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We were, like, deep in the weeds of payment policy, right? We were hooking up, and he kept running his hands through my hair. I love Chuck.
He asked me what I did. I stuck it out because it was raining and I had taken my bike. Like, I go out on dates with strangers from the internet—why does it feel sketchy to go out with someone who actually introduced himself? But in the end, I think it was very sweet, but very DC. We would text all the time, like it was a thing. I was like, Whoa, I completely forgot what a small place DC is.
It looked like the inside of a gift shop—almost every White House Christmas ornament is there. The ones he had run into at a party were Sebastian Gorka and Kellyanne Conway, and he was very excited to have seen them. You thought that was a bad date? I was like, Okay, if you live there, you guys must have some money or some ties.
She gave me a good 60 seconds of a chewing-out. I showed that hairball to so many people. He went to the bathroom.
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He worked for somebody on the Hill and was going to get us in to skip the line. Then obviously we go and hook up. She just left. It was a speed-dating event for professionals.
It was like, Okay, he looked these up. I made a joke about Chuck Grassley being bad at his job. I once put one in a coma.
And then a guy I used to be involved with sees me going and wants to know when he can come. I was just like, I want to get my hair and go. Then I met this other guy in Dupont Circle and we hit it off. And I shoved it in my purse.
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He took me to the artillery room—rifles, grenades, automatic weapons just everywhere. It kind of tastes like shit. That did not happen when I worked for the DC government. I refused to meet with him.
So after we had been on four dates and only known each other maybe two weeks, she moved into this really small studio apartment in Foggy Bottom with me. I had one guy try to take me on a date to see Billy Graham lying in state.
She ended up staying ten days. He invited me to his run group, which turned out to be mine. We went to Zaytinya, then afterwards we drove around in his truck. This lawyer took me around the National Gallery and would tell me about, like, the painter and what the painting was about.
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I think I was too embarrassed to reconnect with her at the end. She asked if I ever donated to support it. The attachment was a full spreheet with photos referencing stuff we talked about: hobbies I liked, these joking charts measuring our compatibility, and proposing activities for the next date. Thankfully, the bartender was super nice and gave me a free drink. He shows up and proceeds to pick a fight about politics. After I said no, I felt a little silly.
I stopped going. It was covered in my hair.
I actually ran into him once later at a house party in Georgetown. But I never saw him again. Three months later, he texted me to let me know he was cleared. There was no second. One day, he texted me saying he wanted to have coffee urgently.
It felt like one of the more DC things to do: call a source and get information on this person you just met. He worked for some government agency and said he was very liberal. We went to Cantina Marina. I have to go. We had dated on and off for almost a year and had coffee every day at Compass Coffee by the White House, where he worked.
Fast-forward a year or two after we were already broken up and out of touch—he texted me again to say he quit his job at the White House. He was new, so there was a lot about DC he was really enamored with. There was a long pause. I was pretty horrified. I look forward to hearing back from you.
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I wish I had a picture of that hairball. It should have been a red flag. He was totally the town gadfly. It was really bad. One invited me to his run group, which was way more popular than I realized. He was telling me how Medicare should work this way, and I was like, no, Medicare should work this way.
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He told me how important his job was—something on the Hill, of course. Just tell me. I would go to parties and the host would introduce me as the NPR person, and everyone would lose their minds and huddle around me. There was one day when I was there with all three of them, and none of them knew who the other was.
It looked like he had shaved my head.
No one else I know has ever been asked out on the Metro, period. We had an okay time. He had recently moved to DC for a job at the State Department.
Dating in is weird. but dating in in tragically divided washington? yeah, weirder.
We are of opposite parties—he did health-care policy, I did health-care policy. It was, like, really shitty. The night we decided to meet, we were both a little buzzed when we got to the date. I think we started officially dating exclusively on the day Min moved in.
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It was a little surreal. So I just started grabbing it all up with my hands and made a hairball in my hands that was the size of a baseball, like a dense hairball. He did this for maybe ten minutes while we were making out in his bed, and it was kind of starting to hurt. I was matched with someone who worked at PBS. I said I watched sometimes. The second time I go, I see another ex. He had white sheets and I have black hair, and I got up and I looked around the bed.
I want to be clear about that.
All the decor clearly showed that his mom was very content with her job. My date [a Wall Street Journal reporter] had to carry me up the stairs two or three times before we found out there was an elevator. The takeaway: You should know which congressman or senator the person works for before shit-talking them on a first date. You get a lot of people who want to go on dates with you if you have a holiday party or some sort of work-related event.
I had to introduce them all.
He was giving me meaningful glances.