By Brenna Berger
It started as a ploy to get an iPad for Christmas. The week after Thanksgiving, instead of dropping me off at the Metro station, my husband drove me all the way work. "I didn't want you to get cold," he said. "You must really want that iPad," I replied. That afternoon, I received a text: "Want a ride home?"
My husband did get that iPad for Christmas, and we've settled into a new morning routine. If we time it just right, we can pull out of our driveway and be at my office on Pennsylvania Avenue in 12 minutes flat. I don't like to brag, but that's an incredible feat in Washington, D.C., traffic.
It's a team effort. He drives and I navigate. The main road near our house is a slalom course in the mornings. It requires total concentration to weave around the buses in the right lane and the people making turns from the left lane.
Once we finally get onto the highway in front of the Pentagon, it's a game of Frogger to merge across what seems like 26 travel lanes. "It's five lanes," says my husband. He should know. It takes both of us to keep an eye on the traffic behind us and the traffic in front of us as we try to get all the way across so we can take the HOV bridge instead of the regular lanes of traffic.
If all goes well, it's smooth sailing across the Potomac until we get onto 14th Street near the National Mall. That's when my husband's eyes narrow and he grips the wheel snarling, "I hate commuter buses." The buses fly up the right lane as if they don't know the same five cars are parked in the right lane at the corner of 14th and Constitution every single morning.
Finally, we turn onto Pennsylvania Avenue and pass the few remaining Occupy DC tents in Freedom Plaza. As we pull up to my building, it's hard not to be in awe of the amazing view of the Capitol. Some days, it's a beacon against a dark sky. Other mornings, it's glowing against the pink sunrise.
But there's no time to savor the moment. As I hop out of the car and reach for my ID badge, my husband says, "Pick up at regular time?" "Yes," I reply. As the taillights disappear into the distance, I can't help but notice that the deployments of the last few years are starting to fade, too.
Brenna Berger can be reached at email@example.com.