“Someone got into something naughty last night,” the front desk worker said.
“Not naughty,” I replied. “Windy.”
“Funny how no one else’s unmentionables wound up in a tree,” she said with a wink as she turned on her walkie-talkie and asked a fellow worker to come to my aid.
My husband and I just returned from a trip to the Caribbean. We went to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and stayed in a most epic treehouse village paradise. There we no walls to our tree home, just privacy curtains — privacy curtains that flapped violently with each evening’s windstorms. It must’ve been the location of our particular treehouse that caused us to be hit so hard. The intense slumber of a night away from children was abruptly abandoned as huge gusts of wind blew the leaves loudly and my husband and I jumped out from under the mosquito netting. We ran to gather the clothing we had lying out over the edge of the treehouse before the rain could soak them or the wind could take them. The towels and jeans were saved. My bathing suit, however, was taken by the wind and landed high in a tree.
“Black bikini, por favor,” the worker said into the walkie-talkie the next morning.
Over the next couple of days, word spread about my naughty undergarments. The treehouse resort was more gossip-filled than the dancing ring that got Johnny fired and put Baby in a corner. When a second nighttime storm awakened us because a curtain rod had snapped in two, folks at breakfast oohed and aahed.
“Someone didn’t get much sleep last night,” the fellow resort-stayers said with a wink. “See the bags under their eyes?”
My husband said, “Those aren’t bags. They are bruises from the curtains whipping into my face all evening.”
“Right. It was the curtains. Just like it wasn’t your wife’s panties in a palm tree yesterday.”
Despite the unsettling sleep, the resort grounds were one of the most romantic places I’ve ever been. You could ride a bike to a secluded beach, bask in an infinity pool and wade into an isolated waterfall. My husband and I swam together in and around the falls, completely alone. I wrapped my legs around him as he held me up in deeper waters and bounced over to the cliffs. It was there that I pointed out to him a cute crab on a rock. It was there that my husband pointed out that the cute crab was actually a huge spider. I leaped backward, causing a slight wardrobe malfunction as I screamed and swam out of the water.
The falls, which we had been enjoying completely alone, now had sunbathers lying out on the rocks on the banks — sunbathers who giggled and asked whether they had startled us from our indecent pleasure-seeking.
“We were swimming,” I said.
“You were screaming,” a sunbather said.
“There was a spider.”
“I’m not judging you, honey,” the sunbather said. “I just hope that’s us on our 10th anniversary.”
Her boyfriend looked up. “Oh, are you the couple with the tree underwear?”
The days continued in a daze of rum and relaxation. Sipping from coconuts. Sipping from pineapples. Splashing in pools. Floating in the turquoise ocean. Dancing in the evenings. Napping in a wall-less treehouse any hour of the day we chose. And, inevitably, coming in to the dining room 20 minutes too late to thunderous applause. Without fail, a new couple who had only checked in to the resort a few hours prior would lean over to the couple closest to them.
“Why are we applauding?”
And they would be told the story of us, the couple celebrating their 10th anniversary, with the wife who had her panties fall into a palm tree one day and was caught with her top down the next.
“It was a bathing suit!” I would yell.
The new couple would look at us with awe. Sometimes we’d get a thumbs-up. But usually, the new couple would simply lace their fingers together, excited by the romance that the treehouse resort clearly promised.
On the last evening at the treehouse, we got far too drunk and neglected to store all of our clothes in the chest at the foot of the bed, which we had been doing since the bathing suit debacle. That night, the winds howled as we snored.
When I awoke, my panties were in a palm tree.