Task: Date a divorcee
Location: Georgetown/Washington D.C.
On my last night in DC I met a divorcee from Austin, Texas. Little did I know it would turn into my most memorable date in the States (to date). It was like a movie…rated PG.
Making you proud Mum!
Having missed the initial stage call; what with me waiting for a bus for an hour following an altercation with my eyeliner and an Uber-related technical glitch, I arrived in Georgetown late and flustered.
We mooched around town, walking along the river and through a quaint park to a cluster of bars, where I immediately felt at ease knowing a tipple was fast approaching and that it would be far harder to murder or abduct me in such a bustling spot. Phew.
My lead male worked in tech sales (or something *yawn) and had recently moved to DC for work. He’d ditched his mates at a baseball game to meet with the English tourist for casual cocktails and tacos.
The pressure on me to be more fun than a sporting match mounted.
Refreshingly, our chat was relaxed and open. Knowing I was leaving Washington DC the next day made it easy to laugh about dating disasters, single life and questionably ‘sexy’ selfies, without the pressure of the possibility that the night could turn into anything more than a few awesome hours of tête-à-tête. I did however believe I was making a firm Facebook friend, as he was and is truly lovely.
Several drinks and nibbles in (having devoured a carry on case’s weight in beige food) and conscious that it was a week night, we could have easily wrapped our date up and been in our separate beds by midnight. But the fun had just begun.
We trotted around Washington at night with the White House, Capitol building, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial all lit up in full splendour. It was the perfect backdrop. I highly recommend walking around the city at night. It is so quiet without the daylight crowds, you don’t get the seriously slow sloth family popping up in all your Instagram images. Plus it has the added star quality of a dreamy date background.
I thought I’d ticked off the Lincoln Memorial earlier in the day, having walked the length of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial waterway and taken a photo of the building from the steps. This is where the tourist in me kicked in. I hadn’t actually seen the humungous statue of Lincoln inside. I didn’t even know it was there! I felt foolish, but my date ensured that I got the best view, standing as close as we could, just feet away in the dead of night with just us and another couple there for company. It was silent, still and stunning.
We walked arm in arm back along the water and I really hoped for a kiss, but our bar-side banter earlier meant I didn’t know if we were now in the “friend zone”. I did the obligatory ‘boob into arm’ swipe as we trotted along which I thought might be sexy. Given that I later realised I was wearing my indestructible Primark ‘boobs of glory’ bra, I’m surprised I didn’t knock his arm out of its socket with the weight of it!
In front of the National World War II Memorial he taught me the Texan two-step. We danced with no music like film stars (well, with me playing Bambi thanks to my apparent lack of coordination). It felt like the ultimate chick flick moment. Having sadly failed to grasp the hang of the dance, and confident that I’d just lost two toes, we walked up to the Washington Monument, a beacon of light in the dead of night.
We lay under the stars chatting and chilling. It was so serene, I could have lain there all night (were it not for the fear of being mugged, my impending Megabus journey and the mosquitoes munching on my finger feet).
At 4am he finally walked me home. It certainly wasn’t an action movie, nor a madcap comedy, but it had major Hugh Grant rom-com potential. We enjoyed a scrummy goodnight snog in front of the least picturesque part of town, the HI Hostel, with a homeless guy as our audience.
With Austin now a firm fixture on my itinerary, we talked about him meeting me there for a sequel. The cliffhanger for me was waiting to see if he’d come, but he didn’t. We still talk though so who knows, maybe there will be a follow-up film.
*Thinking about it, I never actually asked if my date was divorced. He’d volunteered that he’s been married but I never confirmed if had she passed away (gosh I’d feel truly awful) or if they are still legally married. While I like a rule, I’ll still count this task as completed.
**For the cut scenes, please read my Murder She Wrote blog post for the ultimate blooper.