DC: a categorical history

For the past four years, at least once a year, I’ve flown down to the DC area to visit my sister. The early trips usually consisted of daytime shopping, dinners at Chipotle, hours of primping while pregaming with candy-flavored rail vodka, followed by shots at sweaty clubs where we’d dance with strange men well into the morning, drinks in hand and cigarettes held aloft.

Sunday, invariably, was a world of pain. Any plans to see movies, tour monuments, or hit the shops in Georgetown would fall prey to our soul-crushing hangovers. I remember one full day spent curled on my sister’s dorm room floor, and a bittersweet goodbye at the airport cut short as I vomited into a trash can.

As time went on, dinner at Chipotle became dinner at La Tasca, and the frantic pregaming eased as my sister’s friends found ways to get around the underage dilemma. 18+ clubs were replaced by college bars willing to look the other way when presented with fake IDs. Eventually, everyone turned 21, and a new world opened before us. When Megan graduated, we went out to a posh bar in Adams Morgan this was our table at the end of the night:

the end of a long night.

Yes, the venues of our debauchery changed, but Sunday? Sunday was always the couch and the bucket, at least for one of us.

Now, I am 28. My sister is 23. And this trip marked the first I’d taken with my husband in tow. I’d been sick all week, but Megan really wanted to take us for a nightcap after we got in. Katsumi isn’t one for fancy bars, and sometimes gets very uncomfortable when he feels out of his element, so in the back of my mind, I wondered how well this night could really be expected to go.

Me, in the Baltimore airport, 10PM:

BWI makes me cringe

90 minutes later, I was on my second vodka and soda when suddenly Katsu appeared by my side with a glass of murky liquid.

“What’s that?”


“straight whiskey?”


No joking, my husband was drinking a FULL GLASS OF WHISKEY ON ICE. He then moved on to vodka and red bull. Megan and I, meanwhile, stuck to our wine and our vodka, respectively, for the next two hours. Back at her apartment, we cooked a frozen pizza, drank more, and talked politics until 3AM.

I woke up at dawn with a headache that could kill a moose. Megan, who had to work, forgot to put coffee in the coffeemaker and brewed a pot of hot water. john slept until noon and spent 45 minutes in the bathroom.

it was just like old times, minus the rail vodka pregame.

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