I was standing in a parking lot earlier today, about to get in my car, when suddenly some man with a small child called out to me. First instinct- flee. But I stayed because he looked harmless and had a little girl. He asked where I was from in Virginia.
My answer? "DC"
He laughed and said, "That's not VA. Where are you really from?"
It's a Northern Virginian thing to say "DC" instead of their actual town. If someone asks 'what part' you know you can get specific. Conversely, if someone asks me if I'm from DC, I say, "Yes, Virginia side." Again, not until someone says 'what part' do I get specific. Even then, I never quite know what to say.
In order I have lived in the following parts of Northern Virginia-
3-5 years old- various parts of Falls Church and Merrifield
5-10- Fairfax City
11-16- Centreville/Clifton (the differences between the two towns and why I grew up with a Clifton address, but claim Centreville is only understood and appreciated by the rest of the Wildcats)
at which point I left for college for 3 years in Utah
22-25- various parts of Falls Church and Fairfax
left for Texas for 1.5 years, came back and...
25-27 - Fairfax and Falls Church again, but by now my parents had moved to Fredericksburg
27-28- various parts of Virginia, Florida, Romania, California, and the Czech Republic
31-32- Falls Church
I may be off a little bit with some of those ages. Actually, I'm probably a lot off. But you get the point. I never really know what part of Northern Virginia I'm from. I think it is safe to say I can claim Fairfax County a little more than most. (Even if Arlington County still thinks I should be paying them property taxes on a car I only owned for 2 months while living there.)
So back to the guy in parking lot. He had just said "That's not Virginia." So I laughed and said, "Arlington." He laughed and said, "I guess you can claim DC then!" Naturally I asked what part of Virginia he would be from. He was raised in Winchester, a town I dearly love.
Why did this exchange take place? Because I had Virginia license plates on my car. Sadly, ten minutes later I had to put my very expensive Utah plates on my car. If I hadn't, my landlord would have towed me tonight. (I could go off on a rant about the completely inaccurate and annoying situation it required to get plates. But I'll save that for another day.) Now how will people know I'm not a Utard? I liked being a Virginian still. It made me different. I do still take great pride and comfort in my "Virginia is for Lovers" bumper sticker. But now I'm going to look like just another Utard who doesn't know which one qualifies as the 'fast/passing lane.' (the inside left lane people- the LEFT, not the middle)
*Sigh* I'm homesick.
(Kudos to anyone who knows where the title line came from!)
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