If you’re not a female, you probably don’t know the wonders of drunkingly meeting other drunk ladies in the restrooms of bars and clubs. To sum it up, we have no filter and when we greet each other while waiting in line to use the toilet (you know, the usual) there’s never a proper “hello.”
These conversations always starts with, “Oh my God, I love your shirt!” or “Those shoes are to diiiiiiiie for! Where did you get ’em?” Compliments squealed in a voice so endearingly high pitched and slurred you can’t help but immediately become best friends with each other.
As you might know I’ve spent the past three months studying abroad in London at Richmond University. But in less than a week’s time I will be leaving this live changing, inspiring, rain-covered city. For my last Saturday night in the city, I went out with a few of the equally life changing and inspiring friends I’ve made here to a little underground piano bar.
In the restroom of that bar I met a lovely woman who also happened to be from the States – Wisconsin, actually. We started chatting and she asked what I was up to in London. I explained that I’d been studying here for the past few months but, sadly, would leaving soon. She looked at me curiously and asked, “Where are you studying?” I told her that Richmond University was my recent-home and was shocked when she replied, “I used to go there! I graduated in 2008!”
I honestly couldn’t believe it. What are the odds that I would meet a American Richmond grad in the toilet of this grungy little place?
We chatted for a few more minutes (she complimented my hair, I complimented her dress – I told you there’s always a compliment in there), and then I made my way back out to the bar to order myself a drink (gin and tonic, please).
A few hours later — when I was all done singing along to “Wonderwall” and my tired feet were begging me to go home, I emerged from the bar and heard someone calling out to me.
I turned around to see that same lovely Wisconsin girl I’d met in the bathroom a few hours earlier. In the wee hours of the night and in the freezing cold we talked some more. She took the time to tell me a bit about her life. After graduating from Richmond, she never even bothered going back home. For nine years she has been able to call this beautiful city home; I guess she found it just as life changing as I do.
She even left me with some words of wisdom:
“Enjoy your time here, seriously. Have fun. You’ll look back at it and not even believe that you came here and did all the things that you did. Not many people get to have the experience that you’re having, so just enjoy it.”
To my fellow Richmond girl: I never did get your name, but thank you for giving me even more of a push to come back to London after I finish school. Whether it’s the capital or elsewhere in England, I know this country is a place I need to return to. Most of all, thank you for reinforcing my need to go down whatever path I think is right for me.