2013 is going to be busy. Lots of friends and family with big-number birthdays. My fellow high school friends of ’91 and college classmates of and ’95, ’96, and ’97 (some more academically dedicated than others) are turning 40. In addition, my aunt turns 50 and my father-in-law, 70. (Of this lot, I feel like he deserves the biggest tribute, as on my side of the family folks do not make it to 70. I want to stick him in a jar so that the members of my defective gene pool can observe, poke, absorb, clone, whatever. But as you may discern from this aside, we lack the intelligence for any serious scientific endeavors. So I guess we should just have another double whiskey and a cigarette and toast to his long life!)
Back to topic.
My Aunt Lily has nailed down her choice for celebrating 50 years, a 5-day cruise to Bermuda. Now, cruise ships have been in the hot seat over the past several months for several reasons: legionnaires disease, norovirus, sinking, week-long breakdowns in the middle of the ocean with walls of flowing excrement, etc… These are just a few things that are currently shrinking the cruise economy. And speaking of the cruise economy, to send myself, the hubby, and two kids under six (in the “Closet-Size Plus” room, I think they called it), it would cost about 7K. (Yep, the exact amount that it will cost to replace our HVAC system that will surely break down a week after the scheduled departure).
Then I have to consider the company this cruise would include, namely my mom and, of course, Aunt Lily. Mom and Lily have been on two cruises together, and I have no idea why they continue to vacation together because each time they return, they do not speak for months. My aunt is a cross between Scarlet O’Hara and Annie Wilkes from Misery. Very pretty, dignified, and proper, but if you cross her (or forget her chocolate truffle at turn-down service) she will hobble you. My mother is a mix of Phyllis Diller and the drunken character Kim Basinger plays in the movie Blind Date. This is not a good match.
The last major “cruise fight” centered around a certain maître d’. Mom claimed that after Lily demanded too much of him in the first 48 hours of the trip, he assumed a “no profile.” So the poor damsels were left to fend for themselves for extra towels, fruit garnishes, and 6am deck-chair reservations. That poor fellow simply had enough. He hailed from Slovenia and mom observed that his English-speaking skills had somehow deteriorated as the week progressed. When accosted late in the week, he would simply smile, a pleasant but perplexed looked on his face, say “Jes! ! Jes!! I get it for ju now!!!” and then run off to hide in the lifeboats.
So allow me to take just one more moment to consider this vacation: extended time with Felix and Oscar, cramped living quarters, and questionable sanitation…… (or a new ENERGY STAR HVAC system)?
Bon voyage Auntie!