Friday, June 4, 2010

Honeymoon Lost

1993, West Orange, NJ – a 50th wedding anniversary party at the Manor for Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Sy. Sy, an athletic, big man who normally stands tall, rises sheepishly, and reveals, with some trepidation, a secret he's held for 50 years.

1943, NY, NY – Sy gets his orders to ship out. He and Eleanor accelerate their wedding plans. NYC is stuffed to the gills with servicemen, but Sy manages to reserve the honeymoon suite at a plush hotel for their one night together.

The wedding reception winds down and Sy and Eleanor head for the New Yorker Hotel. Sy is shocked, and Eleanor disappointed, when the desk clerk cannot find their reservation. The clerk sympathizes with a serviceman and his new bride on a one night honeymoon, but he's booked solid. Fortunately, sympathy and a generous gratuity are enough to get Sy and Eleanor a room, but it looks a lot more like the broom closet than the honeymoon suite.

1943, the North Atlantic - Five days later, Sy is on deck, headed to Europe. Strains of the Glen Miller standard Pennsylvania 6-5000 waft towards him and gradually invade his consciousness. Suddenly Sy smites his own forehead with a mighty blow. He had reserved the honeymoon suite – at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

1993, West Orange, NJ – After 50 years of marriage Eleanor is prepared to look back and laugh at a great story, right? No way! Eleanor, normally resolutely cheerful, is irate. She is mad about the broom closet honeymoon and even madder about the fifty year wait for the truth. Sy manages to patch things up, somewhat, by the time the evening winds down.

2010 – the moral? Many options here, but “that's my story and I'm sticking to it” is looking good to me. Not sure if Sy wishes he had taken this story to his grave, but I'm glad he did not, hope you are too.

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