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While I agree with the sentiments expressed in the letters by Richard Hébert and Marilyn Larson about the state of the District (The Mail, 9/26), I found Keri Eisenbeis’ comments about the “weaker suburbanite category of poseur D.C. dwellers” to be as biased and stereotyped as the assumptions she accuses others of making about the District and its residents. I reside in Arlington, and I don’t live there to avoid life in the District—I live there because I happen to like it.

Does residing in Arlington and working downtown really make me a blood-sucking suburbanite? Yes, I certainly benefit from the city’s services, but I actually thought that I gave back to the District by using its Metro system and patronizing its restaurants, bars, shops, and businesses.

I’ve found that city dwellers everywhere have a disdain for suburban commuters. Don’t get me wrong—I love D.C. and agree wholeheartedly that it is a city worth living in. But don’t make assumptions about me because I don’t live there. Eisenbeis shouldn’t let our claims that we live in “Washington” raise her blood pressure. We don’t do so to sound like a hip urbanite; we do so because Washington is an identifiable area. For the same reason, when someone asks me where I’m originally from, I don’t say “Ridgeway, Va.,” because no one would have a clue where it is. I don’t even bother to mention the neighboring larger town of Martinsville and instead describe it as halfway between Roanoke and Greensboro, N.C., which doesn’t make me sound cool—it’s just easier to identify.

As you so strongly wish to dispel the stereotypes unfairly assigned to D.C., be sure not to commit the same injustice by trashing all who happen to live in the D.C. suburbs. While Eisenbeis spends her time “scrutinizing friends and associates who live outside of the District,” I’ll remind her that we’re not all such bad people.

Arlington, Va.

via the Internet