Sometimes, when I'm trying to go to sleep at night and I want to create a calm mind, I think about string theory.
Stick with me here.
Sometimes, when I'm trying to go to sleep at night and I want to create a calm mind, I think about string theory. And I consider that there might be multiple me's living vastly different lives in alternate universes. I don't really know science but I've seen all the episodes of Big Bang Theory multiple times and I'm 99 percent sure that's what string theory suggests.
So maybe there's a universe where my parents never moved us to Mississippi. Where I grew up in Arlington and went to Yorktown High School with my Nottingham Elementary friends. And maybe at Yorktown I got really into musical theater and after graduation, I took a gap year to live in NYC in a cramped walk-up with three other wannabe actors.
And maybe I took the subway - which by the mid-80s came all the way out by our house in Arlington - and went to college in the city: Georgetown, or maybe GW, my dad's alma mater. Maybe I got a degree in communications with a minor in public policy and went to work on The Hill. Maybe as a lobbyist advocating for women's rights. Maybe in Virginia, I never lost my faith, and I grew up to be a Mormon feminist, like Sonia Johnson, or my mom's friend Alice Pottmyer.
Maybe my first love worked for the State Department but we split up when he was sent to Bangladesh and I didn't want to give up my career and so I stayed in D.C. Maybe there's a meet-cute with a hot young Congressman who agrees to take a meeting with me and we hit it off. Maybe he asks me out for drinks and we confab about that bitch Phyllis Schlafly and how she tanked the ERA in Sorkin-esque banter at a trendy Georgetown bar. Maybe he takes me to Washington dinner parties and one evening I get to meet Madeleine Albright and we exchange stories of our families' European histories - hers in Czechoslovakia and and my dad's in WWII.
Maybe I work my way up to my dream job in the Obama comms department where I churn out white papers and news releases and help create history. And my hot young Congressman who by now is a hot middle-aged Senator and I live happily ever after in our charming row house in Logan Circle, at least until 2016 comes and blows up our beloved city. I don't know I usually fall asleep before I get to the bad part.