The Birthday Edition


I spent my…ahem…birthday on the lovely island of Jamaica. I didn’t want to do anything but sit on the beach, sip a rum-infused cocktail and catch up on my reading. Of course, everyone thought I should do things: take a tour, go to Margaritaville, learn to swim. Ugh, no. Relax. This has been a stressful three months. It wasn’t like my 2011, which was hellish but I needed to do nothing, to think nothing, to accomplish nothing.

Of course, this did not happen. I was sucked into activities that were remarkably dissimilar from the descriptions on the brochure / website. First, I was forced into snorkeling. I say forced because I cannot swim. I am not one of those people who just never learned or taken lessons. Oh, I tried. Twice. Then at 11, I decided that swimming wouldn’t be included into my plethora of skillsets. So I was about to hit the lazy river, minding my own business, when the water sports crew recruited us to join their last trip. Okay, I am not particularly fearful except when it comes to water and my inability to swim. I seriously think I drowned in a previous life. So snorkeling went…okay. I summoned courage to jump off the boat, then clung for dear life to the ladder. Finally, the aggravated tour guide hit me on the head with a floating thing (See, how often I swim? I have no clue what it’s called.). I kicked with all my might away and looked into the water for approximately 12 seconds. My mask wouldn’t stay on and I couldn’t snorkel properly.

Next, we went horseback riding. I have a two big fears: water and enclosed spaces. Me in an MRI tube is not a pretty sight, which a previous doctor learned the hard way. Then, I have some select stupid fears. One is being off the ground. Not heights. But physically being off the ground without something underfoot. Such as I don’t like being lifted and don’t like rollercoasters with dangling feet. Hilariously, horseback riding plays into this fear as I am off the ground. Granted, I am on a horse, but it was a very discerning first five minutes. They picked the slow, grandpa horse for me and we sauntered off. The problem with the horseback tour was the actual scenery. We got to see a small impoverished village and livestock. The goats were cute, but otherwise, I think I could have easily taken horseback riding lessons somewhere else and soaked up the beauty of my hotel beach. I feel bad for the dunebuggy tour buyers as what was the draw of the village without the horse? Then we would go for a swim on the horse. I switched horses as grandpa likes water as much as I do. Turns out, my new horse tried to make a break for it into the sea. And of course I screamed. The guide had to rescue me. This activity took all day, okay 5 hours. Still.

My final activity was the Dunns River Falls. You climb the Falls. That is about the extent the event. It is difficult to describe the Falls as I was imagining Victoria Falls and it was more like a rock climbing wall except with water and in bathing suits. This activity reminded me of wilderness camp in high school. I hated wilderness camp. I also don’t really like doing things without a proper bra, so it was an adventure. The whole thing was videotaped. I don’t care for being on camera. And being on camera, currently 10lbs over, in a swimsuit? Yea, that video wasn’t purchased. My friend purchased the video and as I oddly suspected, there were a lot of cleavage shots. Of my cleavage!! I knew something was up when the videographer kept trying to chat. This is why I say it was false advertising. If I knew it would be photographed, I would have worn a different full coverage swimsuit with a little cover-up skirt to eliminate any potential Girls Gone Wild implications. After this, I was done with activities. No drinking, no bars, just sitting. Nothingness. Of course, this was with only one day left.

The best story of the trip was the airport. As I cannot escape any trip without drama: a fight broke out at the airport. Not really a fist fight, but a heated verbal disagreement between passengers at the check-in counter.  Losing this loud discussion, the poor woman resorted to a complete temper tantrum with:

  • Yelling – “I refuse to move and demand attention.” Oh honey, you got it.
  • Paper throwing – That’s right girl! Grab those papers stacked on the counter and throw them at the mean lady and airline worker because that will show them.
  • Balled up fists – You know what helps? When security guard comes over to calm you down, make baby fists and pound at his chest like in a 1920’s movie. Then when he holds your wrists and asks why are you so mad, just ignore him and keep trying.

Meanwhile, her travel companion seemed to be occupied living out some How Stella Got Her Groove Back fantasy with a semi-interested local to be of any assistance. And we all know how well that turned out. Finally, when you discover that the mean lady who bested you and all the witnesses to your showing your ass are on the same flight, just bury your head in your hands while at the gate, hoping no one remembers you. The electric blue pants you are wearing are not memorable at all and all Black people look alike anyway.

Then I came back to America. Nothingness over.



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