Many years ago, I bought Husband #1 a Swatch. Somehow, he managed to crack its face. When I brought it back to the store, they asked me if he was a first responder, because they have seen that kind of damage only on watches owned by police or firefighters. After I stopped laughing, I just returned the Swatch and went on my merry way. No more nice things for Husband #1 — the Swatch was replacing his nice weekday watch, which he also managed to break beyond repair.
In any event, this brings us to the JW Marriot in Panama City. It used to be called Trump Tower, but for many reasons, it is no longer called that, though several Uber drivers referred to it as the “old Trump hotel.” The hotel is beautiful, the rooms were beautiful, and the only real first-world problem he had was that you need to take an elevator to get to the elevator to get to the elevator that took you to your floor. (I might have added an extra elevator for entertainment purposes.)
And you needed to use your key to put in your floor to get to your room. As I have mentioned before, Husband #1 and I are not the sharpest tools in the shed, and, needless to say, it took us a while to figure out how to get to the 18th floor successfully. Hey, I just realized that 18 is chai and chai is life — how poetic!
So we decide to go down to the pool, even though we aren’t 100 percent sure that we can figure out where the elevator is and how to get down to the 13th floor. Hey, I just realized that they have a 13th floor. Lots of buildings don’t have 13th floors because of superstition. I guess there is no superstition in Panama.
Okay, so Husband #1 takes off his watch, the watch I bought him when we got engaged, puts it on the desk, puts his yarmulke over the watch (as a security measure, of course) puts on the only baseball hat that fits his large cranium, and down to the pool we go.
Have you fallen asleep yet?
A few hours later, we get back up to the room and see that housekeeping had been there. Another great thing about this hotel were the amenities. Full size toothbrush with a teeny tiny toothpaste, a great comb that fits in a teeny tiny pocketbook, a shaving kit that came with a teeny tiny tube of shaving cream — I was in heaven. Okay, back to the story.
Husband #1 goes to put on his watch and his yarmulke, and he sees that neither item is on the desk any more. The yarmulke is now resting on a bench a few feet away from the desk. When I picked it up, the watch was underneath it but (cue ominous-sounding Law and Order music) the face of the watch is now shattered and the time has stopped. Come on!!!!!!!
Husband #1 did not want me to report it because he did not want anyone to get in trouble, but I am not as nice as he is. I totally see how this could have happened because the housekeeper probably picked up the yarmulke when he/she/they was straightening out the desk and the watch probably fell to floor because he/she/they didn’t know it was hiding there. But then, he/she/they should have let us know that he/she/they accidentally dropped the watch.
So many moral quandaries, so little time.
Do I have an ending for this particular story? No, not yet. But I am now good friends with Kimberly from management and Oscar from loss prevention. Oscar, who sort of resembles the guy from Fauda, took pictures of the marble floor and the desk and the bench and the watch and the yarmulke. He took videos of the marble floor and the desk and the bench and the watch and the yarmulke. It was all very CSI, but without the fingerprints, DNA swabs, or dead bodies.
Free hotel stay? New watch? Who knows? I am just happy that Husband #1 still hadn’t broken this watch for almost 28 years, and now that it is broken, it isn’t his fault.
Tune in for the exciting conclusion and more anecdotes from what seems to have been a very long vacation!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck hopes you are enjoying the break from Strudel and Danish…but just because she hasn’t written about them, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t stopped watching videos of them all day long.