I work on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The people who pass daily through the building where I office range from cause-happy celebrities (I've seen stars from Michael Jackson to Michael Bolton), slick lobbyists, grassroots activist and tons and tons of tourists.
Yesterday during lunch as I made my daily journey from cubicle to cafeteria I overhead a woman holding a giant cup of strawberry ice cream ask a police officer where she could find a microwave.
"For your ice cream?" the friendly officer joked.
"Yeah. I like to melt mine down a little," the lady declared, as if microwaving ice cream was as common as shaking Old Bay over crabs.
Ever have one of those days where even the slightest oddities in people just set you spinning? I wanted to tap her on the shoulder and say, This is Congress, M'am, not Ben & Jerry's test kitchen. If you hate ice cream in its natural form, why pay upwards of $10 for two scoops of it on the off-chance that maybe you can nuke it to your liking?
Only in Washington will a police officer take time to direct a woman to a vending area that happens to house a community microwave where she can zap her over-priced ice cream, as if she's in her very own home. God bless America.
Sadly, the microwaved ice cream doesn't even compare to the typical oddities showcased throughout the halls of government buildings. Maybe I'm a bit jaded from all my years here, but the Dairy Queen left me harboring lots of unwarranted judgement, lots of questions about how peoples' minds work, which in turn made me feel really guilty and sour. Who am I to judge how one takes their dairy treats or asserts themselves on behalf of their desires?? Even worse, what if she was lobbying Congress to fund research for some rare and special gum disorder, and she had to heat her ice cream a little or all her teeth would go loose?
I hate it when I become so intolerant and impatient to the people around me - strangers in the hall, people in traffic, and certainly the people I love. I know it's human, but still. One freakish ice cream encounter left me with all these questions about why I get so sassy. But mostly I just wanted to know....why didn't that woman just order a milkshake???