July 21, 2014

Day 50: An Introduction to the Charming People of Arlington

I could use a more flattering picture from this weekend, but why do that when I have this?
Before this weekend, the people of Arlington were somewhat of an enigma to me, a cryptic cloud shrouded in Lululemon and mystery.

But luckily, this is no more.

One of my college teammates and best friends came down to visit me this weekend. Among other things, like watching The Princess Bride and eating pineapple, we made it around this new town of mine to scope out the locals. We totally immersed ourselves in the culture, starting by quietly observing over a $8.99 plate of hummus but quickly jumping headfirst into shots of Fireball with the proclaimed champion of DC competitive karaoke. (And no, I couldn't make that up.)

And it turns out, Arlington is home to some very charming people.  For example:

1.  The Woman of Politely Constrained Road Rage.  In a gesture of defiance against materialism, conformity, and, like... convenience, Kelsey and I decided to bike five miles to the closest Michael's Craft Store this weekend.

On the ride, Kelsey came across a rather tricky obstacle on the bike path.  And by rather tricky obstacle, I mean an intersection.  Which doesn't sound that tricky at all, except there was also another woman in that intersection.

For a moment, I thought I was about to witness a slow-speed collision as the two women rolled toward each other but luckily, Kelsey fell over at the last minute. The woman drifted safely by, telling Kelsey, "Jesus Christ!  Slow down lady."  (A threat that would have been a bit more effective had we not continued rolling together for the next few feet.)

But we had to hand it to the lady; even in the throes of obvious rage, she never raised her voice nor so much as disturbed her bike basket despite the lunatic on the beach cruiser wobbling without regard into local intersections.

You just don't see those kinds of manners these days.

2.  The Unnaturally Accommodating Bartender.  In my quest to completely fool people into thinking I'm an adult, the first drink I got on Friday night was my first ever martini.  And it worked out fantastically, except that it turns out that martinis are absolutely disgusting.

I ended up pouring half of the drink into a bush.  Which, besides being a total waste of money, also left me without a drink.  I wanted to try a Gin and Tonic but wasn't about to spend another $8 to water the bar's shrubbery.

Kelsey suggested that I ask the bartender for a sample.  I would have said yes immediately, but I am still deeply scarred from the time in Chicago when I asked the bartender for a Bloody Mary at 10 pm; her laughter still has me spooked.  But Kelsey, and by Kelsey I mean Kelsey's Yuengling, had no problem asking the bartender for a sample.

Turns out, the bartender was happy to accommodate our inexperience... which, besides undoing all my martini's hard work, ended up opening the flood gates to a wonderful world of carbonated mixed drinks neither of us had ever before experienced.

You just don't see that kind of hospitality these days.

Because this is supposed to be an elevator pitch, I am only going to mention these two. But really we met scads of wonderful people this weekend: the guy with an unnaturally fluffy beard and a hiking backpack who liked Kelsey's tank-top, the Whole Foods employee who told us that Whole Foods actually isn't open at 1 AM, and the baby strapped to the chest of a guy enjoying a few Friday night drinks at a bar.

And just think, a few days ago I was considering a cat.