Our return home from our honeymoon was a bit on the hurried side, as we needed to prepare for our nearly immediate return to the daily grind. Kevin downloaded our vacation shots to Kodak, put together a little album and sent the pictures off to various people in a hurry before he left for work on the morning of our first day back.
My daughter called me at work that day and said that her husband had opened this album while he was working and was quite shocked, because there was a topless picture of me in the mix. I assured her that that wasn’t possible, and that her husband must not have seen the shot clearly. I just figured that since he knew we’d had the audacity to go to a clothing optional resort for this trip, he’d imagined he saw something that wasn’t possible.
You see, I tan very, very dark. My race has been questioned on many occasions throughout my life. Stuck in the midst of Jamaica in a place that wouldn’t worry about my tan lines, every inch of my skin soaked up every ray that it could. My skin color was nearing black.
At times, I did don a bathing suit. The sexiest little leopard number that Victoria’s Secret had to offer was worn on the occasional occasion when I wanted to feign being demure. In the dawn of the digital day, I allowed some pictures to be taken of me that would not have to be seen by the toothless, drooling developers at a drug store photo shop. We had a favorite table at one bar that was actually in a pool, and there were pictures of us at this table, both with me wearing the leopard bathing suit and without…much of anything. Even I had found it hard to tell the clothed shot from the topless one without looking closely. I mean, leopard spots can look like…um…other spots…on a body. I was certain that Kevin wouldn’t have made this error, as he was too conscientious and gallant.
When I got home from work, I laughingly told him of the call I’d received and my reaction to it. The look on his face terrified me. The look told me that the news I’d heard was true. He went on to tell me how he’d accidentally included that shot in the album, and how he’d been overwhelmed with email and phone calls all day from people with questions and comments about the inclusion of the questionable picture in our honeymoon album. Apparently, he didn’t know what to do about it until the guy from IS at his hospital said, “Dude. Just go to Kodak and remove the picture from the album.” This is what he did, but not before it had been seen by my son-in-law, daughters, son, parents, new step-daughters, their boyfriends, new sister-in-law, new in-laws, the neighbors, our friends, some of his co-workers…yeah. All of them.
I don’t embarrass easily, but when he gave me the news, I literally fell to my knees in the kitchen, one hand flung over my mouth and the other over my unexposed breast. I remember wanting to crawl under the stove. I was gasping for breath and making unintelligible sounds for the longest time, while he apologized repeatedly and profusely.
Naturally, I was the butt, or the boob, of many jokes from family, friends and neighbors for the next couple of weeks. One man kept insisting that he’d ordered a dozen “Ina coffee cups” from the Kodak website before Kevin had the chance to remove the picture. I just kept staring and glaring at my new husband through all of this ridicule, adding to his ever-growing sense of guilt and shame.
In the end, it was well worth it. It’s given me fodder to hold against him for all of the years since and many to come when I need him to feel guilty.
Not to mention a spectacularly shiny diamond and emerald tennis bracelet. He really apologizes well.