I wore a diaper on the airplane ride home from my honeymoon. Yup. You read that right. An adult diaper on the 8-hour, trans-Atlantic flight from Rome to Minneapolis with a Christmas day stop in Chicago. I was in seat 5B snuggled in between my newly minted husband and my dad. This, my friends, is what romantic dreams are made of.
We had arrived in Rome eleven days earlier. Wearing my first ever outfit from Lululemon because until this point, I had been way too cheap to fork over more than $100 for sweatpants, I was in the midst of the post-wedding afterglow standing at carousel 7 at Leonardo Di Vinci Airport. We watched for our orange luggage that we had gotten from our second wedding shower hostesses, a color chosen so it would be easy to spot. Alex’s suitcase and “Groom” luggage tag tumbled down the carousel. We waited and watched as dozens of black suitcases slid down and around and happy tourists set off on their Italian adventures. The steady bag flow diminished to a trickle and then a full stop. No orange luggage for me.
Three days later I was still wearing my Lululemon outfit and underwear that had now been washed in the sink several times and hung to dry on the shower rod. Nothing says sexy bride like washing your semi-smelly underpants in the small Italian hotel’s bathroom.
“Well, I have good news and bad news,” my husband said as I awoke on day four.
“Please tell me they found my luggage.”
“They did! I just got a call from the airport. They have it.”
“Yes. Ok…what’s the bad news?”
“They are shutting down the Rome airport because they are expecting the biggest snowstorm they’ve seen in Italy since 1981.”
Now, this fact would have worried most. But not us. Snow was something we could handle. In fact, we had just successfully thrown a wedding with more than 300 guests amidst 22-inches of the stuff.
We got to the airport, I was reunited with my coveted orange bag, I ran to the airport bathroom to change underwear and into real clothing for the first time since wearing my Oscar de la Renta designer wedding gown and we were off in our tiny, silver smart car on the way to Tuscany.
What should have been a two hour journey turned into 16. Yup. Again. You read that right. Sixteen hours. Highway shut down. Government trucks delivering diesel and food. White-knuckling it through tiny streets with signs we didn’t understand until we arrived at our Tuscan winery at nearly 2 a.m. This was it. This is when it is all going to turn around. Now the honeymoon can begin.
After being shut in our villa for 36 hours under a fresh blanket of snow, we were ready for our next adventure in the silver smart car. It was off to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This time, what should have been a 45-minute drive turned into a three hour one but at that point, it felt like nothing we couldn’t handle.
As the minutes ticked on, my stomach started protesting the long wait until its promised pizza lunch. We arrived in Pisa only 20 minutes before it was closed for the day.
“If you go quickly, you can still make it up to the top before you will have to come back down,” the irritable Italian ticket vendor said in a heavy accent. Despite my lowering blood sugar, I pressed on and was promised an Italian feast upon arrival at the bottom.
We ascended the winding stairs of the tilted wonder. Up and up. To the top. After several minutes of being enclosed, I could see the sky’s light at the top of the tower. We had made it. I was so happy to be at the top I hardly noticed the freezing rain that had begun to pour down.
I peered over the side and that’s when things get fuzzy. Literally. The world was spinning. And then, it went dark.
I woke up sitting in a frozen rain puddle in complete and total agony. My right ankle screamed. Shattered. I looked up and was surrounded by my husband and two security guards calling whatever the Italian equivalent of 911 is.
The rest of the details are a blur. And do they even matter? There was a stretcher carried backwards, head first down the winding staircase, an ambulance ride with no seatbelts, there was a full staff of doctors who spoke exactly zero words of English, there was surgery leaving me with permanent Italian “jewelry” inside my right leg, nine days in the hospital with a roommate in traction, a nurse who was unsure how catheters worked, my parents flying halfway across the world to help my terrified husband get me home after he had to call them to tell them that after less than a week under his care, I was broken. And then, there was the diaper.
The diaper because the wheelchair wouldn’t fit into the airplane bathroom. The diaper only 11 days after I had felt like the most beautiful woman that had ever roamed this planet earth. The honeymoon was most definitely over, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
Debra is a 38-year-old
girl woman who is a sucker for a goal. After recently starting her second business (athenastrategy.co), she can officially be termed a serial entrepreneur. In an effort to not become a “boring old person,” she enjoys writing about her weird and funny life. When she’s not wiping peanut butter off one of her three kid’s faces, she loves to write and feed people to the point of bursting. She’s a big fan of cream in coffee and can usually be found asleep on her couch by 8:15 with her husband Alex by her side.