Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thirty Years... Thirty Years... In a Row....

It’s been awhile so this is a little long.

Thirty years…..

That’s how long I’ve been married.

Thirty years….

In a row.

We went back to Maui for our 30th wedding anniversary. That’s where we spent our honeymoon. It’s also where we went for our 25th wedding anniversary.

Some people say I like returning to the scene of the crime.

The truth is I like Maui because I don’t have to learn a foreign language.

The problem with vacationing in a foreign country is… well… they’re all…. you know…so foreign.

So we traveled to Maui on Hawaiian Airlines and because it was our 30th anniversary I decided we should travel First Class.

First Class is a different world from the rest of the airplane.

“At this time we’d like to begin our pre boarding.”

See when you’re in First Class you become a “pre boarder”.

“We’d like to invite any families traveling with small screaming children, cripples or anyone pretending to be crippled, anyone needing assistance and of course our First Class guests to pre board at this time.”

All of a sudden I felt a little uncomfortable.

“Come on honey we get to pre board. Limp a little.”


“Pretend you have a fake leg or something so people don’t hate us.”

“Just get on the damn plane.”

We sat down in these nice leather seats with plenty of leg room. My whole butt fit on just my seat. It was awesome.

And then they came.

The people traveling in coach.

No one smiles when you’re boarding a plane for a five hour flight and you’re traveling in coach.

They all glared at me as they walked by.

I don’t know why but I started apologizing.

“Sorry… It’s our 30th anniversary. Two of us. Right here. 30 years. In a row. Hey, 30th anniversary, that’s all. Don’t normally sit up here. My wife lost her leg in the last Nordstrom sale. She was fighting the Taliban for a black sweater.”

“What are you doing?”

“People hate us for sitting here.”

“Yeah... well…Life’s a bitch.”

My wife didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. Especially since our steward “Eddie” looked like a male supermodel.

I think I heard her say “yum” and it wasn’t because of the free macadamia nuts.

Apparently women can be pigs too.

Eddie called us by our first names and stuffed us with food and drinks the entire flight. By the end of the flight I was ready to adopt this guy and believe me so was my wife.

We stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. Kea Lani is a Hawaiian term that means “maxed out credit card".

Everything there is expensive.

The first day we had lunch at the hotel and the bill was $142. I had teriyaki chicken with pineapple, my wife had a chicken salad and the bill was $142.


I thought maybe we had eaten the last chicken on the island.

“This wasn’t someone’s pet was it?”

“Excuse me “Bra”?”

“The chicken. Did it have a name? For $142 I thought maybe it had a name.”

Hawaiians have no sense of humor when it comes to their chickens.

That night we had dinner at a very popular upscale restaurant called Nick’s.

The dinner special was Pacific wild abalone.

The waiter described all the wonderful things the chef was going to do to this abalone and I have to tell you… I felt a quiver.

So I order the abalone and this woman at the table next to ours leans over to me and says, “You ordered the abalone? Don’t you realize it’s an endangered species?”

“Yes… well… maybe if it didn’t taste so good it wouldn’t be endangered. And if it is endangered then I might as well eat the last one before someone else eats it. I think I ate the last chicken for lunch. Now go tell everyone how much you love Obama and leave me alone.”

She didn’t bother me again.

By the way she was eating salmon.

Wild Salmon.

Go figure.


By the way that abalone was so good it was like eating a piece of God. If the Catholic Church could figure out how to make communion wafers taste like abalone every Sunday mass would be a sellout.

Why don’t they make flavored communion wafers? A different flavor every week. If I knew I was getting a pizza flavored wafer you might see me in church for something other than a funeral.

But that’s a different topic.

The abalone wasn’t cheap.

$120 a plate.

I would have paid twice that much.

At that point I was like Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park, “Spared no expense.”

My wife thought I was an idiot.

“You just spent $120 on three bites of snail.”

“It wasn’t a snail it was an abalone and it might have been the last one.”

“Fine, you blow $120 on a snail and I’ll go to the spa.”

I hate when she goes to the spa because she always has something done at the spa that I’m supposed to notice.


“At what?”

“My toes.”

“What about your toes?”

“They match.”

“And this is news because they didn’t match before?”

“The color idiot, the color.”


“The nail polish!!!”

“Oh…. It looks very pretty.”

“That’s it? It looks pretty? You don’t notice anything else?”

(I hate these tests. You would think after 30 years I would get a hall pass but nooooooo…….)

“It’s a nice color babe. What do you want me to say?”

“I can’t believe you didn’t notice that the color matches my bikini.”

“Sweetheart. We’ve been married 30 years. In a row. In 30 years have I ever commented, even once, about the color of anything you’ve had painted on your body?”

“If I had my toes painted bright purple you’d notice.”

“I didn’t think you had a bright purple bikini.”

“Don’t make me hurt you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t say anything about my face.”


“Your face looks nice.”

“That’s it?”

“It matches your bikini.”

“You think my face matches my bikini numb nuts?”

“Um…just the top.”

“Don’t tell me you don’t notice how soft and smooth my face is?”

“Maybe if you were smiling right now it would show more.”

“I had a pedicure, a manicure, a facial and a full body stone massage and you don’t notice anything different?”

“I feel poorer.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“Sorry babe I just don’t get this spa thing.”

“You should get a facial.”

“I’m not gay.”

“Homophobe, they have facials for men.”

“Like I said I’m not….”

“Don’t be ignorant. Men get facials and manicures and pedicures everyday.”

“Not this man.”

So she talks me into getting a facial.

I don’t know why I agreed to it. I think it was because I wanted to know what goes on in that spa.

I was greeted by this smoking hot young Hawaiian babe at the counter. I think her name was Oolala.

“So Mr. Calabrese you’re having the Haleekallee ukalele (whatever) treatment for men.”

“My wife wants me to do something to my face.”

“Is this your first facial?”

“Of course it is!!! Do I look gay?”

“Excuse me?”

“Never mind.”

“Okay Mr. Calabrese so go through the double glass doors and there is a locker room on your right. There’s a warm robe and slippers for you to change into.”

“Why do I have to change into a robe and slippers? It’s my face. My face doesn’t need a robe and slippers.”

“That’s fine Mr. Calabrese you don’t need to change you can stay dressed if you like. It was just to make you feel more comfortable.”

“I think I’m more comfortable with my shorts on.”

“No problem. If you would just follow me to our waiting area your aesthetician will be right with you.”

“My what?”

“You’re aesthetician.”

“I’m just here for my face.”

“Yes sir.”

“Shouldn’t I get a facialist or something?”

“Mr. Calabrese don’t worry, Simone will do your facial for you.”

“Simone? Does she look like a Simone?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know… uh… all Simonee and everything. You know French or something.”

“Just wait here.”

So she leaves me in what looks like a set from an old Star Trek episode. You know the one where Kirk is being seduced by the dancing green alien chick? Exactly like that. There are crystals and chimes and dried fruit and these two huge glass jars with flavored water. But the paper cups to drink the water were these little tiny cups. I had like ten cups of water. Then there was this weird music playing real lightly in the background. It sounded like Yoko Ono was being beaten with a duck.

Simone comes to get me.

Simone does not look like a Simone. She may have looked like a Simone once but that was about fifty years ago.

She takes me to her room.

“Take off your shirt.”

“I don’t wanna take off my shirt.”

“I am going to massage your shoulders and I need you to take off your shirt.”

“What do my shoulders have to do with my face?”

“Take off your shirt!!!”

“Yes ma’am.”

Now I’m a little scared.

The next thing I know I’m covered in hot blankets, I’ve got steam and hot towels all over my head, and this crazy old French broad is squeezing my nose. What the hell?

“So where’d you work before? Abu Ghraib?”

“What? Just relax. Aren’t you relaxed? You will be relaxed. I told you to relax!!!”

“Yes ma’am.”

Now she’s “massaging” my face with what feels like a hammer. It was her fingers.

50 minutes later we’re done.

When I went back out to the front desk to pay smoking hot babe Oolala asks me if I’d like to leave Simone a tip.

“Tell her to clip her nose hair. It’s kind of scary when you’re looking up at it.”

Don’t worry I left her an extra forty bucks. I may be an uptight middle-aged homophobe but I’m not cheap.

I get back to the hotel room and my wife says.

“You’re face looks ten years younger.”

“Of course I look younger!!! I just had the top five layers of my face melted off!!! MY FACE IS RAW!!!!”

“You’re just a big baby.”

“How do you women do this crazy stuff?”

“You need to learn to relax.”

“I know how to relax. Give me a Patron Platinum gimlet on the rocks and a plate of macadamia encrusted sautéed abalone and I’ll relax all damn night. But I can’t relax with an old French woman squeezing my nose!!!! ”

“Great big baby. It’s just a facial.”

“Look at my nose.”

“What about your nose?”

“It matches.”


“Your Bikini. OUCH!!!! Not the face! Not the face!!!”