Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?
I'm considering letting myself be held hostage by a timeshare salesperson again.
So, I'm currently at a resort in Puerto Vallarta on vacation. I didn't used to think of myself as a resort person but it turns out that eating ceviche for every meal and standing around in a pool all day does indeed suit my temperament. The first time we came down, I had a persistent cough that wasn't contagious (it was an acid reflux thing) and by the end of the trip, I was miraculously healed. It was like I was some Victorian dowager who must be sent to the seaside to cure her tuberculosis. I love wellness!
I have gone shopping for resort wear every day that I've been here. But, like, okay--where do I think I'm going to be wearing all this resort wear when I'm not at the resort? Need to be at the shopping for Sitting At A Coffee Shop, Writing Emails wear. Can this caftan finish your novel, Eric? Can it?!
I met up with two friends who own a timeshare down here. The first time I came, it was just me and David. This time David is on a work trip, so I'm traveling solo. Well, solo with the friends. You understand. The point is I can do my favorite vacation thing: have brunch with the group and then go back to my room and sit in bed for about 30 minutes. I don't know why I love this, but I do. It's like "I've socialized over chilaquiles and now I must take to my bed before I can be seen in public for my full day of chicanery."
An unfortunate fact about me is that I am unable to nap. (TOO WOKE.) But I will absolutely sit in silence for 30 minutes after brunch.
After this, I'm either going to the pool or I'm going to the aforementioned timeshare hostage situation. TBD. You can just book a room directly, which is what I did, but when you arrive they do a soft pitch for purchasing a timeshare. They tell you that they'd love to give you more details over a free breakfast on Sunday. It will only take an hour and a half and require a $20 deposit to hold your space. Another unfortunate fact about me is that I love being sold things. Please present me with an offer I cannot refuse! And I love free breakfast. I was an immediate yes.
I just ate breakfast with the group and my reservation comes with its own free breakfast, but I will find space for this third breakfast, especially if it comes with a PowerPoint presentation about a financial relationship I should get into.
When I was a kid, my parents took us to a ski resort on one of those deals where you get a free weekend in exchange for sitting through the timeshare presentation. All I remember about that trip was that there was no snow (FRAUD) and that they put me and my brothers in a small conference room and showed us All Dogs Go To Heaven while they gave my parents the presentation. The movie ended and they still hadn't released my parents, so the woman who was watching us rewound the VHS and played it again. I found this shocking! And terrifying!
By the middle of the movie I was like "Wait, but we literally just saw this and, to be honest, I'm a little bored, and will we ever see our parents again or what?" We watched that movie about a German Shepard who is *murdered by a casino-owning pitbull* straight through TWICE before they released our parents. By the end of it, I was like "If you let me go, I will give you my parents' bank account information right now. I only 10 but I will take out a student loan and buy this timeshare. JUST LET ME OUT OF THIS HEAVEN HELL!"
So. I'm hoping this free breakfast isn't like that.
But here's the problem: at my resort, they out here playing like I can't have the breakfast. When the salesman found out that my husband is not with me, he literally scratched out the words "free breakfast" on the reservation card he was writing out for me and wrote in "short presentation." I do not want to go to a short presentation. I want to be bamboozled into spending 90 minutes listening to you speak as I chew on one piece of breakfast meat!
The salesman explained that they like to the do the presentation for couples but if only one member of the couple is here, they do a 15 minute version for the solo traveler so they can go report back to their spouse. I was like "Who am I, Betty Draper trying to sign up for a credit card without Don Draper's permission?!"
Would I run this by David first? Obviously. Would he say "do whatever you want"? Probably! Would I preface this discussion by going into detail about the free breakfast I had? Without a doubt.
So now I can't even get free food simply because my husband is in the Scottish countryside doing volunteer farm labor with a church program whilst I have a margarita on the Pacific Ocean? INJUSTICE.
Now, I say all that, but I do get it. I was 100% planning to tell the salesperson "Well, I simply can't make any decisions without my husband here. Can you pass the syrup?" I was absolutely plotting on them while they were plotting on me.
But I was shocked they wouldn't even let me pretend that I was a good mark. That's insulting! I'm an excellent mark! Now I have to make my fourth trip back to the resort wear store so that somebody will sell me something!
Me on TV!
My episode of Albie's Elevator airs this Friday July 7th on WHYY locally in Philadelphia and on WHYY Kids' YouTube Channel. There are 22 full-length episodes featuring some of the most talented people in Philadelphia already uploaded. I highly recommend you check the show out with your little one!
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