21 Things You Learn From Living In The DMV

1. For the rest of your life, you will have to explain to confused people that “DMV” means “DC, Maryland, and Virgina,” and not that you grew up on the floor of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

2. The DC metro is unreliable, and slow, and closes early. Many is the time you have found yourself at the platform after a night out, just wanting to get home in a reasonable amount of time, confronted with a “22 minutes” notice for the next train. One of your biggest hobbies is complaining about the DC metro.

3. But when you go to the subway system of any other city, you are immediately grateful for how clean and aesthetically pleasing DC is in comparison.

4. One of the greatest betrayals a person can experience is watching a Sonic commercial on heavy rotation on nearly every channel, while not living within 100 miles of a Sonic. Perhaps it was just Maryland, but there seemed to be some kind of conspiracy growing up around “building excitement around the idea of going to Sonic” and “not providing a Sonic to go to.”

5. Watching shows like House of Cards without nitpicking is an impossible activity.

6. Nothing gets a party going quite like the Eastern Motors commercial song:

7. If you have plans with a friend, and they text you that they are stuck in construction on the Beltway, you can expect to see them sometime mid-next week.

8. Getting parking tickets in DC is more than a frequent occurrence, it’s a way of life.

9. A summer is not a summer — not even close to being a summer — if you don’t stop at Rita’s for a gelati at least 47 times.

10. Nearly everyone who lives in the metro area is going to act like they live in DC from time to time, but no one is a greater offender than people who live in Arlington. And learning not to correct an Arlington resident who tries to claim DC is a fine art.

11. Maryland doesn’t do football and crabs. It does lacrosse and crabs. Well, it does football, too, but still. That quote could have been improved.

12. Everyone has a different opinion about what the “real” DC is, or what you have to show people when they come to visit. None of them are right, but none of them are wrong, either. It’s not a city of incredible history, or rising foodie culture, or extreme culture clash — it’s all of the above.

13. “Driving around Potomac just to look at the houses” is a legitimate activity.

14. Half of Virginia is “liberal, Ivy-league-or-almost-Ivy-league people with good jobs and condos,” and half of Virginia is “people who smoke in bars and would rather secede than give up their concealed carry permit.” And no one’s ever sure where one ends and one begins.

15. Old Bay, Mumbo Sauce, malt vinegar. The trinity.

16. Everyone who has ever driven the strip where New York Ave turns into Route 50 has felt the sting of the automated traffic cameras and their relentless tickets. It’s impossible not to get a speeding or red light ticket on that strip.

17. People who don’t accept DMV rap as its own genre are sorely mistaken. But they’ve also probably never listened to Go-go, so they pretty much can’t be saved.

18. If there is any conversation you don’t want to get into, it’s the argument that stems from telling someone you’re going down to the Bay to get some crabs. Everyone has a theory on good crabs to the point that you just can’t listen to it anymore.

19. The DMV can be just as competitive and status-oriented as LA or New York, just based entirely on proximity to power and pedigree, and not on money or looks.

20. Going to a Chinese place and getting yourself a soup tupperware full of tea or juice is part of the experience, and somehow not seen as a strange way to sell or consume drinks.

21. There will always be disputes about what the DMV actually entails, but it’s one of those things that’s less a geographical location and more a frame of mind. You can tell when you’re there, and it mostly has to do with the prevalence of khakis/blazers, the number of excellent fried chicken joints, and how much people are complaining about transportation. You know when you’re there. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Davon Baker

About the author

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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