My Perfect Spring Break

A lot of people are talking about spring break. This makes sense. After all, ’tis the season. (Just as an aside, I absolutely abuse the phrase “tis the season.” Literally, I abuse that phrase. I use it multiple times every season. In July if someone says, “Boy, it’s hot.” I’ll shrug and say, “Tis the season.” In October and someone comments about the changing leaves. “Tis the season.” Winter and it’s cold. Boom. Season.)

People always ask me, “Peter, what’s your ideal spring break? What would you do? What would it entail?”

This is me answering that question.

My perfect spring break begins in Panama City. Not Panama City, Florida, the one all the frats and sororities stay at, but Panama City, Panama. I walk into a bar filled with small, blonde American women. Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA is playing over the loudspeakers. I order a drink at the bar. The latina barista brings me my drink. I thank her and leave her a tip.

One of the small, blonde Americans wanders over to the bar and sits down next to me. She appears to be waiting for someone. The song in the bar transitions from Miley Cyrus to a native Panamian song. After a few seconds I lean over to the woman next to me and say, “Huh. This is definitely not a Nashville party.” She chuckles. “I guess we never got the memo.” I smile. She looks vaguely familiar. We make small talk for the next ten minutes. We both lie about who we are. She tells me she’s a famous actress. I tell her I’m a 17th century English aristocrat.

After we both finish our drinks we decide to walk down to the beach. The sun is beginning to set and the sky has turned a beautiful purple. It’s mind numbingly gorgeous. We walk barefoot on the beach for a while, gazing into the sinking sun. When the mood feels right, I lean in to kiss her. She pulls away. I’m embarrassed, but I act as if it doesn’t bother me. We continue walking in silence for while before she breaks the tension. “It’s nothing personal. Just, the age difference, you know?”

“I know,” I tell her.

We begin to make our way back to the sidewalk. We put our sandals back on. She told me she had fun tonight.  “Me too,” I tell her. She turns to call a cab and I gently grab her arm. “Are you sure? This is your last chance. Are you sure you don’t want to hit this?” I gesture towards my body.

She slowly breaks into a smile. “You’re cute, you know that?” She gently kisses me on the cheek and raises her arm. A black limousine pulls over next to us. “But I’m Reese fucking Witherspoon.”

That’s where I knew her from.

I’m stunned. I walk dazed down the sidewalk. Finally, I regain my composure and walk back to my hotel. It’s now eleven thirty and the lobby is near empty. I stride across the marble floor and underneath the ornate ceiling towards the elevator. I press the Up button. The doors enter and I walk in. I press the 11. Just as the doors are about to close I hear a voice calling out hurriedly. A female voice.

“Hold the doorhold the doorhold the door.”

I don’t.

But she gets to the elevator in time anyway. She’s of average height and has curly brown hair.

“Thanks,” she says with a smile. I half smile back. She went to press a button but saw the 11 was already lit up. “Oh! Eleven.”

I half smile again. We ride upwards in silence. I’m staring at the different numbers lighting up. 1-2-3-4

“How was your night?” she asks.

“Not bad,” I tell her. “Hung out with Reese Witherspoon for a while.”

“How was that?”

“Eh. Just okay.”


A muzak version of Party in the USA began to play gently in the background.

“You know,” she says. “I don’t know why, but I kinda like this song.”

“Actually, me too. Because of this song, anytime I walk into a party I announce to the room, ‘Wow, this is definitely NOT a Nashville party.’ People go nuts. It’s awesome.”

She laughs. “That’s really funny.” She smiles at me.


“Where are you from?” she asks.

I’m surprised by the interest she’s showing in me. This causes me to inadvertently swallow while speaking. “America.” I choke out.

“You’re funny,” she says sincerely. “But where?”

Near Chicago.”

“Me too!”


The doors open and we walk out.

Four years later, we marry.


1 Response to “My Perfect Spring Break”

  1. 1 girl with curly brown hair March 16, 2010 at 5:10 am

    so who is this girl, petey?

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