As you may have gathered from the Actual Overheard Conversation I posted recently, we have indeed returned from a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was a fantastic experience all around, though, as with many of our trips, was not without its hiccups.
We flew to San Juan for a medical conference at which my wife was an attendee and at which I had no responsibilities, but to turn up for the President’s Banquet and any other food and booze-related events there might be. Beyond that, I was a free agent in a beautiful country.
The adventure began before we even left, though.
A few days before the trip, the wife was checking our plane tickets online via her iPad. “Hey,” she said. “They’ve booked us on separate flights.”
“What?” I said. “The whole trip?”
“No. We fly together from Charleston to Atlanta, but then you’re on one flight and I”m on one that leaves half an hour… no, mine leaves first and yours flies out half an hour later,” she said.
“What the hell?” I said. But in my mind I was already in paranoia mode. Two separate flights. That had to mean one of them was going down, right? We both had to make the trip, but fate was going to deal one of us a bad hand Final Destination style? Why else would tickets we booked at the exact same time get split up like that? And the more I dwelt on this the more I began to quietly accept it–no matter how insane that might seem. In fact, I even went to the higher power about it.
Heavenly Father, I prayed. If one of our planes is destined to crash, please let it be mine, I selflessly continued. Too many people rely on Ashley and if one of us has to die please let it be me, I magnanimously finished. Amen.
The night before our flight, I happened to mention something to the wife about our separate flights from Atlanta at which point she quietly said, “Oh.” And then she began to smile. “About that…”
I instantly knew. “You were lying?” I said. “You lied about the separate flights?”
“Only a little.”
I should have known. After all, the wife has a tell to let you know when she’s lying: it’s when you can see her lips moving as she speaks. And her flip-flopping about which of us was leaving a half-hour before the other was too good of a specific detail. She at least had the decency to look embarrassed through her amusement.
“I forgot I hadn’t told you we really weren’t flying separate,” she said.
“I prayed about that,” I said. “I was convinced it meant one of our planes was going to crash, and I prayed that if one of them had to that God should let it be mine because too many people were relying on you. And you lied.”
We rose at 4 a.m. on a Monday, drove to Charleston, did not have time for breakfast, managed to remember to bring proper identification and to park in long-term parking, boarded the same plane and made our journey to Puerto Rico. The waters were sufficiently blue-green as we descended over San Juan.
We taxied to our hotel, the Acacia in the Coronado district, a lovely little self-described boutique hotel within a 45 second walk to the beach. And after check in, we headed to said beach where there were to be found a goodly number of beautiful people wearing an insufficient amount of beachwear. As well they shouldn’t! If I looked like them, I’d be shucking clothes and thonging it up, too.