Hello again from the Big Blue!
Is there anything more romantic than beef tenderloin? No. Valentines Day arrived and my sweetie pie pulled out all the stops with a surprise trip to Ultra Fancy Resort Inc’s Valentine dinner.
Sushi, prawns, lamb, oyster shooters, lime sorbet, beef tenderloin, salad, carrots, asparagus, berry compote, crème brule, chocolate cake, and a cosmopolitan (or two) to wash it all down. Hold on, I think I need a moment alone. Three cheers for Husband Extraordinaire who knew exactly how my flavour-deprived tummy wanted to celebrate Sweethearts Day!!!
We took along a Kiwi couple, Susan & David, who stayed with us for ten days, for their honeymoon. “Lovely” does not begin to describe the kind of folks these two are. And on top of being truly super people and guests, Susan is an artist. Prez and I have wanted to spruce up these little huts with some art work since we arrived but the question was how to attract and/or compensate artists? Along comes Susan, who tells Prez she is not only an artist but one who specializes in underwater scenes. Honestly, could fate be kinder? She’d brought a small selection of paints and volunteered to paint up a mural for us if we could find some more paint and brushes.
Oh wait, we live on Aitutaki. Problem. It took some doing…quite a bit of doing, actually…but we managed to round up enough colours for what she needed. And here’s the final result…
Amazing, huh? We are nearly wetting ourselves with joy. Prez, inspired by our first donation of talent, is bursting with ideas for prettifying the other huts.
But back to our fancy dinner…
So there we were, the four of us, having a few drinks, sharing a few laughs, and slowly we began to notice our fellow diners. We began to notice we were the only ones laughing, the only ones without long, straight poles up our bums. And this got me to wondering about money and the way it changes people.
There are rich people, and there are people with money. Now, people with money may like having money but they also appreciate the non-monetary aspects of life as well. To a person with money, it doesn’t matter whether the meal costs ten dollars or ten thousand dollars, what matters is the flavour. Rich people, on the other hand, value their cash not only because of the material goods it can buy but also for the regard, esteem, and even envy they believe it inspires. A rich person will always choose the more expensive meal because they need to be seen eating the expensive meal.
More than once, we have had people with money, who are staying at one of the ultra-luxe resorts, choose to come out and hang with us at Perfect Beach Resort. They sprawl happily on our second (or third) hand couches, eat homemade meals off of mismatched plates, and laugh about the army of hermit crabs littering the grounds. I’m sure they sleep well enough in their air-conditioned rooms and king-sized beds, but they come here for a different kind of relaxation.
Though I’m sure I should aspire to be someone who can afford to stay at Ultra Fancy Resort Inc, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the rich people I saw there. Every bite I took of my meal was heaven on a fork, I laughed loud and often, I clapped for the musicians who played non-stop for nearly two hours, (we were the only table that clapped for them), and I was thankful for each second I was privileged to spend with two fun people and the love of my life. When I looked across the room at the stoic faces, sedately masticating a meal I’m sure they considered just average, in their designer resort wear and jewelry, I thought, you’re living better than ninety percent of the planet, would it kill you to smile??!
The entire resort, magnificent as it is, was otherworldly to me. Prez and I walked around the grounds, commenting how we felt as if we were no longer on Aitutaki. The pool was stunning but generic. The tiles and chrome of the washrooms could have been pulled from Las Vegas or Los Cabos or anywhere. This place, like so many others of its ilk, has a serious personality deficiency. None of their guests will ever go home with a story of how they painted a mural on the side of their hut, or how they caught a tuna then brought it back and helped clean and prepare it for dinner.
When we returned to our little hole-in-the-beach, a magical transformation had occurred. Our rustic little huts, infused with the goodwill and good times they have hosted all these years, had grown to ten times their size, they were covered in gold and jewels, and lines of servants waited to usher guests into extra-large beds and private swimming pools. A ragtime band played in our common area, which was now the size of an Olympic swimming pool, while acrobats and fire dancers jumped and spun and flipped around the room. Tables loaded with every delicacy concocted by every chef in existence were stacked up from one end to the other. And, best of all, Susan’s sea mural had come to life! Turtles swam through the air, butterfly fish nibbled at cream puffs, blue starfish replaced the usual stars in the sky. We danced and sang and ate and laughed until the sun came up.
Of course, not everyone can see the changes to our humble little huts. That gift is reserved for people who understand it takes more than money to be rich.
Well, time to wrap up; I have a wedding to prepare for! (The groom to be is a stuntman from New Zealand, how funny is that?) Yes, I can now add “Wedding Planner” to my resume. I just hope the butterfly fish don’t nibble the icing off the cake before it’s served!!
QUESTION: How rich are you?
Until next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!