17 June 2007

Adams Morgan - it is what it is


I had an Adams Morgan post.

It was witty, it was offensive, it was tightly written and peppered with random allusions to snap bracelets, the '86 Mets and robot-girl Vicki from that show I used to watch as a kid on Saturday afternoons.

But as I did my final read-through, something didn't feel quite right. What that something was, I'm not exactly sure, for what I'd written wasn't more mean-spirited, more superficial or more self-indulgent than any of my other posts. But whatever it was, it was acute enough and persistent enough that it not only prompted me to delete my entire morning's worth of work but it also had me doubting, among other things, my heretofore unchallenged belief that the best criterion by which to judge a woman's character is how elegantly she walks in high heels.

Any person of relative privilege who chooses to live in a place of relative poverty will tell you that the only way to survive is to set aside the values, routines and expectations to which you've grown accustomed and adapt by accepting your new surroundings' values, routines and expectations. Accept the spitting, accept the lack of cell phone etiquette, accept the fact that the smell of washed-every-six-days scalp will be flush up against you on every form of public transportation, and unsavory as it might be, accept that parents let their sons - not daughters but sons - urinate in their chairs at sit-down restaurants. The more you fight against whatever it is you don't agree with or whatever it is you aren't used to, the more miserable you'll be and the fewer friends you'll make during your time there.

This is how I feel about Adams Morgan.

If I choose to enter the world of the sloppy drunk, skanked-out size-10-in-a-size-2, that's my choice. Who am I to expect a terry cloth tubedress clad woman with chunky red highlights and acrylic French tips to apologize when she spills her Smirnoff Ice on my favorite satin ruffled halter? Who am I to assume a group of 35 year old men in flip-flops and Le Tigre polos would break their three-across on the sidewalk so my four-inchers and I aren't forced into the gravely grass less than a foot from moving traffic?

Likewise, who am I to expect women of the sort I encountered - ranging from those who attached their Peace Corps emblazoned Nalgenes to their backpack loops to those who did the mini with the low-cut neckline with the stripper heels with the white eyeliner - to set aside their affection for all fabrics unnatural and all fits puckered and instead pay attention to figure-flattering, venue-appropriate, confidence-enhancing style?

The answer is, I can't. And not only that, but I shouldn't. Like a third-world country, Adams Morgan is a place outsiders have to accept at face value, because as far as I can tell, the regulars like it just the way it is.

3 comments:

nyc admirer said...

I can't believe you were in Adams Morgan. That puts a smile on my face. A smirk, actually.

love that cut, babe.

dara said...

Adams Morgan was nothing but a meatmarket 10 years ago and it hasn't changed a bit since.

You're right, there's no changing it. Either go and accept it or don't go at all.

I advocate the latter.

Anonymous said...

Eww, girls who drink Smirnoff Ice.