The afternoon that we exchanged an “Adios” and a “Gracias” was not the same afternoon that we exchanged “Distrust” and “Hatred.” That would come in a few days.
What we didn’t realize until later was that Mustachio the “Travel Agent” was not putting down our money for a free trip to Tulum. He was putting down our money for a timeshare. Naturally, we complained to guest services at our hotel. What we didn’t realize even then was that there was another hula hoop we had to go through before we could retrieve our $60.
“Oh, we can give you the $60 back at our hotel. No es necesario que ustedes vayan a otro hotel. (It’s unnecessary that you come to another hotel to do it.)”
The expression “Yay!’ seemed appropriate. It wasn’t.
We didn’t realize that what we also had to do in order to get our dough back was to go through the timeshare presentation at our hotel. Here’s what happened from my perspective:
First thing’s first. Register for courses and meeting with summer advisor via Skype at 6 AM. Then go back to sleep.
While I’m drifting off, Mom and Dad decide they will suffer through the presentation because two hour’s worth of boredom is worth $60, exactly. I can figure that out mathematically!
The thunder woke me. So did the lightning. And Mom and Dad reappearing in the room in the middle of it telling me to get dressed because I needed to speak Spanish because they couldn’t understand the timeshare lady’s English? Something’s up.
So, braless and in exercise shorts, I scatter down the stairs to meet this lady. She asked me questions about jazz band and instruments because I was wearing the state festival shirt. I still hadn’t had breakfast, and by this point it was close to 12:30.
She toured us different timeshare levels. Apparently there’s a hierarchy.
We explained somewhere down the line that we were in a rush to get some food in my tummy. Poor girl. Hadn’t had a bite to eat all day.
But no! Es terrible!
Or something along those lines. That’s what she said. And by she I mean the timeshare lady.
Apparently she wasted a half hour making conversation with my parents. She couldn’t interrupt them, which was why it took longer. She was on a schedule. It had to take precisely two hours. We were now in overtime.
So we wimp out and agree. So she takes us to her lair. And by lair I mean timeshare office.
Each of us, Mom, Dad, and I, get a glass of wine. I’m eighteen and am in Mexico, so technically it was legal.
She flips through so many books. She draws primeval houses with price tags. But there’s one thing she fails to address–the cost.
We hear clapping. Another timeshare sold. Another crony wins another medal.
When she continues her hard sell, we again explain we have to go. It’s been hours. I was dragged out of bed on an empty stomach, braless. And the last thing I want to do is scroll through the numbers and buy a timeshare at another resort just like this one.
But we could not leave.
She insisted she get her manager.
He would not let us leave.
“You know the prices. Why not make a decision?”
Mom explained, “We’d be happy to take your card and discuss this, but we have always, Howard and I, for thirty years, have discussed decisions before making them.”
The manager had to leave to get something. Meanwhile we had our lady holding us down. So we got up and left. I was first. I couldn’t help laughing and charging like it was the Greek Olympics. I looked behind me. Dad was still in there. Why? I asked myself. Why would you ever stay?
Dad met us at the restaurant, the fact in of itself something I never thought would happen. Any guesses as to what was with him?
$60 and free t-shirts. Beach ball and something my parents really needed…a bottle of Tequila!