Angie’s Visit

My bloggin’ buddy Angie of Childhood Relived is coming to DC next month, and we are going to get together for lunch!  I’m so excited – she will be the first blogging buddy I’ll get to meet.  The thing is, though, that I just can’t decide where to take her for our rendezvous.

Angie, as you may know, writes extensively about her childhood in the 1980s. She remembers everything that happened during that decade.  Angie has a photographic memory for every single TV show and every bit of food she consumed during that decade.  It’s awesome.  Or terrifying.  Or both.  And while I was not a child in the 1980s, her posts always make me nostalgic for that time in my life.  Back when I was young, single, sick and poor.  Ah yes, the 1980s.

I am pretty sure that Angie is (1) Superhuman; (2) will remember each and every detail about the restaurant I choose; and (3) remember every single fact I tell her about Washington, DC, whether it is in fact, fact or not.  I can’t believe I even agreed to meet her.  Can’t I be out of town that day?

Oh, yeah.  I will be out of town that day.  Out of my town.  You see, I hardly ever go into DC any more.  I work across the river in Virginia; I live in the Virginia sticks with the deer.  In fact, I do everything south of our nation’s Capitol, you know, where the Rebs lived (and seceded).  (We will not comment on how a nice Connecticut Yankee like me ended up here.  Please.  It’s painful.)

The tour I can handle.  Buildings are buildings and Angie won’t know if I’m right or wrong when I tell her which is which.  The hard part is deciding where to have lunch.  It used to be that this wouldn’t have been a problem.  Yup, I used to really know the city.  I lived in DC; I worked downtown.  I hung out on Capitol Hill.  In fact, I used to work really close to the hotel where Angie is staying.  But my familiarity with DC restaurants is current only up to 1989, when I moved away.

So rather than sweating it, I decided to give Angie a 1980s tour of Washington!  That’s the Washington I know.  Knew. Whatever.  Wouldn’t that be appropriate?  I’ll start with a 1980s restaurant!  I figured I’d see which of my favorite restaurants of the 1980s were still open and take her to one of them.  Brilliant, right?  Because after all, a trip to our nation’s capital requires a bit of history.  For US history, well, Angie’s on her own.  I’m going to give her some of my history.  Yes Angie, I am going to treat you to a dose of “This is Your Life,” DC Restaurant version.

Of course, there aren’t too many of my favorites left.  In fact, there are only three.  Which do you think she’d like best?

Health Hazard of Hunan:  This restaurant is where I learned to eat interesting spicy foods.  I went there all the time.  Whenever we worked late at the office our clients would buy us wonderful Chinese food from Hunan.  Better still, one night I organized an incredibly fun birthday dinner there for a friend.  A total of about 20 of us had a wonderful meal, where the staff gave us tastes of everything on the menu.  Exotic, delicious Chinese delicacies.  The next day the restaurant was closed for health violations.  Don’t worry though, Angie.  It’s back in business.

Rumors:  Rumors was a meat-market when I was still single, a place to go to pick up men/women for one night stands.  That’s not why I went, actually, because I never was that kind of girl.  Besides, at the time I was attached.  But it had great food and a different ambiance at lunch time.  It’s not at all far from where Angie and I are meeting.

The last time I went to Rumors was at nighttime, though, when the meat-market was in full swing.  At the time I was dating Erik, who at the time (1980), I fully expected to marry, and he and I were there with some friends.  That night began the process that led me to a much better mate.  That’s because Erik excused himself to go to the restroom and came back quite quickly looking rather confused.  He couldn’t figure out which bathroom to use.   “Ummm, Elyse?” he asked quietly.  “Am I a ‘tweeter’ or a ‘woofer’?”  I decided that perhaps I wanted more of a woofer in my life.

The Sex Change:  Actually, the restaurant is called “The Exchange” – but our name was much more fun.  I worked in an office upstairs from the Sex Change.  We actually had a convenient back door into the place that we used when we were supposed to be working.  My friends and I spent many, many lunch times, work afternoons and evenings there. The Sex Change is possibly the first place where I was ever publicly drunk, although I don’t really remember.

The Sex Change was actually the site of my first foray into public storytelling.  Yes, it was at the Sex Change one winter night, where I stood on a table in the most crowded part of the bar, my third or fourth or fifth beer of the evening in hand.  I told the world of my most shameful, completely embarrassing, life changing childhood trauma.  I stood on a table and told how I ruined my life in 2nd Grade by wetting my pants during Show & Tell, one week after moving to a new town.  It was the story I had never admitted had happened.  Not to anyone.  It was the story I feared would one day come out when someone from my past appeared unexpectedly and let it slip.  And the bar patrons loved it, and me for telling it.  They were there with me, in 2nd Grade.  Of course, they were drunk too.

In fact, it was this story that brought Angie and I together, because it was the heart of the comment I left Angie about a year ago when she wrote this post about embarrassing childhood birthday parties.  The full story, including my revenge on the kid who bullied me in grammar school, is here.  Because there is a god.

So as you can see, it’s a tough choice.  Food poisoning, sexual confusion, or humiliation.  I think that sums up my life pretty nicely.  Which would you choose?

And after lunch, I’ll take her on a driving tour.  I’ll drive her past the White House and we will wave (or gesture in an altogether different manner) to Ron and Nancy.  Reagan and O'NeilWe’ll drive up to Capitol Hill walk right in to her Congressman and Senators’ offices.  We’ll climb to the top of the Washington Monument, get into the museums without waiting through endless security lines.

Yup, a 1980s tour of Washington sounds like just the ticket.  But maybe we should just grab a hot dog.


Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Childhood Traumas, Conspicuous consumption, Driving, History, Humor, Mental Health, Traffic, Word Press

70 responses to “Angie’s Visit

  1. Pingback: Babes in Toyland – Angie and Me | FiftyFourandAHalf

  2. Brilliant, and what a treat for the both of you.


  3. I’m sure no matter where you two go, you’ll have a blast.


  4. Judy

    Elyse…..are you forgetting Chunky Soup and Cheese popcorn? Or Au Bon Pain, that is the original “Go to lunch with a Friend” place”…..I think I still have some unused coupons from the 80’s. You know I have no friends!


  5. I’m so impressed you both had the chutzpah to get together. You’ll have a great time and lifelong bond. Keep us in on the touring.


  6. GOF

    I can thoroughly recommend meeting up with blog friends. This year one of my blog friends and his wife came to spend a couple of days with us and it was like a reunion of long-lost friends, so I hope both of you enjoy the special moment.


  7. JSD

    It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope you’ll share it with us. 🙂


  8. Well if it were me, I would go with sexual confusion. When I come for a visit that is where we are going together. But then maybe we will hit both confusion and humiliation, one directly after the other. Appetizer then dinner. Hmmm, what a plan.

    I am so unhappy we won’t be able to visit when you are in my home city. I would have treated you to my favorite. Brunch at Brennens. Though not as spectacular as the original in New Orleans, they nonetheless do a good job of it in Houston, I would have stayed to Sunday to do this.

    Maybe next time


  9. How exciting to meet a blogging buddy! The National Gallery of Art is my favorite place to visit. The in house restaurant is nice too–perhaps a little noisy with the clattering on the tile floors. It’s one proof our government really can be at work charging very minimally and reasonably for their postcards and prints.


    • We will have to see — she’s here with her husband and I don’t know what they plan to see together. I love the National Gallery too. Haven’t been in a while, though.


  10. I’d go for Hunan, but that’s just me. My office buddies and I used to hit a lot of places in downtown Chicago that were dicey at best, and yes, a couple were closed and re-opened a few times. Just please, WARN her before you go.It was a “well-known” only-tolerable-by-locals restaurant I went to the night before I spent several hours barfing in my wife-to-be’s toilet!
    And be sure to take her to the WW2 and Vietnam memorials. No words need be said.


    • Before I respond, have you been to the WW2 memorial?


      • Sadly, I’ve never been to DC, so I haven’t seen either.


        • The Vietnam Memorial is inspiring, beautiful, heartbreaking.

          The WW2 Memorial? The one to honor the folks who really fought evil and won? Cold, heartless. Heartbreaking because it is so poorly done. Those men and women deserved more.


          • I’ve seen a lot of photos and film of the WW2 Memorial, and I have one HUGE pet peeve – no recognition of the American theatre. ANd yes, there WERE many conflicts on our sides of the Atlantic and Pacific. There were patrol flights that crashed (including a blimp shot down by a U-boat), there were many merchants and escorts and enemy U-boats sunk in sight of shore, and my personal, we fought the Japanese on American territory in the Aleutian Islands west of Alaska. Naval, ground, AND air battles over American territory, and they glibly split the war into 2 sets for the Pacific and Europe. Maddening.
            I did see the “Traveling Wall” in Grant Park in Chicago. I/6 scale, if I recall, and still absolutely stunning. I would love to see the statuary for both the soldiers and the nurses. But that’s gonna have to wait until we have some money to spare…..


  11. It’s wonderful that, you plant to meet one of your blogging buddies. Do not forget to tell someone click a picture the moment you people see each other. I always wonder what would be the expression on a person’s face if he/she meets a blogging buddy in real world. 🙂


    • We will have a good time, Arindam. But I don’t do pictures (my husband worries someone will dislike my politics and do me harm, so I had to promise.)

      And I’m anxious for YOUR visit to DC, Arindam!


  12. Michelle Gillies

    Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. It is a whole lot of awesome that you get to meet with one of your blogging buddies, especially the memorable Angie. If I had to choose I would pick the place that brought you together in the first place by telling the story of you telling the story of the embarrassing wet moment.


  13. What a nice treat to meet a blogging buddy. I’m sure that whatever you do will be fun and it will be nice to read the blogs from both of you that happen as a result of the outing.


  14. The heck with the particulars … just go out and have a good time!


  15. I know what you mean. I lived on the Maryland side and rarely went into DC except for work and when visitors came a’ calling. Have fun!


  16. I don’t think it matters where you go! What fun. You will make new memories at a new restaurant. Can’t wait to hear about it! And photos, please?


  17. bigsheepcommunications

    The real question is what are you going to wear for your 80’s excursion and how big will your hair be? (I’d love some photos.)


  18. I am so envious of your upcoming lunch with Angie and not because it might possibly take place at the site of your peed-pants retelling, or at a singles nightmare or at a botulism den, it’s because Angie is radical (that was an 80s word, I think).


  19. You two are going to have a blast! Just remember to take lots of pictures and write a post about your DC adventures.

    I wish I had an 80s tour. wait a minute, I did. I visited DC frequently with my elderly grandparents in the 1980s. Highlights of the trip? Seeing Fonzie’s leather jacket, Archie Bunker’s chair and the time my grandpa dropped me off in front of the National Air and Space museum, then peeled away, running over the back end of my sneaker with his wood-paneled station wagon.


  20. I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time wherever you go. It’s very exciting to get to meet a fellow blogger in person. My daughter and I ate at a little cafe in the sculpture garden. The food was very good, nothing fancy and you could view the sculptures no matter where you were sitting. Can’t wait to hear about the encounter.


  21. I remember my grade 6 teacher had the great idea to ANONYMOUSLY share our more embarrassing memories with the class by writing it down on a cue card, but then he also had the bright idea to reveal who was who so my wonderful story of crapping my pants on the first day of a new prestigious school when I was in grade 2-3 was awesome as my mom came later that day to help me put on my drawers in the middle of the hallway.


    • Oh, there is a special place in hell for that teacher. What a horrible thing to do. College, maybe. 6th grade??? Lord — and why is it we remember the bad teachers so much more clearly?

      I wouldn’t admit that I had actually done it. I would look people in the eye and lie. Nope, not me. I didn’t do THAT. They made it up. (That might have helped people torture me about it for longer, actually.)

      Thanks for sharing the story!


  22. Ha! I totally remember that story about you wetting your pants! What do I win? A trip to the restaurant where I’m the least likely to catch syphillis from the cob salad?

    The 80s tour of DC! This is like a childhood dream come true except that in the 80s I thought DC was a comic book company.


    • Angie, you were right back then — DC IS a comic book company. And it is filled with more and more special effects these days than ever. Usually involving security and long lines. You’ll have a blast!

      I am the prize Angie. Or you are. Or maybe our dynamic duo tour will be the prize for someone. Just hopefully not the police~


  23. Definitely the pee-in-your-pants restaurant. It’s historic.


  24. I think you should go to the place where you shared your story! Speaking of the 80s, I have a pair of mint condition Ron and Nancy Reagan paper dolls. It’s too funny to see them in their underwear.


    • You think that would be better than the place that closed for health violations? That’s not very sporting of you!

      I love the idea of those dolls — although I have to say if I had had them back in the day, I would have burned them!


      • Well I love Chinese as much as the next guy, but taking a guest – that’s iffy.

        The dolls weren’t mine originally, my Pop would never have tolerated Ron and Nancy in the house. Ron Junior is in there too in his dance clothes. It’s pretty kitchy.


  25. Curly Carly

    Hot dogs never disappoint. You’re right though, Angie has a freakishly good memory.


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