I have a habit of forming co-dependent relationships.
It’s a pattern for me.
I collect these people who need looking after. I make myself indispensable and then slowly I become frustrated at the confinement of the relationship and feel desperate to escape.
I once went to Cancun with a friend who I had this dynamic with.
Actually, I’m in the midst of a feud with her now and I’m worried that this will come across more scathing than it is intended but it’s a ridiculous story and they’re my favourite, so here goes.
H and I had had a rough year. I’d come to the end of a very difficult relationship, was waiting to ensure that I wouldn’t be deported and was having occasional panic attacks. H had nearly lost her job and was struggling with love and depression and all the usual 30 something junk.
We spent so much time together that we joked we were married. The natural conclusion being that we should go on holiday together. Somewhere exotic. Somewhere that we would be able to see great culture and natural beauty and have an adventure but also relax after the awfulness of 2010.
Oh and it had to be hot. We were desperate for sun.
H couldn’t make up her mind where to go. I’d found this incredible package to Cuba that was partly guided, would have taken us over the entire country in 2 weeks and was, I felt, everything we were looking for.
H wasn’t convinced. The tour sold out whilst she was making her mind up. At one point she suggested we go trekking in Antarctica and ACTUALLY SENT ME A LINK TO THE ARTIC HOLIDAY VIA EMAIL.
Further exhausted by the process and with time running out, we settled on Cancun because there were still trips available and it was relatively cheap.
H wanted to take her winter boots with her. I eventually talked her round, helped her pack, sorted the visas (WHY DO WE NEED VISAS EMMELINE? THE UNITED STATES SHOULD PAY ME TO TRAVEL THROUGH THEIR COUNTRY), made sure she had a passport and immunisations, vegan sunscreen (yes, you read that right) and mosquito repellant.
We were set. I’ve never needed a holiday more.
We arrived late at night and the air was thick with heat. This is probably a good time to mention that H suffers with insomnia. I wasn’t aware quite how severely she suffered with it until we arrived in Cancun and booked into our twin room.
In the first three days she slept possibly no more than 4 hours in total. One night she didn’t sleep at all. She had sleeping tablets with her but said that she knew that they would not work and so did not take them.
She was unhappy about the type of heat that Mexico offered. She was unhappy about the air-conditioning.
We wore the vegan sunscreen on the first day at the beach. It immediately washed off. We were fluorescent with burn.
She was unhappy about how the new sunscreen felt on her skin. She was unhappy about the sunburn.
She was unhappy about the fact that Mexico has been destroyed by tourism. She was unhappy that there were not enough vegetarian options at the restaurant.
She was constantly outraged by the mistreatment of the wildlife. The one night we left the hotel in search of a bar. (yes, you read that right. 10 day holiday, 1 night out) I had to steer her round people in the street hawking photo’s with a lion cub, a yellow python and a spider monkey because she was going to lecture them on animal cruelty. DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE TOUCAN AT WET’N’WILD, OK? I’m not saying that I dig animal cruelty, I just don’t see the point of lecturing a poor Mexican guy in Cancun who is just trying to feed his family.
Things were tense. I kept trying and failing to make her happy or manage her sleeping problems. She couldn’t seem to find in joy in even the most incredible natural beauty. I mean, we jumped into Cenotes from 15 feet and swam in the deep emerald water whilst tiny black minnows circled round us and tiny bats swooped in the caves over head.
We snorkelled far out at sea, narrowly escaping a barracuda. Swimming close to a giant Manta Ray and huge schools of tropical fish. We visited the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza, we cycled dirt paths and climbed temples.
We had a massive row, mid way though the trip and didn’t resolve it properly for nearly two days. She went out on her own without a watch or a phone and didn’t say when she would be back. I sat in the hotel room and stewed for 6 hours. Furious, worried, exhausted, incredulous that I was in Mexico and I was dealing with pointless drama, when all I wanted was to sit in the pool and drink cocktails and talk to the American boys.
She mellowed toward the end of the holiday and started to enjoy herself but I was so frustrated with the dynamic between us that I could barely speak to her.
I was so happy to go home.