How do you know when the person you think you like is actually the person with whom you want to spend your life? In my case, that moment was tied up with a particularly stylish and unique event – of course.
Back in 1997, Bill Clinton was gearing up for his second inauguration. Here in Washington, DC, it was a huge fete, as is any inauguration. For Clinton however, this was a going to be a really big party. It had been a decisive win and he was, like it or not, a rock star. This was the shingdig of the year.
It was an important time for me too, because I planned on surprising my then-girlfriend with hard-to-come-by tickets to one of the big inaugural balls. The odds were very much against me, but I wanted to do something really special.
This was no small effort because back in the day, it was like trying to get tickets to the biggest concert – everyone called the same number at the same time (no Internet back then). Somehow I got through and secured two tickets to the swearing-in and two more to one of the best balls, at the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel.
I was nervous as heck because I was not sure exactly how into the whole political thing my new girlfriend would be.
There’s a time and a place for going all out for someone you love and for me, this was a big one. Mount Gay Rum, the sponsor of this post, thoughtfully sent a bottle of their Black Barrel Rum to the OTC office. Being obliging folks, we poured a few Black & Stormys and reminisced about that night.
As it turns out, she was thrilled. The event was of course black tie, and while I had an old dinner jacket that would have been serviceable, off to Brooks Brothers I went. After ordering a new dinner jacket and topcoat, I headed to the long-gone Britches of Georgetown where I found an great art deco styled formal vest. I wanted to look my best – and I still have everything!
The day of President Clinton’s swearing in was cold and windy, but we headed down to the Mall and took it all in. The picture I still have of my then-girlfriend bundled up in an old ski jacket and scarf, the Capitol building behind her, remains an absolute favorite. I still smile thinking of that afternoon.
The moment I really knew that I had found my other half was when we met back up for dinner that evening at our favorite restaurant, before heading over to the ball. She had on an amazing black ball gown and my heart skipped. Then, later that evening, when the president and Mrs. Clinton showed up to join in the festivities, my girl literally cleared a path to the front of the room so that I could have my close up.
She knew that it mattered to me, and so it mattered to her. That’s when I knew I had found someone very special and that I was in this for the long haul. I still am.
Every great story begins with a time and a place. For Mount Gay Rum, that time is 1703 and that place is Barbados, the birthplace of rum. Introducing Mount Gay Black Barrel, a double matured rum from the inventors of rum. First matured in toasted whiskey barrels then finished in deeply charred bourbon barrels, Mount Gay Black Barrel balances full-bodied character with subtle aromas. Learn more at www.facebook.com/mountgayrum
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mount Gay Distilleries via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mount Gay Distilleries.