Sweat Stains

Every week, our Anonymous Lobbyist answers your questions about how laws get made and why they probably shouldn't. If you have a question about the dirty business of doing business in Washington, ask her.

This week: when are you gonna settle down?

It would seem to me that being such a drunken, foul-mouthed, career-driven slut would be a real detriment to finding a husband. Do you plan to quiet down, dry out, find Jesus and move away from D.C. before you get too old, or are you waiting for your biological clock to start ticking?

Hi, Mom! I didn't know you were a regular reader!

First off, this question presupposes that it is, naturally, of the utmost importance that I be married. While I don't necessarily have anything against the institution in theory, I can't say that a wedding has ever made it to my list of things to do before I die (which does include making more money than my college ex who made fun of me for being a liberal arts major). Hell, with all the soaps my mom used to watch, even my Barbie always ended up dumping Ken's cheating ass (although, I'm not sure she knew about the gay thing) and was much happier on her own.

Plus, who says a drunken, loudmouth bitch can't find a husband? I mean, Al-Anon is evidence enough that drunks get married, but why is it that what's required to "land" a husband is for a woman to be all some 50's stereotype of a "wife"? I mean, seriously, I'd have no kind of healthy, happy marriage (assuming that I want one) if I pretended to be someone I'm frankly not in order to be married. I know it's a time-honored female tradition to snare a husband by pretending to be some wifey stereotype, but I can only imagine that it has something to do with the divorce rate as well. God forbid some poor sucker meet, fall for and marry some sweet, kind, demure woman who says she wants kids/to stay home with them and then find himself saddled with me, let alone that I end up with the type of guy who wants that kind of girl.

So, no, I'm not planning to leave D.C. and make myself over (let alone find Jesus, thanks) to find a husband, nor do I expect my days to eventually be punctuated by a ticking sound. Other than the fact that I work at a demoralizing, soul-sucking pointless job with an idiot for a boss (which, how is that different than a lot of other people in this country?), I kinda like my life the way it is- I have financial independence (other than from my mortgage holder and Sallie Mae), friends who love me because I'm a drunken foul-mouthed bitch and I live in a city full of plenty of other loud, foul-mouthed, cynical, sarcastic drunks. Why would I want to move to someplace with pleasant people who won't like me?

In Washington lobbyist circles, is wool apparel acceptable after Easter, perhaps as long as it's a Gabardine blend?

You show me a lobbyist wearing wool in Washington June-August, and I'll show you a man so damn sweaty that no one wants to sit in a room with him, let alone shake his hand. Sweaty is never acceptable.

From your perspective, what would you advise as some basic rules for current or prospective Hill staffers? How could they/we learn to be slightly less annoying?

* There's no need to be perky before 10:30 (at the earliest).

* It wouldn't kill you to answer your phone every once in a while, let alone return messages.

* Try meeting with someone with whom you disagree and being nice about it. Even if you make fun of them later and it's a waste of 10 minutes, they can call it a win (and you never know when you might need the favor returned anyway).

* While we all understand that you make shit money and that feeling important is one of few the perks of the job, try to keep your ego in check. The older I get, the more difficult is it to stop from rolling my eyes when you can't, and I've seen your 6 predecessors in this role, and had them hit me up for a job later.

* If you don't want to deal with an organization or ever meet with their lobbyists, employees, or members, don't go to their luncheon/reception.

* Just fork over a card. It's not like I can't find/figure out your email address anyway, but it's just annoying and rude not to hand them out at the event I'm sponsoring (and at which you're eating/drinking) because you don't want to have to talk with me later.

* Don't walk into a luncheon 30 minutes late, take your sandwich and leave. At least pretend for 15 minutes like you care about the topic, then check your Blackberry like there's an emergency and bail apologetically. I know it's a ruse, but I appreciate the effort.

* After you get your drink at the bar at the reception, walk away and let someone else get theirs. If you're standing too close to the bar, the rest of us are having trouble maintaining our buzzes.


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