I have been absent for a bit, not because I did not think of you, but because I have been "out of touch". Such a quaint phrase. It used to simply mean that one did not have the thread of the current situation.
Now, in this day of 24/7 connectivity, it generally implies that one has been disconnected from social media and ordinary contact. It is difficult to find a place on the planet that is cut-off from such communication, but we managed.
We spent the past eight days aboard a cruise ship, and while Wi-Fi was available, the cost was so ridiculous that we stoutly abstained from using it for the duration of the trip. You could send a student to university for an entire year for what one week's worth of connectivity would set you back on that overgrown dinghy. Okay, so that is hyperbole, but not by a whole lot.
I somewhat enjoyed the "unplugged" experience. But the *LOC was pretty twitchy, and it took him the first three days to realize that he could not reprogram the remote for the TV. Then, to add insult to injury, he discovered that four of the ten measly, pre-set, channels were sales pitches from the cruise line, run on a continuous loop, and, well, I had to exit the cabin while he regained control of his attitude.
Frankly, we have been wined and dined - ad infinitum ad nauseum - such that I have sworn off of all sauces, gravy, drizzles, and toppings for the rest of my natural life. I kid you not. I am now permanently topped off.
Furthermore, I have made the intimate acquaintance of people I had no wish to know. You cannot remain strangers when twenty plus members of humanity are crammed into one glass-encased elevator.
The invasion of my personal space was annoying enough; but inevitably one of my fellow "crammees" thought they should attempt to tell me their life story in the three point two seconds it took to rise from Deck X to Deck Y.
These mini-bios were generally routine, but occasionally turned terrifyingly bizarre. In such moments I was faced with the stark reality that there was no place to run. Land was a distant memory and the experience at sea was not proving to be particularly rewarding.
# # #
We do have perfectly sane friends who have taken quite a number of cruises and generally report their experience was wonderful.
Good for them.
We were asked, not infrequently, if this was our first cruise. (I do not know if we were giving off some oddly confused vibe or not, but it is entirely possible, as I was admittedly disoriented much of the time.)
Whenever we admitted that it was, indeed, our first cruise, we were treated to titters and smirks as though the group had just unwittingly stumbled across the proverbial "40-year old virgin."
# # #
We have concluded that we are just not cruise people. We do not cruise. It just isn't for us.
For us, the whole "a sailing we shall go" thing was a "one and done."
So last evening we heaved two, simultaneous, huge sighs of blessed relief. We were home. The floor was firm beneath our tread. The windows could all be flung wide open. And our respective recliners were right where we had left them. Hooray!
We do not begrudge those who love to cruise their fun. We, however, have cruised right into our very own little safe harbor. And we are content.
# # #
Hope your harbor is peaceful this evening. Until next time, your fellow traveler (but not your fellow sailor) ~ Marsha
(*Lovable Old Coot)