Context: I matched with Blondie on Bumble, knowing well that he had gone to my college and we had a good amount of mutual friends but that we had never actually met. We chatted for a bit, then met up for drinks at Pepita Cantina in Ballston on a Thursday after work. I never would have guessed that we would end up planning a fake wedding…
In a city as small as DC, I am constantly amazed that I don’t go on dates with men who know/work with/live with each other more often. Like, never have I ever been afraid that I will be pulling my standard “excuse myself to the ladies’ room when the check comes in hopes that he’ll pay while I’m gone” move and my date will be all “AH HA! I’M ONTO YOUR GAME, J, YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!”*
*Although I was skeptical of this once on a date at Oyamel, when my date excused himself to the bathroom upon the arrival of the check. I spent the duration of his absence arranging our drink glasses, salsa, chips and guacamole to create a sort of fortress around the check so that it was squarely in his domain. When he returned, I played it cool.
J – Now that you’ve checked the bathroom for monsters *sweeping hand gestures*, it’s my turn to go!
I then spent 10 minutes snapchatting in the bathroom. He paid.
This was all about to change with Blondie. We had been talking for a while about our jobs (both heavily involving cloud computing), our college experiences, and our interest in cooking and baking when he asked me to meet up at Pepita Cantina on a Thursday evening. I work in Ballston, so I was all for it!
The day of our date was riddled with monsoons. NATURALLY. Since I literally never check the weather report, I had no umbrella and no raincoat. It’s fine. If you don’t love me at my drowned rat, you don’t deserve me at my best! I arrived shortly after he did and he laughed at me an appropriate amount, we hugged, and then we sat down to order margaritas.
And he was awesome! Super sweet, really funny, and very easy to talk to. Shortly into our conversation, we launched into app ideas.
Blondie – My best friend and I have been talking about this app idea for a while. It’s called [redacted]* and it would do [redacted].
I was speechless. Not because the app idea was so wonderful – which, honestly, it is, if somewhat terrifying and riddled with potential legal issues – but because I had heard this app idea before.
I had gone on a date with his best friend.
*Proprietary business knowledge, folks! I can’t in good conscience share his intellectual property!
My mind swirled. Had his friend liked me? Had I been nice to him? Had I ghosted on him? Had I ruined his life? Was he the type of guy who would talk about his dates? Had I, perchance, used a fake name?!?!?
I put on my most innocent and interested face and nodded along, hearing about this app for the second time in the span of a few months. Thank you, musical theatre background, for blessing me with these acting skills. The rest of the date was fantastic and we left the bar around 10 PM, hugging and parting ways.
We texted casually over the next few days, and then – on a morning that seemed just like any other – he hit me with what may be the best text I’ve ever gotten.
B – Hey, so I’ve had this date idea for a while, and I think you’re the right person to do it with. I’ve always wanted to pretend to be engaged and go to a wedding cake tasting. It’s free and we get to eat lots of delicious cake! What do you say?
J – PLEASE MARRY ME AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE.
Fuck Netflix & Chill. This was THE BEST date idea EVER. I did some research, found a bakery in Georgetown that seemed promising, and he scheduled a cake tasting for a month out. In the interim, we made plans to meet at The Sovereign in Georgetown to grab a beer flight and discuss our backstory.
We met up on a Sunday afternoon and decided on the following:
Fake Names – Rick and Genevieve Croissant
How We Met – Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market. We were both ogling the last pint of strawberries and reached for it at the same time. I said that, if he let me have it, I would bring him a slice of the strawberry pie I was making. He never thought I would follow through, but two days later, I did just that!
How He Proposed – We were on that deep sea fishing trip (you know, the one I always wanted to take), and he fell overboard into the water. The captain was in on it, so this was perfectly safe, but I freaked out until he was brought back on board. He said he had found something glittery in the water, then got on one knee and pulled out a ring.
How He Got My Family’s Antique Ring – My grandmother has always wanted to pass down the ring she got in her first marriage to that scumbag, Howard. He was an absolute sleaze, but the man had exquisite taste. Rick and I practiced Scrabble for weeks before facing off with Grandmama for the ring. We’ll never forget ‘concave’ – the word that sealed our engagement. Put that baby on a triple-word score and there’s no way your opponent can come back.
Needless to say, we were incredibly excited about our moment to shine. I began the morning of my tasting by taking a quick trip to the bar aka my kitchen. I then headed to H&M to buy the closest thing I could find to an engagement ring. This happened to come in a pack of about 15 rings and cost $7.99. Excellent! I headed to my hair appointment, knowing that I would be cutting it close to time, but that I would probably make it.
…that is, until, my wonderful hairdresser wanted to do a full-on photoshoot outside the salon. Well, maybe being late to my own wedding cake tasting could be an integral part of my personality? I texted Blondie to apologize, and he was so nice about the whole thing. I ended up arriving at 3:30 PM, at which point the owner placed a plate of cake in the middle of the table and asked us a few questions – date, venue, general wedding size – then let us be for the duration of the tasting.
What?! That was it??? All this time formulating our stories and no one to share them with?? We were outraged. We decided to make up for this disgrace by talking extremely loudly about all of our pre-planned experiences for the duration of the tasting.
B – Ah, you know who would LOVE this lemon cake? Your sister, Marissa! Doesn’t she always rave about citrus in baked goods?
J – We simply MUST get this strawberries and cream cake! It reminds me just of how we met, and the strawberry pie that got us together.
B – You’re not inviting Laura, are you? You remember how drunk she got at my brother’s wedding…
After two hours of improvising life events (doesn’t everyone do this?) and stuffing our faces (and each other’s faces) with cake, our sugar comas began to set in. We called the owner back and started discussing our thoughts.
J – We loved the strawberry one because it reminds us of how we met! You see, we were at th-
Owner – Cool yep great so what’s your wedding date again?
J – September 31st!
B – Haha, what my lovely fiancée MEANT to say was September 30th. You know there are only 30 days in September, sweetie!
J – Hahaha oh yes I’m so bad with months. Bride brain!!!
We spent a few more minutes discussing pricing, then headed out. Once Blondie and I were a safe distance from the bakery, we hugged and squealed with glee. We did it! We did it! I felt like we were doing the song and dance at the end of an episode of Dora the Explorer!
And that, my friends, is the story of my first wedding cake tasting. Can’t wait until I’m actually engaged and get to confuse my fiancé by comparing it to my “first wedding cake tasting with Rick!”