Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cruisin' in "Paradise": A Thanksgiving to Remember

Have you noticed that I haven't blogged about my second cruise in as many months? Besides being distracted by cleaning up (my own) projectile vomiting, the cruise....lessee, how to put it.....blew chunks of deck chairs, literally.

On Sunday, the day of coming home, the day of blessed relief, I ate my mother's undercooked stuffing, prematurely evacuated from a warm-to-cool turkey in a fit of still-regretted expedience. The hubby and I drove home in our old, paid-for Chevy Malibu, bouncing along, eagerly anticipating first, our children's hugs and smiles and second, the only good meal we would get for a week. What's better than a squishy toddler and mashed potatoes? Nothing, I tell you. And that dream kept me going for the hour and half home from the port, driving as fast as legally allowed to get away, away from that wretched sea-god Poseidon.

Right now, you're asking, "But Melissa, wasn't the cruise, like, totally awesome? Sun-kissed, sex-blessed and in every other way hedonistic?" In a word: No.

Twenty foot waves buffeted us. Brisk temperatures prompted the helpful ship people to say as the hoards desperately made for the exits in Key West (a few hours late, mind you, some poor schmuck had a heart-attack and the ship had to meet the coast guard), "We strongly advise those debarking in Key West to bring their parkas and umbrellas." Did that lady just say "parka" on a cruise ship? Yes, it was that cold. And wet. And rainy.

But, what the hell! Key West was solid ground and I didn't care if a monsoon was coming through. I wanted O-F-F. We did enjoy a nice, peaceful meal in Key West. Steve dragged me back on the boat later that evening. If money were no object (is it ever not an object?), we would have gotten a flight and left from there. It would have been a good decision.

Did I mention that we started popping Dramamine? That helped take the edge off the rocking and rolling, but made us woozy and weird. No problem. The old folks we hooked up with to play Bridge took advantage of our feeble-mindedness and spanked us mercilessly three days in a row. I'd have been paying more attention to my smarting hind-quarters, except...

I broke out in hives, for the first time of my life, all over my body except for my face. The face-sparing nature of this plague was fortunate for a variety of reasons--not the least of which cruise ships are public places and if you want to eat or not lose your friggin' mind, you must leave the little rat-hole called home for a week. But, I digress. So I have hives. I'm in the horns of a dilemma here. Sick as a dirty dog with the boat's motion in ocean and no Dramamine on the one hand or covered from neck to ankle in hives. Nice.

The Dramamine got chucked. The hives thing also had another possible cause. Since my face was spared, we reasoned that I suffered some sort of allergy to the detergent ostensibly used by the sheets of our "bed". I might add here that there was no mattress cover. I might add that the pillows smelled like some dude's head. So I could have been allergic to the cooties left behind on a bed that hasn't been cleaned or changed since the boat was built sometime in the 80s.

One day, one day in Cozumel, the gorgeous Aztec sun warmed up to 83 degrees. We dared dip our toes into the ocean (invigorating!). Only one night left on the blasphemed ship, thankfully. And though, it was the calmest seas we experienced, the anticipation of home, sweet, sweet home, kept us up and agitated.

Dinner. Thanksgiving. The blessed transcendence of water pressure and a clean bathroom. My own, comfy, relatively hygienic bed. Bliss. Thank you, God, for home.

The next day, the kids back in school, the hubby back at the office and I am driving mom to the airport for our sad farewells. "Have fun in balmy Chicago!" Back home, I feed the kiddo lunch. I feed me lunch. Guess what? Why, leftovers of course! I wasn't feeling too great at this point, but what the heck? The food on the ship stunk. I was still feeling woozy. That must be it.

Why, I'm really not feeling all that great. I think I'll take a nap.

Kids home from school, wake me out of coma, by knocking on the door. What the? I slept for three hours? All I did on the ship was sleep. Man, I don't feel good.

Snack. Homework. Dinner. But no dinner for me. Hubby home. Kid's bed.

I feel like going to bed--at 8p.m. Anyone who knows me knows I haven't gone to bed at 8 p.m. for decades. This is not normal. I say to my husband, "I'm not feeling so good. You better not sleep with me. I don't want you to catch anything." He responds, "Call me if you need help."

At 1 a.m. it begins. I'll spare you the gory details. (I don't know why, I've told you everything else. Oh well, I guess I have limits after all. That would be good news for my therapist if I had one.)

I've been in a time-warp where food and internet do not exist. Nothing exists. Is this Nirvana? My brain has been crushed by a B-movie slasher headache. My joints, wrists, ankles, knees, neck, everything ache, which is really, really weird. I've never experienced this symptom before. Chills. Cramps. I'm like a horse with colic and no one will shoot me.

My eyes are still photo-sensitive. It is through great discomfort that I've written this post for you, dear reader. I suffer for my art. Hopefully, my tragedy is your comedy.

And on that cliche, I'll end my sad story. I hope you had a more traditional Thanksgiving this Thanksgiving.


Anonymous said...

This sounds awful! It's good to know,though, that you still have the "gift of gab", and your writing abilities have not diminished! :-)

Hope you get to feeling better very soon!

Post if there is anything anyone can do for you.

Anonymous said...

p.s. it looks like i'm posting at 4:23am, but it is actually two hours later. I don't know why it's doing that.

Also, I don't know if you know this, but when commenting, I always have to put the word verification in two times. It never takes it the first time around even though I double check my entrance. By the way, what is the purpose of word verification?

kman said...

Wow... hope you get to feeling better Dr M.

BTW Word verification cuts out comment spam. You know the zombie computers that troll the internet spamming anything they can get their bits on. Also I normally have to enter the word verification multiple times. It figured it was a firefox issue.

Anonymous said...

After hearing that, I can sincerely say I don't regret that we weren't able to go on the cruise with you guys!!!!! Hope you're feeling better soon.