Surprise! We got "Mary-ed"!

Trip Start Aug 23, 2007
Trip End Sep 23, 2007

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

So ... we decided to fake that we got married to trick a group of common friends that nagged us incessantly about hooking up on this trip.  The story was that we got married in Girona, Spain, and that I surprised Mary with a honeymoon in Estonia.  Today is the day that we begin to execute the final phase of the plan.   

This was not an easy thing to pull off since it was a complicated situation.  We had to convince everybody that we had been dating since the end of July (no sooner, because that wouldn't have agreed with real life events). 

We knew that there would be doubters ... but we hoped that people would believe it because they appeared to wish it was true.  About 3-4 weeks before the trip, we began to plant "seeds" of disinformation

What types of seeds?  Well, for instance I purposely showed up late for a dinner claiming that I had just been planning the trip with Mary.  We alluded to lunches, emails, and phone calls that never happened.  If Mary was asked to go to lunch, I told her to respond "Can't.  I'm meeting Pat to plan the trip."  And whenever we talked to the "victims" we would always make it seem like we had intimate knowledge of each others' lives and schedules. 

We even went so far as to plant Mary's sweater at a gathering at my house just before the trip.  And just days before leaving, I "confided" in Tri that Mary and I had been dating for almost a month.  I made him swear to keep it a secret until we got back.  Our hope was that even if they questioned the fake marriage, they would hear about the fake relationship.  We knew that if they could believe the dating part, then perhaps believing the marriage part wouldn't be too much of a stretch for them.   

But it didn't end there - we also recruited a number of helpers to send out prepared responses to everyone once the marriage email came out.  The responses alluded to events in the past that people thought indicated something going on between Mary and I, and also confirmed their knowledge of us "dating" beforehand.  We hoped that any doubts would be erased with all these other people seemingly having knowledge of something going on.

Our hope was that everybody would start talking to each other and comparing notes - this was our only chance to pull this joke off.   Anyway, today was the day that the plan would really be set in motion. 

A group of Hong Kong ladies stayed in the guest house last night.  The Asian population of Kuressaare has exploded!  It must be tough for them to travel in this part of the world with their limited English - my hat's off to them! 
It was funny talking to them, because they felt bad and thought they had eaten all of our breakfast.  But what actually happened is that we never had a chance to ask for our breakfast to be served earlier, so ours wasn't scheduled to come until after we left for the bus station.
A German couple that we've been running into was also on the mini-bus to Parnu.  That tends to happen in these less-touristed parts of Europe.  The mini-bus had almost no luggage storage so the Hong Kong ladies had some trouble with their huge suitcases.  The aisle was packed with everybody's stuff. 
On board the ferry - I had a breakfast of yogurt, a banana, a granola bar, and ... a cider.   Mary-ism #12:  "It tastes better than it smells!"  Funny that she said that - that's what people say about me tooMary-ism #13:  She told me that she couldn't find my nuts.  I hope she was referring to the macadamia nuts I have been carrying with me. 
We arrived at the Netti Guest House in Parnu and were greeted by the friendly owner, Anni.  We took some "honeymoon" photos in our suite before having lunch on the beach.  Mary-ism #14:  "Why did you take it out???  Put it BACK IN!!!"  Hearing that was pretty flattering for me!  What was she talking about?  Chocolates I had removed from my bag.  But I know what you all were thinking - that's a funnier version, isn't it?  Embarrassed, she said "Why do these things come out of my mouth?"
And then ... Mary-ism #15:  "I'm not putting THAT in my mouth!"  But she did ... and enjoyed every bit of it ... I'm talking about the chocolate, of course!  As I made fun of her, Mary-ism #16:  "Don't make me laugh - I need to swallow still!"  What can I say?  Mary was on a roll today. 
Mary Moment #24:  Mary told me that the highlight of Parnu so far has been "being in the room with you."  Wow - thanks!  Quite a compliment for a guy!
After relaxing on the beach for a bit, we went off to the Museum of New Art.  On the way, we passed by a spa offering mud baths.  You can pay extra for a medical exam.  Hmmm ... it doesn't sound too safe ... perhaps the mud is radioactive from Soviet nuclear experiments???  Somebody call the X-Files, I think we have a story here!
Anyway, the Museum was actually pretty interesting and a nice place to spend some time.  Then we went back to the city centre for a little shopping.  We ran into that German couple again, while they were sitting outside having lunch.  Including today's bus ride and the ride from Tallinn to Saaremaa, that's three times we have seen them.  
We stopped at an art gallery - it's basically made-to-order art.  You can even request colours to match your interiors.  Is that still considered art?  We arrived at the central market just as it was closing - a bit of a dud.  But at least I was able to grab a piece of chocolate cake from the bakery - sadly, it was nothing special. 
We walked back to the main pedestrian shopping zone and grabbed a snack.  Mary-ism #17:  "Everything is so HUGE here!".  Again, thanks for the compliment!  Mary had her typical moment of bad luck - she saw a shot glass that she liked at a vendor's outdoor stall, but she decided to try and find one that she liked better.  Of course, she didn't find a better one, and of course the stall was closed by the time we returned. 
We went back to the guest house to get the sparkling wine and headed off to the beach.  It was a little chilly, but well worth it to catch the beautiful sunset.  After, we went to dinner but first stopped at the guest house to drop off the glasses, and before that, we stopped to get some water. 
While waiting to pay, the customer in front of us kept yapping with the cashier.  Not a big deal normally, but we REALLY had to go pee!  We practically ran back to the guest house - but the key wouldn't fit!  What gives?  Somebody help us!  Turns out it was the wrong house!  Mary called me a jackass as she ran by to the correct house.  Luckily, neither of us lost containment.    
Dinner was a good one tonight.  For once, the portions were manageable and we didn't leave feeling over-stuffed.  We were able to walk, not hobble, back to the guest house.  It was a giggly walk since we were both a little tipsy.  Stupid things were said and done by both of us. 
I watched some music videos while Mary showered.  I haven't seen any Enigma videos in ages - "Return to Innocence" was one of my faves back in high school.  It reminded me of a time where I was young and idealistic (i.e. - my pre-30 days!)  I rolled into bed soon after.  It was a sad honeymoon night - though I had brought my finest lingerie to wear for Mary, she told me "Sorry dear, I have a headache tonight."  Sigh ... fake marriage = fake wedding night ...
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