GREAT DC LOVE DEBATE: 71% of D.C. residents are single, and that’s certainly not all by choice. “There seems to be a lot of great men and a lot of great women and they seem to not want to be single. And yet for some reason, there seem to be more of them than ever.”
Why are people single? Are women crazy gold-diggers and men commitment-phobic players?
Life coaches talk of how to change your at-ti-tude, live in the moment and stop treating dates as “spouse-hunting safaris.”
The D.C. dating scene is more focused on relationship status than substance: “I think people have way too many agendas and don’t know how to live life. They just want the title — married, engaged, in a relationship, somebody loves me.
From left: Keri Russell, devious K.G.B. spy on “The Americans”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, beltway egotist on “Veep”; Kerry Washington, home wrecker on “Scandal”; and Robin Wright, icy schemer on “House of Cards.” Credit Craig Blankenhorn/FX; Lacey Terrell/HBO; Danny Feld/ABC; Nathaniel Bell for Netflix (NYTIMES)
GENDER EQUALITY IN DC? There is gender equality of a kind in Washington. On television, it’s the one place where it’s safe to say that women are as bad as the men.
“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” — Frank A. Clark
NEW RUSH HOUR OF LIFE: The modern 40s are so busy it’s hard to assess them. Researchers describe the new “rush hour of life,” when career and child-rearing peaks collide. Today’s 40ish professionals are the DITT generation: double income, toddler twins. The “old age of youth” is coined by Victor Hugo. You’re still reasonably young, but that everything is declining: health, fertility. We still have time for a second act, but we’d better get moving on it.
It turns out that I wasn’t supposed to spend my 20s frantically looking for a husband; I should have been building my career and enjoying my last gasp of freedom. I then spent my 30s ruminating on grievances accumulated in my 20s.
There are no soul mates. In fact, “soul mate” isn’t a pre-existing condition. It’s an earned title. They’re made over time.
More about you is universal than not universal. My unscientific assessment is that we are 95% cohort, 5% unique. Knowing this is a bit of a disappointment, and a bit of a relief.
When you’re wondering whether she’s his daughter or his girlfriend, she’s his girlfriend.
When you’re unsure if it’s a woman or a man, it’s a woman.
Man Dining with Radish (Nigel Buchanan)
EXILED FOOD: Are there really foods that we don’t like, or just foods that we haven’t liked yet? And are we cheating ourselves as we ceaselessly expand our culinary horizons with new tastes by not circling back to old ones? I increasingly suspect that the greatest pleasures-in-waiting aren’t in some foreign land or fringe neighborhood. They’re right in front of us, if only we’d be adventurous enough to give the ingredients we’ve exiled a chance to return to our plates.
Appetite isn’t just or even mainly physiological. It’s psychological. Emotional. It’s a function of expectation, emulation, adaptation.
MOVIE PAINTER: Vasilis Dimitriou, 78, is the last movie billboard painter in Greece. Each poster takes three to four days to complete, and Mr. Dimitriou paints one to two a week.
DARTH VADER: I was tempted to pick up the phone and pretend to be Darth Vader when I was traveling cross-country. I used Darth as my handle on the CB radio. The truck drivers would really freak out — for them, it was Darth Vader. I had to stop doing that.
FANTASY:What makes Hogwarts or Middle Earth feel so real to the reader? Create and follow new rules and laws to live in.
WEIRD INTERVIEWS: Have you been on a boat? Why is a tennis ball fuzzy? What is your least favorite thing about humanity?