Are you a twenty-something living in DC? Do you ever feel as if everyone has everything figured out except for you? If so, join the club (I’m the president) and this column is for you. I’ll be covering life in the district from the perspective of one of us bottom of the barrel young folk. Full disclosure, I’m no guru. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. But, I suppose we can become full-fledged Washingtonians together. First things first, let’s get to know each other.
About four months ago I strutted across the graduation stage. And I do mean strut. With my head held high, I smiled for the cameras, and waved to the fam. It was a total Cosby Show moment. Also, much like The Cosby Show, it was all an act. I deserve some kind of nomination because I Meryl Streeped the hell out of graduation day. Every picture taken of me should have the words “for your consideration” superimposed across my face.
While I may have looked like a cocky son-of-a-gun, ready to kick ass and take names, inside I felt old. I’m no spring chicken. I have responsibilities now. People count on me for things, and if I don’t do them I’m going to be screwed.
Two weeks after graduating from college, I was thrust into the world of DC professional life. I’m one of those guys you see wearing a suit on K Street in one hundred degree weather, leaving a trail of ambition and sweat behind them. That being said, “office me” is very professional. However, every once in a while something happens which reminds me that I am only twenty-two. “Like what”, you ask? Allow me to tell you about the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me. Ever.
I’m in the men’s restroom washing my hands. As an unfortunate product of Generation Y, I am physically incapable of not checking my iPhone at the first opportunity. In this case I forgot that doing so prior to drying my hands would render the device quite slippery. The phone slipped out of my hand and slid underneath an occupied stall. To add insult to injury, fate decided that this moment would be incomplete without some background music. My iPhone began to play the song “Birthday Cake” by Rihanna. The gentleman in the stall was a sport and kicked it back out to me. I picked it up and ran out of there faster than you could blow out Rihanna’s birthday candle. “Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake”, sometimes I lie awake at night hearing it over and over again—and not just because those are the only words to the song.
Yes ladies and gents, this is what my life has become. I’m twenty-two, living in DC and completely clueless about how to reconcile the old me with the new me—the mature yuppie Washingtonian me. Best-case scenario, I figure it out how to meld the two. After all, who doesn’t like to have their cake and eat it too? Or maybe some of Rihanna’s cake (if there’s any left).