Middle Endings

Melissa - Plano, Texas
Entered on November 28, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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The end of a story isn’t always the end of a story. It’s more like the middle, only you don’t know it at the time.

Sixteen years ago, my husband and I boarded a plane for our honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands. As we took our seats and reached for our seatbelts, we discovered that the previous passenger had lost his lunch.

I had always wondered when it was appropriate to push that “assistance” button above your seat on an airplane.

When the stewardess came, she inquired as to how she could help, and before we could speak, her nose detected an answer. One whiff and she knew exactly what had gone down. Or in this case, come up.

Several minutes and quite a bit of commotion later, we were ushered from our seats in economy to our new seats in first class.

My husband and I spent a good part of the rest of the flight debating whether it’s worth finding vomit in order to get better seats.

After we’d been given hot, lemon-scented towels, napped in our wide, comfy seats, and consumed a tad of complimentary wine, we deemed that it was.

Following a second flight on a plane held together by duct tape we discovered that the “quaint accommodations” we had reserved turned out to be a hut filled with thousands of mosquitoes. I did what any new bride would do – I cried. A lot. For a long time. The manager of the resort said he could put us in the Governor’s mansion. “Do you mind having a private chef?” he asked. “No,” I cried, “I think we could adjust.”

We spent our stay debating whether it is worth being eaten alive by mosquitoes in order to have a honeymoon that you normally could not. After many fine meals, swims in our private pool, and walks on the beach, we deemed it was.

The other day, my son bought a new pair of basketball shoes. When he got home from the store, he proudly removed his purchase from the box to show his father. Out came two right shoes. He placed his hands on his head. Edvard Munch’s The Scream came to mind.

After many phone calls, we ended up at a store that could take them back but not necessarily locate a pair with a left and a right. This led us to wonder if there was someone playing basketball in Dallas with two left feet.

My son found a different pair. They cost more. I raised my eyebrows. He offered to use his allowance to pay the difference. My eyebrows went back into place.

When we got to the register, we were told it was an even exchange because of all the trouble the two right shoes had caused. My son raised his eyebrows.

On the way home we debated whether it is worth coming home with two right shoes to get a pair that you like better. We deemed it was.

I believe that there is no such thing as a bad ending. When I think I’ve reached one, I now make it a middle instead.