NOTE: This story has been pre-approved by my lovely wife. I was a little nervous about what her reaction might be, but she read it, laughed out loud, and said, ”Sure. Go ahead and run it.”
I cannot say I am proud of everything I’ve done in my life. I may have treated a woman or two more poorly than I would have wanted them to treat me. On the other hand, I think I deserve a big ol’ pile of gentleman points for obscuring the identity of the woman in this story.
I always say that 98% of what I write here at JimandJamie.com is 99% true. So in keeping with that philosophy I feel compelled to make some corrections:
In Part One of this story I said the owner of the ritzy Fijian resort told me I could bring along my girlfriend in order to fully experience the romance of the island. That is not exactly true.
Rather than telling me I could bring a companion, he told me I was required to bring one. In order to enhance its romantic reputation, this resort had a very strict ”couples only” policy. They didn’t want any lone wolves interfering with any of the it’s romantic couples. Apparently this had been a problem before the rule was implemented.
I also referred to the woman I took to Fiji as ”my girlfriend,” but a professional fact checker might take issue with that description. Please allow me to explain.
I had broken up with my longtime girlfriend just before this Fijian project came along. We were still on good terms and I almost weakened and asked her to join me in Fiji, but I knew that would take me back into territory I no longer wanted to explore.
So I called another ex-girlfriend and asked if she’d like to accompany me. “Terrible timing,” she said. ”I’d love to go, but I just started a new job last week. I can’t ask for a week off my second week on the job.”
I began thumbing through my Rolodex in search of someone else I could take, someone I might actually want to spend a week with. I quickly flipped through all the cards from ”A” to ”F” without my interest being piqued. But I was stopped by one of the first names in the ”G” section. ”Hmmmm,” I said to myself. “She is a definite possibility.” I had never dated this woman but I recalled some heavy-duty flirting, a suggestively-raised eyebrow, and some clever but clearly-interpreted double entendres delivered while we were both dating other people.
I gave her a call and she seemed happy to hear from me. We went out that night but what she considered a date, I considered an audition. We spent a couple hours lingering over dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant. She was just as gorgeous as I remembered. She made me laugh. She had a great smile. She was blonde, which was out of my normal wheelhouse. ”Yeah,” I decided, “This could work.”
“Want to go to Fiji?” I asked over dessert.
“Yeah, right,” she said sarcastically.
“No, seriously.” I explained the situation.
“Duh,” she said. ”Of course I’d like to go.”
We spent the next week getting to know each other better. She may not have been the woman of my dreams, but she was certainly everything a man could hope for on a romantic week in Fiji. In the words of noted 20th century philosopher Stephen Stills, ”If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”
We had a great time at the resort. What was not to love? Beach front villa, private beach, romantic dinners catered for just the two of us, blah blah blah.
That being said, other than leaving our beachfront villa for meals, we spent an inordinate amount of time indoors. If you know what I mean.
Think of it as coitus non-interruptus. We banged. We boffed. We boinked. We shtupped. We shagged. We shredded the sheets and shattered the shutters and rattled the rafters. We introduced the monkey to the organ grinder. We baked the potato and churned the butter. We parallel parked. We did paradise push-ups. We did the no pants dance, the horizontal hula, and the pokie pokie polka. It sounded like an exorcism gone wrong, like the Bronx Zoo at feeding time. She may have screamed, “Wakka wakka,” and I may have answered, ”Boom chick a wow wow.”
We did some things I’d only read about and some other things I had previously believed to be anatomically impossible. There were moments when I thought she was trying to kill me. She was truly the perfect woman for a week in paradise.
And that was just the first four days. Then I got ciguatera poisoning and all that extracurricular activity came to a screeching halt. For all I know I may have been even more susceptible to the poison because I was so damn exhausted.
Let’s keep one thing in mind: I thought all the ground rules were clear upfront. This was just a fling. A little no-strings-attached fun. Nothing more. Of course, I realized that everything about this situation was unusual because instead of taking months to develop, our entire relationship had been compressed into seven days pre-Fiji followed by another seven days and nights together at the resort. But still, I thought the ground rules were clear.
One afternoon all the island’s male guests planted lawn chairs in a semi-circle on the beach, ankle deep in the incoming tide. One of the other guys reached out to shake my hand and said, ”Congratulations.”
I weakly extended my hand back in his direction. ”For what?” I asked.
“Your girlfriend told my wife that you’re getting engaged when you get home.”
I yanked my hand back so fast I almost dislocated my shoulder. I was already physically drained by the ciguatera and this unexpected piece of information damn near gave me a stroke. I wasn’t even thinking of her as a future girlfriend, yet she had already targeted me as her future husband.
There are those rare moments in each of our lives when we achieve clarity, when the sun and the moon and the planets align and when the answers to questions that were once beyond our comprehension suddenly pop into focus. That’s exactly what this moment was for me. It was 5:42 pm Fiji Standard Time and my feet were being gently caressed by a warm tropical tide when I learned a very important lesson in life, one that’s just as true where you live as it is on isolated, idyllic islands in the Pacific. It’s as universal as e equals mc squared. It’s cosmically ubiquitous and all-encompassing, an immutable law of nature.
So please hear my words and heed them. Write them down and commit them to memory. Let the following fifteen syllables be the golden rule that guides you through life:
Not all the dangerous barracudas live out on the reef.
COMING NEXT WEEK: PART THREE