1. Subtly calling someone out who claims they are from DC.
DC is funny because it’s a transplant city. Most people who actually live here were not born here. And there are many people who live close to here, but not actually in the district. If you were born in Northern Virginia or Southern Maryland, you are not from DC and native Washingtonians will be quick to call you on it.
2. Navigating around protestors.
We want you to know that if you’re protesting around the block from our home or office, we are really happy you have the right to do so. We really are glad that you are standing for your beliefs and we tip our hats to you for doing so. With that being said, some days, we are just in a hurry. We have to get to a meeting, an appointment, pick up our kids from school or just live our daily lives. And while we are so glad you are standing in a huge crowd shouting, we’re just trying to cut through you peacefully so we can get to the bus stop across the street.
3. Explaining to someone who just doesn’t get it why we want statehood.
DC statehood is big deal in the district. Quite simply, DC was created to be the capital and never meant to be a state. The founding fathers were worried that if the capital was in a state, the members of government would feel like they owe something to it and it would interfere with federal proceedings. The district, however, has changed over the last century and many people live here - people not in the government. They lack the same voting rights as those in other countries and to some residents: that’s a big deal. Of course, if you don’t live here or don’t understand the differences, you might be willing to ask questions or argue about the topic.
4. Trying to start a political conversation with someone not from DC.
Political talk is part of small talk in DC. It’s very nearly impossible to avoid it. With that being said, we often forget that most people avoid talking about politics in social situations. When we bring it up to someone from out of town, they are usually less than excited to launch into a debate.
5. Not asking questions about your friend’s mysterious job.
Every single person in DC has had that friend or a friend of a friend or a parent of a friend who they have secretly suspected of being a spy. This person has a government job but you’re completely unclear as to what they do or why they are always at work in the middle of the night or why they are going on foreign trips all of the time.
6. Realizing you're lost, even though you’ve lived in DC your entire life.
DC is actually a really confusing city and it’s always changing. You hop off on the wrong stop, take a wrong turn down a one way street and suddenly you have no idea where you are or how to get back home. Which is awkward, considering you are probably only 20 minutes from where you live and it will take you an hour to navigate back. It’s even worse when you’re with someone else not from DC.
7. Finding an answer when people ask if DC is southern or northern.
The answer is…. we don’t know? Truthfully, DC was part of the Union during the Civil War, while Virginia was part of the Confederacy. So we’re really on the borderline but for whatever reason, northerns think we’re much more southern that we are southerns think we are much more more northern.
8. Recognizing you are not even close to the smartest or most educated person at happy hour.
Let’s face it, no matter how prestigious your college was or how high your SAT score is, you will probably sit down next to someone and realize that they are in fact, much smarter than you. While it may be humbling but everyone enjoys trivia nights.
9. The "DC name drop."
Whether you’ve done it or you have been in a conversation with someone who has name dropped, it can be a little bit awkward. Because either you or them want someone to notice the subtle name and comment on how cool it is that you are in such close proximity to power. But honestly, usually no one but other people in politics or political science majors are going to pick up on your name drop.
10. Explaining to someone that we can’t get them tickets to the inauguration, White House, Capitol tour.
While DC is a small town, it isn’t as small as everyone thinks. Just because we all live in close proximity to big events and high profile tourist attractions doesn’t mean that we all have special access. Very few people here have actually met the President, so please, stop asking us for a tour of the White House.
11. Correcting people of saying DC is a swamp.
We know DC has a bad rap around the country. People think the district is synonymous with the government and one of the big lines lately has been about "draining the swamp." But you can’t wrap up an entire city with one specific piece of it. And Washingtonians are not afraid to defend their city against those who want to speak badly about it.