Any respectable Hill Person is expected to maintain a certain standard of living in order to be accepted amongst his fellow elite Capitol Hill staff assistants. This requires the following material essentials:
1. Decent housing: Eastern Market, Georgetown, Dupont, U Street, and Adams Morgan are acceptable. Foggy Botttom? Too collegiate/geriatric. Arlington? Um only for divorcees with 8 cats. Columbia Heights? GHETTO (except for Target trips. Other than that, check back in 2 years).
2. Clothing: Banana Republic or J Crew is your threshold. Don't dip below. Gap is okay on Friday. Don't get confused by the Target reference above. Target is only okay for scented candles and kitchen appliances. Clothes, though? Bitch I'm not from the Indiana 8th.
3. Happy Hour/Drinking: A near-daily ritual. Happy hour deals may siphon off some of the expenses made here, but any Hill Person worth their Capitol ID badge has to put in a good couple blackout nights a week, in order to forget the six tours the prior week and the overall douchebaggery of their chosen profession.
4. Other: This includes food and general toiletries.
The problem with this list is that the high cost of living in Washington, DC, juxtaposed with the possible illegality of of their menial annual salary, could create a negative net worth at year's end (especially after that post tax refund and stimulus check bender trip to Aruba aka Adult Spring Break 2008!). So how do Hill People avoid a life living in the red and fend off the hounds of the credit card companies? Easy. Mommy and Daddy's love, er, monthly allowance.
You see, Hill People, after studying a social science at an expensive elite four-year university, find it easy to convince their parents to help them out. After all, a grand or two a month is only half of what their parents were paying for them to attend a private school for the prior four years, and a Hill Person's parents are often so happy that their little tool of a son or daughter landed a job right out of college, with benefits (holla Blue Cross Blue Shield) and a monthly allowance of its own.
In addition, parents of a Hill Person get all kinds of perks: exclusive behind-the-scenes (read: open to any member of the public) tours of the Capitol Congress, official looking business cards to validate their son or daughter's existence, and the ability to gloss over the lack of importance of their offsprings' employment to unknowing family and friends in Topeka, KS.
Indeed, with a monthly subsidy from Mom and Dad, a Hill Person can increase his or her annual income by about 50 to 100 percent, bringing their yearly earnings to somewhere in the mid-40 thousands (or what others in the Beltway consider "lower-middle class." Ultimately, this can lead to an even higher standard of living, including Whole Foods, studio Yoga, and maybe even Bud Light in the fridge.