Monday, November 21, 2011

A Pessimist in Paradise: Ten Things I Hated about My Trip to Aruba

1. People Causing Suspicion in the Airport - On the morning of our flight to Charlotte (we had a connector to Aruba), there was a dude in the waiting area. Guy is rocking a blanket on his head, wearing odd-looking wristbands on his arms, reading a "religious" looking document, all while moving his head forward and backward in the manner of a crazed lunatic. He looked like a mutha-flippin' ancient Mayan witch doctor or something. I was literally five seconds away from either having the guy arrested by Homeland Security or canceling the trip due to premonitions of fiery death. The wife later told me that she believed that we were taking our trip on a Jewish high-holiday. But really, I don't care. We are ten years removed from 9/11 and there has yet to be a major terrorist reoccurence on American soil. That's awesome. That doesn't mean we should all feel free to get our head-covered solitary mosh pit on in the waiting area before take-off in a fully fueled 747. I should respect your religion, but you might want to respect my paranoia. I won't bust your chops if you can simply get your chant on in your bedroom before leaving for Philly International. Too much to ask? Don't think so.

2. Snacks on a Plane - As in, there are none. That's right. I'm not counting $8 chips and salsa that you can order from the beverage cart. I know times are tough, but if airlines can charge $50 to check a bag, I think they can afford to throw a brotha a bag of salty peanuts, no?

3. My Skin Pigmentation - I must be the whitest person on the planet. Five seconds in the Aruba sun (it's on the equator, if you haven't heard) and I was sporting a burn reminiscent of what Ralph Fiennes had during The English Patient scenes with Juliette Binoche. I had to use SPF 500 sunscreen! I had members of our traveling party voicing their concern about my purple shoulders and torso! I had to buy an Aruba hat that I will never where again in the Marriott gift shop for $55. On Day 2 (!!!), I had to go full T-shirt on the beach, which everyone knows is the ultimate Scarlet Letter of the overweight, 350-pound, hairy-backed loser! It just doesn't seem fair. Then again, I have never had a problem getting a cab so I have that going for me.

4. The Lobby Cafe at Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino - Seriously, bitches! $11 for a bacon, egg, and cheese on a croissant is "Go Postal" worthy.

5. Pool-goers Who Mark their Loungers with a Towel and Then Go Back to Bed - It's all in the header. Due to having a kid, we were always up early and he always wanted to head down to the water. The one morning, since I was horribly burned, we decided to go to the pool instead of the beach. Just seemed like more opportunity for shade. Anywho, we go to get our lounger and there are towels all over them. I figured they had to be left there from the night before. The wife checked it out. This was not the case. Scumbags came down at, like, dawn or something, got towels or their flip-flops or their sh!tty Danielle Steel novel and put them on the loungers to save their spots. It's simply unacceptable. This is like the resort version of the Fishtown folding chair in the parking spot. If you reserve a lounger, you should have to commence laying in it or risk your little Gucci sunglasses being found floating in the water, having been ejected by someone who is ready to commence leisure time forthwith.

6. The Beach Bar Waiter at the Marriott Beach Bar Whose Name I Have Forgotten Who Tried to Rip Us Off - Following scenario takes place: We show up at a beach bar to get something to eat. I spy a special on the bar's board. Like $8.50 for a drink called an Aruba Knockout (that's right; $8.50 for a "special"). I order one. He brings it to me like a half-hour later because he is evidently also covering the whole beach as a roving cocktail transporter. Fine. I drink it. It's wonderful. I get bombed. Fast-forward to the bringing of check like FIVE HOURS LATER: It's listed as an $11 drink. The wife is having none of it. She gets the dude's attention after a wait that is about as long as it takes to watch the complete works of Sir David Lean. She points out that it is listed as $8.50 on the board and he says, no, it's $11 because what's on the board was "yesterday's special." She quite rightly points out that, duh, we weren't there YESTERDAY, we are there TODAY, and that is what it says on the board TODAY. He does some griping about having to talk to a manager (who cares?) and sets about getting us the right price for my fruity delight (I think; as I said I was bombed). Moral of the story: Do the legwork on correcting the board or be prepared to acquiesce when presented with logic based on the space-time continuum. (Also we ordered nachos. They took forever and arrived mushy and cold. So freaking weak, Nameless Beach Bar!)

7. The Futility of Trying to Snorkel with a 40-Pound Toddler - Yeah, I really can't see how we ever thought this was a good idea. We probably should have been arrested by the Coast Guard or the Somalian pirates or whatever. Lesson learned.

8. The Loud, Obnoxious, Annoying, Intrusive, Rule-Flouting, Paranoid, Overweight Family Reunion That We Were So Unlucky To Have To Sit Near On Our Way Back from Aruba - Yes, this will get it's own post. And it will be good.

9. Flying Over the Everglades - If I had to perish in an airplane wreck, it probably wouldn't be the worst way to go. At least it would be quick and easy. However, it would be just my luck to be involved in a crash and somehow survive, only to be chomped in half by a sharp-toothed, hungry, ferocious Florida gator. I mean, that would really suck. Can't flights detour over Texas or something?

10. Homophobic People - I am happy to state that I did not run into any of these people on my trip to Aruba. This is a good thing. You see, I was there for a gay wedding. At the wedding, the two grooms were able to hold hands, dance in each other's arms, get their names mispronounced by the clergy, sway awkwardly with their mothers (the fate of all grooms, gay or straight, I'm afraid) and state vows of commitment that many people would believe should only be reserved for people with opposing genitalia. You know what? Despite my need for post-nuptial whining, the whole event was beautiful. I'd do it again tomorrow if requested! As a card-carrying crazy liberal, I am glad to say that I have checked this off of my bucket list, which also includes parasailing in Martha's Vineyard and pimp-slapping Joe the Plumber. As for yourself, if you are out there and you think that there is something wrong with gay marriage, look into your heart and get your sh*t together. People should be allowed to be with whoever they want to be with. It's as simple as that.

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