In 2009, I went on vacation in Mexico, fell in love, and started my enduring hatred of Canadians.
I was returning to Mexico for the third time and did so with three co-workers. Little did my co-workers know that I was about a year away from getting accepted into drinking camp, class of 2010. It was there, on the sandy beaches of the Maya Rivera that I’d fall in love with a girl named Maria.
On my first day at the Riu Resort, I was greeted by a young, brunette selling excursions from a large binder full of laminated trips to heaven. Her name was Maria and I knew this because that is what her name tag said. She was bubbly and charming. At the time, I assumed her endearing ways were because I was so exotically pale. But now, five years later, I think it may have had something to do with selling merchandise.
I rejected her sales pitches like a pretty girl playing hard to get. I had six days left and I was content with my initial encounter. I proceeded to the resort pool and began my week of heavy drinking. All the pools had swim-up bars and sported colorful signs of enchanting cocktails. I counted 28 on the menu.
“Think I can drink all 28?” I said to someone.
I mean, their answer really didn’t matter. I’m a determined person when I want to be so yes, I made the bet with myself. And so it went that day, drinking cocktails made with bananas and other fruits that if consumed in an abusive way, will give you diarrhea. It was noon, I think, and I was happily drunk. I was talking with everyone and even started talking to a little kid which must have seemed suspicious. I believe a parent came by and scooped up the kid. I was harmless of course, and had other things on my mind like Maria. I watched her go to and fro, asking people if they wanted to go snorkling or jet skiing. If showing your love for someone by creepily staring at them for hours is wrong, I didn’t want to be right.
A day or banana cocktail #19 later, I decided to become more direct. I started to talk to Maria from the shallow end and really turned on my Irish charm. I told her that I would go on an excursion only if it was with her. “Anywhere you want, I’ll buy” I said like the CEO I wasn’t. She sheepishly rejected my offer citing that she could not go on such trips with resort clients. So it’s not really a rejection per se, I thought to myself. I somehow worked into the conversation the question if she had a boyfriend.
“Yes, I do.”
“Really?! And what does he do?”
I should tell you that “what does he do?” was not a harmless question. It was full of arrogance as if to say “whatever he does, I’m more respected.”
“He’s the editor at Elle Magazine.”
I spent a few drunk seconds trying to figure out how to disparage such a position. I couldn’t. I told her I was a teacher working with at-risk kids. I knew it wasn’t as sexy as the editor gig, but maybe I could sway her on some moral grounds. She didn’t seem swayed, and judging by my resilient effort to drink everything in Mexico, I think she was probably concerned for my students. The conversation seemed to dwindle and she started back to her job. I think I threatened to drown myself if she didn’t go on an excursion with me. Actually, that’s exactly what I did. I mean, I was jolly when I said it but writing this now really sounds pretty alarming. She laughed again and as she walked further away I yelled “I’m A GODDAMN SAINT” in reference to saving the lives of several at-risk students.
I’d continue yelling this phrase throughout the whole trip as if the cocktails caused Tourette’s. It must have confused a lot of people.
Walking back from the bars the next night, Mike and I came across a palm tree full of wonderful coconuts. You know how there’s always a drunk guy at the train station who says he can jump across the gap? Well, I was that guy but we were in Mexico. So, I told Mike I could scale the thin tree to get a coconut. He doubted such a feat but l proved him wrong.
I did get the coconut. Several, actually. We celebrated our victory by smashing some of them until the Mexican police pulled up. I pulled my best George Costanza “Oh, we can’t do this?” and we were politely told to move on. We did move on, and during this walk I decided I’d win Maria over with a creative gesture of love. We met back at the hotel with our favorite bartender. I walked in and asked him if he could do something for me. He, driven by tips, obliged. I asked him to carve a message into the coconut for Maria. I wasn’t sober.
Looking at these pictures is a sad thing. I think I weighed 115 pounds soaking wet and have the hair cut of a 11 year old whose mom decided to save money and cut it herself. Regardless, my mission was taking shape and I celebrated with a picture. It would be the next day that I’d hand-deliver my artwork to Maria and she’d ditch the Elle Magazine editor for the most interesting man in the world.
The night before the vacation ended, I presented Maria with my engraved coconut. I wanted to do it quickly so the sheer brilliance of the act would hit her as I strutted away. I got a glimpse of her face as she held the token of my love and I think it was the same look Winnie Cooper gave Kevin after he gave her his Jets jacket in the pilot episode. I can’t imagine she’d received such a gift before. I walked away and had a strong feeling that the karma of my endearing act would pay off 100 fold.
Later that night I found myself extremely intoxicated and in bed early. My other co-worker friends went out and left my pathetic ass alone. I may have been dreaming of Maria–I can’t be sure. But I do recall the next thing that happened and it stays with me today. Mike returned from the bar:
“Scott. I need to tell you something.”
“I was at the bar. Remember those Canadian guys we saw? Well I was talking with them and they were telling me how they were hanging out with Maria at her apartment, smoking weed.”
“…and then one of the guys was telling me about how some creepy dude gave her a coconut. Scott, I wanted to kick their asses. They don’t even know you!”
Mike felt bad. He saw my soul fly away, north, towards the bad part of Mexico.
The thoughts flooded my mind. Wait a second…so she CAN hang out with resort people?! Wait…did she hook up with one of these guys? WHAT ABOUT THAT BOYFRIEND? THAT WHORE! So she DIDN’T like the coconut? Wait, was she laughing with those guys about it?
I was cuckolded by a bunch of Canadians and that is why I hate Canadians. Go Bruins.