Did You Know Washington Has Group Houses?

It's true! Group houses here in DC. This journalistic coup was generated by The Washington Post in a hard-hitting article that was published this morning. The Post sent crack reporter Monica Hesse into a Mount Pleasant group house and reported her wacky observations.

People in group homes hoard Oreos! And they share chores. They do not share laundry detergent. Wacky! Who knew these people lived among us?

Ok, confession time. I live in a group house. I am one of them. We all met through a mutual friend and have been sharing chores and figuring out a shower schedule ever since. The Post article gives little details about what it's like over on 1700 Park Road. I would do the same for my home except I get the feeling that no one gives a shit.

You don't care what we watch on TV. You don't care what time we take showers. You don't care about my brand of laundry detergent or what kind of beer I buy. If you do care, you shouldn't. So, kudos to the Post for publishing an article that no one could possibly care about. Group home living isn't news to anyone and it isn't of interest to anyone other than the story's subjects and story's author. The Post is batting 0-for-2 here.

What's next? An article about the various challenges one must face when living in a dorm? How about apartment living? Oh, the challenges of waiting for building management to send an exterminator after you saw that cockroach by the garbage disposal!

And this excerpt made me dry-heave:

How do you make a home in D.C.?

Where half of the people you meet are recovering valedictorians whose plans to save the world don't allow time for coffee? Where the other half have lived in D.C. for so long that they are suspicious of you, the newbie, who does not get the jokes about Marion Barry, about the Soviet Safeway, about the delays on the Green Line? How do you join that community?

I double-dare you to find someone living in this city who doesn't get a Marion Barry joke. Like, who hasn't seen Bring the Pain?

But, yeah. A city filled with idealist fucks and townie snobs. Sounds about right to me.


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  2. "Idealists?" - how can you can you not make the connection between the idealists and the townie snobs, and the fact that they're two stages of the same life-form. DC is where idealism goes to die. It feeds on it just as surely as those Teach for America programs, taking in dumbass idealistic kids, wringing a couple years out of them, and leaving a cynic. The townie snobs hate the idealists because that's who they used to be.

  3. so the post published a puff piece about group homes, it's not quite the violation of journalistic quality that rusty makes it out to be. the article was mildly entertaining and people actually do read the post to be entertained as well as informed.

  4. I know. I even read the Style section for entertainment purposes.

    But this article was neither entertaining nor informative. Why the Hell should I care about five twenty-somethings in a group house. If I gave a shit about these people I would watch Friends reruns.

  5. Yeah this whole thing confused me too.

    When I first started reading it, I figured something interesting must be going on in this house. Like, they're all disabled in one way or another and they pool their resources by having the wheelchair guy open mail for the blind girl, who listens for the ice cream truck for the deaf guy.

    But after the 4th paragraph or so, I realized it was just a profile of young people renting a house.

    Ummm, I rent an apartment with my fiancee, and we share chores and stuff. You say it sounds boring? I say journalistic GOLD baby.

  6. I'm pretty sure a friend an ex used to live in this house. If it's the same one, it has a hell of a roof deck. But overall, what about this is news? WaPo features stories continue to prove utterly irrelevant.

  7. I can't believe those losers don't share laundry detergent. Despite complete lack of privacy and all the other disadvantages of group-house living, when I did it, at least we saved money by sharing the cost of huge sizes of common things like TP and laundry detergent. If you can live with four slobs in a group house, I would hope you can lower your standards enough to agree on a brand of laundry detergent.

  8. chore charts? designated fridge shelves? red hot chili peppers posters? 14 days without dish soap because that week's "shopper" was out house-sitting?

    i don't know what to say, besides "wtf?" so....wtf?

  9. Too bad the Post didn't send LSS in to write the article...I'm sure she would have been able to track down a house full of young "rainbow party"-throwing sluts and the collar-popping men they pleasure. At least that would have made for interesting reading.

  10. 'tis the season for overpaid washington post interns to write stupid *ss stories about stuff everyone knows about. They pay these kids like $25 an hour to write one or two articles like this.

    it's terrible.

    Definitely no Walter Reed Investigations here

  11. Can you say slow news day?

  12. How do you join that "community?"



  13. Group home living isn't news to anyone

    It is, in fact, probably news to the late-middle aged suburban readers who make up the base of the WaPo's readership. You just KNOW that Cathy Sessions Stepp thought that this was a fine piece of journalism.

    It's the sort of article I'd expect my mother to mention to me during our weekly phone call, asking, "So, is this what your friends do down there? I've heard that's what lots of young people do," if she were a WaPo subscriber.

  14. Excuse me, Laura Sessions Stepp, I meant. Obviously.

  15. Hey, Dean, cut it out with the whirling winds and flooding and stuff, ok? Not. Cool.

  16. I agree with you on alot of your posts, but i have trouble understanding why you're still here. If you hate dc so much, why don't you leave? I read an entry in the archived section where you mentioned working at your job for the last 4 years. Have you really been here for 4 years and hated it the whole time? If so, you really need to move on.

  17. 4 years? That was probably my predecessor, James F. He started this blog and handed it off to me in January, 2006. If you the early-2006 comments you are sure to find a commenter reminding me that I suck and James F. rules.

    Although, objectively, he was much, much funnier than me. He also was, believe it or not, a bit more histrionic.

  18. "I took this job almost four years ago because I was positively desperate for someone to hire me..."

    My mistake...it was from July 2005. I didn't know it was written by a different person, though. So, how long have you been in DC?

  19. Um, it's august you need to lower your expectations for everything in this town.

  20. This city is completely unlivable. I can't stand it. But why should you have to lower your standards? Why should I be forced to spend $1000 on rent alone and share a small apartment with two other people? People who eat my food when I'm gone and never empty the dishwasher. The city is ridiculous in so many other ways as well, but unfortunately not many other affordable options when considering available jobs. I'm not considered poor by any means elsewhere in the country but here I am. Shitty I say. Love the anti-DC blog. Keep it up.

  21. Er, no offense, but you aren't being "forced" to spend anything on rent. And nobody "forced" you to live with inconsiderate roommates. That was your choice.

    The cost of living here is really high. It sucks. It's the main reason I'll eventually leave, in that I don't think it's worth it.

    But nobody forced anything on me. I can either make more money, live a lifestyle that reflects how little I can afford her, or I can leave.

    My choices. Yours too.

  22. I know one of the guys in this house, I work with him. The house does, in fact, have an awesome roof deck.

    And the person whom I know told me some of his quotes were taken out of context. I'm not surprised though, the WaPo was just trying to create an interesting article out of something fairly boring.