club wed

Clubmed1Turks & Caicos Club Med is for singles—very single, singles.  But, when I was in a commited relationship, I decided to plan a trip there for my MID to congratulate him for working so hard on studying for his Series 7 exam.  I figured we’d have more fun there, with the active nightlife, than we would at a boring couples retreat.  Non refundable.  Everything.

He postponed taking the test, and really needed to study, and really needed to pretend he wasn’t engaged by taking a German medical student to dinner.  When I found out, I confronted the girl, who said he would do it to me again.  “Nothing happened,” she said.  “Except for the fact that he pretended he was available.”  It would happen again, but according to everyone I spoke with at the time, he was just testing boundaries, needed to stroke his ego, needed to see that he still had what it took.  It was only flirting, they argued.  It’s not like he did anything.  I moved out and went to Club Med with my mother.

While there, MID called everyday, leaving phone messages that were delivered to me at the dinner table on small yellow sheets of paper.  “Please, I made a mistake.  Call me.  I love you.”  I didn’t call.  I slept in a small room, on a small bed next to my mother, and when I awoke, I’d sometimes forget where I was and imagine I still had a life with him.  I hated how he could creep into my head at night when my defenses were sleeping.  I hate how my body forgot and reached for him out of kinetics.  I’d awake with diarrhea.  I lost eight pounds on that vacation, even with the all you can eat buffets.

The worst thing anyone can say to me when I tell this story up until this point is, a breathy, “God, and you still stayed with him?”  ASSHOLE, I FUCKING KNOW.  Don’t you think I’ve asked myself this, hated myself for this?  I’ve spent too much time condemning myself for my choices, for believing in him and us, and loving anyone.  Don’t you think I know?  Jesus.  Shut your fcuking hole.

And we continue here.  So, before Club Med was seriously all-inclusive, you could purchase plastic beads that you’d exchange for adult beverages of your choice.  But, at dinner, the wine was always included.  As much as you could drink.  And so we did.  At the close of every meal, my communal table, mother, and I would cowboy up to the bottle and drink.  Drinking games included Thumper, I Never, and something with signs.  I grabbed my breasts.  My mother pretended she was shocked.  “Stephaniiiiieeee.”  Whatever.  Those games made me realize I could smile again, I could have fun on my own.  When we returned to New York, MID was waiting at the airport with flowers.  I did and didn’t want to see him.  I moved back in with him two weeks later.  I didn’t play another drinking game until two years after we broke up.  In the hamptons, playing Whale’s Tales.  I’m playing again, soon. 



  1. Plastic beads for adult beverages. Brilliant!!

    I hope this posting is at the least theraputic for you, even if it does fall into the category of "past tense". Regardless of what's in your past, it looks as if what's ahead for you is what will be included in your highlight reel.

  2. I think there is a big cultural difference between the UK and the States in marriage. I am 25 in a couple of weeks and consider myself far too young to get married and I know that all of my female (and male for that matter) friends would share this opinion.

    I own a flat and the responsibility of a cat with my boyfriend, yet marriage still seems WAY off. I dont know, is it just me or do you guys on the other side of the pond go for it sooner? I have been to one wedding of a friend from my generation (i have been to many weddings of cousins and aunts) and she was american. What is it about us brits, are we just super cautious or is it our inherant cynicism that is delaying our need to swap vows with another?

    I have talked to my friends about this and it seems that the general consensus is to schedule in the whole marriage/babies thing for late twenties/early thirties. I suppose religion could defintely figure in the answer to this question. I would say both myself and my friends follow the popular trend in this country of apathy towards religion. Yes, we believe in a god, but no sex before marriage and no 'living in sin'-WHAT? Most of my friends live with their partners, own property with their partners and subscribe to the whole 'we' talk. Marriage, when it does happen, does not indicate the start of a life together but rather a celebration of a rather lovely life that already exists. I am beginning to depress myself now actually, with the average cost of a wedding being ££££££, i am wondering what the point of it all is if this is my view on it!?

    I was trying to do the maths (sorry math) of when you must have tied the knot stephanie and well, it was never my strong point, but i imagine you must have been around 25?

    This is no criticism at all, just an observation really. What do you lot think?

  3. Stephanie,

    I have noticed that you very foregiving and understanding of your family for places where they might have messed up along the way. However, you don't seem to lend this same understanding and forgiveness to yourself.

    You were doing the best that you could. You can't fault yourself for what happened. It happened. There really is no sense beating yourself up over it. You did the best you could, and now, you have picked yourself up, brushed yourself off.
    Now you will go out and be the best person you can be again.

  4. Justin, I don't blame myself anymore. I just get pissed when people around me slip judgmental comments into my stories. "And you still married him?" In that tone that makes me want to ram my fingers in their nose and scratch.

    Rebecca, I believe my marrying at 23 was not the norm, but an exception. It's also not the whole of the US. New York, for example, is like its own country when it comes to dating. We should really be treated like Monty Carlo. Take the typical age of marriage in the whole of the US and add 15 years to it. Now you're dealing with New Yorkers. There's a lot of customization in this city, and with so many options, it takes longer to choose.

  5. True enough, but … fuck those motherfuckers. They don't know you, and they weren't in the situation, which always makes this krap harder. If they need to make themselves feel better by judging you … well … fuck 'em. God, I sound like Mary Fucking Poppins today.

  6. Rebecca,

    We are definitely differen cultures. There has been a large decline in marriage and child birth in Western Europe for awhile now. Whereas, the U.S. has kept its numbers up, and we have a good amount of immigration to bolster our numbers. I'm not really sure what the sociological reasons for this are, but there ya have it.

    Most of my friends got married somewhere either during or soon after law school – making most of them around 24 or 25. The ones that didn't get married then, still aren't.

  7. S'kinda what i thought actually. New York or probably Manhattan definitely seems like a really mature, very cynical place and i (like to) think in this respect it is like london. I have been there once and dont remember seeing any children and when i think about Manhattan (too many SATC re-runs)i think of samantha and pesto pasta.

    If I try to draw your comparison of NY and Monte Carlo across to London, it just doesn't work though. Both geographically and metaphorically london sprawls and as such is it really hard (depressingly so for someone like me who enjoys summarising and grouping-that'll be my manically organised side showing though) to generalise about the place. I wish i could say that we (londoners) are this or that but we are not and unfortunately we have to remain part of Great Britain in how people perceive us.

    p.s yes it is the last hour of work and yes i am killing time but i do love reading about your antics!

  8. It's definitely a female trait to forgive that kind of behavior. We make excuses and deceive ourselves and read into things which aren't there… but who were these friends who told you he was just 'testing the boundaries'? Why the hell didn't they say to you 'You're too good for this prick, get the fuck out of there?'. It's only when you're with someone who you totally understand that you realize you've stopped making excuses and interpreting incidents, because you don't need to. I hope the new man gives that to you. Because if he doesn't, kick him to the kerb.

    And yeah, Rebecca, as a Brit I agree. Early/Mid twenties is considered very young to get married. My 27 year old friend has just purchased a house in London with her boyfriend with separate bedrooms after dating him for 2 years, and marriage for them is certainly far off. But even the act of house buying as a couple is shocking the rest of us as far too grown up to contemplate. Although having said all this, my own chaotic visa situation may necessitate a speedy marriage soon. Bring on the gay men.

  9. Well, might make me an asshole – but that is probably exactly what I'd say if one of my friends told me that story. It's just the stock knee-jerk reaction. But I think it's better to exclaim something like that than to just shake your head and look at the person with pity. What would be the best reaction – "Hindsight sucks doesn't it?" Better?

  10. A billion. That is the number of times I've listened to "Hands Down" by Dashboard Confessional, thanks to you. I was spinning around in the middle of the sidewalk in Brooklyn to it at 5 a.m. this morning. I've become a morning person–well, a can't sleep at all kind of person really–since my last break-up, and that song is the only thing that makes me feel like jumping around.

    I'm a slow song person in general, so I have no drinking-game appropriate tunes. But, for afterwards, if you end up in bed alone, or for the next time you're taking a walk and its summer and you DON'T have three parties to go to, try Cassandra Wilson's cover of "Harvest Moon."

  11. Hey Stephanie,

    I'm getting married Friday, this post was good food for thought. It made me feel very fortunate to be with the lady I'm marrying. I don't mean fortunate at your expense. Even though it sounds like it, I don't know of another way to say it. Anyway, I hope you keep the fight in you that you had for your fiance'. That's what its all about, the fight, because that's what you do for the people you love, regardless of the outcome. Plus, I would be shocked if you got the same raw deal twice. Karma would have a kick in the junk coming, courtsey of Ms. Klein.

  12. Don't beat yourself up for marrying him despite what happened. Shit happens. Love really is blind. Give yourself props for coming out of the experience with your belief in love intact. Just because he didn't deserve your trust doesn't mean you shouldn't trust yourself to give it a shot with someone else, someone better. I called off my engagement two weeks before the wedding and the fact is that I probably would have gone through with it despite the fact that my ex cheated on me in the most blatant way. We want to believe the best about the people we love. That's just human nature. Good for you for taking that trip with your mom.

  13. More importantly, what did your father, mother, and sister say when he heard this? What about your friends? Those are the people that we rely on to tell us like it is no matter what the outcome is.

  14. Stephanie,
    Enjoy your Whale's Tales! Relax, or party like hell, cum 6 days till Sunday, just take your mind off of everyone's bullshit, have some me time. You deserve it. You never know who, or what, you stumble upon when you aren't even looking. Maybe your looking to hard. Or as Van Morrison says:

    Days Like This

    When it's not always raining there'll be days like this
    When there's no one complaining there'll be days like this
    When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
    Well my mama told me there'll be days like this

    When you don't need to worry there'll be days like this
    When no one's in a hurry there'll be days like this
    When you don't get betrayed by that old Judas kiss
    Oh my mama told me there'll be days like this

    When you don't need an answer there'll be days like this
    When you don't meet a chancer there'll be days like this
    When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit
    Then I must remember there'll be days like this

    When everyone is up front and they're not playing tricks
    When you don't have no freeloaders out to get their kicks
    When it's nobody's business the way that you wanna live
    I just have to remember there'll be days like this

    When no one steps on my dreams there'll be days like this
    When people understand what I mean there'll be days like this
    When you ring out the changes of how everything is
    Well my mama told me there'll be days like this

    Oh my mama told me
    There'll be days like this
    Oh my mama told me
    There'll be days like this
    Oh my mama told me
    There'll be days like this
    Oh my mama told me
    There'll be days like this

  15. Hey Stephanie,

    Great post. I was married at 23 after ignoring the signs that the marriage wouldn't work, or, at least, hoping that the signs were anomalies. People make mistakes. Anyone who isn't understanding of this is probably so nearsighted they're fucking up their own life in some inestimable way. As it said on a tip jar I once saw: Karma's a boomerang.
    Good job having an enviable life and being successful and thanks for relating this to us.

  16. This then fiancee of yours showed up at the airport with flowers and (Iassume) to beg you take him back?

    I must say that's enough right there for the old gate.

  17. So did Gabe mean it when he said that he thought it was ok to pretend to be single? I'm curious to know if you ever confronted him about his lack of morals in the area of faithfulness and respect. After reading this, I'm glad you stopped being a push over and left him, instead of letting something like that happen over and over again.

  18. Stephanie,
    There is an old joke about a grade "A" lier and an "honest" man. Both are caught by their respective wives cheating with another woman. The grade "A" and the "honest" Man both tell their wives, "I made a mistake and I'll never do it again". The Grade "A" continues with cheating the "Honest" Man never cheats again.
    The problem with jokes they never tell that both wives never trusted the husband again in the same way.
    Sorry you met the wrong man who used the right moves but was a Grade "A". Good for you to be stronger because of it. Great that you're willing to let the rest of womankind know that yes men really do. And no, it's not funny. I hope your writing gives you the last laugh on the way to the bank with the porceeds.

  19. Didn't you post another story about this same trip to club med that detailed how you met another guy and some level of contact w/him that surpassed what you accused your fiancee of doing?

    If not, I apologize for the mistake.

    If so, why did those details slip this time? I know you are the one w/artistic license here, but is there a point when its gets tiring to paint yourself as a victim instead of an accomplice?

  20. Um, we were BROKEN UP. I had moved out. I could have fucked as many men as there were beads at Club Med and not have been accused of cheating. Being a slut, sure, but cheating, no. And as far as painting some picture, had I written about hooking up with men and provided the juicy details here, it would have been too much of a diversion from my memory… which was about drinking games with my mother… incase you missed it.

  21. Whichaa! (said the whip cracking against the poor soul named confused.) What a dilrod. And as always, the talent that is Stephanie Klein is always putting a smile on my face.

  22. I am exactly with you. There were things that made me know, irrevocably, that my ex was not exactly the guy I actually wanted. My current guy now, when him and I were first dating and I would tell the story of The Divorce and how it came to be, he asked the same thing "Gee, and ya still married him?" My response was that if nothing else, my ex knew my weakness. He asked me to take a leap of faith. Not necessarily in HIM, but in, you know, Love. Or rather, he asked, would you prefer taking the risk and doing and hate doing it or not do it and wonder "what if?" I did it, I hated doing it, but I LOVE not ever asking "What if?"

  23. No guy is going to tell you he's a cheater. How do you know if it's just flirting or a bigger problem?

  24. Only recently found your site due to (yes) the NYTimes article. I have nothing to add that hasn't been said already but felt compelled to comment that my favorite ice cream is chocolate mint from Baskin Robbins as well. -Has been since my childhood when they cost 75 cents and I'd get one for free on my birthday. I take mine on a sugar cone.

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