Monday, September 9, 2013

Notes from the Beltway

Here we are. Firmly ensconced within that tight belt of congested freeway that runs around the nation's capitol.

We're slowly making our adjustments. New routes to the grocery story. Searching for parking near Dupont Circle (note to doesn't exist). And making new friends.

That process, like many of the others in our new life, has a distinctly Washingtonian flare.

On the second day of school, Child #2 announced he had a new best friend.

"That's great!" I said.

"Yep, sure is. We traded for it," he told me.

"What do you mean?"

"So Mom, it's like this. He told me he'd be my best friend, if I'd promise to be a Republican."

"And you agreed?"

"Yep. Democrats are bad. They attack people. Sometimes they bite."

I could have pointed out that he'd spent a lifetime in Portland, where people recycle EVERYTHING, vote to the left of liberal and go door-to-door with good cause clipboards. I could have mentioned that, in the rare moments I stop to give politics more than a glancing thought, I'm pretty liberal. Instead, I said, "I think both parties attack, but I haven't heard of any actual bitings," and left it that.

The next day, on the way home from school, Child #2 announced, "Jack says I'm his eighth best friend now."

"What about that backroom deal you guys struck?"

He looked at me uncomprehendingly. "It was on the playground, Mom, but I guess I was the eighth person to agree so I'm pretty far down the list."

"Maybe you should branch out. Expand your basis of support," I suggested.

And the next day he did.

First life lessons from the beltway: Don't make backroom friendship deals. And a wide base of friendly support will always be your best asset.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Democrats bite - that is hilarious! I'll remember that.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

He can do better than #8. And Republican? Welcome to the East Coast and the South.

Julie Flanders said...

LOL LOL. Backroom deals on the playground? Kids must be a lot more sophisticated than they were when I was in school.

Johanna Garth said...

It just occurred to me that that was what was actually said!

I know Diane! That's what I told him.

Julie, I was kind of blown away too. We were all about the monkey bars.

Morgan said...

Oh my gosh! I can't believe it! Johanna, that story blows my mind! When I was a kid, we were friends or not depending on whether you wanted to play make believe or not. LOL.

Joanne Noragon said...

That "friend" is tea party for sure. Does he know about independents?

I drove the beltway often. Now it's your turn.

Beylit said...

That is hilarious. Of course when I was a kid we were plotting world domination on the playground but political parties never came into the mix.

D.G. Hudson said...

And don't let someone pressure you into politics in exchange for being a friend. Hmm-mm. What does that say about the Republicans. . .?

Kids pick up this sort of thing from their parents, other uninformed kids, etc. I'm more like your Portland person, Johanna.

Barbara Watson said...

There's wisdom there for all of us!

Neurotic Workaholic said...

This was a funny post! When I was a kid, I don't think I even knew what a Democrat or a Republican was. Maybe your child's friends' parents work for the government or something.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Long way from Portland, hope your family settles nicely into your new surroundings.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Great advice as always, Johanna!

jaybird said...

Oh my gosh. Eighth on the list? Lord have mercy. I love your advice. Here's hoping he broadens his friendship horizons.