It had been about a week before Kelly called with our 2nd training trip. We were to fly to the Dominican Republic and drop clients off for the weekend, but instead of going all the way back, they booked us into an all-inclusive hotel in order to wait it out. Really? This was my job, I couldn’t believe it, first Vin Diesel and now this! What was even better was that Kelly and I were like best friends right from the start, she was super fun to be around and I could tell she liked me too. After settling into our rooms, the 2 pilots, Kelly and I all met up for dinner and then hit the bar after. The next day we were lounging by the biggest pool I had ever seen and to top it off, it had a swim up bar. If you’ve never experienced one of these, you are missing out.
Just to make this perfectly clear, what I did next was not smart, but if you remember from my previous stories, I was new to smoking bud, well; new as in I didn’t start when I was 13 like most people I knew, I was 27. When I lived in Tampa there were a group of people I hung with that liked to party so for 2 years I indulged a bit on the dark side. It was a running joke that I had never even tried it until my late twenties and it wasn’t something that I did every day.
Well on that particular day, at the swim up bar there was a rather large man sitting at one of the poolside bar stools with a strange-looking cigarette in his hand. He noticed me staring so he asked if I wanted a hit? ‘HERE, I exclaimed?’ ‘Sure, why not, he answered?’ ‘Because it’s illegal!!!’ As I said this, the bartender pulled out a lighter and fired it up. Well I figured if the staff was ok with it, then why not? So I took a couple of hits, thanked him and just as I went to excuse myself, Kelly swam up right up behind me.
There was no doubt in my head that I was busted! Even if she didn’t see me smoke it, I was sure to smell like it. So thinking quickly, I dropped down under the water to wash out my mouth out and then popped up like nothing happened. We chilled by the pool for a bit chatting away and thank goodness she was in the mood to talk because that stuff made me paranoid so speaking was not a good idea. To my knowledge, she never knew but there was a big lesson to be learned that day, which I obviously didn’t grasp because this won’t be the last time you read about me doing something dumb abroad.
I passed with flying colors and was made the number 1 Attendant to call if Kelly wasn’t available. Apparently flight attendants were fired a lot at that company, often without any type of explanation and Kelly was the always the one who had to deliver the bad news. She made it clear that I was her best girl so far and warned me that one little screw up could get me canned but she would do whatever she could to protect me.
My new job was going great but I was still lonely, Sue had moved back to Seattle and other than having dinner with the pilots on the road, I was by myself, desperate to make some friends. The few times that I was brave enough to go out alone, I met some pretty awful, materialistic women. A friend of mine from High School back in Indiana happen to live a few miles away so he offered up his wife to hang with, which was great because we got along right away, but they had a young son, so she wasn’t always available.
Since spring break was big in south Florida so I thought it would be fun to fly my 13-year-old niece in. I would finally have some company and it would be a great experience. A few days before her arrival I was outside washing my car, pulling weeds and getting the house ready when I saw a good-looking guy across the street throwing out his garbage. So over I went to introduce myself. His name was Kevin and he was kind of a good ole boy, my age and super sweet. He had 4 wheelers in his living room, tools all over his coffee table, hunting rifles hanging on the wall and a refrigerator full of beer, perfect. We clicked right away so he invited me to have dinner with him at his neighbors across the canal. I was so excited to meet everyone and they were the coolest people, all super nice to me and they loved to BBQ. Even better, they had kids my niece’s age which meant she would have people to play with.
It was now time to meet some boys so I headed out by myself to an expensive restaurant with a great bar. Apparently this was the spot, especially if your looking for handsome, successful men. Keep in mind I was from Indiana, we didn’t really have rich men running around, even in Tampa that wasn’t common or at least I wasn’t hanging out at the right places, but in Fort Lauderdale, they were everywhere!
There I was, sitting alone at the bar when handsome Dan sat down. He was tall with dark hair and tanned skin, very fit, with a pressed Oxford on, nice slacks and some pretty fancy looking shoes. I had learned from the gold diggers that I was supposed to pay attention to things like expensive watches and what kind of car they drove. He checked off all the boxes but this one guy was different, sweet. Dan spoke very softly as we sat for hours getting to know each other while drinking wine and heavily flirting. At the end of the night, he gave me the sweetest kiss, grabbed my number and said he would be in touch. The butterflies in my stomach were working overtime that night but it was hard to tell if it was him I liked or just the attention, either way, I wanted to see him again.
He contacted me first thing the next morning and we ended up spending 4 days in a row together. The way he spent money on dinner and drinks reminded me of one other man I dated briefly back in Tampa, Herbie. We met at work the Thanksgiving before I moved to Lauderdale. Him and his buddies would come in 2 or 3 times a week, sit in my section and order 6 to 8, $125 bottles of champagne a night. There was never any interest on my end other than to make sure my guests had fun but with Herbie, it was different, there was this heat between us. Every time we stood next to one another I felt like I needed to be closer to him and I didn’t understand because he wasn’t my type. Smoked cigarettes, dominated the conversation, acted like he owned the room, was Cuban and at least 15 years older than me but boy did he know how to charm a girl. One night I was let off early with no plans so him and his crew invited me out. We had so much fun, he could salsa dance and was a great dance instructor plus Herbie loved live music, which is one of my favorite things to do. Over the next few dates he kind of grew on me as we proceeded to have a whirlwind, 2 month romance! I’ll tell you what, with out getting too personal, that man and I had some crazy passion!!! It was never about him when we were together which I had really never experienced before…all I’m saying…Top 3!!!
Unfortunately his passion was the only positive because not only did I discover that his money came from being a huge drug lord but he was also super jealous, so I ended it. At this point I had been pretty much single my whole life with a few long term boyriends, but never engaged and no children, which brings me back to Dan…