I was a painfully shy, naive bride with apparently bad research skills. I’d never really seen a man full-on naked, and I had limited intimate knowledge of too much else. I learned the hard way that not all honeymoon suites are created equal.
We got married young, both of us still in school with no money, no plans beyond finishing school. Didn’t know what we didn’t know and no one could tell us. Livin’ on love. Hopped up on birth control pills, we had the world by the tail!
I booked a honeymoon suite sight unseen. All honeymoon suites are created equal, right? They all looked fairly comparable in the yellow pages (dating myself right there aren’t I? This was obviously before online reviews).
We were stereotypical students. We had no money for anything, let alone a wedding. I had done gardening in exchange for dressmaking, the hall rental was $50 (yay for small towns), the flowers were donated, the church was free, the organist was the mother of a friend, and the official only asked for a donation. I booked the cheapest honeymoon room I could find.
We arrived with faces aching from smiling so much, exhausted and nervous. Did you know a motel and a hotel aren’t the same things? Yeah, you can see where this is going, right?
We were shown how to work the jets on the tub and left to ourselves. Wow – nervous. The only thing I could see was the gigantic bed in the middle of the room covered in faux leopard fur. At least the bed wasn’t coin operated, I’d have probably turned around and run home if it had been. Then I looked up. There was a giant, full-size-of-the-bed mirror glued to the ceiling over the bed. I hadn’t known that was possible. At first, I marveled at the feat of engineering until the implications of said fixture hit me. There was not one corner of the bed where you could hide from that thing – I checked.
I suggested we try out the tub. That seemed a safe place to start. It’s funny how you don’t talk a lot when you’re that nervous. We filled the tub and got the jets running. Everything was going according to plan. The tension drained away in the massaging hot water. I relaxed. I could do this. No big deal. We started talking, laughing together. I remembered that I’d decided he was worth all this nervous energy.
Then the jets stopped.
No more bubbles.
Just calm, very clear water.
A W K W A R D
We could not get the jets working again. So, there we sat. Not talking.
Finally, he convinced me to abandon the tub. Of course there’s no TV in the room to distract you from what you’re supposed to be doing. Light from the neon signs outside the room (yes *head hits desk* it was THAT kind of motel) streamed in the windows even with the curtains closed. Not nearly dark enough to hide from that horrible mirror.
The 18hour drive back to school was nice, felt a little surreal to actually be married, and we had no buyer’s remorse. We didn’t go back to our apartment, but right to the camp where we were to stay for the week. It was owned by my husband’s aunt, and she’d offered it to us for free. We were all about free. My husband had shared glowing childhood memories of the family camp, of jumping off the dock, campfires, and such. I was expecting a Muskoka paradise.
Now in Southern Ontario a camp and cottage are pretty much synonymous. We’re talking electricity, indoor plumbing, pristine dock, and the like. Turns out a camp in Northwestern Ontario is a small step above a tent.
Now, I love camping – when I’m prepared for it. Roughing it wasn’t exactly how I pictured spending my honeymoon. Was not a fan of the outhouse. September in Northwestern Ontario is cooler than Southern Ontario, a lot cooler, and the cast-iron stove made my allergies flare up. We lasted two days. We retreated to our apartment in town, deciding we wouldn’t tell anyone we were back. We were both missing the first week of school, and were determined to enjoy this supposing it killed us.
Lubricated condoms decorated every doorknob, every light fixture and drawer pull in our apartment. Our shower stall was filled with water balloons. My husband, warrior king to the rescue, taped a steak knife to a broom handle, jumped up on the counter in his underwear, reached over the top of the shower unit and speared all the balloons. The burst balloon bits blocked the drain and flooded the bathroom. Friends had strung bells under our mattress. We found empty condom wrappers in our clothes pockets for months at the most inconvenient times – like dinner with the in-laws. :/
I’ve never been so glad to go back to school in my entire life! I don’t regret anything about our honeymoon, but I’m not interested in reliving it either 🙂
Got a dating fail or honeymoon disaster to share? Heard of one? Has to be true! Leave a note in the comments.
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Marcy Kennedy says
Even though I’ve heard this story from you before, I laughed out loud. Like really loud. The dog actually woke up and gave me a reproachful look. I was once set up on a blind date with a guy who was “close to my age,” only to discover when I showed up that he was actually 15 years older than me. Course that’s more sad than funny . . .
Lisa Hall-Wilson says
Yeah – that happened to me too. ‘No, really – it’ll be fun.’ It wasn’t. lol
Jen Schalck says
I made the silly mistake of not remembering my overnight bag…so my Aunt Sharon left the reception early to go get it for us. When I opened it that night there was rice everywhere! I even took the cap off my hairspray and rice flew out. What was worse was while she was at my mom’s picking up my bag…she decided to get my mom too…she put rice in my mom’s bed/drawers. My mom was not happy! We went camping too on our honeymoon. My husband is 5 1/2 years older than me (and went bald early in life)…and when I was in my 20s I often passed for 12…(I was 24, he was 29) …So, on our honeymoon when we checked into one of the first campsites and the lady behind the counter said to my husband …”If you and your DAUGHTER want to pick a campsite and then come back and tell me which one that would be fine.” LOL He was not impressed. All I could here was Ron saying through gritted teeth…”She’s my wife!” LOL
Lisa Hall-Wilson says
See – that’s exactly what I was afraid of happening. lol. Great story! Give the hubs a big hug and tell him you’d do it all over again.
Megan Elford says
Love you, Lisa! And I loved reading your honeymoon story! If you think about it, stories like this are becoming more and more rare and people become more and more “experienced” at a younger age :-(.
K, so here’s ours: We left after our 4-hour wedding to go to Niagara Falls, where Andy’s dad had been able to book a free hotel room for us (a work bonus, I believe). Just a regular, plain Jane room … with a family with several very young children right beside it. From the minute we opened the door, we could hear them laughing, playing and crying like they were in OUR room! Not exactly the romantic mood we were going for. So, my ever-resourceful husband decided to turn on the tv to drown out the noise, but all he could find that would work was the country music station. Now, country music is great for those that love it, but for the rest of us … not so much. But with the hotel-grade bedspread over our heads, it was all good. A few hours later, my new husband started throwing up. I spent the rest of our honeymoon visiting local drugstores, while Andy battled the flu in bed. I did manage to drag him to look at the Falls, but we were very happy to get back home after our two-night honeymoon, to our place in Scarborough (where we lived for 2 months with 11 other college guys and an East Indian family of 5).
That’s the way married life should begin — no money, no mortgage, no kids, and really young, before you’ve had a chance to know what you haven’t got. That’s where the adventure is! And it makes for great stories to tell your kids too 🙂
Lisa Hall-Wilson says
Bahahaha! That’s awesome – and really awful too.
Kecia Adams says
LOLOL!! Awww. You set the stage really well for that story. What I remember about the wedding night suite was that I was really, really tired. Hadn’t really slept the two nights before and I just sort of deflated once we were alone. I had to take a little nap in fact while the new hubster took a shower. I also eventually had to wash a ton of hairspray and extract at least 50 hairpins from my “do.” I had sympathy for Marie Antoinette at that moment. Good story, Lisa.
Louise Behiel says
good story, Lisa. My wedding night wasn’t nearly so exciting. I was exhausted, so opened my suitcase to get out my shampoo and found it full of cornflakes. everywhere…and it spilled on the floor making me terrified the motel would charge us more since we had no money…LOL
then we camped in the mountains for 2 nights going on to spend a few nights with my new brother in law’s family and then my mom’s family…all the time being careful not to make a sound, ‘lest they know’.
thanks for the memories….hmmm I wonder if that’s the foundation for our divorce 30 years later bwahahaha
Karen McFarland says
You have a wonderful way of sharing the most intimate situations of your life. That is crazy! And it beats short-sheeting or the glad wrap over the toilet bowl.
I was eighteen and my husband was just shy of twenty when we got married. We were babies, although you couldn’t tell us that. The cool thing is that even though we were young, we’re still married and will be celebrating another anniversary next week!
Loved this post Lisa. Brings back lots of memories. 🙂
August McLaughlin says
Hilarious, Lisa! I can’t get the image of kindly in-laws chomping into a lubricated condom wrapper by mistake out of my head… LOL You gave us ample insight and hilarity while leaving room for our imaginations to run WILD. 😉
Debra Kristi says
Oh my! I can’t imagine coming home to a decorated apartment like that. LOL! You look so young and sweet in the picture Lisa. I was much older when I got married. Guess it just took me longer to commit. I don’t remember a whole lot going on our wedding night because our reception party ran late (my man likes to close the party down! Ha ha) and we had an early flight the next morning. But, we flew to Hawaii for two weeks and one of those weeks we were on Kauai where it rained the entire time we were there! For that reason he refuses to ever go back. I swear to him it’s not always like that. I’ve been there before and seen some really amazing things.
Thanks for sharing your personal story with us. 🙂
Lisa, you did it again… had me laughing.
My husband and I got married in 1975. We drove out to Jasper National Park to camp in the mountains for our honeymoon (We loved camping). We pushed to get out there fast, planning the romance for the 10 days we’d be there. On the last leg of the journey, just outside Jasper… BANG!!! from the car, then… SHUDDER, SHUDDER, BUCK, BUCK, (ie the car). Then nothing. The engine raced, but we went nowhere. Sverre got out looked under the car, got back up, eyes wide. “I think the drive-shaft just dropped out of the car.” Yup. It had. This was way before cell phones, etc. We hitchhiked into town. The garage towed the wounded car in (Big $$$) They had to send away for a new drive-shaft and get it sent up on the train. We spent the next few days hitchhiking back and forth, everywhere. And the car cost all our money so we had to come right back home as soon as it was fixed.
Our marriage has been good. Camped lots with the children (No romance) A few years ago we went camping again sans kids and… dead car… deja vu anyone? That was another adventure. And we were 30 years older!
However, we had a good time anyway.
Lisa Hall-Wilson says
Oh my! *giggle* That’s horrible. *straight face* I think that story beats mine for sure! Glad you stuck it out together despite such a rocky start. Thanks for sharing your story.
Louise Behiel says
Diana you honeymooned in Jasper? We spent a couple of nights there on our honeymoon too. Where are you from? i’m in calgary
Our wedding night wasn’t bad… then we drove to the california coast a few hours away for a short 2 day honeymoon on a “timeshare preview…” Very nice hotel for super cheap, but had to sit through a 4 HOUR timeshare presentation. Blah!
And our car had been stuffed with (unopened) condoms so much that we were still finding them years later. Most embarassing was when I took the car in for an oil change (where they vacuum out your car) a few months after the wedding, and when I came back out to the car there was a pile of condoms sitting on the seat. I was beet red as I drove away…
My husband and I were so excited to get married that we moved our wedding date up by about 6 months. Our families threw together a sweet and simple wedding in about a week. The hubby and I found a place together and even found a PUPPY!! Our puppy was even walked down the aisle by several small cousins. After the wedding we were showered in birdseed and flowers and they did not forget to miss puppy. After having a small dinner, we packed up and said our good byes! We had a very long trip home and puppy fell asleep in the backseat. We both occasional looked back there and talked about how adorable and lucky we were. So happy to have our little family all together. We finally pulled into our driveway and I walked the dog around a little while hubby unpacked the car. We were so happy to be in our home. Just standing in our living room, he stood behind me and started rubbing my shoulders and kissing my cheeks. Telling me about how happy he’s been all day long. Well, since the hubby and I rushed the wedding, he had to get up very very early in the AM for work. It was getting pretty late but I knew he’d never be able to resist my sexy underwear I had bought for him to see me in. We started to laugh and look around at all of our wedding gifts. We turn around at one point and find our dog starting to squat in our bathroom. The hubby got on to him hit it only made the dog get scared and run into our CARPETTED bedroom and have the squirts. Our hearts sank. We both started cleaning the story getting on the dog. Cleaning and scrubbing. Still having hoping that we could have a little romance afterwards… After clean up we could still smell it. We were baffled. We walked around to the other side of the bed and found the stink mess. The dog had releived himself two other times on our carpet. We both took a spot and started scrubbing our carpet. Scrubbing and scrubbing. The smell was rancid. The hubs was upset that we had no carpet cleaner. (We were using dawn dish soap and piping hot water). So, the hubs decided that he would make a trip to the only local store open at that time of night. I begged him to go but be didn’t want me to because he wanted me to watch the dog. He finally left and came back about 30 minutes later. Scrubbing the carpet and complaining about the pup. I decided to prance around in the above mentioned underwear. Hoping there’d at least be something there that he’d want it. But no, he was so mad and so tired that he jumped into bed and pulled the covers over me. I was upset. I wished for our night to be better. I wished we didn’t have the dog. But then I laid down next to the new hubby of mine. Felt his warm body against mine. And held his hand and fell asleep.