I’d searched everywhere for a decent one. It had to be soft, and comfortable, and not overly conspicuous. It was time to get creative. I headed for the red-light district of Shibuya in downtown Tokyo. Surely they would have what I needed.
Bulking up the courage to step in, whilst avoiding the judging eyes of the hoards of kogals chatting away on the street corner, I swiftly entered the tiny shopfront door. Awestruck at the leather garments and chains that confronted me I steadily proceeded into a world unknown. What the heck was I doing in a sex shop a week before my big day?
I guess it must have been love.
At the back of the store they appeared, right next to the fluffy handcuffs.
I reached out and took a black velvet one. It was soft as silk. Slipping it over my head to cover my eyes, I could see nothing. The edges were frilled enough to serve a purpose.
That was the most romantic thirty bucks I would ever spend.
Then came our big day.
It had been her dream to get married at the church of her college. The weather was obliging and, all in, it was the perfect day.
Our cars took us back to Tokyo for the nightly celebrations, and just past midnight we bade farewell to our guests and headed for our suite in the sky. I poured a bubble bath in the huge round tub, and we toasted champagne and strawberries whilst soaking in the suds.
The blindfold slept snuggly in the suitcase that night, patiently waiting for first light.
“Good morning Mr. Owen, this is your wake-up call”
It was time. A quick room service of coffee and pastries and we were off.
In my pocket, the velvet blindfold.
A car was waiting for us at the entrance, and the porters lined up and bowed us off. No need to tip. This is Japan.
At the airport we headed toward the check-in counter. My hand reached into my pocket.
“Really?” she said once she noticed.
“Really” I replied. “Now put on your iPod, and slip this on”. From here on in, Skunk Anansie would be her partner.
We approached the counter. On seeing my blindfolded bride, the check-in girl looked puzzled.
“We are going on our honeymoon but I haven’t told her where we are going” I said in Japanese.
She smiled, and processed our boarding passes.
I truly hadn’t.
“Well what do I pack?” she had asked a few days earlier.
“Pack anything you want!”
“Well is it going to be cold, hot? Are we going skiing, or the beach?”
“We are going somewhere magical”
Fortunately she did, by chance, pack appropriately. It would have been costly buying her a new wardrobe if she’d packed for a ski holiday.
Through security the blindfold and headphones came off. I had to chance it.
As we closed in on the boarding gate, the blindfold came out again. The frills were a blatant giveaway that we were not a cause for concern – we hoped. And magically, we boarded the plane without her discovering our destination.
During take-off, I covered her ears when the in-flight announcement started. Did she hear? Eventually during the inflight meal she spotted the boarding pass of a passenger nearby.
“Paris!” she screamed. “Oh darling! I love you”
I could tell she was disappointed. She’d been to Paris so many times. It was nothing new.
I said nothing.
For the rest of the flight she talked excitedly about what we could do in Paris. Hotel Costes, Buddha Bar … Perhaps Paris might have been a good idea.
When we arrived she started for the baggage claim and I pulled her back.
“Not that way babe, this way”
We had another plane to catch.
I couldn’t pull the blindfold stunt in Charles de Gaulle. There were short men with guns everywhere. So there and then I handed her the boarding pass.
“Marrakesh!” she screamed.
This time I knew I had nailed it.
Dean Owen is Co-Founder of Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment.
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