Vacation, All I Never Wanted
The other milestone of spring of course, is the tried and true staple, spring break. When you're little, spring break means getting the chance to play all day with no school. Then you get a little bit older and go to college. There you usually go away for spring break. You still get to play all day just like you did when you were little, but your idea of play has no doubtedly, changed a bit over the years.
My college experience was no exception. When I was a sophomore, a few friends and I decided to spend our college spring break in the sunny city of Cancun, Mexico. I hadn't been to all that many places in my life, so the idea of getting away, period was exciting. Plus in Cancun it was cool because you need not legally be 21 in order to drink, and thus why it is such a hot spot for horny spring breakers.
Leave it to me to be the only person, ever to manage to not have fun on their spring break vacation.
Agreeing to go on the trip was my first mistake. I mean I don't know what I was thinking. I'm not a crazy girl. I have a lot more fun watching the same movie 10 times than hooking up with 10 different guys. Plus, I had seen enough of MTV's Spring Break specials to know what I was in for. It wasn't like I hadn't been warned.
It was like I had blinders on. I went in thinking that maybe I needed to cut loose. The fact that I never cut loose in the state of NJ simply did not occur to me. They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right? Why not add Mexico to the list?
I knew I was out of my element the second we arrived. I was with three other girls, two were old friends, one was a college friend of theirs. We went on one of those spring break college deals where all of your meals and drinks are included in the reasonable flat fee. By the way, there's a reason it's so reasonable and that reason is because it's crap.
The first sign things were awry was when we boarded what I now refer to as "the party bus" to the hotel. It was special transportation, provided by the same quality company that came up with the packages to begin with. As soon as you got on the bus you were handed a beer. In fact, I think the driver had one, too. In Mexico, all rules are thrown out the window. There was this guy who was all in your face, sloshing beer around about how much of a kick ass time you were going to have. He wasn't suggesting it or even anticipating it, he was demanding it. You will have fun here. After all, for many burnt out spring breakers this getaway from parents, rules and exams is like they've died and gone to a hedonistic heaven.
Not good ol' Janet. No, I looked around and had thoughts like, Oh my God, there is entirely too much alcohol on this bus. What if we crash? and I want my mommy.
Upon arrival at the hotel, things went from bad to worse. Like I said, I was with three other girls, none of which were hardcore partiers. However compared to me even they looked like they were living lives of debauchery.
One thing I quickly learned was what a spring break vacation to Cancun was not. A spring break vacation to Cancun is not full of site seeing, unless you count miscellaneous body parts as sites to be seen. It's also not full of down time and bonding. Bondage? Perhaps, but bonding, not so much.
What a spring break in Cancun is full of is drinking and lots of it. You want to work on your tan, you're drinking. You want to eat lunch, you're drinking. You're getting ready to go out and drink for the night and...you're drinking.
One night, early in the trip, we went to this one club. My friends and I all started drinking at the same time, but they surpassed me very quickly while I held on to sobriety for dear life. Call me crazy, but I didn't like the idea of being out of control in a foreign country with no one to look out for me. Even back when I was 19 and most girls aren't thinking about those types of things, I was. It's the curse of being a goodie goodie.
My friends didn't have the same concerns. They were out to have fun, and so they did. As the night progressed, everyone's sobriety regressed. This one guy, who seemed nice enough, started hitting on me. At first he seemed like a decent guy, making conversation with the wallflower whose friends were bumping and grinding out on the dance floor. He even managed to get me out there, which is a feat that is not easy to do. But as soon as I was out there, I knew I was out of my element.
Let's get one thing straight. Baby got it right in Dirty Dancing. This is my dance space. That's your dance space. Say what you will, but I'm not into PBAG...public bumping and grinding. Keep the closeness to the confines of your own home, or at least someone you've known for more than 10 minutes, k?
So before I knew it, Mr. Nice Guy turned into Mr. Gotta Get Me Some Guy right before my eyes. He obviously thought I was drunk, too. He thought wrong. After a few gropes were intercepted, he inevitably gave up. This is when most guys would go slinking back to their drinks while staking out new prey. This kid did one of those things. He didn't get another drink, but he did get another girl, the friend that was with me.
Now silly me assumed my friend, the level headed girl she was, would see through his drunken advances and, not knowing whether or not I liked him, would brush him off. But she didn't. I turned around and they are dancing and kissing, right there on the dance floor. I was shocked. It was all like some Jerry Springer episode gone bad.
Since my friend was not the type of girl to love 'em and leave 'em and apparently neither was he, they hung out most of the trip. I might have been ass backwards in my approach but so were they. I mean who turns a drunken spring break hook up into a five day relationship? By the end of the week the boy admitted he had a girlfriend back home. This is around the same time my friend regretted her drunken mistakes just as I had regretted going on the trip to begin with.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, I was dumbfounded by all the dumb people I was finding. None of my friends were sticking together. Everyone was hooking up with everyone else. It was all sort've like some episode of The OC where they are partying at the beach, just before things get really, really bad.
I was tired, I was cranky and I wanted to go home, otherwise known as the hotel. So I found my one friend who was the least obliterated of the three and she was concerned about finding her sister, the girl who had hooked up. So neive, sober girl goes up to the bar to ask the bouncer and the bartender for help.
Let me just say this. If you ever, in a bar full of drunk spring breakers and you ask a native for help, YOU are the crazy one. These men looked me up and down and not in a concerned way if you know what I'm saying. Then they started saying "no habla Englais" when it was clear they understood what I was saying. They understood, only they didn't care. And we wonder why people like John Stossel have so many stories to report.
That night I was so excited that all of us got home safely, though not at the same time. I learned a hard lesson. You cannot make someone do what they don't want to. I didn't want my friends and I to be seperated that night. I didn't like the feeling, but I couldn't do anything about what they did. So instead, the stubborn girl I was, decided the only person I could be responsible for was myself.
When I said I never did anything crazy during spring break I only half lied. What I did next most would call the craziest thing of all. I stayed at the hotel the rest of the nights they went out. We hung out during the day, I lounged by the pool and we ate dinner together. Then we went our seperate ways. I didn't like the scene, but I also didn't want to be a downer. I felt if I continued to go out they would have been miserable and I would have been miserable. The only solution I could come up with was to not go out with them at all. It was weird and hard to explain, even now, but it worked. Sometimes one of these things is just not like the others.
After I made my decision, I was happier. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse they did. When it was time to leave I realized I could not find my passport. Suddenly, my worst fears had come true, I was going to be stuck in spring break hell forever, destined to apply for citizenship and co-host shows like Spring Break Karaoke for the rest of my life.
I don't remember all the details, but at the airport that same friend fought for me and I ultimately was accepted back into the country. It was then that I saw another new side of her, the kickass and take names side. I liked this side.
All stories aside, we left the trip with our friendships still intact. We don't talk much anymore about that time, but I think we all learned a lot each in our own ways.
My friends learned not to go on spring break ever again with me. I learned that MTV's spring break specials are much more real than their show, The Real World has ever been, ever.