Life List #101: Get lei’d in Hawaii.
Getting a lei at a Hawaiian Luau on the Big Island in Hawaii.
If there is one thing that an adolescent addiction to family sitcoms had taught me (and, lets face it, it taught me many things), it is that in Hawaii they hand out leis like they’re going out of style. You arrive at the airport: you get a lei. You arrive at your hotel: you get a lei. You attend a luau on some deserted potato chip of an island: you get a lei. I was pretty sure they gave you one every time you left the bathroom. You get lei’d in Hawaii.
The Bradys got leis. The Seavers got leis. The Tanners got leis.
Leis. Leis. Leis.
I could only assume that I would leave Hawaii dripping in flower neck garlands. Just like Marcia and Carol and DJ. I could only assume.
But, let me tell you, in reality, Hawaii makes you work for those floral garlands. And by work, I mean pay. Not once did a grass-skirt clad committee welcome me to the island with a wreath of plumerias. But I could have bought a lei necklace. For myself. Hawaiian leis were sold at the airports. And at the farmers markets. And at the ABC convenience stores. For kind of ridiculous prices. I mean, I suppose a hula girl might have given me one if I stayed at one of those $350 a night resorts. Or if I was Tiger Woods. Or Maureen McCormick. Or something. But if you’re staying at Uncle Billy’s, you’re out of luck.
Finally, though, on my third night in Hawaii, a sarong-clad woman welcomed me to Jen’s birthday-night luau (because, come on, you can’t go to Hawaii without going to a proper Hawaiian luau — it’s another thing those sitcoms taught me) with a lei…made of shells. A shell lei. Not flowers. But, I suppose, you take what you can get.
Technically, I got lei’d in Hawaii.
Next time, though, Hawaii — I plan to get lei’d like a Hawaiian whore.
Preferably on one of those islands that actually has beaches.
Get lei’d in Hawaii was number 101 on my life list.
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