Thursday, May 15, 2014

the name game

In college, my friends and I would often give nicknames to our fellow classmates. Nicknames were given to people we knew, as well as those people we’d never even spoken to; we were equal opportunity name givers. This allowed us to talk about them freely wherever we were, including in their company.

Names were often derived from one of the following criteria:

 • a distinctive personality trait: Bitchy McBitchington

• what you were wearing the first time we laid eyes on you: Green Sweatshirt Man

 the level of your attractiveness: Stonehill Man

• an unfortunately feature: Big Head (I never said we were nice)

• if we knew you from class: Biology Man

• your on-campus activities: Easy Ride

Even after leaving college, the nicknaming continued. It was often very effective when we were out at bars dodging unworthy guys (Sweat Shop) and keeping eyes on prospects (Adonis).

I still nickname to this day. In fact, I did a little nicknaming while we were in Mexico, and I’m sure the girls would have been proud.

Our resort was boutique in size, with just 100 rooms. And while the resort was at capacity, we’d often find ourselves meandering the lit paths without seeing another sole, or sitting down to dinner as the only couple in the restaurant. 

When I’m on vacation, I’m not big into making friends. So the solitude totally worked for me. (And Mr. KK tends to be on the quieter side, and not a big fan of small talk, so he was content, too.)

When we DID see people, however, we often saw the same ones over and over, since there were only so many people there. During our week, there were two small wedding parties celebrating nuptials and staying at the hotel. Wedding parties by nature aren’t quiet, so wherever they traveled, they were the center of attention. Add alcohol and poolside music, and antics are sure to ensue.

The first wedding party we encountered was on the quieter side, and kept mostly to themselves. The only notable character was Guy Fieri (named by me, not the real Guy Fieri), who was a big dude with spikey blonde hair and ridiculously dark roots, mirrored sunglasses and covered in tattoos. His bathing suit had flames on it, and he had about 7 piercings between both ears. He was a Canadian who loved fruity drinks. He was loud and obnoxious and earned his name within 3 seconds of me setting eyes on him. He would have made the real Guy proud.

The second wedding party was another story. There were about 20 of them who took over the pool each afternoon, dancing and singing to music, spilling their daiquiris in the pool.

And then I saw her: Truck Stop.

She was in her late 40s, but could easily pass for a decade older. She was tall and thin, muscular from daily gym workouts to combat age and gravity. Her hair was a poker straight, a mix of yellow (not quite blonde…) and brown (she and Guy Fieri maybe had the same hairdresser?) Her deep, reddish tan and gravelly voice cued me in on her avid smoking habit. I never saw her without a drink in her hand, starting from 9am. She paraded around in bikinis straight out of a Girls Gone Wild video (think: fringe, strings and dangly colored beads).

My favorite Truck Stop moment was at the pool one afternoon. A DJ had set up to play some music for an hour or two, and he began spinning Pitbull. Truck Stop immediately whipped her head up, held up her pina colada and shouted, “Let’s Zumba!” and started doing one-armed moves (can’t put down the drink!) in the pool.

It was quite a sight.

So for a few days, you would often hear me saying things like, “Here comes Truck Stop!” or “Let’s find a chair more over that way away from Truck Stop” and “Good God when is Truck Stop hauling out of here?”

And don’t even get me started on Side Saddle, the guy who sat next to me on the plane on the way to Mexico, who sat sideways the entire trip with a good portion of his left cheek on my seat.

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