Did I mention I travel to Maui every year with a former Miss Kansas? It amazes me how, even though Elizabeth is a forty-something mother of 3 strapping teenage boys and a darling daughter, how men of all ages still nearly break their necks to catch a glimpse of her. I notice this as I galumph along at her side, marveling over this freak of nature.
Every year, E loves to capture a picture of the four of us (3 Barbies and me, the Cabbage Patch Kid) which she thoughtfully frames and sends to each of us as a Christmas gift. She’s not shy about grabbing a complete stranger, quickly instructing them in the use of her camera and making them feel privileged to abandon their vacation for a moment and capture our smiles for posterity.
This year, she approached a lovely woman (looked to be somewhere in the toohotmama age bracket) and said, “Would you be kind enough to take a picture of me and my friends?” The lovely woman graciously agreed and was in the middle of her photography course, when her studly husband strutted up and said, “You don’t want HER to take your picture! She’s hopeless with anything electronic!” After this brow-bobbing pronouncement, he grinned rakishly at Elizabeth and then proceeded to wrest the camera from his wife’s—aka: the old gray mare’s—hands. (It was a bit of a struggle. It seems the mare had already taken the photography course and was rather invested in the outcome).
It was during the wrestling match that E’s camera went for a sail. (After all, it was on vacation in Maui, so why not?) Unfortunately, it was a rough landing. Bounced along the cobble stones, tiny pieces of camera like fireworks, bursting forth… Ah, me. The expressions on the mare and the stud’s faces were priceless. Too bad we didn’t have a camera anymore. They stood staring, open-mouthed at the little pile of camera parts, the mare giving the stud the deadly stink-eye, and the stud fairly melting with embarrassment. The mare trotted off to let the stud handle to fallout.
“This is what I get for trying to show off in front of my wife,” the stud lamented, nearly in tears. We all knew he meant, “This is what I get for trying to impress three Barbie dolls and the Cabbage Patch Kid.”
To her credit, E was the picture (forgive the pun) of graciousness. “Oh, it’s okay,” she assured the stud. “This is an old camera.” I happened to know it was 6 months ‘old’.
“Listen,” the stud was thinking fast now, “I have a friend who owns a snorkeling boat and gives lunch cruises! I could get all of you tickets…”
“Oh, no,” E demurred, graciously.
“Now, now, E,” M (the lawyer) and R (the engineer) protested eagerly and held up the mangled camera. “Let the man finish! So, you want to take us on a cruise?” R asked. R mutters to me that she wants to have some fun with this guy. “When?” She bats her eyes. This is especially amusing as R gets violently seasick if she even sits too close to the pool.
“I’d have to ask, of course, but…tomorrow?”
“Hmm…we’re flying out tomorrow. What else have ya got?”
He was squirming now and even confessed he’d probably have nightmares about this for months to come.
Poor guy. We finally let him wiggle off the hook, but that was the second bit of bad luck on this trip. Of course, we were wondering—since these miseries generally happen in threes, my stolen wallet being first—what would be next?
For the answer to that… stay tuned.