Today is my husband’s birthday!!! But not just any birthday- his 30th! So in celebration of his royal awesomeness, I would like to share a funny story about him from our early twenties. Though this gesture will likely leave him withering in embarrassment (he’s very shy), he’ll get over it. Aren't I just the best wife ever? I mean, it’s not like I’m going to write about the time he flew off a full speed treadmill while showcasing his 4 minute mile during peak gym hours or something...happy birthday honey!
Though you can't tell by looking at him, Junior (my husband) is a badass. At first you think he's just some nice, friendly guy and a little bit on the quiet side, but then you get to know him and you're like, "HAHA! I can't believe he went there." And what Junior says, he means. What he says he'll do, he will (unless he says he'll be there at 5pm, then add an hour). So years ago, on our last night in Mexico, where we were vacationing with his family, Junior suggested we light fireworks on the beach in front of the hotel. I was reckless, young, and childless, so naturally, I complied. Within thirty minutes we had crazy intense (but legal) fireworks in a backpack. It took no real effort to locate Disneyland-esque explosives because they're pretty much everywhere. Anything goes in Mexico, remember that.
We got to the beach and though it may appear that I’d be down for whatever, I'm really not. The thought of losing my thumb in a firework-gone-wrong-incident terrifies me. So I stood a safe distance plus fifty extra feet from my pyromaniac better-half. The beach was empty, dark, and desolate. I was eagerly waiting for the show to start when I noticed a dark figure atop a black horse riding towards us. Junior was kneeled down in the sand and too occupied with explosives to even notice, and had no reaction as the horse rider passed him and headed towards me. I got a bad vibe immediately. I felt even stranger as the rider approached but he didn’t stop; he simply circled me before heading back to Junior.
The rest of the night plays like a movie: I watched the black horse come up behind Junior, swoop down, grab the backpack, and ride away. Junior launched up and began chasing after the horse. (The four minute mile is REAL!) I was too far away to know what was going on (does the guy have a gun? Is he going to kill us? What's my stupid husband doing chasing after criminals in a foreign country on a beach!?) but I saw them both stop, Junior reach into his pocket, then hand something to the guy who instantly rode away. Junior ran back,"He stole the bag! Our car keys were in there! We have to find a cop!"
Wait, what? I could hardly understand, what happened back there? WHY DID YOU CHASE HIM?! Turns out Junior wanted his backpack real bad and when the horse stopped, the guy said he'd give it back in exchange for cash. So Junior emptied his pocket, handed it over, only for the guy to ride away with both the money and the bag. LOL, only in Mexico does one trust and negotiate with a criminal.
I wanted to get off the beach ASAP and Junior wanted to find a cop equally as quick when suddenly, lookie lookie, a cop happened to be on the same beach as us. I didn't trust her. "JUNIOR, she could be working with him!" Because you know, cops in Mexico are corrupt. Oh you didn't know? Spoiler alert. Junior was willing to risk it because hello, our car keys were in that bag! Without them we would need to go all the way back home by some other means, get the spare key and return to Mexico.
The cop took us off the beach and in some random patrol car. I didn't understand a word anyone was saying, Junior was running on adrenaline and wasn't translating for me and I was too scared to ask. I sat in the back of the cop car until we parked on some random street that I didn't recognize... literally parked on a busy street like it was normal and there weren't cars trying to drive by. I got out and there was another cop car and an officer with a girl. The girl ran up to me, shouting, screaming, yelling in my face. All kinds of crazy spanish words that I did understand. "Can someone please tell her that I don't know what she's talking about and that she needs to back off NOW?" I said to everyone. "She says he was with her the whole time and it's not him and you better not put him in jail." Apparently the girl's boyfriend was in the back of the other cop car waiting to be identified by Junior.
Come on! The guy was wearing a black hoodie while riding on a black horse in the black of the night. Ain't nobody saw him! Seriously- the guy in the car didn't have our backpack so we let the muchacha go home with her hombre and got back in the car. Next thing I know I was in some gross, run down, cement building that looked abandoned. But it wasn't, it was the police station and I think we filed a report but all that really means is we wrote down our name and phone number on a piece of paper and were sent on our way.
Junior was a mess. He wouldn't sleep and he paced all night while worrying about the car keys. He came up with all kinds of theories, even suggesting that maybe the keys weren't in the bag, maybe they were on the sand but he didn't notice or think of it in the heat of his high speed chase. He really was fast!) Still, Junior desperately wanted to drive his mom's car back home, get the spare and return; but it was 3am and his mom said no way, get rest and deal with it mañana. (God I love that woman!) So we did.
The next morning my father-in-law walked into our room announcing that some homeless man on the beach claims he found a set of keys and for $100, he'd give 'em back. Junior immediately went to the meet him and yes, he did find keys. And you know what he did with them? Buried them in the sand. Junior offered $40 bucks for their safe return and the man pointed to an area. "No, if you want the money then you better dig!" And he did. He kicked sand around with his foot, bent down, picked 'em up, and handed them over to Junior. OUR KEYS! GLORY GLORY!
And that's my husband for ya. He's the guy who will run his ass off after a ridiculously fast horse in a foreign country so he can negotiate with a criminal. No weapons, all guts. And when that doesn't pan out, he's the guy that will scramble to solve a problem and lose sleep over an impending crisis. And as soon as a little light begins revealing a fantastic, perfect case scenario, way too goo to be true solution...he's the guy that will lowball the homeless man extorting him so that he can save sixty-bucks. Yup, my husband's a badass! And I love him. P.S. I have yet to return to Mexico.
Happy 30th birthday honey!