Before I start, I want to go on record by telling you that this plan made perfect sense to me before I heard it out loud.
We met on May 5, 1975, and we were married on August 10, 1975. It was a fairytale story validating that dreams really do come true. We had a beautiful wedding put together by his side of the family. (That’s a story for another day.) The morning after the wedding we went to Aruba for our honeymoon. It was mid-afternoon by the time we got to the hotel, registered and got the keys to our room.
We stayed at the Divi Divi Beach hotel. All the rooms were small casitas on the beach. Private, romantic and perfect for a honeymoon. Between the previous day’s festivities, and traveling since six in the morning, by the time we got into our room we were exhausted. We dropped our luggage, laid down on the bed, intending to rest our eyes for just a minute, and fell asleep.
I woke up just in time to see the sun setting over the horizon from the large picture window overlooking the sandy white beach. The water was crystal clear you could see a large group of minnows doing synchronized swimming. They darted left then right in perfect harmony, to music only the world under the sea could hear.
I shifted my attention from a world not meant for me to Andrew. He was my world now, and together we would build our future. He looked so peaceful, rhythmically breathing, a faint smile slightly escaped the corners of his lips. They were perfectly shaped, softer than the most expensive imported silk, and sweeter then the finest wine I have ever tasted. A natural blond streak surrounded by soft brown highlights accentuated the uniqueness of his hair color.
I remember thinking I married him for life, but it would take a whole lot longer than one lifetime to get tired of looking at him. I realized how very lucky I was. I silently prayed our children would look just like him.
Not wanting to disturb his sleep, I decided to go take a shower and get ready for dinner before I jumped on him in bed. I was a young bride, but very quickly learned men never consider that disturbing them. I admit I had a lot to learn back then, but I was ready, willing and able!
The warm water trickling down my naked body felt so good. I spent an extra few minutes letting the warm water wash away the stress accompanied with all weddings. Family dynamics mixed with other’s expectations were a recipe for a conflict that has been passed down from generation to generation.
I let it all go down the drain. We had survived all the unsolicited help and advice. All that was behind us now: it was smooth sailing from now on. Right then and there, I had the best idea. I’m known by friends and foes alike for my infamous, out of the box, creative thinking.
I once shared one of my great ideas with my girlfriend’s husband. He happened to be a lawyer, not that anybody needed to tell me. As I was talking to him, his eyes were dissecting every word I was saying.
When I proudly finished, I said to him, “I can’t believe nobody else thought of this.”
He politely smiled and said, “It might be a great idea, but the reason no one is doing it is because it’s illegal.”
I definitely detected a smugness in his voice; maybe he wasn’t so nice after all. When, not if, but when, I get a “PLAN” in my mind, it doesn’t always work out in my favor. Rest assured, I never let defeat dampen my spirit. I continue to execute my plans every chance I get. I might have heard me referred to as a slow learner, but I prefer to think of it as committed to my ideas. You can use whichever definition of the word you want! LOL!
By the time I opened the bathroom door, Andrew was awake and waiting for his turn to take a shower and change. I told him to take his time and that I was going to take a walk outside. As soon as he closed the door, I sprang into action. This idea was too good to even waste a second.
I quickly gathered all our money, jewelry and passports and left the room. I went down the path that led to the main office where we had registered. Luckily for me, the same gentleman was still behind the desk. He recognized me as soon as I walked in. He asked if everything was ok and I assured him everything was fine but I wanted to get a safe deposit box for all of our valuables.
He smiled and said, “Give it to me, I’ll take it care of it for you.” I was so excited to get back to the room and prove to Andrew how lucky he was to have me. I got back as he reappeared from the bathroom, with a towel wrapped around his waist. He saw my Cheshire Cat grin. He had no idea why, but his look was a combination of confusion and unadulterated fear.
Here’s where things didn’t go according to my plan. I have no idea how this always happens to me. I told him that I wanted to show him what a mature, responsible wife he just married. He said, “Great! What did you do?” I was so excited and said, “ I took all our money and jewelry and passports and put it in the safety deposit box for safekeeping. You know you can’t be too careful, we are in a foreign country.” (In retrospect I wished I’d left the last part out.)
He smiled and said “I agree, it is a great idea. Where’s the key?”
I thought and asked, “What key?”
“To the safe deposit box,” he said.
I had no idea what he was talking about. And in an indigent, annoyed voice I answered. “He didn’t give me a key.”
“Oh, ok where is the paper describing the valuables?”, asked my husband.
My turn again, and I started not to want to play. This time my voice was not as defiant, “He didn’t give me a paper.”
And believe it or not, it went downhill from there. At this point, he ripped off his towel, started changing into his clothes with the speed firefighters use to get dressed when the four alarms go off.
He started rapid-firing questions, “WHAT MAN, WHERE, WHAT DID HE LOOK LIKE?”
He was spinning out of control. The louder he asked, the less I wanted to discuss it. Who did he think he was Ricky Ricardo telling Lucy “You got some explaining to do!” I had no idea which question to answer first. I didn’t like any of the answers. Houston we have a problem.
“Go talk to the man at the front desk. He’s very nice, he didn’t yell!” I finally said.
He slammed the door after he said, “Of course he didn’t yell. You gave him all our money, jewelry and passports!”
Alone in the room, I wondered if this was what they meant by “for better or worse?” I also thought I remembered love means never having to say you’re sorry. Yeah, let’s go with those two. It amazed me how quickly things can twist and turn.
It turned out that when he came back from the reception area, he didn’t have a key or a piece of paper. Apparently that was their system, and all of our stuff was safe and secure. I can assure you when he tells this story, and he has many times over the many years that we’ve been married, he never tells that part.
I wish at this point I could tell you it was the first and last time anything like that ever happened, but that would be a lie. I read somewhere that the truth will set you free, and I’m banking on it. I will continue to share many of these stories.
One of the readers asked how I can possibly think up all these things to write about. My answer was simple: “They’re all in the days of my life.” Wait, wasn’t that the name of a soap opera? So maybe, I’ll be a legend in “REAL TIME”.