Ms. Lawrence Goes to Washington

But the Rest of the Country Thinks I’m in Sin City

Exactly one year ago, I was packing my suitcases to move from my childhood home in north Texas to a three-bedroom group house in Washington, D.C. My mother, standing close by to inspect my work, hooked the shoulder of a blue dress on her index finger and raised her eyebrows. “Don’t forget,” she said, “what happened to Monica,” drawing out the name for effect.

Ignoring the implicit attack on my character, I pointed out a crucial difference between Ms. Lewinsky and me: “I’m going to work for a non-profit, Mom.” Later …