As per my usual daily arrival home from work routine, I pull up, get the mail, enter the garage, then the house, get greeted by my excited dog and look around to see what the night holds before me.  Last night was much of the same except when I glanced over the mail quickly there was a large, hand written envelope addressed to me with no name on the return address.  Usually I give the mail a once-over, go about my routine of feeding the dog, then the cat, then walk the dog before I even consider doing anything for myself or opening the mail.  The envelope was calling my name and the intrigue was too much.  I tore it open…

It seems I have been chosen as part of an A list group of people invited to attend a weekend Bachelorette cruise out of Florida in August, all expenses paid.  A (wealthy) friend of mine is getting married in September (in Florida) and I haven’t even responded to the wedding invite yet.  She’s a dear friend whom I haven’t seen in years, but we do keep in touch.  Of course opening this piece of mail totally threw off my game and by now the dog is barking to eat, the cat is nudging me and I’m getting a barrage of questions that I’m trying desperately to tone out so I can focus on the paper in my hand.  I snap back into reality and get all the mouths fed, while still dodging questions.  While I’m walking the dog, I start thinking about the invite.  There were seven people invited, plus the bride and her two sisters.  Ten women, most of us have never met, from all over the country getting together on a single’s cruise ship for three days and two nights.  The brochure shows a promising time of food, drink and entertainment.  She was even including the airfare to Florida.  I’m so impressed, and honored.  Everything sounds fantastic except one tiny little thing…. I get seasick.  Real bad.  As tempting as this is, there’s no way in hell I’m getting on a cruise ship for three days.  Only recently, in my adult years, have I been able to master getting on a plane and only coming out with a headache. In my life I’ve tried everything to avoid getting sick.  Nothing worked, ever.  Lesson learned… almost.

Mom had once promised my young son a whale-watching day trip for the last day of summer vacation.  He was so excited and didn’t stop talking about it all summer long.  The day before the trip, my Uncle Joe got violently ill and was hospitalized.  Mom couldn’t leave his side and asked that I take my son in her place.  Under protest, I agreed, knowing this wasn’t going to end well.  I took all the necessary precautions the night before, ate a light breakfast, yada, yada, yada, off we go.  It’s a gorgeous day, not a cloud in the sky, we board the boat.  My son is yammering the whole time, non-stop.  The boat is full of girl-scouts and tourists.  The girl-scouts are passing out fresh, plump blueberries to everyone.  We indulge.  Big mistake.  An hour into the trip I’m paste-white sick lodged in the back corner of the boat with both arms overhanging the edge, sea water assaulting my face and upper body.  Trying to save face in front of my son, I give him permission to leave my side and hang with some of the other kids on the boat with the promise he will check in with me every 15 minutes.  He agrees and off he goes.  Fifteen minutes later he comes back to find me bent over the side of the boat, both arms over my head.  I’m way past sick now and I know all too well it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  I feel his tiny hand rub my back and he whispers “Are you Ok mommy?”  I can’t even open my eyes but I ask him to ask the Captain how long before we turn around.  He dashes off and comes back in an instant to share the news that we haven’t even reached our whale-watching destination yet, but should be there in about 45 minutes.  FORTY-FIVE MINUTES?  I’ll be dead by then.  I lift my body up and muster up enough energy to open my eyes to speak to my son.  In the pit of my stomach I could feel the race for blueberries come up was on.  At the last second I was able to turn my head and heave into the ocean.  A stream of purple goo endlessly erupting from my body seems to attract some kind of fish, which of course attracts everyone to the back of the boat.  The weight of the boat shifts from side to side as I continue to feed the fish with purple goo.  To the entertainment and disgust of the guests, I hurl again into the deep blue sea.  My son is horrified and scared.  I look white and just about dead with seasickness.  I tell my son to get the Captain, quick, and he’s off like lightning.  Within seconds I turn my head towards a calming voice and warm hand on my back.  “Young lady, it seems you are at odds with the sea.”  (ya think?)  I say nothing as I turn to look at this tall, handsome, tanned Adonis dressed in white standing before me.  All I could think was how bad I must look and how do I get the muscles in my mouth to utter a word.  I say nothing as another hurl revs up inside of me.  The Captain quickly sends everyone to the front of the boat to give me some privacy.  As I hurl overboard he gathers up my long flying hair and knots it behind my head.  He’s done this before, I thought.  He put some kind of smelling salts or something in front of me when I settled down and I started to feel better.  I thanked him and then begged him to turn the boat around.  He says he can’t do that, all these people paid for the trip, he has to continue onward.  I then tell him I will personally refunded every single person’s ticket on the boat.  He laughs at my generous gesture and says we’re almost at the whale-watching destination where we will sit idle for about an hour or so to watch the whales.  Sit idle?  In the boat?  Won’t it be rocking, I ask?  Slightly, he replies and says he will bring me below to ease my sickness.  I agree because I had no choice.  He set me up on the private bottom deck where the benches were cushioned and the floor was acrylic.  I laid down on my stomach and watched the ocean through the floor.  My son came down to check on me saying there were no whales to be seen above and he wanted to stay with me below.  I agreed and the two of us had a private viewing of different fish and ocean things as they swam by.  We didn’t see any whales below and apparently no one saw any whales above either.  As the boat docked, what seemed to be days later, we were the last ones to get off the boat.  Once on land, we sat on a wooden bench for a couple of hours until I felt well enough to drive.  I still had a two-hour drive home.  We were soaked and cold.  Luckily I had the good sense to bring a change of clothes and food for my son.  As for me, I was a mess, wet and cold.

My son slept the whole way home.  I carried him from the truck to his bed and got him dressed and cleaned up while he drifted off to a deep sleep through the whole process.  I finally got in a long-awaited shower, took some aspirin and went to bed.  I didn’t think this day would ever end, but here it was, and I was happy to be in bed.

The next day mom called and asked my son how the trip was.  He summed it up quickly “We didn’t see any whales and mom got sick”  and then he passes the phone back to me.  Yeah, I say, exactly what he said.

Although I vowed never, ever to go out to sea again, there was one other time where I gave in for my son.  I had taken him to Hawaii on vacation and there was a whale watch offering that caught his eye.  Blah, blah, blah… much of the same thing and when it’s all said and done, he turns and looks at me and says “mom, I don’t think you should go on boats anymore.”  “Really?  What tipped you off?” I asked, as we both laughed all the way back to the hotel.

I’m not even sure I’ll make the wedding, but I am sure I won’t make the cruise.

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