Friday, August 15, 2008

Wedding Bell Blues

So. S and Gi are getting married. On a cruise. Well, woe is me.

Don't get me wrong. I imagine that a cruise is a wonderful thing. Not having ever been on one before, world traveler that I am, I really wouldn't know; I'm just going on reputation. But I am getting ready to find out for myself. My man and I are invited to come along on this five-day cruise, to ports/parts unknown. If we manage to survive the getting there.

First there is paperwork. Boarding passes must exactly match birth certificates must exactly match photo ID's. Oh, your first and middle name have been reversed ? Sorry, and it's too late to change. Homeland Security regulations, you understand. But for only $50 and a few seconds of our time, we can set it right. Huh? How is $50 going to change a terroristic heart? I suspect it's not really a security issue. More like another way for them to suck a little bit more $ out of the cruising public.

Then there is the issue of how you are going to get home. Car at the pier? Friends/family picking you up? Shuttle bus to nowhere (if so, name of bus company, # of bus route, exact time of pickup)? Taxi? Why do they care? What if the friend that is coming to pick us up calls to say his car broke down, how about us hopping on the bus? Will they let us on the bus without a letter from home saying it's ok? If they are so worried about it, I think I am going to change my plans from "car at the pier" to "you are giving me a ride."

And then proper *cruise attire.* Shorts, tank tops, no cut-offs, rubber-soled shoes, casual, casual, casual. And be ready to show off your beautiful evening wear. Well, which is it?

And your *dining assignment.* Formal dining room? Captain's table? Early seating? Late seating? Midnight buffet? Bistro? 24-hour pizza parlor? I DON'T KNOW!!! How many meals do we have to eat, anyway? If I am assigned to the early seating, do I still have to hit the midnight buffet? This is just too many choices and too much information, and waaaay toooo much food!

And don't forget~this one is really important~Be sure and set up your *sail & sign* account right away. This will allow you to buy anything you want, with invisible money! All you have to do is sign...and voila'! You'll never miss what you'll never see, right? So...spend away! This convenient little account even keeps the worry about tips and gratuities from intruding on your fun. You won't ever feel awkward wondering if or how much. Instead, *they* will determine that their service merited a tip, and the amount, and it will be automatically added to your bill. You don't have to do a thing. Oh, except pay.

And of course on the home front, prepare to be gone. Stop the paper and the mail, notify the neighbors and the cops, arrange garden and dog care, clean out the refrigerator. Pack the suitcases, but first make sure you have something to pack in them. Get haircuts...don't wanna go cruising the world looking like we look. Although...we're never gonna see any of these people again ~ well, except for our family, but they've already seen the worst ~ so maybe that's one little detail we won't have to worry about.

Unchained stress...Next time somebody wants to get married I am going to suggest a quick trip to the JP. Well, there is one thing to be thankful for. Or two.... One, a lovely new ddil, and two, I'm not the mother of the bride...WHEW...!

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