On our final date we sat in Washington Square Park, Murray’s bagels in hand. A saxophone player filled the crisp air with jazzy notes, a Christmas tree sparkled in the unseasonable sunshine, and an artist displayed his colourful wares. Over the past 24 hours, we had both shared more about our romantic histories and how this was the first time in a long while we had connected so much with someone from an app. Evan said, “Of course you live in London, there has to be something. Everything else is perfect.” When the time came, we both told each other that this was not goodbye.
Soon Camille was back from London, and we settled into a booth at the scene-y American Bar supping dirty martinis and discussing dates.
The Holiday starts with a monologue from Kate Winslet, where she talks about love and it’s “sheer power to alter and define our lives.” She talks of faded love, and love lost, and her own unrequited love – but she misses a vital type: the love that two women spinning on different but parallel life paths around the globe can share.
I was really flattered by all the messages I received from men asking me out as soon as I landed in London, but there was one in particular, Paddy James, who caught my eye with his witty line about wanting to be my ‘Jude Law’.
We met for the first time at Mr. White’s in Leicester Square – on a Thursday, of course. I was so nervous: despite our chemistry over text, would there be any in real life? I realised very quickly I had nothing to be worried about. We bonded over our love for travel, our shared experiences working in consulting, and the wild circumstances that brought us together. In fact, I’d say it was one of the best first dates I’ve had.
We continued to hang out over the weekend and two guys I know from NYC who were also visiting London came with me to a party and met Paddy – they quickly approved!
That Sunday, we decided to take the train to Surrey for a date at The White Horse, a pub where a scene with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law from The Holiday was filmed. We laughed, shared more about our lives, and talked about how sad we both were that I was leaving the next morning (and even talked about plans for Paddy to visit me in NYC).
Back in New York City, I filled Lizzie in on all the details, and she hers. I knew that no matter what happens with Paddy, I had made a new friend. We’re already planning a trip to the Hamptons next year. Camille Wyand
The next morning as I joined the check-in queue at Heathrow, I chatted with two midlife women from Hertfordshire and told them about the adventure that awaited me. They couldn’t believe what I was doing. Neither, in many ways, could I.
Cue an intentionally romantic walk through Union Square and past The Whitney to the green space Little Island. As it poured sideways rain and our umbrellas turned upside down, I suggested we dip into a bar. But no: we pressed on. Around 11pm, as we walked hand in hand down the West Side Highway, the rain finally cleared and the city lights of Jersey glinted across the water. A different kind of butterflies flitted in my stomach this time, the kind where you can’t stop smiling as you look at the man in front of you, hoping you will see each other again.