Rewind… Monday afternoon
Before vacation, I watched an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County. Eddie proposed to Tamara from a bungalow perched over Tahitian sapphire waters. I recalled the scene after we were escorted to our water villa at Komandoo Maldives Island Resort. The five hundred foot walk from Reception to the dock took at least ten minutes.
“Excuse me,” a stranger said to the resort employee as we walked. “Would you please ask someone to open Mantaray 9? We forgot our key.”
“No problem,” he answered, pulled out his cell phone to relay the request to Reception. As we approached the dock, he pointed at a phone hung on the first piling of a very long dock. “If you get locked out, please feel free to use the phone so you don’t have to walk all the way to reception.” I was getting a clear unspoken message. It wasn’t if we got locked out….it was when would we lock ourselves out?
From his pocket, he pulled a key hanging from a carved wooden dolphin and opened the front door. The vibrant blue ocean greeted us beyond the glass wall separating us from the porch. “Before I leave, I will show you how to set the doors to remain unlocked.” My husband and I paid attention and filed the information.
Fast Forward…. Tuesday morning, 7:30 a.m.
In place of an alarm clock, my hubby fumbled around the coffee maker. “Remember, we have to be at the dive boat by 8:45 and make that walk to breakfast,” he said, as he shut the door to the deck. I watched him settle into the chair facing the turquoise horizon wearing only plaid boxers. In response, I snuggled into the soft warm bedding. The a/c diverted my attention from the temperature difference between the glass wall and porch. But, time was ticking and I slid out of the bed to join hubby on the porch.
Before I clicked the door shut, I rattled the handle to be sure the lock had been disarmed. It jiggled freely, so I let it go. Before I could sit, I was conscious of the flannel ninja pajama pants and long sleeve hoodie.
“Good morning, dear,” hubby said, sipping the last of his first cup of coffee. “Do you want me to make you a cup of coffee?”
I shook my head no and stared into the clear blue ocean. “I’ll wait till we marathon to the restaurant,” I said, pushing the long sleeves to my elbows.
“I think I’ll have one more,” he said and attempted to go back into our room. The latch refused him access to our frigid room. He rattled it a little harder. “Oh, no!”
We stared at each other. “But, the handle moved when I tested it. Didn’t you disarm it when you came out first?” I asked.
“The button must be in the wrong position,” he said. He started pacing the deck clad only in his boxers fretting about how we were going to get back into the room and accelerated to ranting about the dive boat departure. If he wasn’t so upset, I would have laughed at the crazy man in the boxers probably more worried about missing breakfast. My eyes wandered across the deck to my dive booties sitting beside my fins and mask. It dawned on me that one of our fellow traveler couples slept in the bungalow next door.
I’d snorkeled off the porch the afternoon before—so I knew it was a shallow stroll to the next door neighbors. Before he stroked out, I pulled my flannel ninja pjs to my thighs, zipped up my booties and held my hand up to his next complaint. “Let’s make this something fun. If I can’t wake up the neighbors, I’ll walk to the dock ladder. Remember, there’s a phone for requesting to be unlocked?” He stared at my stalking costume. “I can always disguise myself with the hoodie,” I said, raising my eyebrows.
Before he objected, I headed down our ladder and entered the softly slapping tidal water. Even through my 5 mm neoprene booties I suspected it was a cold walk. I found a new appreciation for flannel pjs in the Maldives. Ignoring the cold water at my ankles, I fully entered and found the tide was apparently a lot higher than the day before. It was up to my bra line and I was soaked.
As I lost sight of my boxer clad hubby, I trespassed and violated the privacy of my friends’ porch. Dripping, I shielded my eyes from peering into their bedroom in the event someone didn’t sleep in flannel ninja pjs and a long sleeve hoodie. I took a breath and knocked on the glass door hoping they were also up and getting ready to head off to breakfast and diving. Or… shit… maybe they already left and I had to trek all the way to the dock ladder to make the walk of wet-flannel-pj-shame telephone call.
Glancing at the door, I saw a streak of clothe-less flesh. There were pros and cons to the visual. I didn’t have to make the long wet walk but I’d been educated in my dive buddies’ sleeping preferences. Before, I could alter my presence on the porch, he pops open the door wearing a loin cloth represented by a bath towel. His puzzled face asked the question what the hell are you doing but with gentle concern.
“John, we’re locked out of our room and on the back porch,” I informed him. I must’ve been a ridiculous sight on the other side of the door as well.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked. I continued to look him in the eyes.
“Can you call the front desk and ask them to send someone to our room to unlock it?” I asked. He shook his head and disappeared from my puddled spot on his porch. As I retreated back to the water and our porch ladder, I grinned with an idea for a future blog.
My hubby waited at the top of the ladder, boxers flapping in the breeze. “Well?” he asked.
“They’re calling the front desk,” I said. “It’ll be at least ten minutes… throw me my mask and fins!” When life throws you a lemon in the Maldives, snorkel in your flannel ninja pjs and hoodie. So I did!