An American Girl in Washington

Learning curve

Posted in Uncategorized by AGinDC on 10 September 2010

Last night it could not have been more clear that I just arrived from the college town of a giant state school.  Yosh invited me to a “pool party”, which was announced on Facebook, and which I, accordingly, assumed must have been a juvenile “happy hour at the hotel and frolicking in the pool” event.  Silly me.  How could I have known that beautiful and sophisticated 45-year-olds are now using Facebook as their primary means of invitation.  What would Emily Post say?

So, ridiculous child that I am, I left the house feeling rather posh in my denim shorts, teal pleated tank top, gold jewelry and very light makeup.  I thought I looked cute and ready for by-the-pool carousing.  Until I got to the Washington Plaza hotel and everyone else was 40 years old and dressed in four inch heels and Herve Leger bandage dresses.  Ummm… anyone going for a dip?  Apparently not.  I forgot for a moment that I am in DC, home of the perpetually uptight and overdressed.  So far I’ve done pretty well on the dress code front, usually because I either had fair warning or knew the people who were attending, and because I generally dress more formally on an every day basis than most.  Wednesday night I had cocktails on the roof of a Vault 100 law firm and everyone thought I was working for them.  However, after sitting around all day yesterday in my PJs and hearing the words “pool party”, I missed the mark completely.  Happens.

Luckily, I still have something of a personality, and even though the host asked all of the girls around me for a photograph and the men saw fit to have deep political conversations with me and then chase the scantily clad girls half their age, I had a good time.  I ended up talking to some fantastic guys, including a British man on vacation who was also underdressed and therefore far less uptight than everyone else present.  We spent hours discussing everything from Dr. Who to Mrs. O and I was sad when I had to leave (but I was starving and it was late, so I had to go).  I also met a couple of people who I’ll be keeping touch with for sure.  I guess my habit of trying to meet people even when I feel completely out of place is pays off in a city like this.  But at the same time, I hate feeling like the ugly duckling at the prince’s ball.  Now that August is over, it’s time for me to shape up and get myself together.  I need to remember that DC always has a dress code, and that I would do well to follow the rules.

Tomorrow is another day, and another party.




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