Last week was our condo’s annual meeting. Our President resigned, and as a happy, contributing “Member at Large” for the past year, the remaining board voted me as President. I balked, but they basically said I was the biggest bitch (I concur) and would be perfect for the job. Wonderful. I’m watching my life get more complicated and all I want is for it to become simpler.
My forehead has been hurting for almost two weeks. Everytime I acknowledge that it is hurting me, I realize that I’ve been furrowing it. I’ve been furrowing my brow. I’m giving myself a stress headache. Daily. Hourly. Jesus. I’m going to become one of those women with that crinkle between their brow.
Karen Walker from Will & Grace comes to mind first. Now, while I love me some Karen, I don’t want the perma-crinkle in her brow. Since I can’t afford her botox (or can I?) I must find out the cause of said head crinkle and make the cause go away.
You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?
I’m tired of this rat race. It took me an hour and 45 minutes to get home from work almost every day last week. It took me an hour and ten to get into work when I tried that useless thing called “metro”. Too many people live here, life is too hard and it’s killing me. Very slowly, it’s killing me. It’s killing you too. You just haven’t realized it yet.
Besides the obvious that I was born in the wrong decade and should have been a hippie, cough, an economically conservative one who believes in the death penalty, I’m not sure what to do about this feeling like something is just missing and I want to quit my job and run away to find it. In place of the something being missing, I have a life that has become nothing short of a pain in the ass to live.
I metroed to work this morning, wondering if Christina Aguilera has a better life than I do. I don’t know why she popped into my head, I heard something about her I guess. I’m an US Weekly freak. And I love Christina. Anyway, I wonder if she loves performing so much that she just gets on the tour bus or however she travels and claps that they are going to the next city, next venue. I doubted it. It must get tiring. It must feel like you’ve sold your soul to the devil. Then the image popped into my head of me at the checkout counter, with the devil behind the register, and my soul on the counter.
Jesus Christ. It’s not for sale. That’s all I could think after my brain gave birth to that image.
I do miss home. New York. Lovely bustling New York. But, I can see myself in a small town, working at a store, or a restaurant a few days a week – making just enough to get by. My dogs can run in my yard, no one bitches, there are no cops impeding my ability to get to work to earn the all mighty dollar to pay taxes to ultimately contribute to their salary, there are no floods, no evacuations, no traffic, no crazy people calling the police because they saw me with my dog off a leash, no history, no one to dodge on the sidewalk because I won’t know anyone in the new place, sigh, no traffic. How I despise traffic. When my ex and I drove across the country together, I remember being fascinated at how long we went without any traffic jams, or traffic reports of jams and rush hour.
I think my dating hiatus and thus, lack of distraction from boys has really put my mind in the place to pay attention to other things. Sorry it’s not as upbeat or sarcastic as my dating posts. But think! Maybe if I move, I’ll have a whole new pool from which to fish. And the stories could go on forever! Well, not forever, but long enough for me to date everyone in the new town until I decide to pick up and move to the next place.
There has to be a better life. This isn’t it. Not by a long shot.
You’ve caught the disease: Wisdom and maturity. Unfortunately it comes with wrinkles. I got mine from thinking too much. Apparently, women aren’t supposed to think too much because the same intelligence creases are considered sexy in a man.
$400 for 3 months of wrinke-free. I do it; I think it’s worth it, but I’m gunning for the new stuff that’s supposed to last 6 months.
Wow, reading this made me feel my own ever-deepening forehead crease. Sadly, I understand — way too much.
I spent my Sunday on a farm in Waynesboro, PA – 10 miles outside of Hagerstown, MD. We played horeshoes. I was an honorary judge in a hat contest involving mostly elderly contestants – the winners received jars of apple-butter. I fed cows (by “fed,” I mean “dumped a barrel of grain over a fence”). I spent the rest of the evening sipping Iron City before returning home to DC. I was the only car on the road until I got to Route 70 – it was nice, and definitely cathartic…
I spent last night in Adams Morgan. After the official fireworks were over, the unofficial shows began. There were lots of sirens. I’ve not been to Fallujah lately, but I imagine that’s what it sounds like. I miss the farm.
(Of course, the grass is always greener, etc.)
I read your blog a lot, and have never commented but maybe I can give a bit of insight on this subject.
I grew up in Virginia, just close enough to DC to make it a day trip, but definitely a rural area. I moved to DC to work after college and while it was fun at first (happy hours!), I eventually felt like the soul was being sucked out of me. I moved to Wisconsin (albeit, one of the largest cities in Wisconsin) and it still amazes me how much happier I am here. Maybe because it’s closer to the environment I grew up in…or, it could be because I live in a brand new townhouse for $600 while I rented a basement for $550 in DC…whichever…but the thought of fighting traffic and people and never being able to own a home made me say goodbye to DC. And I am much happier and more psychologically balanced because of that decision.
Once I hit the lotto, I plan to live on a cruise ship that sails around the mediterranean. You know – Nice, Naples, Athens, then back to Morocco.
I love the hustle and bustle but not mixed with travel times. That’s when it’s just not worth it.
I want to live in a little town near the water. I want a boat.
i smell a case of “long-weekend melodramatics.” not to say your revelations are unfounded, but it’s easiest to hate on where you are when you visit somewhere else. you live in the best ‘hood in all of dc (my totally unbiased opinion), have some good friends (i assume), and a good job with maybe a little too long of a commute. come on girl, if the grass is really greener it’s probably just spray paint.
i spent a weekend on the cape, loving the zero humidity, the lush landscape, the excellent chowder at quaint restaurants, and the ocean breeze. but last night, i watched the fireworks from meridian hill/malcolm x park with a diverse and unruly group of people falling over each other to get the best view. i’ll go with the latter any day. i think it’s important to remember that it’s a fine line between tranquility and disconnectedness.
Hedonistic – Yeah, but doesn’t Botox give you an even bigger headache? I need to look into it, I’m becoming more conscious during the day that I am crinkling my brown all day long.
Dara – I know. I’m really giving this some thought today.
Aziz – You had me at apple butter.
I’m still dreaming – The line I almost used for the title was from the same song – Baker Street – about the city having so many people but “got no soul.” Thanks for commenting by the way. I love when the new people pipe up!
Johnny – Are you taking me with you?
Scarlet – The city was soooooo quiet this weekend. Well, Monday and Tuesday. And that was just awesome. I wish it was like that all the time.
Double O – No, this isn’t a feeling from the weekend. I’ve been like this for a while. Basically since I got back from Arizona, which was April 30. The second my plane landed out there and I got on the highway to my hotel, I realized, “What the fuck am I doing in D.C.?” The grass is never greener, but it’s about tradeoffs. Would I take less money to work a job so I could live in a place with little traffic and have a yard for my dogs? Yup.
I hear ya… I never want to move away from NYC more than when I’m in traffic. And I look at all the things I like doing – which I have to leave NYC to do – and all the things NYC offers (and expects you to pay for) which I’m through with after 12 years, and I wonder “what am I still doing here?”
You’re preaching to the choir, sister. I considered moving to Houston, fer chrissakes!
How can you move when you’ve just been promoted to President?! Congratulations on that, kind of exciting, right? Kind of…
And yes, moving….thoughts of moving are always good. I dream of the ‘simple life’ (sans Paris and Nicole)as well. Living by the beach, with lots of land, and little traffic…but then I couldn’t really walk to the bars…
Botox and headaches? It’s a headache while you’re getting it (I almost threw up the first time I had it done). However, it’s used to prevent migraines, so actually, no!
Just because this post isn’t funny or sarcastic doesn’t mean it’s not as good as everything else you write. Everyone in this city is thinking the same thing- I know I am. Things can change for the better though, right? Right?
What KM said. I think everyone in the DC metro area thinks about this on and off. We’re at that point now….do we stay or do we go?
So do we have to call you Ms. President from now on?
maybe it’s time to hire an intern or two… don’t you think?
I went through this myself, and I decided to stay. It has a lot of problems, but it makes me happy to live here.
You, though, seem to be getting more and more miserable about it, and this isn’t just a case of the weekend blahs. I begin to think maybe you ought to look into other options, because you’re too young to let life wear you down like this.
Heh–my best friend is president of his HOA in Arizona, and the horror stories he tells me make me never want to own a home, EVER. It’s also a good reminder that drama will manifest no matter where you go.
Dan – I just breezed over your blog, but will go back, as it looks really interesting. I grew up in Conn, and will always consider NY home, but, it’s sort of like the home with the crazy Grandma living there. I could go back, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.
Ninja – Um, despite my love of all things cowboy, I’d take DC over Houston any day. You made the right choice.
MappyB – Yes, my Presidency is filled with all sorts of good stuff like threatening real estate agents to get their lockboxes off the front door and calling the landscaper to have new bushes planted where the rats ate the old bushes. Fun.
Hedonistic – Okay, you’ve convinced me to look into it.
KM – We’ve moved off to email…however, we can hope for things to change I guess.
CG – Okay, can you and Joe just adopt me? Tell me when to pack and I’m there!
Raincouver – An intern? I’m dying over here. An intern to share my misery? That would be crazy, and very DCB of me. Though if I could get his intern Sally, I’d be all over that. That girl is hilarious.
Martin – I think I’m going to start with a vacation. And hope it makes it better. But, sigh…we’ll see.
The work commute is a life-drainng activity no matter how you look at it. For the past 9 years my office has been located 5 minutes drive-time from my home. 5 minutes in my car and I STILL BITCH about the trucks and the potholes and the traffic lights and the shitty drivers and the trains!
I then think about the folks I know who commute an hour each way and it calms me down. At times I ask myself how much additional salary I would need in order to spend 2 hours each day commuting to work. Would I do it for 10k more? For 20k? The answer is: I would not do it, period.
Great post. I hope you move at least to get away from the traffic!
I have that damn crinkle! Makes me sick everytime I look in the mirror.
O jeez, I do this every other day. I’m still looking.
What is it they say: Wherever you go, there you are?
Velvet, if you’re anywhere near thirty-ish you’re overdue for your first midlife crisis anyway. This is how it starts. In 4 years (or less) you will probably be 180 degrees from where you are today. “Stay tuned.”
Cosmic Shambles is right. I could live in a big house out in some outlying ‘burb, but I’d *never* see it. I prefer to live well within the beltway and not have to spend a lifetime in my car just to go to and from work. This town is stressful enough. Quality of life for me is less time in the car and more time at the gym, having dinner after work, etc.– certainly not leaving from work in the dark and coming home to an equally dark sky.
On a bigger note, ever since I moved to the area I have noticed that I grind my teeth– all the time– when I sleep, when I’m at work. It’s crazy. I woke up the other night with my hands clasped to tightly into fists that they hurt.
My dream is to get the fuck out of this city, sell my car and house, buy a pickup truck, and start a bed and breakfast/coffee house in some mountain resort town.
Now I can’t WAIT to sit in my soul-stealing cubicle tomorrow, Velvet.
I say a country bar site visit is in order.
Wherever you go… please, take me with you !
This definitely spells BORING to me. You are not ready for this, not just yet. You can get a job that does not require that kind of commute. My commute has never been more than a half hour and I go from VA to MD (although not a very desirable part of MD). Weren’t you the one worshipping the swamp last week as the plane from Detroit touched down in DC?
Barbara – nope. I wasn’t worshipping the swamp. I said, “Welcome back sucker” at the end of that post. I’ve grown to hate the swamp. And everything it stands for.
Following on from imstilldreaming, I’ve also been reading for a while but this is my first time commenting.
Velvet, I live on the other side of the world to you but your post voiced so much of what has been flying around in my head for the past few months I could have written it myself.
Big sign this week: gazing at the girl making my morning coffee and wishing for her life. Half, no three quarters, of me would love to work in the local cafe five minutes from home, serve the morning rush and then have the afternoon free for whatever. Instead I get up, commute for 40 mins, compromise my morals and beliefs for 10 hours a day and commute home again to sleep before waking up to start over.
Hell, I don’t care where you move. As long as you’re happy & you continue to blog…I approve.
I know, I know – you were waiting for my approval.
I hear ya. Grew up in NoVa…after college, decided I couldn’t afford to stick around NoVa or pay rent there, I moved to Charlotte, NC. And it was lovely. Stayed there for 10 years. Then, got the itch to move “back” and came up to Maryland. It’s great…near the water, near Baltimore, near Annapolis, not cheap, but not “NoVa expensive” either. And my commute is a breeze, plus I can visit DC anytime I want or go visit family in NoVa, which usually ends up with me cursing the traffic and grinding my teeth until I get to my destination. My motto: Change is always good, and hey, if you don’t like it, you can always move back!
I would love for you to stay but sometimes you just have to go to where you feel would make you happier. I have to say growing up outside NYC…unless you are completely loaded, have an amazing job and tons of free time–NYC is WAY WAY more soul sucking than DC and while its my fav city to visit in the US…its still even more of a rat race than here. My NYC friends come to DC and to them its QUIET. They can’t get over how no one cares about the vanity and superficial shit that NYC has all over the place…the diff here is it is bullshit power that people want…there–its fame.
I don’t know where you work, so it may not be appropriate, but I have solved nearly all of my transportation headaches by riding a bike to work for the last 11 years. I also find the bus lines to be more useful than the metro lines on days when I can’t ride.
And to follow up on KassyK, that’s why I like Baltimore so much as it is yet another step removed from the so-called “rat-race”. But I also think a lot of the angst is internal strife rather than environment, and will exist no matter where you go. But a pleasant environment sure can help! Surrounding yourself with good people (and dogs!) is half the battle.
I may be late to this party, but botox or other stuff like that isn’t going to help. People will claim that a pretty outside means nothing when you have an ugly inside but that is also crap. You need the music in you.
Camera Obscura is playing the Black Cat this coming Sunday. It may be a work night, but so what? Live a lot.
Going back, because I skipped a few to answer Barbara…
Cosmic Shambles – 5 minutes and you bitch? I’m going to slap you. Hard. Be ready.
My boyfriend is crazy – You have an entire blog about your crazy boyfriend – that’s hilarious! I would LOVE to move away from the traffic, but I’m in that trap of too much money for hellacious commute.
MellyMel – The crinkle sucks ass.
Larsgard – I thought you loved Savannah?
Hedonistic – I’m packing my 3rd crisis I think. And I’m near 30 all right, but moving further away as the minutes tick on. 33 and counting baby! Well, maybe I’ll stop counting.
EF – I’m in for a country bar. Definitely. When? Maybe if I had something to mount I would feel better about my commute and this soul sucking city. What? I was talking about the mechanical bull!
Moxie – You LOVE it here, don’t you? Ha! I’ll put in your notice with Penelope.
LooLar – Yay! I love when you new people pipe up! It always tosses a new perspective on to things. I have to say, I’m lucky that I do not compromise my morals for work. I’m sorry that you have to. That’s enough to get out right there. That to me is worth a paycut, but it’s a decision you would have to make.
Mel – Thanks!
Luck O’ The Irish – I’ve heard good things about Charlotte NC. I lived in Atlanta (another soul sucking city) and everyone wanted to flee to either Savannah (oh, the swamp smell is hellacious there, and that paper mill….screw that) or Charlotte.
KK – You know what, you’re right. The NYC I remember of 8 years ago is drastically different than NYC now. There has been both the tech boom and the real estate boom, and many people got richer and richer, driving prices even further toward the sky and making that place even more ridiculous in which to live. I looked online, and considered applying for a great job with the company rebuilding the World Trade Center, but then, I looked online at apartments. I have dogs to consider, and I can’t stick them in a tiny studio apartment with a view of a brick wall. At least here they can torture people from the balcony. You need at least $4000 a month to rent an acceptable place there. Soul sucking is right. So, that’s out.
Cuff – Live: Dupont Circle. Work: Gaithersburg, MD. I can’t ride a bike there. Well, I could, but it would take a long time.
Cosmic – A Baltimore girl I’m not. I just checked the public record of my old condo there, and see the person I sold to made a mint when he sold, but you couldn’t pay me that amount of money to have spent an additional 2 years in Baltimore. Sorry.
Chuckles – You know, I find irony at the fact that I’m considering botox – to freeze my face. I like to think of myself as completely expressionless as it is. What’s Camera Obscura?
Camera Obscura is a Scottish band that plays funky songs in a style similar to Belle and Sebastien but more accessible. They have a fun, but not annoyingly perky sound.
The show is only 14 bucks.I am telling people about them because they are good music that takes my mind off stuff in a good way. Also, the songs don’t sound irritating if you get them stuck in your head.
” I’m going to slap you. Hard. Be ready.”— Don’t make promises you can’t keep! 🙂
I am not trying to sell anyone on Baltimore, but as far as cities go it’s affordable and not as cosmo or pretentious as NYC or DC (and a qick trip to either city should I need a fix) Heck, I’m designing my own mid-life crisis with plans to flee to Colorado even as we speak!
Sorry, I’m not trying to confuse you with a double moniker. I have senior moments from time to time and forget where I am that’s why I show up as Larsgard! Ha! Anyway, yes I love my home town, but having moved so much during my life, there remain places I would like to see. Now that my family has dwindled and I have no ties, travelling becomes more inticing. “Me & you & a dog named Boo living and loving off the land”
I always think about moving but I’m a single Mom and my entire family, not-to-mention support network is here. I have friends that urge me to move to Chicago and they say the men are much better there. I would love to but it isn’t that easy when I have a daughter who is my life.
The traffic sucks here and the people are rude and everything is so darn expensive. BUT the ocean is 3 hrs away, my ENTIRE family is here. Sometimes it amazes me what I see driving home from work. We are in the nations capital and it a pretty fascinating place. I think I might be bored anywhere else.
Your single… why not move? You can always move back and we will all be here waiting for you.
I am on the same train of thought. I am so tired of the same scene and the routine of my life that I am doing everything in my power to break the monotony, like going on crazy weekend trips with girls that are 3 years younger than me. I too have the line in-between my forehead and in my attempt to not frown, I look like an idiot with my eyes wide open and a goofy smile on my face.
I think there is something in the air that just makes life here so stuffy and exhausting. If it were up to me, I would like to be somewhere by the beach and open up a tea shop. But then you need money for that..and so the circle of life continues!
That “stuffy and exhausting” aspect of life in DC is called humidity. Almost 13 years here and still I suffer.
Too Funny! I literally walked into my parents’ house last night exclaiming that I’m selling my condo and moving to the mountains to live off the land… Great minds, hmmm….
~Fab : )
I’m down with Chuckles the Clown, the humidity here sucks.
Chuckles – I have no clue what you are talking about with these bands. I’m new band stooopid.
Cosmic Shambles – Escaping to Colorado? Have you packed your rolling papers?
Old Lady – I know who ya are! You are my only reader from Savannah.
Reddudette – I think about it. And I just might. We’ll see what happens with work. We all may get laid off still.
DCVita – Sigh. Life on the beach. That would be so great.
Chuckles & Cosmic – The humidity is what I hate the most, if I had to make a list.
Fab – HA HA! Does anyone “live off the land” anymore? Did they ever? Okay, they did. But they didn’t have highspeed wireless internet. Damn.
Well, it doesn’t sound as if things are getting better since April. I always contend that it’s the people who make a place. Would you feel differently about all the same issues if you were to find yourself in a wonderful new relationship? if the answer is no, then you just have to do something about moving on to a new job that’s closer or a new start somewhere else.
I’m one for following my heart..hope you follow yours.
Well, these bands are good. New places, new faces.
As a hippie who grew up in a small town and moved to the city, I can say small town life is not all it’s cracked up to be. You just have different problems – like everyone talking about you wearing a fatigue jacket or not talking to anyone who has been to Broadway or having to drive for over an hour to shop. I guess it’s a trade either way. Just try your best to “bloom where you’re planted” (at least for now).