Missed part one? You know…the part where I was super mature and rational? (Heh.) You can catch up here.
My bronzer caked on, false eyelashes in place and maxi dress pinched around my quickly expanding vacation waistline, I was ready to crash Scott’s conference welcome dinner. I say “crash” as he hadn’t paid the additional $250 fee required to bring one’s spouse to meals, but who actually checks that list anyway? I grabbed my clutch, reapplied my lip gloss, and picked up the car keys.
“Alright, Scott…time to go!” I called.
“Not so fast,” he sneered, “Were’s the Tiffany’s bag?”
I was hoping he had forgotten about that.
“I hid it,” I confessed quietly, “but because I love you, I’m willing to compromise on this one.” I fetched the tiny blue bag from its secret location and piled into the car. We had just pulled out of our resort’s parking lot when Scott asked the follow-up question I had been dreading.
“Can I see the bag?”
“Uh…sure,” I hesitated. “It’s right here!” I dangled the box in front of him to prove I had followed through on my promise.
“Let me see it.”
“But…but…you’re driving!” I argued.
He snatched the bag from my clutches, peering inside to discover it was in fact, empty.
“You just brought the empty bag!” he exclaimed.
“Uh…I did?” I cooed unconvincingly. “Whoops.”
And just like that, Scott turned the car around and drove back to the condo. I refused to recover the box (which I had hidden in a separate location from the bag) which meant my poor husband was forced to tear our rental apart until he found it himself. Naturally, I waited in the car, rocking back and forth while eating massive amounts of macadamia nuts. It was a coping mechanism.
Ten minutes later, he emerged with my precious blue box in hand. Unwilling to admit my dreams of a rose gold arrow necklace were crashing down around me, I began throwing a tantrum. I won’t detail the fifteen minute drive to the shopping center other than to say that Scott remained perfectly calm while I went Real Housewives of New Jersey on him. If there had been a table in that Honda Fit, I would have flipped it at least three times. It certainly wasn’t my proudest moment.
Upon our arrival at the Shops of Wailea, I refused to return the necklace myself. I believe I may have said something along the lines of “I want you to have to go in there and look like the jerk who’s making his wife take her jewelry back.” Again…not my finest behavior.
Scott shrugged casually, indicating he was okay with public humiliation so long as we got our $350 back. I scowled with all my might. Foiled again.
And then, something strange happened. As he stepped out the vehicle, I noticed he was lugging every single one of my shopping bags out of the car…not just the Tiffany’s one.
“I need to take the tank tops you got me back for a different size, and I wasn’t sure what bag they were in,” he explained. “Wait here and don’t eat any more of the macadamia nuts, okay?”
As soon as he was out of sight, I reached for those sweet nuts of consolation and went to town. After thirty minutes had passed, I began to grow optimistic. Perhaps there was some sort of issue and he couldn’t take the necklace back? Setting the macadamia nuts aside, I focused all of my inner-chi on that small glimmer of hope.
Moments later, he returned to the vehicle.
“Did they take it back?” I managed between big, fat crocodile tears.
At this point, I let out a sound that can only be described as a wolf howl combined with a poor impression of Mariah Carey’s high notes.
“Did they give you dirty looks?” I continued after somewhat regaining my composure.
“Oh yeah.” he answered while rolling his eyes.
“Hey…wait a second…what happened to all of the other bags?” I asked slowly.
“I took back everything you bought today.”
Insert a second wolf howl/Mariah Carey shriek, followed by yours truly yelling so fast, it almost sounded like I was performing a profanity-laden gangster rap. (Almost.)
At this point, Scott (who was still cool as a cucumber) explained he was going to take me home and go to the dinner by himself. Somehow, in between violent nose blowing and over dramatic hyperventilation, I convinced him I would be on my best behavior. Ten minutes later, we were walking through the resort’s gardens, entering a beautifully catered ocean-side meal. Thankfully, we breezed right through without questioning.
“See?” I coaxed, “I told you they wouldn’t check if my name was on the list.” We strutted over to the bar, where I ordered a glass of wine. After the night I’d had, some vino was clearly in order. My plastic cup of Cabernet in hand, we nabbed seats at an open table. The instant we turned back towards the buffet, a stern woman in a navy skirt suit appeared.
“Excuse me, do you have your badges?” she inquired politely.
“Badges?” I asked innocently.
“Yeah,” Scott replied, “Mine’s right here.” He pulled his conference name tag out of his pocket, proving we were legitimate.
“And how about you, ma’am?” she asked me.
“I’m sorry…I wasn’t sent a badge, but I’m his wife. We’ve already paid for the conference, which I thought included meals….?”
“Did you pay the $250 spouse fee?” she asked.
“No,” Scott answered, “Is there a way to pay it now?”
“Absolutely,” she chirped in an overly energetic tone. “The cost for tonight’s dinner is one-hundred dollars. If you give me your room number I can have it charged directly to your account.”
Scott and I exchanged hesitant glances. While the spread of food looked beautiful, hotel banquet food is still…well…hotel banquet food. Plus, I was kind of full from all those mac nuts.
“Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to eat a hundred dollars worth of food,” I remarked. “Can I just sit here while he eats?”
“No ma’am, I’m sorry. You’re not allowed to be at these tables if you haven’t paid.”
“But I’m not going to eat anything.” I argued.
“I’m sorry,” she snipped, “You can’t be here.”
“You eat. I’ll go sit in the grass and wait.” I instructed Scott before shooting the woman my angriest sneer and stomping away. I grabbed my wine on the way out, purely out of spite.
I’d been sitting in the grass, sobbing quietly into my Cabernet for no more than two minutes when Scott approached.
“Let’s get out of here. I don’t want to eat crappy banquet food anyway.”
He took my hand and pulled me up. As soon we were out of sight, I began bawling uncontrollably.
“What’s wrong?” he asked with legitimate concern.
“I just got all dressed up and even put fake eyelashes on to go TAKE ALL OF MY STUFF BACK AND THEN GET KICKED OUT OF A DINNER!” I screamed. In a colorful expression of my inner-angst, I forcefully thrust the contents of my wine glass into the bushes, while unleashing one final Mariah wolf howl.
And just like that, I felt better.
By the time we returned to our condo, I had realized the error in my ways. I had acted like a toddler. Carelessly spent money without any regard for Scott’s wishes. Turned into a blonde version of Teresa Giudice and eaten 4,000 calories of nuts. Thrown perfectly good wine into perfectly good shrubbery. But perhaps most shameful was the way in which I had placed more value on a silly (albeit totally fabulous) material possession than I had on my marriage. Shame on you, Mariah Carey She-wolf.
“I’m sorry for the way I acted,” I confessed while crawling into bed. “You were right in wanting to take the necklace back–I shouldn’t have been so crazy.”
“It’s okay,” Scott yawned, “I’ve come to expect it from time to time.”
“Well,” I continued, “That doesn’t make it okay. I feel like I just ruined the vacation.”
“Please. That type of stuff doesn’t even phase me,” he remarked casually. “And I’m sorry I took all your stuff back. I was just frustrated, I guess. You can go back and buy it again if you want….but no Tiffany’s this time, okay?”
“Okay,” I smiled. “Thank you. Oh…and sorry for eating the entire bag of macadamia nuts.”
“It’s alright,” he snickered, “I’ve come to expect that from time to time, too.”
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