Jess again. The wedding is a GO! I am absolutely certain it will be wonderful, and almost nothing like we expect. Still, the PLAN is great-- thanks to Sarah. I am now excited not only about the marriage, but also about the wedding! Sarah and I have returned to the U.S. of A. and I have to admit I’m feeling pretty positive about the whole wedding planning trip. However, that may be just the distance talking, because things were touch and go for almost the entire time we were there.
As you may remember from my last entry, Sarah and I had an appointment at noon with Daniella, the
Mexican Whore Wedding Planner. We arrived at the appointed hour and were seated in the classy lobby of the Hotel Riu Palace by one of the uniformed security guards.
The half-dozen or so attendants at the check-in desk immediately engaged in a whispering sidebar about as subtle as a Shakespearean conspiracy scene-- complete with furtive glances in our direction followed by a surreptitious huddle. In due course, we were informed that Daniella would be delayed, as she was in another meeting. I could see the tension begin to set in around Sarah’s jaw-line as she imagined Daniella prancing around the grounds with some other smiling couple in our time-slot. However, the quick thinking security guard saved the moment by procuring two delicious pina coladas. Nice save Raul! And a thanks to you as well, Mr. Marlboro man. I sweat, Sarah glares.
Twenty minutes later the check-in conspirators were forced to admit to themselves that, quite contrary to their hopes, we had not disappeared and would need to be dealt with. Thus, they informed us that Daniella, along with every other manager in the hotel was in a corporate meeting, scheduled to last four more hours. Ouch. I saw Sarah physically flinch as if slapped across the face. To her credit, and my relief, she remained stoic and took the news with the equanimity of a Buddhist monk. (As an aside, I’ve been practicing a little Eckhart Toll Buddhism myself lately, the wedding planner is neither good nor evil-- she just is.) In any case, it looked as though we were about to get torpedoed-- and hard.
My first inclination was to just try and ride this out… hang around until something happened. One look at my betrothed put that notion aside. Action was the thing! So I argued my case to the apparent leader of the check-in conspiracy and was met with the most final words in the Mexican service industry-- “there is nothing I can do, my manager is in a meeting.” So final, so inarguable.
Trying my luck elsewhere, I finally got the concierge, Omar, to concede that I had been treated poorly. He agreed that it would be reasonable for us to be allowed into the hotel to look things over and have a little lunch, but alas, his manager was in a meeting and what could he do?
Fortunately, there is an unwritten rule in Mexico, no one should go beyond the narrowest interpretation of “their job”. So Sarah and I graciously tipped our hypothetical hats to Omar, agreed that he could do nothing about the situation, and went directly into the hotel. Once inside we were free to do as we pleased, because security is assigned to watch the door, bartenders pour drinks, waiters wait and no one inspects the wristbands of those already inside the hotel.
A delicious and luxurious lunch improved our moods and when we returned to the desk some time later-- there stood Daniella. How long had she been there? If we hadn’t returned, would she still be there today? Ahh, Mexico, so mysterious. Daniella took us silently to her cramped and disheveled office where she began, without apology, “What can I do for you? Why are you here?” I heard Sarah’s jaw click, saw her fist tighten, and visualized her flying across the desk to strangle this woman. “To plan our wedding” came the polite answer. Now I was really frightened.
Long story short, Daniella is not up to the task of planning up to three weddings a day. Nor is she a “people person”, nor is she good at solving problems, presenting options, making suggestions, or planning weddings.
In the end; however, we overcame her limitations and I believe we planned a lovely wedding. We even got her to spring for dinner so we could try the food. Well, actually she had to get the Hotel Operations Manager himself to approve such an extravagant expense (leaving us alone in her office for 20 minutes by the way) but I’m glad we got to eat there. The food is really great and that is one of the reasons I am looking forward to returning. (The other reason of course is to marry my true love.)
I won’t spill the beans about all the wedding details, but let’s just say that I am more than a little excited for the wedding. I think everyone who comes will have a wonderful, tropical time and I think our marriage will get the beautiful, intimate, start that Sarah and I have been hoping for.
One last thing, this planning trip, this wedding and this marriage would be nothing without the daily efforts of my betrothed. I love her and am deeply in her debt.