want.
When I first moved to LA in ’89, I naturally went downtown and strolled into the museums. When I walked past the attendant and she said, “$3, please,” I did this crazy double-take that said, “WHAT, I have to PAY to enter a museum?” Thank you, Smithsonian, for spoiling me my whole life 🙂