Every time Easter weekend rolls around my husband and I can’t help but get sentimental about our first fight. It was Easter weekend and we were visiting Antigua, Guatemala. The streets were teeming with people ready to watch the parade of the Passion of Christ. Men dressed up with white head coverings to look like the Romans caring crosses for the very busy and exciting Semana Santa or holy week festivities. There were flower vendors everywhere selling fragrant bouquets to tourists and locals. I recall my Spanish was quite rudimentary, so when I bought a bouquet of flowers the woman selling the flowers said something that seemed to be commending me for being a good Catholic girl. I was confused about why she seemed so happy to sell me the flowers. I soon learned that I wasn’t to keep them for myself! I think I was to follow the procession and lay them down on a cross- out of respect. I still feel ashamed to this day! AH, youth.
I will never forget how the narrow roads of Antigua had decorations of vibrant fresh flowers in complex designs along the cobblestone streets.
As backpackers in the early nineties, we had to rely on cashing traveler’s cheques to live. We didn’t have credit cards in those days, no cell phones either- imagine! To survive from day to day we needed to find banks to cash our cheques and live on real money. I recall sending my beloved on the errand to go to the bank. It was the Thursday before Easter weekend. I was busy packing up the hotel room that cost us a mere dollar a night. The room was very rudimentary- no windows in our room, just a cut out window-shaped hole to let air in during the day. At night we just battened down the hatches like we were living in a stable, bare-bones living for sure, but it was very economical for us young travelers. We were trying to travel for three months on our meager savings, with hopefully a bit more to tide us over when we returned to Canada.
My beloved came back shortly afterward and I said surprised, why are you back so soon? He replied I didn’t’ want to wait because the line up was so long. I worriedly said that’s because the banks won’t be open for another four days and we are out of money! We then hustled back to the bank but by then it was too late. Everything was shut down for the upcoming holiday. He then persuaded me to go to an expensive hotel for an all you can eat buffet, the only kind of place that would cash our traveler’s cheques. The cost of the meal was more than ten days of our normal traveling would cost. ( I really can’t recall the amount but I am trying to make a dramatic point) I was so upset that I remember we walked on different sides of the street from each other, not talking, as we walked home. What bothered me the most was that I was worried that I had fallen in love with a fool.
The funny thing about this story is that not a whole lot has changed. We have this same fight but in different ways. We still argue about wasting money. I am generally more careful about our finances. When the family is voting on what restaurant to choose, his vote is always for an all you can eat buffet. I have trouble with overeating, so these places are not conducive to trying to eat less!
We can now joke about that weekend over twenty-five years ago… when two people had to learn to live together. A very hard lesson for couples. But I guess it worked out in the end.
How many people are lucky enough to have Easter Weekend as the anniversary of their first fight?