This morning, something happened to me that I haven't experienced in my 20 years in DC. As I was standing on my ascending escalator step, trying to get out of Dupont Circle, the escalator just stopped. URRRCH!  ESCALATOR #FAIL. A loud, collective groan issued forth from the crowd, which had no choice but to start walking up, like this:

Dupont circle metro escalator 
Thanks to Juxtaposed.com for the photo.

I had ridden about halfway up, which meant I had about 60-70 steps left to escape ascend. Folks, I'm barely in shape enough to walk up the single flight of stairs in my own house, let alone 70 steps, while lugging a 10-pound briefcase and a one-hundred three-pound handbag.

At least I wasn't toting a wheeled briefcase or, like the woman behind me, a suitcase! Poor thing.

I've no idea why they constructed these escalators as one unit, rather as two or three with landings. Wouldn't that be better? That way, if the bottom half malfunctions, you only have to walk up HALF of a 200-foot escalator.

And while I'm at it, you know what else makes no sense? This station has two entrances on opposite sides of the Circle… at approximately 19th and O, and 20th and Q, which makes them about three blocks apart from each other. Yet, there is only ONE elevator from the outside to the platform, and it's at the Q Street side, which means if you're pushing a stroller or navigating a wheelchair, you have to go the whole way across Dupont Circle in order to gain access to the station. Because wheels + 200-foot long escalators don't mix.


But enough of my commuting rant. I think I promised recently that I wouldn't do that to you anymore, didn't I? Sorry. I forgot.

How about a PARENTING #FAIL instead? On Sunday morning, I felt that the teenager completely overreacted to what he perceived as a violation of his dignity, committed by me, his mother, in my desperate attempt to get him out of bed for church. He was so angry with me that he gave me the silent treatment all day Sunday and most of Monday, too. Fun! Finally, on Monday evening, I said to him, "LOOK. You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your family. I'm the only mom you've got. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you, I understand you were upset, but you have to figure out a way to get beyond this and forgive me because holding grudges is not healthy." 

Never underestimate the value of falling on your own sword every once in a while, even when you could make a good case for taking a stand. And I so wanted to take a stand, but even more than that, I wanted things to be okay between us. Even if I still thought he was overreacting. Which he was. But that's beside the point! Because this isn't about me being right! It's about me being MOM.

By last evening, things were back to normal. We shared the couch and watched Glee and Raising Hope together, like we do every week. I look forward to these shows, but even more than that, look forward to sharing them with my kid. We giggled and snorted and analyzed and just spent 90 minutes together hanging out. And it was not a #FAIL.


12 thoughts on “#FAIL

  1. The escalator story makes me CRAZY! That is the WORST escalator to walk up (ok except for Wheaton). The kid story, makes me teary. Way deep under all the snark and hormones, their hearts are still there. *sniff*

  2. Dude.. you don’t know FAIL until Raising Hope is actually a show about your life.. which I will neither confirm nor deny that I have or have not lost a child in a shed full of horded stuff. You do realize they just can’t make this stuff up right??

  3. Perhaps you should get into better shape…I think they should do away with all of the escalators and make people walk. It would do wonders for the overall health of the city.

  4. I liked this a lot, Meg. Especially that good bit at the end.
    When my kids were in middle school, we used to watch Friends together every Thursday night. In fact, even now when I see reruns, it’s remembering the joy of sitting between my two sons and laughing at Joey Tribiani and all the friends pals that is the best.

  5. I hear ya, Kate – in fact, I'm finding that as the boys get older, "Big Moments" are rare, but the little moments are the ones that mean a whole lot.

  6. Have you seen the video circulating about the two people “trapped” on an escalator? Hilarious!!
    Some days being a mom of a teenager is the hardest thing I have ever done. Hugs to you and hope all is well now.

  7. Andi, I have not seen that video! And yeah, on the whole, I think parenting really only gets harder as the kids get older. But the rewards are different, too. Still, I wouldn’t trade ’em for all the tea in China.

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