People and Lessons from a Perfect Afternoon in the Park

Dupont Circle is iconic Washington, DC.  Woebegone tourists have driven around it countless times; every area photographer worth an F-Stop has shot images of it; and on a perfect late spring evening all manner of life in the city can and will find intersection there.

I have fallen in love there when a woman crossed her leg against mine and decided that her ankle resting atop my leg was its natural place, had spontaneous picnics there, and filled more hours than I can recall with competitive people watching there.

This particular perfect Monday I met some people there, and learned a few lessons too.  These are those stories (cue Law & Order chimes.)

Tony is short of teeth, sports immaculately polished black lace-ups, and has a well worn acoustic guitar that he plays with virtuosic skill.  Over the course of at least two hours he went from Brazilian rhythms that conjured images of caipirinhas to old Sade songs and scores of things between.  My friend Dennis and I couldn’t contain our glee at getting this free concert for which we both offered Tony money but he insisted that our gratitude was ample payment.

Amy, cherubic of face, and crimson of hair was possessed with the excitement only those who don’t yet know words can convey.  She danced and sang and waved at everyone within her sight.  I never would want to bend an elbow with some who is capable of not smiling in her presence.

Jack, Amy’s “Pa-Pa,” has grandparental pride that is palpable, and inescapable.  At least 80 years on this earth, still fit and possessing a full head of shockingly white hair, there is nothing about him that makes me think he still couldn’t kick some young guy’s ass like the old Marine that he is.  Thanks for your service Gunny.

Christian Loubutin shoes are gorgeous, elegant, expensive, wearable works of art, but aren’t worth a plug nickel if you don’t know how to walk in them.

There comes an age after which all women should retire hot pink from their wardrobe.

Ice cream cones after dinner are splendid way to end a date.

Among the best reasons to wear a brim (baseball caps are not brims) is that one cannot tip a hat without wearing a hat.

The guy from the six flags commercials has a doppelganger and apparently likes to cruise the circle for younger men.

There is no amount of hotness that can help me get over my lack of attraction for women in dress shorts.

The former also applies to women with “accessory” dogs.

Euro Hipsters in circulation-restricting black pants must smoke a minimum of one Galois cigarettes per eight minutes.

If I sit long enough in any location in the city, I will cross paths with someone I have dated.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” similarly, no one can give you a compliment without your assistance.

People who drive convertibles but leave the top prone on days like this ought to have their vehicles repossessed by the Fun Police.

Very few joys are the equal of the simple ones.


19 Responses to People and Lessons from a Perfect Afternoon in the Park

  1. Fearless says:

    Thank you for the postcard from one of my favourite places.

    My pleasure. I really wish that I was a sufficiently good writer to describe how good this guy on guitar was.

  2. Christina says:

    There is nothing like people watching.

    Competitive People Watching… I am lobbying for its inclusion as an exhibition sport in London 2012.

  3. redhead says:

    Interesting segue from the topic of running into previous dates to the Eleanor Roosevelt quote. Are they related? Is that a Freudian slip, or really just a Freudian stream of consciousness? Hmm… You got me thinking.

    Purely conincidental. Though if you think there is a connection between the men that you’ve dated and their (or your) confidence then perhaps one exists.

  4. ella says:

    as if i needed another reason to visit DC…

    You name the date, and I’ll even find you a temporary church. That church might be at a bar, and the refrain to each hymn might be “Sunday-Funday” but you get the point.

  5. Kristin says:

    There aren’t enough hours in the day for all the park sitting I want to do.

    I am still amazed that I was able to take that kind of time

  6. kitty says:

    perfect! I just got back from a weekend in your fair city, and since the person I visited no longer lives in Dupont, I did my people watching at Meridian Hill Park, which is fun, but definitely not the same.

    I like sitting in the middle, trying to determine which way the person will walk around. It is almost always to the right.

    Oddly, that was a subject that my buddy and I discussed that day. We concluded that one’s handedness is a factor in the left v. right choice.

  7. [F]oxymoron says:

    I agree. Dress shorts are not attractive.

    Call me crazy but, I believe that adults should wear short pants only when athletic activities are involved.

  8. f.B says:

    1. I would really, really like to meet this “Tony.”

    2. Each time I see an accessory dog with its head sticking out of a purse, I want to (a) become a purse snatcher, (b) run for blocks, far from its owner and (c) let that dog free and have a taste of the real life it so desperately deserves.

    1. I will never again pass Dupont without looking for him.

    2. PETA members would hunt me down if I expressed my real feeling about accessory dogs.

  9. rahree says:

    loved this – how often do i forget, or am unable to convince someone that gratitude really *is* ample payment? That ice cream and people watching are two of the best pasttimes ever.

    thank you!

    Thanks for your very kind words. I wish that I had gotten some ice cream but we made do with our cigars and conversation.

  10. Now that sounds like a hell of a good day. People watching should really be an Olympic sport, no?

    I think you and I should form a competition committee to determine the rules.

  11. Katie says:

    a lovely day

    indeed it was

  12. Shannon says:

    I just don’t know what ‘dress shorts’ even are.

    And now for the real question…do I need to give lessons on How to Rock High Heels again? Sheesh – stand up straight, long strides, waggle the hips for balance (and attention). I swear it’s not hard!

    It sounds like you have a marketing opportunity here.

  13. What are these “dress shorts” of which you speak?

    Put another way… unless you plan on perspiring, you shouldn’t wear shorts.

  14. Lisa says:

    The thing is, I am pretty sure that I will be wearing hot pink well into old age.

    I have a feeling that you will be the exception but won’t disprove the rule.

  15. “Christian Loubutin shoes are gorgeous, elegant, expensive, wearable works of art, but aren’t worth a plug nickel if you don’t know how to walk in them.”

    Well said, sir. Well said.

    Thank you. It really is painful to see someone abuse these things.

  16. oh christ…
    we need to talk about stereotypes again…soon…:-)

    I feel like I just got rapped on the knuckles

  17. nope..but your sooo gonna roll your eyes at me … i can tell…

    Even people who don’t like kids, like their friend’s kids when they meet them. I imagine I will feel the same about your accessory dog.

  18. ohhhhhh! I like it! Not too many rules though as we will be enjoying cocktails at the same time!

    Frank Sinatra once said “if there was an Olympic Drinking Team, I’d be on it but Dean Martin would be the captain.” We should let their spirits be our guide.

  19. Sweet lord, was the Louboutin clad lass issued a citation?

    I have a few pumps I identify as perfect for either (a) sitting pretty or (b) lying on my back with my legs up in the air. But Louboutins exist to make men swoon and women green with envy as you sashay, not stumble, down the sidewalk.

    She should have been issued either (a) citation, (b) an order for immediate forfeiture for abuse of wearable art and money, or (c) a mandate for binding and remedial lessons.

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