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In Sickness And In Health: The Story Of Montezuma’s Wedding Present

I got married in Mexico on Saturday. It was beautiful: an exotic setting with a small guest list and countless personal touches. On Monday, food poisoning kept us vomiting and shitting across 4000 miles, two airports, two flights, and a very long customs line.

The morning we left our resort, we both ordered the huevos rancheros. It seemed a fitting goodbye to Mexico, and I’d ordered it earlier during our stay. It was good, but I ate sparingly — I was fixated on checking out, tipping various hotel employees, and getting to the airport on time. We managed to do all that, check our two heavy pieces of luggage, and board the first leg of our journey — Puerto Vallarta to Dallas-Forth Worth.

Halfway through the flight, Jenny frowned at me. “Babe, I don’t feel good.” She gestured to her abdomen, a circular motion encompassing everything below the lungs and above the hips. I quizzed her about the specifics of her discomfort, trying to figure out the problem. Was it gas? Cramps? Indigestion? She left for the bathroom, returned, and reported that nothing happened. That seemed like a good thing, but I’m not a doctor.

Prior to a bout of the flu that struck on New Year’s Eve this year, Jenny hadn’t thrown up in 22 years (it helps that she doesn’t drink). That night, she was so thrown off by the unfamiliar feeling of needing to vomit that she puked in the sink. “Let’s make it another 22 years,” I said while scooping chunks out of the basin and dumping them in the toilet.

But her next streak ended at seven months, as we began the final descent into Dallas. She grabbed the air-sickness bag and let loose with a liquid vigor that knocked the bag from her hands. It landed upright, thankfully, and I moved it under my feet after handing her my air-sickness bag. Then I noticed that I had huevos rancheros and bile underfoot. I examined the now-empty bag and found a hole in the bottom — Jenny had blown it out with the force of her expulsion. I was disgusted, but more than a little impressed. I told her it was okay, and the saint next to us offered a Zip-Loc of baby wipes.

“Daddy, it stinks,” said the blond little boy behind us. Two days earlier, the kid had screamed during the entire hour-long boat ride that Jenny took to the private beach where we got married. Payback’s a bitch, shitbird.

***

We landed without further incident, but Jenny was white-faced and weak as we de-planed. Give American Airlines credit — the flight attendants were more than gracious, actually thanking us for telling them about the mess in 18E. Uh, you’re welcome?

(An important side note here. Since we started dating, Jenny and I have done our best to avoid discussing our bowel movements. The way we see it, the line will eventually be crossed — especially when we have kids. “I don’t poop,” she often assures me after lighting a match in the bathroom, “I make flowers.” Other times she tells me not to enter a room: “I just made some potpourri in here.”)

“I’m going to shit my pants.” This was my food-poisoned bride as we went up the never-ending ramparts and journeyed down infinite moving walkways at DFW. Everything’s bigger in Texas, particularly the distance from international gate to restroom.

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