Last weekend Clayton and I attended a wedding dinner cruise in Norfolk. I’d never been on a big boat and wasn’t sure how the ol’ aging equilibrium would respond. Not well, friends. Not well. I took Dramamine about 30 minutes before getting on the boat, just like the doctor my mother ordered. But we didn’t actually get moving until hours after boarding, so maybe that was the issue. Everyone who came for the wedding showed up for the ceremony and some wedding festivities for the first two-ish hours, which meant we had the boat to ourselves. But then our party waited for The Outsiders to board and the boat filled up with strangers. And then that baby took off at the rousing speed of a gigantic ferry boat and my head was all, “What. Is. Happening?!”
We were on the second level, so there wasn’t any open air, and after I headed down to the bathroom in the windowless dungeon while we bobbed and weaved, all bets were off about how long I was going to keep that toasting champagne down.
I came back to our table and Clayton was having some friendly conversation with a stranger who happened to know where Pace, Florida was, and I tried to force myself to sit in the chair and pretend to listen. But all I could hear was the internal monologue of Captain Seasick vs. Princess Good Manners. Before I really knew what I was doing, I’d whispered to Clayton in the middle of his new friend’s sentence, “I’m going to the deck,” and took off upstairs.
Best decision of my life. Not only is that obviously where you’re meant to hang out on a cruise, but the chilly, 50-degree night air worked magic on my inevitable dizziness. Why would anyone shuffle around in a closed-in box when they could be teetering over the edge of poorly constructed rails three stories over freezing water? Mystery. I stayed up there a long time looking at the lights and getting what I believe could be considered “my sea legs.”
I got to eavesdrop on the smokers’ conversations and even enjoyed an unexpected chat of my own when a man came and stood near me at the railing.
Him: You’re really getting your stare on.
Me: Mumble incoherently, as I so often do in social situations.
Him: Jump in.
Me: Huh? You couldn’t pay me enough to jump in there.
Him: Really? I’d do it for $1,000.
Me: I think you’d have to add another zero to that for me to do it.
Him: Wait. Do you think there’s sharks in there?
Me: Yep, there are freshwater sharks that swim in this water.
Him: Oh, never mind then.
And just like that, I’m pretty sure I won that conversation. He left, probably to find me some sort of plaque or medal, and I had the view all to myself again until Clayton came to keep me company. He brought cheesecake, so actually, he ended up winning that round.
I tried to convince him that life was just better on the top deck, but someone refused someone else’s prodding to “bring a jacket just in case” and was freezing his little tushy off. Someone else was warm and toasty and not nauseous on the upper deck in her winter jacket.
So I compromised and after nearly an hour of fresh air isolation, I went back down to the party deck. When I joined the group with my newly acquired sea legs, I learned that standing was much better than sitting in terms of keeping the swaying of my brain at bay. Even better than standing? Dancing.
Electric Slide. Cupid Shuffle. Some 70’s disco song that totally justifies the above finger pointing (but def not the open mouth). We rocked it all, with the exception of The Wobble, which we’d never heard of until that night and were utterly enthralled with. Man, people love to get their Wobble on. I officially decided we need to head to Da Club more often. You know, if they ever get Da Club in Newport News.
Thankfully, the wobblin’ of my head subsided long before last call, and we had a great time. It does throw a big question mark behind our plans to one day take a cruise, but I kicked that fear of flying (if “kicked” means flying once, for an hour-long flight, quoting Bible verses Rainman-style for the entire trip), so seasickness can buh-ring it.