It’s nearly 9:30pm on Thursday evening and though I only arrived home from my singles cruise late Monday evening/Tuesday morning at 2am, it feels as though it happened ages ago. I mean, I know it happened because I have a bunch of new friends on Facebook, and I have a wicked farmer’s tan. But, I’m back into donor research at work and even have a terrible cold (yes, I caught the infamous cruise crud). And I can’t stand the humongous piles of snow everywhere. Is it spring yet?
BUT…I promised to come back and report on the good times on the AJ cruise, and don’t I always deliver?
I left for Ft Lauderdale, Florida last Wednesday and arrived late afternoon to a nasty lightning storm. I was supposed to see my college friend and her new baby, but because of the storm, we postponed our get together, so I wandered around my hotel and grabbed some NY-style pizza. And, since I don’t have cable at home, I binge watched Bravo and killed many, many brain cells with the ladies of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Love that bimbo Brandy. Anyhow.
The next day I grabbed a mani/pedi and headed for the ship – the Celebrity Constellation. Seriously, it was the spitting image of the ill-fated ship I traveled on in Alaska (get the scoop at Sailing Off into the Sunset and Stranded on a Cruise Ship…. ). I got on the ship and immediately knew my way around. It was eerie. I bumped into Bill and Michele, who would be playing the role of “Julie” on this ship, and it was great to see familiar faces. Even though I’m type A and can talk to pretty much anyone, the beginning of a singles trip is always the toughest part. Who will be there? Will they like me? Are there any cute guys? You know the drill.
As we sailed off into the sunset that first evening, the majority of the group met up on the running track on deck 11 to say hello, grab a drink, and get to know each other. It was then that I had this overwhelming feeling of calm, excitement and triumph all at once: this was an amazing group of people.
And for the next several days, they didn’t disappoint. On my previous two trips with AJ, I had cruise romances. This time, because it was a shorter trip, I had made a decision to take the pressure off and not push myself to find a guy to hook up with. I wanted to let nature take its course. Seriously, out of 60 people, I think 15 were men, so if you wanted to match up with someone, you had to make yourself stand out. And, I was tired from work, getting over the stomach flu, and the horrible winter. I didn’t have the energy to push myself to stand out. I just wanted to be.
So, of course, I made lots of girlfriends. I’m good at picking up chicks. There were some wonderful women in this group and I know I made some new lifelong friends. I suspect with the assistance of Facebook, AJ, and the relatively short distance between NYC and Boston, our friendships will continue to grow.
It wasn’t all rosy, though. I definitely went through some self-reflection during the trip. I’m not going to lie – I felt very self-conscious about being overweight amongst the guys in this group. I found that while they would begin a conversation with me, they would quickly drop me as soon as a pretty, thin girl came along. If only they knew my story…I used to be that pretty thin girl….and it’s hard work to stay that way. I find myself getting defensive in my head and thinking, “Geez, if only they’d give me a chance, maybe they could look past the weight.” And then I get angry because I don’t want to be with someone who only cares about appearances. It’s my own hangup – and I work on it every day – but you can imagine it is not something you can overcome in a day – or on a short cruise.
There were some funny moments on the trip, and in a moment, I’m going to admit something here that only a few people know. But, in the scheme of things, it’s harmless, but embarrassing, but the perfect blog material, I suppose. No judgment, please!
On the first night, one of the girls in the group brought over a camera and said that one of the guys in the group had left it behind at dinner. In a very atypical moment of giddiness, I asked her to take a picture of my cleavage on the camera. Like, stick the camera down the front of my dress – the whole 9 yards.
“Don’t get my dress in the shot! Then he’ll know who it is!” I screeched.
I didn’t want any telltale signs that it was me.
She took the shot and I have to admit – I thought it was a beautiful, almost classy picture. I debated whether or not to delete it. And then, in a blur, the camera was gone. There was no turning back now.
Can you believe I was sober through all of this? I know, right?
He got his camera back, I forgot about it, and went to sleep. Later the next day, the friend who took the shot said that he saw the photo and was dying to know who it was. She said that the mystery woman – me – was “the woman of his dreams.”
Oy. Now what was I going to do? I mean, I could tell him it was me, but he didn’t even know me.
Another day slipped by. Still, I said nothing. He was still trying to figure out who it was.
The next day I saw him near the pool. He waved at a group of us. I waved back. I decided it was time. As I walked by him, as he sat on a beach chair and spoke with someone in the group, I whispered, “It was me.”
He stopped dead in his conversation.
He said, “Oh, I see. Well, I’m happy to know who it was. Thank you!”
I laughed and walked on. I bumped into the friend who took the photo and told her I confessed. She laughed and said, “He’s going to love you now.”
Suddenly it was time for a hot tub party. I jumped in and there he was, next to me, asking me questions about myself. I said to him, “I can’t look you in the eye!” I suspect he wasn’t looking me in the eye either.
I have to say, though, he was a true gentleman about it. He said he was going to keep the photo. I told him he could as long as he didn’t disclose who it was. He promised. I saw him again during our exit off the ship and he said the same. I bid him adieu.
I know what you’re thinking. We’ve all taken inappropriate photos in our day. But you have to understand that I’m a very modest, private person. This isn’t something I would normally do. I know it’s not a big scandal or anything, but it was pretty funny.
On the last night, my dinner table played a very awesome x-rated version of “I never” and “High Point, Low Point.” I said that my cruise “high point” was that I did not have a cruise romance and instead, spent the cruise relaxing, reading, spending time making new friends and enjoying alone time. I then said that my cruise “low point” was that I did not have a cruise romance. I had a mega crush on someone in the group – a quiet, kind guy who I spent a chunk of time with here and there during the trip – but I could tell quickly that he did not reciprocate the feelings so I didn’t bother getting myself into a tizzy that would only end in heartbreak.
But I can tell you this. Knowing there are guys like him out there only reaffirm what I knew all along – no one should ever accept a date to Dunkin Donuts!
In general, the trip was relaxing. I had many fascinating conversations about online dating, what people are looking for in a relationship, and got to tell people about this blog. I’m going to share this post with the group, so if you’ve made it this far, I commend and thank you, and hope you’ll read on to some of the other posts on singlesassy.com.
As Captain Tasos would say, it’s all Greek to me. Until the next AJ trip!