Home February 2023 Meet Me in Mexico

Meet Me in Mexico

They say the Jewish world is very small. They are right.

Back in the bad old days, when going on a honeymoon was synonymous with losing your virginity, we were on ours, in (you can’t make this up) the Virgin Islands, enjoying a candle-lit dinner in a quiet restaurant when a stunning, buxom redhead sidled up to my new husband.
    I was ready to haymaker her.
    Turned out, she and he had dated briefly in high school, and she too was on her honeymoon. Her husband, whom we met during after-dinner drinks, was delightful. So they, Karen and Steve, and my husband Stuart and I decided to spend the next day together, renting a car to tour the island.
    Along the way, we discovered that Karen and I shared a cousin—actually a cousin couple. I was related to the man, she to the woman—who live in Australia. They were supposed to attend both our weddings but had to cancel.
     We parted, promising to stay in touch. Then life intervened. Careers began in earnest. They moved to California. We to New Jersey. And the promise got lost in the shuffle. However, our mutual cousins kept us abreast of important events. I knew their kids’ names, and I’m sure they knew ours. There were also some brief Facebook conversations, primarily in response to something posted by the Aussie cousin.
    Until this winter
    I was sitting on a chaise, one of a row of them by a pool in a Mexican resort, next to some people I didn’t know. My husband was swimming. I was reading an old New Yorker, one of many I packed in an attempt to catch up.
    Although I did not intend to eavesdrop, my ears did perk up when one woman said to another in her group, “If you even need a doctor at that hospital, contact my daughter,” and I recognized the daughter’s name.
    Unable to stop myself, I asked, “Is her father Steve?” A man sitting in a chair nearby lifted his head.
    “I’m Steve.”
    “Are you married to Karen?” I asked.
    As you’ve probably guessed by now, the lady next to me then said, “I’m Karen!” That’s when I noticed her hair was red.
    I immediately dragged my sopping wet husband out of the pool.
    Unfortunately, they were leaving for home the next day, so we didn’t get to spend much time together. Since we four are now a bit seasoned, instead of promising to stay in touch, we made a plan. We’ll all be back at the same place next year. And we exchanged current contact information.
    There was, however, one more small world moment.
    It turns out that Karen has remained very close to one of her former classmates, a woman named Mona who now winters in Florida. Stuart has remained close through all the years with Mona’s brother, Ken, who was his classmate.
    While we were sitting by the pool. Karen sent Mona a text telling her of our improbable reunion. Within seconds, Stuart’s phone rang. It was Ken, who lives in New York.
    He said, “I hear you ran into Karen.”
    Stuart responded, “Did Mona text you?”
    “No! We decided to take a trip to Florida. I’m sitting next to her!”

JoAnn Abraham began chronicling Jewish life as editor of Monmouth County’s Jewish newspaper, now defunct, and has written for national and international publications. She is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.




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