Washington, D.C.: A guide to awkward conversations


Everyone at some point will find themselves chilling at a party or an event where they don’t know anyone. One minute one is lingering on the fringes of conversation comfortably, cool drink in hand. And then all eyes turn: Your interrogation as begun. Better be ready to answer these played-out questions in an interesting way or it’s going to be a long night.

1. What do you do? Don’t get too into it, no one really cares.  While the most popular question in D.C., this is also the one most likely to bring out boring answers. You’re better off making something up. Suggested: I play the buckets in front of Verizon Center.

2. Where are you from? Don’t be too specific — people only want to know how many minutes Hoboken is from The City, not that you were the youngest elected city councilman. Suggested: I’m from right here, sonnn!

3. What neighborhood do you live in? Then, depending on the popular stereotype of your neighborhood, prepare for subquestions: a) If you don’t mind me asking, how much is the rent? OR b) I heard it’s dangerous there; is that true? Suggested: Actually, I live off the land.

4. How do you get to work? This is like pulling an emergency fire alarm — you are never going to befriend someone while talking about the easiest way to drive to Dunn Loring or HOW MUCH THE METRO SUCKS. Great opportunity to make something up: Oh, I get to the office by rickshaw!

5. Where did you go to school? Because everyone that lives in D.C. went to college, obviously. Actually, more than half of people aged over 25 don’t have a bachelor’s or better. Similarly, not everyone in the city works in politics or the government. This one’s easy: Just get offended. 

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One Response to Washington, D.C.: A guide to awkward conversations

  1. Includes my top two most despised Washington, DC-centric questions asked by prying strangers who seek to size others up based on baseless, inane criteria.

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