Vacation with the Ex, or "There's no such thing as a free trip to Jamaica"
I'm not one for budget travel, but I hate spending my own money. So when I want to go on a nice vacation, I let a boyfriend pay for everything instead. (I know it's not very feminist of me, but it's smart to save money, and I'd rather be politically incorrect than poor.)
Most recently, my ex-boyfriend Michael took me to Jamaica. I was supposed to be his date to a wedding in Montego Bay, assuming we would still be together three weeks after he bought the plane tickets. Me, I would have cut my losses and went alone, but he still wanted me to go for some reason.
Maybe he thought we would get back together. Or maybe he thought that we never really broke up. It was hard to tell with us because we were always fighting. I guess he hoped that things would be different if we had a change of scenery. And what could we possibly have to fight about in paradise?
The first thing I noticed was the Plantation-inspired architecture and dÃ©cor throughout the 400-acre Half Moon Resort. They even have a restaurant called "The Sugar Mill." As an Asian woman, I don't have white guilt per se, but I still felt weird about it.
"We only got here five minutes ago, and you're already complaining," Michael groaned. "You're going to be a lot of fun, Debbie Downer."
Having missed peak tanning hours, we tried to do the romantic sunset stroll thing after we unpacked.
We went to bed early that night. And we went to sleep early, too, if you know what I mean.
"Ow!" I cried, stepping on something sharp. "Fucking shit!"
The beach was covered with rocks and pointy shell fragments. And the water was sort of dead-looking. (The bay quells the waves.)
"This isn't as nice as St. John," I thought out loud.
"You're complaining about this too?" Michael asked. "I can't believe this!"
"I'm not complaining! Jesus fucking Christ, I'm just making an observation!"
We went to bed early that night. And we went to sleep early, too, if you know what I mean. "Walks on the beach" are one of my turn-ons, but arguments about dumb shit are not.
Michael wanted to swim with the dolphins, but I don't like fish.
"They're not fish," he reminded me, "They're mammals."
"Right. Fine. But I'm not spending money on dolphins. How much does it cost again?" I asked, flipping through the resort brochure. It was $199 for a group swim, $400 for a private swim. "Wow, it's like getting a lap dance in the Champagne Room."
Dolphin hookers are not my thing, so I stayed in the cottage, ordered room service (jerk chicken with a side of scotch buttons) and watched a Star Wars marathon on Cinemax.
I came all the way to Jamaica to watch Star Wars and eat chicken in bed alone. I could have done this back at home, I thought to myself. Nevertheless, I couldn't help feeling very pleased with how decadent I was being. In fact, it was the highlight of my trip.
I awoke early the next morning and went for a run around the resort grounds. I ran by the championship golf course, equestrian center, and tennis courts, imagining the activity-filled weekend that I was missing. And the spa was still under construction, much to my disappointment, as it would have been the perfect place to hide from my ex.
When I returned to the room, Michael seemed annoyed that I went running without him. He then accused me of "using" him for a free trip Jamaica, since I didn't seem interested in spending any time together. I couldn't argue with him in good conscience, so I cried in the shower for ten minutes, then I went to the beach alone and started charging pina coladas to his room.
After a few hundred dollars worth of frozen mixed drinks, Michael and I reconciled in time for the wedding. He even held my hand during the ceremony. And the reception was like something from the pages of InStyle Weddings: cocktail hour at sunset, pink martinis with rose petals in them, a big white tent on the croquet lawn. It almost made me want to get married. Then the drinks wore off at some point during the speeches and I resumed wondering what on Earth I was doing at a wedding with my ex.
That night, as I was lying in bed next to Michael, I thought about the beautiful wedding and all those people who I would never see again (including him). It made me a little sad, but as break-ups go, it could have ended much worse than this.