‘As a summer fling I proved hard to shake off’: my transatlantic romance

I quit my job for a transatlantic romance and spent June and July getting drunk with my English girlfriend as her friends got hitched

Most transatlantic romances are, out of necessity, brief: a chance meeting, an expensive visit apiece, followed by an eventual admission of defeat. But this one, begun in the winter of 1990 while I was living in New York, wasn’t quite over with. After that second expensive visit, I booked another flight to London for early June. It seemed unlikely that the magazine where I worked would give me the whole summer off for the sake of love, so I quit.

I had just turned 27, and I thought it might be the last opportunity to do something grossly irresponsible, to ignore consequences, to take an extended romantic holiday – featuring plenty of travel, sex and alcohol – before going home to start paying for my choices. I fully expected the relationship to spring a leak at some point; my new English girlfriend had made it pretty clear that a strong part of my appeal was my sell-by date.

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