My Stimulus Plan? It's Scandalous!

By Dispatch From The Newsstand
Monday, February 23, 2009

I know, I know. Washington, D.C., and its environs are world superpowers. We are brilliant. We read the dictionary for pleasure and have memorized "The Iliad." We follow Wall Street; we quote the latest columns and ponder the meaning of all editorials. We are up-to-date on every nuance, because we take it all in. We are intelligent. We are cutting-edge.

We go to fundraising dinners and networking luncheons, political rallies, book clubs and discussions on current events. We are connected. We are smart.

I know.

But I have a dirty little secret. I've admitted it to a few close friends and relatives, and if you can keep it quiet, I'll let you in on it, too.

I love to read trash.

You, the average (okay, above average) Washingtonian, probably think trash might be something like a lesser-known newspaper or one of those "women's magazines" or some periodical that has as its main topic very large wheels for trucks.

Nope. The written word -- with never-before-seen pictures -- that I read has to do with who is leaving whom for whom. I can more readily quote the latest gossip about Jen or Angelina or Britney or Miley than I can the stock market.

I will rattle off things about Tom and Katie. Yes, I know the difference between P. Hilton (male) and P. Hilton (female). Things about J-Lo, Madonna or even those cute Jonas boys are not left to my imagination.

Don't tell me you haven't a clue who they are.

My guilty pleasure started at about age 11, when I'd save my allowance for what were generously called "movie magazines." It morphed into something uncontrollable when tabloids were displayed at supermarket checkout counters. And I don't want to hear that when you are in the Giant you haven't given more than a passing glance to the front page of some of them.

So what does this mean?

It means you can be both. It means you no longer have to hide the fact that you know for sure that a Martian was seen at one of the malls buying makeup. It means you can be a sophisticated, well-educated person around town and still know the real scoop.

In fact, if I ever see you at a state dinner, we can tell each other everything we know and be the one thing that we know in our hearts every Washingtonian strives to be.

The center of attention.

-- Cheryl R. Kravitz, Silver Spring

© 2009 The Washington Post Company