I am a Land Lady.
Cruises aren’t for me. Hey, I know there is a whole subset of society who wants to board a ship with 2000 people they never met before and place their trust in a Captain they have never seen or spoken to. A trust that includes taking the safest path across the ocean where, if I had to get home on my own, I couldn’t do it. You might as well shoot me into outer space. I don’t know East West North South - knots, muster, I don’t even know the lingo. I don’t know enough about the sea to trust it. I mean what if a whale accidentally tried to mate with the ship. Me Vs Mother Nature - I am in the losing position.
But yet I boarded that ship. In all fairness somebody paid me to board the ship. I had to stop myself from saying “I’m getting paid to be here, what’s your excuse?”
My cabin was nice but I was anxious. I guess it was a nice place to have a low level panic attack. The sheets were soft. Great pillows. Enough room to do some kicking and breathing exercises.
The captain announced Be prepared for 9 foot waves.
Be prepared? How do I prepare? I want to be prepared. It sounds like the right thing to do.
I tried to google it. The internet wasn’t working.
We had an evacuation drill. I follow the route I was instructed to take via a map on the back of the door to my room. I was the X on the map. I was going to the big RED DOT on the map, I left my room and took a right. There was nobody else there. I was alarmed. Should I go back and look at the map again? No, what if the ship was sinking. I would have to keep moving.
Finally after three sets of metal stairs with nobody in sight, I saw a lady in a life vest with a flashlight - she smiled and waved me on like it was a road race.
Where is everybody? I panted.
Who? She said.
I was in an immersive horror film.
I was not having fun.
I had that mantra in my head.
I’m not having fun
Where is the fun? I should have asked.
I was avoiding talking to people. The only people I had spoken to had asked “are you alone?” less than a minute into our small talk banter. Three separate people on my first afternoon. “Yes I’m alone right this moment, but there are people who will look for me if I go overboard. Just saying.”
I made a name tag Kendra- I’m Alone and I DON’T want to talk about it.
I got ready for my first night on the high seas. I heard the waves. I heard things banging and rattling. I thought “Somebody should check that. Sounds loose”
I waited for screams. They never came. I stayed awake all night so I didn’t sleep through any Emergency Debarking signals.
I finally got up around 8 am. I got dressed. I figured I’d be the courageous one. Assess the damage, assist the elderly, I had to be strong. I emerged from crew quarters to find people drinking coffee, eating eggs, sleeping in the sun. Not one piece of furniture overturned, at least not anymore. No seaweed and drift wood on deck. No dead fish stuck to the walls. Just people vacationing without their equilibrium.
That is one thing I want on my vacation, equilibrium. I never even thought of it as a prerequisite for traveling ideas until now. How often do you lose your balance in everyday life? Nothing like putting on your cruise wear and then stumbling around like a zombie. It wasn’t just me. People were holding on to walls, railings, strangers. Interesting way to meet new people, heaving your body weight in their direction.
People loved the cruise.
I couldn’t ask why. I couldn’t be neutral. I didn’t love it.
I hated it.
I wanted to go home.
I want to scream I’M NOT HAVING FUN.
I sensed the danger of the sea.
Is the captain a tsunami expert? Doubt it
Tidal wave psychic? Don’t think so.
What are we doing here?
It took me two days on shore to lose my “sealegs” and the imminent sense of dread. The good news is, today, a month later, I can’t access the feelings I was experiencing. I thought I would have long term effects but alas, as soon as I spent that big fat check, I felt better.
Nothing that a nice pair of jeans, a facial, and a blow out can’t fix!
I’m working on my first comedic song “Unemployed Feminist” the chorus is “Gimme gimme gimme disposable income!!”
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn. She is the proud owner of a $3000 bed where she eats, drinks, and occasionally entertains.
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How’s Your Mother? podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hows-your-mother/id1294768033