DAR Pin Police

Travel recovery is a real problem, people. I returned from DC nearly two weeks ago and I’m still tired. And I’m not sure how this works but I had to fly three time zones away to encounter strangers who would be nice to me. If you don’t know, people in Tucson will just let a door slam right in your face. They won’t even give you an “Ope!” for good measure.

I was technically in town for Daughters of the American Revolution’s annual Continental Congress. But I was really there to do tourist stuff, a little genealogy research, eat some great food, and dress up for evening performances at Constitution Hall.

“The President’s Own” Marine Chamber Orchestra at Constitution Hall

I didn’t attend one DAR business session while I was there. It’s not like I know (or care) what’s going on with the business end of DAR anyway.

World War II Memorial with Washington Monument in the background

I looked at a lot of pretty things/places and went about my own business.

DAR Memorial Continental Hall

I walked everywhere. As in LITERALLY EVERYWHERE. And because I had “The Stars and Stripes Forever” playing on an endless loop in my head, I just marched along to the beat until I saw everything I intended to see.

My cousin’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery

Most of the daughters I encountered were extremely sweet. I met several who have lived in the same places I’ve lived and know the same people I know. There was one woman, however, who fancied herself the Chief of the Pin Police. She interrogated me in a ladies room at the Grand Hyatt about whether or not I was wearing pins. So DAR is kind of like Girl Scouts only with pins instead of badges. And there are rules and protocols to follow should one decide to wear one’s pins. I was not wearing any pins, only my Congress name tag and ribbon designating me as a first-time Congress attendee. I was washing my hands and she was on my left. She asked me if I was wearing my pins and when I told her I wasn’t, she literally made me turn so she could see the right side of my chest. No pins!

To her credit, she curtly thanked me for proving I wasn’t violating any protocols. To my credit, I managed to keep my filthy mouth shut until I exited the restroom and said, “What a bitch.” Then I went to the hotel bar. Honestly, encounters like that are the reason people think DAR members are a bunch of uptight bitches. I really didn’t get much out of the whole DAR experience and am not sure I would go again unless I have other tourist items to check off my list. It was not easy as a new member to understand the expectations or protocols.

Pin Police aside, it was a great trip and I’m glad I went. It was probably for the best that I went alone. I can’t imagine making anyone else walk all the way to Arlington and back. My feet may never forgive me. Next stop, Mexico.

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