When our 25th wedding anniversary rolled around, we were at our wits end as to how to celebrate it.
We were six months into a new home that needed every last one of our pennies, two girls in college, two boys in school, and cars yet to purchase.
A “stay-cation” seemed appropriate.
But then we looked each other in the weary eye and said, “Let’s go somewhere that our kids and our house can’t reach us.”
Hence, a budget trip to Jamaica.
We stayed in an all-inclusive resort which means you get there and don’t move for a week.
There are restaurants and live entertainment and beach activity staff members whose only mission in life is to make sure you are having a superb time every single moment of your stay. They bring you jerk chicken, strawberry daiquiris, fresh mango or ice cold “wata”. Or they become a team so you and two other tourists can have a pick up volleyball game. They groom the sand and remove the resident jelly fish from the cove each morning.
Life’s too short to swim with the jellies.
Each night, we dressed up and ate in a different restaurant.
The first night, I put the finishing touches on my flat-ironed hair, tossed on my heels, and we dashed from our air conditioned room, across the lobby, over the courtyard and into the French House.
A few minutes into the meal, I noticed Hubby staring at me and smiling.
Not the way a romantic lover watches his beloved in admiration, but the way someone stares in fascination at a slow moving train wreck. It wasn’t because I was eating escargot with gusto. It was because my lovely hair was responding to Jamaica’s deeply demonic humidity.
By the time we ordered dessert, I had native dreadlocks.
The waiter couldn’t decide if perhaps monsieur had switched ladies half way through the main course.
On night two, we discovered the Round Bar. This is a place in the center of the entertainment area and is, as noted, round. A baby grand piano sits in the middle, a bar circles it closely, a ring of lounges and sofas form an outer circle, and the whole thing is open air. You can drift in and out of the bar, listening to the very talented player during dinner hours.
We scored seats in the inner circle, right in front of the player. We ordered drinks and dangled sparkly earrings and lounged with just enough boredom to give off the proper chic nonchalant vibe.
The crowd grew thicker as the player tickled the ivories and began pressing his audience for song requests. Turns out, he could play any top 40 hit from the last three decades and if you just sang or hummed the first notes, his fabulous fingers found the right keys and suddenly everyone had a sing-along straight off the radio.
The first warning bells went off in my head when I realized he was working his way along the inner circle, making small talk and taking songs. I sat up a bit straighter and frantically went through my mental files under “music”.
This was difficult, as I was already half way through my second martini.
Something classy. Something snappy. Something popular.
Ack! Something I could sing the words to!
I was coming up with Looney Tunes.
I know all the words to every Disney movie ever made. Can we sing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”?
I can even do the dance moves.
The lady next to me requested “Livin’ on a Prayer”, and people were blaring out Bon Jovi.
I had reached into my mental files so hard they had exploded into oblivion.
With songs from “The Jungle Book” singing cheerfully in my head, I mumbled something about the restroom to Hubby and slunk from my bar stool. With a startled look on his face, he escorted me gallantly from the room.
“Yeah, I’m ready for dinner anyway,” he said. “Let’s go have some sushi, hm?”
Halfway to the restaurant I recognized the quiet tune he was humming.
“Kiss the Girl”