So I figured it out. Last week I said that I couldn’t really describe how or why it felt so different being in DC as a real person instead of as a college kid but after spending another four or so days there this weekend I know what it is…I’m crossing over to the other side.
In college I had my group of friends that consisted of my housemates and “the boys” aka the football seniors, however, other than Allie, Meghan, and Maggie I never felt particularly close with this group despite the amount of time we spent together. Ask Allie, we used to have this conversation a lot because I would complain and get frustrated that I never felt like I was really part of the group. However, part of that issue was that I always spent a lot of time with the Rhino crew and made an effort to get out of Georgetown on the weekends which separated me from the college group of friends. Therefore, I experienced the same sort of disconnect with the bar crew when I spent time with my college friends. Just to clarify, the bar crew is the collection of people who work at either Rhino, Sign of the Whale, McFadden’s, Mighty Pint, Front Page, etc and the handful of loyal regulars. I would see them at work or when I would go out at night but the time that we spent together outside of one of us working were few and far between. Why? Well because I was the newbie, the rookie (well, I still am comparatively speaking) but you know what I mean and I just wasn’t quite in yet.
There were moments last football season that I felt like I was running with the big boys, like on Sundays or at Zinzi Ball, but it didn’t really stick after the season ended simply because of circumstances. I was working less and spending more time doing the college senior thing (which I loved, don’t get me wrong), and they weren’t hanging around as much because the “it’s football season” excuse to drink all day long no longer existed. HOWEVER, this year/this football season, and indefinitely until I ever decide to move away from DC, I don’t live in two worlds. I live in one world in which I am a resident of Washington, DC, living in Dupont, working in Georgetown, and that’s that. I won’t be going home for a month at Christmas, I won’t be leaving for the summer, and I don’t have any sweet lax parties to go to anymore. My life is mine to do with what I please and right now what pleases me is what I’m doing.
So what am I doing and what the heck am I talking about? It started on Friday night after working the beer tub at Rhino. As I walked with Brittany to get pizza for the bar, I mentioned how different it is working there and not knowing really any of the college kids. That’s when I first noticed a change. The few that I did know I was very happy to see but for the most part it was just strange. I was disappointed that my friends wouldn’t come stumbling through the front door to keep me company but at the same time I really liked that to most of these kids I wasn’t viewed as a Georgetown girl working at Rhino. They only knew me as the employee serving them beers and I liked it. It sounds weird to say and Dad, don’t read into what I’m saying….I’m not saying that I enjoy my status as a bartender more than my status as a student but my point is that I’ve crossed over to the other world.
By Saturday afternoon, college game day at Rhino was in full effect. Brittany makes it easy for me to actually enjoy serving the incredibly large and loud crowd because she’s on top of her sh!t. She’s quick, reliable, and a team player. Just sayin’. Anyway, it was awesome to recognize people and have them recognize me back from last season. Britt mentioned last year that having consistency with the staff makes a huge difference and I saw that this weekend. Anyone who knew my face or my name was pleasant to serve and tipped well. Woot! But back to this boundary business….if I was still juggling two worlds that night after my shift, I would never have had the opportunity to walk home part way with Sophie, walk by The Whale and give Jayne a round of applause for pulling together a cute outfit to work in after having a bottle of champagne to the face all afternoon at Rhino, or have a quiet beer at The Big Hunt to rest my feet. I’m a real person now. Love it.
By the time Sunday came around I was ready for an ultimate NFL Sunday Funday. The insane Eagles fans poured in, including some favorites like Joey and JP, and we were off and running! I could choose to simply serve people but I don’t, I choose to cross lines and actually form relationships with customers. By the end of the game, I had fans giving me high fives and calling me out by name for another pitcher of beer. One guy and I even had a baseball type signal so I didn’t have to climb over a ton of chairs to get over to his table when he wanted another round. I love working at Rhino during football season and I’m sure there are more posts to come of it but for now, I’m feeling myself digress and I gotta try to stay on point (lol).
So towards the end of my shift on Sunday night I went downstairs to find some members of the bar crew hanging out. I made a joke and next thing I know “
No Fun The Most Fun Joe” had a Foursquare check-in to “Christie and Aubreys First Date” which turned into “Christie and Aubreys First Sexual Encounter.” After an amazing leg wrestling competition by DuBois and Jeremy, I said farewell to my 2011 Zinzi Ball date, and headed over to The Whale. “ No Fun The Most Fun Joe” had a “Grenade” shot made for me (whatever you do, always say NO to this), Jayne had the car bombs ready, Matt kept the interrogation going, and JC poured the twisted teas. N.C. Fred, did I pay you for the quesadillas?!
None of these details really matter nor do I actually believe you enjoy reading them, unless maybe you are one of those people, but the point is that I’m not feeling fenced in anymore. I’m feeling the invisible line I created in my head that always separated me from the group fading away and the way I see it, the teasing and the hazing are very good signs. Although I must give credit to Sheila for being my guardian angel that night!
Sassarella Says…live your life crossing lines. I know they think I’m corny and absurd because they don’t think about any of this the way I do but it’s all true. I realized this weekend that it’s not about them including me but rather me opening myself up to them. Their lives aren’t incredibly affected if I’m not around and their Sunday Fundays aren’t exponentially more fun (maybe a little bit more quiet lol)…but mine are. My Sunday Fundays, my shifts at Rhino, my walks home, my late-night runs, and my days and nights spent in DC are incredibly affected and exponentially more fun because they are around. The boundaries I felt last year kept me fenced in and a bit closed off to this world I’m in now but that era is POOF! gone.