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Stephanie Mencimer’s “Mom and Flop” (12/26/97) is another bit of evidence that politics are not only local, they are personal. If Mencimer had worked an itsy bit harder to kick her caffeine habit or just coughed up the dough for that espresso machine, she (and we) would have been spared her desperate search for global generalizations to justify that nagging craving for a fast cup of java.

Stephanie, I understand your addiction to caffeine, those pinky-size tampons, and fast food, but dear, it’s not just about you. It’s about choices, having a good old democratic say in what businesses come into your community and how you want that community to look, feel, and support your values. I know that it’s a tad retro to root for longevity over convenience, intimacy over anonymity, people over profits, and small over big. But when you grow up and no longer care who sees your condoms or K-Y Jelly, sweetheart, you’ll notice that nearly “all the things you’d want from a neighborhood” in Woodley Park and most of our city’s neighborhoods are provided by small, independent businesses. You think Anacostians would prefer Safeway or Red Lobster over a well-financed, home-grown anything? Oh yeah, sure. But then, you know this and are just honing your debating skills to sell advertising space.

P.S. Regarding Elinor Hart’s correction of your paper’s sloppy reporting of neighborhood boundaries, one letter does not a “backlash” make.

Mount Pleasant

via the Internet