For almost 10 years I’ve known my buddy Justin, that’s the “soon to be married man” in the middle of this picture. We’ve been through a lot together – good, bad and ugly. That’s why I was honored when he asked me to be one of his groomsman a few weeks back. Before I got a chance to say ‘yes’ anyway he incentivized me even more by saying it was in Cancun, Mexico! Plus, I couldn’t be happier for him, he was about to marry the woman of his dreams and they are absolutely perfect for each other. This post is mostly about his wedding but it’s also about the great time me and my girlfriend had together.
We begin our journey where most love stories begin, at the Orlando International Airport. To better understand the beginning of this tale, you need to know a quick fact about my beautiful girlfriend Brenda. She’s both Puerto Rican and Dominican, yea I know I’m in trouble. However, since she was born out of the country, she has her passport taken care of, which is good news for me since we’re traveling to Mexico! When booking our flights, I didn’t think to ask her anything about her passport when, I just assumed everything was on the up and up. But as we’re standing in line before the security check-in, I had this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. You know the feeling, it was that quick nervousness like you forgot to lock the door. In this case, I felt it had something to do with one of our passports. I check mine right away – of course we’re good all there. At this point we’re minutes away before we have to walk up to show our passports to the guards in white gloves, so I quickly asked Brenda if I could see her passport. Oh shit… there it was, her passport! It had the wrong damn name on it! Oh yea, apparently when you’re from PR or DR the mothers don’t like to give up their name even if they get married so they just add it on to the husbands name, which of course ends up to Brenda’s same last name. In other words her drivers license has less names then the passport, which freaks me out because the last name on the passport isn’t matching up with the ticket I got her. I’m trying not to make a big scene but I’m looking at her in disappointment and aggravated she didn’t mention this to me before I got the flights. So here we are – 3 people away from being checked in and I’m loosing my attitude. In fact right now, I’m playing two scenarios in my head:
- She gets her passport taken away and we both have to stay in Orlando or
- She gets her passport taken away, and she stays in Orlando while I enjoy Mexico?
Kidding, of course I would never leave her at the airport…probably. But as we step closer to the TSA officer, we notice that he’s the meanest looking dude out of the whole airport. He takes her passport, scans it with his little magic blue light and just like that she’s in the clear. I walk up with confidence but also swallowing my ego a little, feeling bad I made such a big deal about her passport – guess it really doesn’t matter after all. As all this is running through my head, I realize it’s been about 2 minutes and the TSA guy still is looking at my passport. Hmm, curious. Probably nothing, maybe there’s a piece of a protein bar is on my photo making it look like I have a beard? Then he uses his two-way radio to call in help from his supervisor. Okie dokie, I’m freaking out a little but it’s kind of hard to be scared when I’m more annoyed that Brenda is on the side of the line laughing at me that I’M the one getting stopped! I start to get fed up with this and say to both the TSA officer and his supervisor, “everything okay gentlemen? I have a drivers license to match if it helps, here take a look…” They grab my ID, set it down then go right back to staring at my passport with a magnifying glass. I felt like saying, “Hey Sherlock and Watson, lets step it up a few notches because there’s about 1700 people waiting for your fat asses!” but I kept it classy. Finally after about 10 minutes they asked where I got the photo done for my passport, I said “I don’t remember, I think a pharmacy about 5 years ago, why is something wrong?” they told me, “well Mr. Berardo the quality isn’t good at all make sure you get this retaken when you get back to the states. You’re good to go now, enjoy Mexico.”
Wow, okay. So after I shit a brick and changed my undies, Brenda and I continued that annoying walk down the security line. As you could imagine she’s biting her tongue, trying not to laugh at what just occurred. Although, it was pretty funny. So after a few seconds we stare at each other and giggled, holding back our true laughter because we didn’t want the officers to think we were plotting something evil. Finally we put our belongs inside those gross plastic containers, then send them down the x-ray luggage car wash. We separately walk up to the machines to get body scanned quickly, you know the new ones, where they make you stand like your auditioning for a Village People music video. We both walk through then she grabs her bags and we put back on our shoes. “Wait, where’s my bag” I said to Brenda. She doesn’t respond, just laughs and points behind me. What do you know, here comes a TSA officer holding my bag asking if they could check inside. I said, “have at it, sir.” as I chuckled with disbelief. They shuffle up everything in the bag, unzipping every compartment like they’re searching for some buried treasure. Then, they found it. The potential threat against the rest of the passengers…a 5 oz. bottle of cologne that I forgot was in there. He held it up above the bag and before he could say anything I interrupted him, “yep sorry about that sir, you can trash it, am I good to go?” I needed to get the hell out of there, at this point I’ve spent more time with security then the entire flight to Mexico!
We gather up everything and rush out of there stumbling with laughter, shaking our heads like this was all a practical joke. Honestly, at this point we didn’t care, we were way too excited about so many things. We were excited to see our friends get married, excited to experience an exotic place together and more importantly, excited to get the out of this damn airport!
As we wait for our flight to be called, I read a few chapters of one of my favorite books thus far, ‘Unshakeable’ by Tony Robbins. He has a ton of masterpieces and of course, he’s extremely motivational but I enjoyed this book because it really dives deep into the benefits of getting involved in the market. How to gain wealth, not easy money but smart and long term financial security. I highly recommend it, plus all of the profits go to a great cause. In fact, if you want to know more, click here and you can read some details on his website.
While I’m reading this, a little after this picture was taken matter of fact – I get a glimpse of Brenda sitting right next to me. She’s absolutely gorgeous. For that moment she is even more stunning to me than usual. It quickly dawned on me that even after what some would call a “stressful airport disaster” at the security line, somehow we can still make each other laugh uncontrollably. In a few months we’re approaching our two year anniversary and today was another day that solidified my decision to marry this girl one day. After all, a wise man once said, “A true friend is the one that makes you laugh so hard, tears run down your leg.”
Find the person that makes you piss yourself…I’m convinced that I have found that person.
Thanks for reading this first part of my blog! Part two is even better, this is where we arrive in Cancun and experience one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been too. Come back later this week to check it out or sign up for free email notifications and you’ll get updates every time I post something new.