We were newlyweds, completely broke and trying to attend a friend’s wedding in Denver as cheaply as possible.
We checked into a dive hotel about an hour before the wedding, smelly from a day of travel, when my husband realized he had forgotten his dress shirt.
He called the front desk for directions to the nearest mall, which was supposedly one mile south, and dashed out to buy a new shirt.
I headed to the shower where I found the tub covered in mildew, the drain surrounded by hair, and, I swear, a dead cockroach.
Obviously that wasn’t going to work for me. Rather than doing the logical thing and calling the front desk for a new room, I did the nonconfrontational thing and donned my husband’s beat-up camo-green jacket and a hat, grabbed our luggage and the wedding gift and checked out.
I loitered in the hotel parking lot a few minutes before deciding I looked pathetic, reasoning that I could surely hit the mall, or at least flag down my husband on the road before he got back to the hotel.
Mind you this was in the mid-90s, a few years before cell phones hit the free world.
After what seemed like two miles carrying a duffel bag, a backpack, a garment bag and a wedding gift, I waved down a police officer for help. As I explained my situation, he silently put my belongings in his trunk and told me to get in the car, specifically the back seat.
I begged him to help me find my husband so we could get to the wedding on time. He muttered something in his CB about a lost woman (poor thing was wandering the streets of suburban Denver) and headed south toward the mall.
Within seconds I spotted my uninformed husband heading north toward the hotel. The officer flipped on his lights and siren and made a U-turn in hot pursuit.
My husband looked back with panic as the officer motioned for him to pull over, shaking his head after spying me waving in his rearview mirror.
We all pulled over. I yanked the door handle ready to leap into my husband’s arms, but the door was locked. The officer got out instead and removed our things from his trunk while I sat in the back seat of the police car and listened.
“Sir, I found your wife walking southbound on this street. She claims she was looking for you?” The officer was puzzled. My husband was not.
“That sounds like something she would do,” he said.
The officer unlocked my door and let me out. My husband opened his door and let me in, and we drove away to a hairless, roachless Marriott where we quickly transformed from oppressively odiferous to people you would want to sit near, just in time for the wedding.
Best of all, after 18 years of marriage (assuming we make it to Sunday), that saint of a man still picks me up when I am in need.