Never have your holiday in the home of a newly married couple, especially in Mexico where houses are not of necessity soundproof.
Pete’s old pal Dane, retired Air Canada pilot living in Cabo San Lucas, recently remarried and was eager to share his newfound happiness with his friend.
His first wife, after 26 years of married bliss, left him for an Australian surfer she met on the beach soon after they’d taken up residence in their retirement home in Cabo.
Dane was devastated, and in attempting to comfort his buddy, and go fishing on Dane’s boat, Pete’d gone to stay with him several times over the dreadful years of Dane’s singledom.
I had never met the man, though I’d fielded many a sad and late night phone call from him, and I wasn’t too terribly keen on the idea of staying with him even though he was now much more cheerful, but Pete really wanted to go and I wanted to have Christmas with sand instead of snow, so….
The new wife, Giselle, was a surprise. I was expecting someone younger, going along with conventional wisdom on these matters, but she is a couple of years older than Dane’s 65, though you’d never guess it. She is very fit, very good-looking and very vivacious.
The first night we sat down to bond over some tequila and fantastic food made by Giselle, who is, it turns out, a chef. It also turns out she is a chef who knows many other chefs, including Pete’s ex-wife, who chefs in New York City. It’s a small world after all.
Our room was comfortable and the house is right on the beach; things were looking good.
The problem was revealed shortly after bedtime. Newlyweds have sex, even when they are in their 60s. These newlyweds had noisy sex; not only were there yelps, groans and moans, but there were sounds of furniture being moved, and some thumps suggested acrobatics were involved.
We laughed quietly, and were glad for them, but after three hours of repetitive sounds, we were earnestly wishing them a little less joy.
At breakfast, our hosts were smiling and refreshed. Pete and I, somewhat less so, were comforted by the sun shining on sparkling water and the delicious food prepared by Giselle.
Then the men went fishing and the women went shopping. I soon learned that the only shopping that interested my hostess was the buying of food. She was a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and the pursuit of the ideal melon alone took an hour.
I peered longingly into shop windows, seeing interiors full of lovely things and craving the coolness that beckoned. Our shopping was taking place mostly outdoors at food stalls and unlike the new Mrs. Dane, I’d not thought to wear a hat.
Several hours later, I was tired, thirsty, hungry and above all, hot, but Giselle assured me the many attractive cafes in Cabo were a waste of time; she would make our lunch when we got back to the house.
Did I mention we’d walked into town?
We had so many bags and bundles I was confident we would be taking a taxi home. In the interest of being a good guest, and knowing I’d be in need of some sort of pain killer from all this exercise, I’d added several bottles of liquid refreshment.
It was not to be. Giselle likes her own cooking and she doesn’t like the notion of dieting; in order to have the best of both worlds, she is an indefatigable walker. We walked back to the house, Giselle briskly, in spite of the load she was carrying, me limping, hunched and sweaty with my burden of clinking bottles, wishing for a donkey.
Fortunately, Giselle doesn’t like anyone helping her in the kitchen. I was able to enjoy a cool shower and don fresh clothing before being called to a beautifully set table out on the lanai. I am so easily made glad; an hour of good food and drink and I was lolling in my chair thinking how clever I was to have married a man with such delightful friends.
After lunch, immediately after lunch, Giselle had a nap. I’d offered to clean up and she’d accepted, promptly. It took me till the guys came home to clean up; chefs, it would appear, make a hell of a mess in the creation of a meal, even a light lunch.
I was in bed before the sun set, forgoing dinner. I slept till Pete joined me—just in time for Dane and Giselle to express their love.
It was even less amusing on the second night, and went on longer; now we were not only sleepless, we were conscious of a possible inadequacy in our own marriage—we were at least 10 years younger than these two. Just before dawn, we’d decided either they were aliens demonstrating a physicality denied to earthlings or what we were hearing was a favourite recording; no human being could possibly be this enamoured of sex—could they? We knew Dane’s bachelor years had been spent in deep mourning, and Giselle had been single, devoted to her career. Had neither of them had sex in all that time? Had either of them ever had sex before getting together? Dane’s first marriage was childless. These conjectures entertained us through the night.
Thus went our holiday. Pete fished every day, all day; he fished more than he wanted to fish. He would leave each morning, shooting me a look of apology and soon, desperation. He got dreadfully sunburned.
I walked, carried groceries, and cleaned up the kitchen. In seven days I ate dinner only twice, being too exhausted by the end of my day with Giselle to sit upright and chew. I lost eight pounds, and grew pale as a vampire victim. I could tell my hosts thought I was a poor thing, and felt bad for Pete being wed to a woman of little energy and less conversation.
Each night, every night, we listened to our hosts disport themselves in what surely must have been an unseemly fashion. Neither of us became inured; the sounds were too varied and, often, puzzling.
We were supposed to stay with them for 10 days but managed to escape by the old ruse of a dying mother. We played “rock, paper, scissors” to see whose mother had to go, the game providing us with the only mutual laughter we enjoyed in a week. Pete lost.
Christmas was spent in Acapulco, in a large and grand hotel. Our room was mercifully blissfully, quiet. Not once in our three days there did we turn on the TV or radio; our ears positively hummed with the silence. We slept a lot, and ate hamburgers and fish and chips.
Christmas Eve we opened gifts and there was the book from you, dear Uma: Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice To All Creation.
Heather Bennett is a writer who
lives in Watson Lake.