Monday, October 30, 2006

Cabo San Lucas

My sister, The Redhead, loves this story more than life itself.

I once dated a guy who was a tax attorney. He will be known herein as "The Greek". He was from the East Coast and was educated in some of the nation's best schools. He was athletic. He was tall. He was ridiculously handsome. And he was-- as I later found out at an airport twelve hundred miles from home-- an asshole.

The Greek and I were fixed up by a mutual acquaintance who thought we had a lot in common. Actually, we had nothing in common, but she meant well. He showed up at my apartment to pick me up for dinner, wearing a well-worn blue jacket, grey slacks, and a rep tie. His dark hair shone. His brown eyes sparkled. He opened the car door for me.

We drove to the restaurant, and he explained why he was a Republican. He talked about many subjects, most of which he knew nothing about. "Homelessness" and "poverty" were two themes he talked about with great authority. "They're just lazy," he said of the homeless population. "Well, lots of them are mentally unstable and can't take care of themselves, " I offered. "Oh, I don't think that's true," he said, "They just want a free handout." When we got to the restaurant and parked the car, there was a homeless man near the entrance, asking for money. Oddly, The Greek gave him a dollar. "Hm," I thought.

I don't remember the dinner that night, but I do remember wanting to give The Greek a couple more chances. Besides, he could be so sweet and gentlemanly. He opened doors. He said "please" and "thank you". I wanted to see if there was more to him than silly political leanings with which I didn't agree.

We attended his office Christmas party together where we were a big hit. In hindsight, I think it was because his co-workers were astounded that he found a date to accompany him. It was an excellent Christmas party, though, and it was fun. Too bad I was there with The Greek; I would have enjoyed myself much more had I been there with someone else.

So we began to "date", meaning phone calls to one another, staying over at one another's houses during "school nights", making plans for upcoming weekends. When The Greek proposed a romantic trip together to Cabo San Lucas, I thought it would be a very nice long weekend getaway, so I said yes.

A week before leaving for Mexico, The Greek called me and said, "Do you have your money for the trip yet? I've paid the travel agent and need your money."

"Huh?" I said, not too intelligently.

"The money. For Cabo. Do you have it for me?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about. What money?"

"Your half of the trip. Do you have the money?" he said, kind of snotty.

I bristled. "No. I don't have the money. Actually, I have no money. I didn't know I was going to be paying half. You invited me, remember? I didn't know we were going dutch. To Mexico."

Silence from The Greek. "Well, I'm not paying for all of it," he said. "This is our weekend. Together. I just assumed you'd know that you were going to pay half."

"Well, I just assumed," I said, a little heated, "That since you invited me, and I'm a secretary and make about one-fifth the salary that you do as a tax attorney, that you'd be paying for the trip. I guess our trip is off, because I can't afford to go to Cabo with you."

Our conversation ended there. He called back a few minutes later. "I'll pay for you-- let's just go and have a nice time, okay?" "Okay," I said, cementing my sister's favorite story in family lore.

Fast foward to the tiny airport in Cabo San Lucas. Coming off the plane, we were inundated with free breakfast offers from the timeshare whores. I was not interested in speaking to these people, but The Greek, always excited about free food because he was a.) a pig and b.) cheap, signed us up for a crappy free breakfast in exchange for our time listening to the timeshare whore's spiel about their fabulous Mexican properties. This irritated the crap out of me. I went through customs while he was signing us up. I stood in the small, glassed-in entryway of the airport, with most of our luggage, waiting for the Greek to finish up his timeshare business. He appeared on the other side of the security gate.

"Hey-- can you throw me my wallet? They're both in that blue bag. I need the one with the credit cards." Anyone who knew The Greek knew that he carried two wallets-- one for cash, one for credit cards, business cards and the like. I opened the bag, and saw both wallets. I took them both out and opened one to see if it was the one he wanted. The Greek started screaming at me:
"DON'T LOOK THROUGH MY FUCKING WALLET! JUST THROW ME THE GODDAMN WALLET!!!" His face was twisted and red with anger. People in the airport turned and stared at him, then at me, the offending bitch looking through the man's wallet. I felt my face get hot and threw it at his head. "HERE'S THE WALLET!" I said, picking up our luggage and stalking out to the "limo"(i.e., "van"), furious and embarrassed. I threw our stuff in the "limo" and got in the back seat, slamming the door behind me. What a great start to our stupid vacation.

The Greek opened the door and got in. He immediately got up into my face and I into his, both of us eye-to-eye, screaming at each other, "HOW DARE YOU YELL AT ME LIKE THAT. NO ONE SPEAKS TO ME LIKE THAT," "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE LOOKING THROUGH MY WALLET," etc., our fingers pointing into each other's faces. Finally, I sat back and said, "I'm not going to speak to you about this anymore." I squeezed away from him, into the door of the "limo" and looked out the window. Other tourists soon piled in the "limo" for the ride to the hotel. Idle chit-chat ensued. The Greek held a copy of "The Firm" and someone asked him if he'd seen the movie, which had just come out. "Yes," said The Greek, "Actually, I really enjoyed it. I'm a tax attorney." Oh God, I moaned inwardly, What an idiot. He tried to speak to me on the 30 minute ride to the hotel, and I ignored him.

We went to our room, which was beautiful and had a balcony facing the bay. "What a waste," I thought to myself. "Too bad I'm here with an idiot." Without a word, I changed into my bikini. "I'm going to the pool. See you later," I said to The Greek. I installed myself in a lounge chair, facing the ocean, and started ordering fruity alcoholic beverages. "Are you a guest at the hotel?" said my waiter. "Oh, yes! Just charge it all to my room," I said.

Soon The Greek lumbered down to the pool area. He sat next to me. "Are you still mad?" he wheedled. "Yes, and I don't want to talk to you," I said, flipping the pages of my magazine. He sat in the pool at the bar area and read his stupid book. He ordered drinks and of course, food. He sat there for several hours while the sun beat mercilessly on his back. "He forgot to put on his suntan lotion. Good. I hope his skin falls off," I thought.

When The Greek's back was turned, I left the pool area and went to the front desk. "I need to make a call to the United States, please. It's kind of an emergency." I explained to the manager what had happened. "I'm here with a guy who kind of scares me and I want to fly back home tomorrow. Can I use the house phone to call the airlines and my family?" "Of course," clucked the manager. "We are so sorry about what happened! We hope this doesn't keep you from visiting us once again!" "Oh, no! Of course not! I'd love to come back," I said.

I called Alaska Airlines and made a plane reservation for the following afternoon, then called my stepmother. "Can you pick me up at the airport?" I asked. "Sure," she said. "I can't wait to hear about this."

I went back to our room and showered. When I emerged, The Greek was there. "My back is all burned," he whined. It was--- a bright, vivid red. "Will you put aloe vera on it for me?" At this point, the thought of touching The Greek made me shudder, but I felt kind of sorry for him because I was about to tell him of my plan for the following day. So I rubbed aloe vera on his stupid fat back.

At dinner that evening, I told The Greek of my plan. He didn't believe me. "No you're not," he said confidently. "We just got here. You didn't get a plane ticket."

"Yes. I did. I'm leaving tomorrow at 2:00."

"Why? I don't get it! Why are you leaving?"

"Because you screamed at me in the middle of the airport. Don't you remember? You were screaming at me! You were accusing me of going through your wallet. I'm not interested in spending the next three days with you. So I'm leaving."

"Okay," he smirked. We finished dinner.

Luckily for me, there were two queen-sized beds in our room. He wanted to sleep with me that night. "I don't think so," I said. We slept in separate beds. Early the following morning, the dim light leaking through the curtain of the slider, I awoke to The Greek snoring loudly, laying next to me. In my bed. Oh God, I said to myself for the 10 millionth time in the last 24 hours. I poked him. "Greek. Wake up." He woke up. He smiled and put his arms around me. "How are you this morning?" he asked. "Great. I'm getting up. I have a busy day ahead of me." He said, "Are you really leaving? Why don't you just lay here with me and relax for awhile?" I squirmed away from him. "No-- I really need to get going. I'm hungry," I said. I got away from him and went into the bathroom to take a shower. Two o'clock wouldn't come fast enough.

Insult to injury-- my sympathy for The Greek overflowed into breakfast, where we dined compliments of the timeshare whores. Then we listened to their timeshare spiel. The Greek asked questions, got brochures, etc., while I seethed. We finally escaped. I went to the pool, of course, to work on the tan and order fruity cocktails. The Greek wore a t-shirt and sat close by, but not too close. We didn't speak.

One-thirty. I go up to the room and begin to throw everything into my suitcase. The Greek came in to the room. "I just don't buy it," he said. "Well, you can walk me out to the van. Maybe then you'll believe I'm going," I said, annoyed at his arrogance. I picked up my suitcase, and left the room. He followed me. "Your plane leaves at 3?" "Yep," I said. The van stood idling outside the entryway to the hotel. I gave my suitcase to the driver, and he opened the door to the van. I got in and he shut the door.

The Greek stood there with no expression on his face. I opened the door and said, "I'll talk to you later." The driver got in, put the van in gear, and off we went to the airport.

I arrived home before dinner.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will always love this story. What an idiot that guy was. And then-- didn't you see him later at your office bulding or something? Didn't he actually get married to some poor woman?

-the redhead