Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why We Keep Coming to DC

Today, I achieved one of the goals I set for myself upon snagging my new job--publishing a piece of writing. My wonderful boss is also the editor of Zócalo Public Square, an L.A.-based online magazine and lecture series on social cohesion. He asked me to write a piece on the disconnect between polling data on D.C. and the experience of living in Washington. Here is what emerged...

Ms. Lawrence Goes to Washington
But the Rest of the Country Thinks I'm in Sin City

Exactly one year ago, I was packing my suitcases to move from my childhood home in north Texas to a three-bedroom group house in Washington, D.C. My mother, standing close by to inspect my work, hooked the shoulder of a blue dress on her index finger and raised her eyebrows. “Don’t forget,” she said, “what happened to Monica,” drawing out the name for effect.

Ignoring the implicit attack on my character, I pointed out a crucial difference between Ms. Lewinsky and me: “I’m going to work for a non-profit, Mom.” Later that afternoon, my father—ever the comedian—called out to me from behind the TSA security line at DFW Airport, “Don’t spend all the taxpayers’ money!”

To my parents, Washington is populated not by young idealists but rather by those eager to consort with sex-crazed lawmakers and to squander dad’s paycheck...


Photo credit to {Wes} on