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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Adrian Fenty Made Me Late For Work

I was so close to making it into work on time this morning for a change. Last night I stayed in reading the Paris Review and watching the Hills (like that juxtaposition of the high-and low-brow?) and I got to sleep at a decent hour. Not a drop of alcohol passed my lips. I was perfectly well behaved and I loved every second of it. I awoke at a relatively decent hour (7:30) and while getting ready, threw on a skirt, tank top, cardigan combo noting that the ensemble vaguely resembled a sensible grown up outfit. I even went to the effort of finding my good purse and using that instead of the crummy Urban Outfitters thing I've been toting around recently. Checking the clock on my way out I noted that I was running pretty much on time. My chances of making it to Silver Spring by 9:00 were slim, but I would definitely get there by 9:05.

Jamming my ipod ear buds into my ears I trotted off to the Woodley Park Metro at an efficient clip. I'm one of those pedestrians that views walking as a means of transporting oneself from point A to point B, rather than say, an excuse to stroll around aimlessly, so I tend to walk pretty fast and I have little tolerance for people BSing around on the sidewalk. At the Metro I encountered a huge mess of people congesting foot traffic near the escalators. By the clipboards they held I figured they were affiliated with some political cause. I have a lot of experience dealing with petition drives through my last job working on ballot measure campaigns and nobody has more sympathy towards the plight of the signature gatherer than me. I almost ALWAYS stop to sign petitions (if I support the cause of course) and I sometimes even engage the canvassers in conversation. But today I was feeling selfish and I REALLY wanted to be on time for work.

I dodged my way through the crowd and was almost to the escalator when a man forcefully stepped in front me and shoved a clipboard at me. I was about to be annoyed when I looked up to see that it was Adrian Fenty.

Now let me just stop here to explain the small crush I have held for Fenty over the years. When he ran for City Council I was working at a non-profit dedicated to inner-city DC economic development and education issues. He and my boss were on good terms and they'd occasionally meet. Fenty seemed young and energetic. As a fellow-Oberlin alum, it impressed me that he had adopted a career of proactively making the world a better place, rather than slouching into sneering hipster-dom in Williamsburg as so many of our peers had. Over the years he has established himself as a champion of innovative economic development strategies as well. In short, I've been a fan for a while and fully support his Mayoral bid.

I couldn't very well blow him off so I stopped to sign his petition, impressed that he was out on the street doing the same grunt work as his volunteers. Slightly star struck, I blurted out that we both attended Oberlin, and he politely responded with a series of questions about what I do now and how I like it. I know full well that it was the part of the perfunctory baby-kissing, handshaking, vote-getting tactics that all politicos employee to garner votes, but I couldn't help feel a little honored and giddy to have been a target. Thoroughly thrown off my game, I wished him luck just as he shoved a business card into my hand and asked me if he had my vote. I nodded and descended the escalator. Sprinting through the turnstile in the station I saw that it was now 8:30 and my chances of a timely arrival at work were effectively screwed. No matter, he still has my support.


Anonymous the good doctor said...

2 notes:

1) I don’t feel like I walk fast, but I also usually move quicker than most people on the sidewalk when I’m going to/from Metro/work. As I don’t wish to be the swerving asshole that almost knocks other people’s coffee out of their hands as they bob and weave down the sidewalk, I have developed an uncanny ability to plan my path so that I both move at a solid pace and don’t cut people off / be that guy. I swear to you that when I’m walking I am thinking 3 moves ahead of where I currently am - I’m like a NASCAR driver, only I don’t suck. This may sound irrelevant, ok it is irrelevant, but I am convinced that this ability of mine makes me just a little superior to everyone else.

2) On Monday or Tuesday (it’s all the same anyway) I also had a political candidate encounter at a Metro stop. As I was walking through the bank of ticket machines on my way out of the Pentagon City station after work there was a group of people with matching t-shirts and clipboards. I, being someone that anticipates their walking path in advance, was able to slip through the group without getting grabbed or noticed. I thought I was in the clear after I passed the last of them when a guy in a nice suit and fancy hair stepped in front of me and stuck his hand out in greeting. I was in a bad mood, as I had just departed the evening rush hour Metro and was heading for an equally packed bus, and since I had my wallet in one hand and a book in the other I waived off the handshake (showing my hand were full) and might have given a not-so-friendly look as I hurried by. At the time I knew it was kind of a dick move because he had offered me his hand with goodwill and I had turned him away, but I didn’t think much of it. As I was waiting for my bus I learned that it was actually one of the two candidates in the Virginia Senatorial Primary doing a little campaigning in the station. Hopeful that I may have snubbed a future Senator, I did a little investigating today and learned that I was only rude to the loser of the primary, Harris Miller. Though this was disappointing at first, I now realize that if snubbing a Senator on a handshake was exciting to me then I should probably just kill myself.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous e2 said...

The candidates were out in force today (thursday). I drove past Linda Cropp this morning - she was standing on the corner of Wisconsin and M Street in Georgetown. It was a weird place to stand and wave to people.

12:02 AM  

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