Updated: Feb 13
About once a year, my sweetheart and I try to get away together.
Let me tell you what it is supposed to be like. We are “supposed to” relax, reconnect, see some sights, disconnect from life, and just enjoy each other in a stress-free kind of way. Easy enough? Easy enough… for some people.
Except when you travel with a hedgehog.
How hard can this be, already? I am not traveling with children. This is not a business trip. I don’t even have to carry my own tickets or passport. Mr. Pocket-protector does all of that stuff for me. I think I’m in charge of like.. packing my bag and brushing my teeth.
So, we flew from Chicago to L.A. At the Los Angeles terminal, we decided to make it “extra stress free” and pay the extra fee to have the cruise line pick us up right from the airport. We say good bye to our bags, and they magically arrive in our room at some future time.
I think he left for a minute. One minute. I found our bags and gave them to the cruise line representatives. I checked the tag on his bag and couldn’t find the tag on mine, but it looked just like my bag, and it came right out of the shoot after his, so that was providential right?
When he got back, all we had to do was jump on the bus and get on the ship.
Fast forward a few hours. The bags arrived in our room, and Mr. Organized got right on it and put his stuff away. He probably matched up his “garanimals” with socks and shoes for each day. My bag laid there, and I vegged out appropriately.
Finally, after a few hours after we left port, I got going with unpacking my bag.
And then I gasped.
I didn’t pack this! Bright purple polyester blazer.. a rain coat? what???
Sure enough. I took someone else’s bag off the conveyor belt and.. we’re at sea. And I have no clothes..
and I wanted to cry.
You’ll not believe how calm my “customer service engineer” was at that moment. Solving problems is how he makes a living. So, he very expertly went the front desk and started the process of making this right.
I knew right then and there that “this” was not going to be a “quiet, romantic getaway” kind of trip.
Most guys get upset at this point. Most guys.. I’m just so glad I didn’t marry most guys. In fact, I’m still amazed at how he handles crises. And the Lord knows, I certainly create enough of them.
At the front desk, they asked me if I would be needing “formal wear”.
“Absolutely!” I’ll take whatever wear you have. I went the jewelry shop. I picked up the loaner shoes and a black top. The pants, however, could potentially be worn by a 7 foot tall pregnant elephant, so I graciously declined.
In fact, I was considering making two evening dresses out of the elephant pants, but I was lacking a needle and thread.
So, I wore my black yoga pants with the scarf that my mother insisted that I bring. (Thank God for mothers!)..
The next day, there was a Bible study that we attended. At prayer request time, I mentioned my dilemma, and a lady came through with a bag of clothes for me. Renee was her name, and she was most gracious, and it all fit!!
But I had this “hair issue” to take care of. You know how I have hedgehog hair? Well, I can do without a lot of things, but the curling iron and hair products are just hard to go without. So, I splurged. I made an appointment with the stylist and had my hair washed, conditioned and styled. At this point, I still didn’t have a dress for formal night.
Wouldn’t you know? The sweet gal who did my hair loaned me her formal dress.
Now fast forward to dinner.
Just keep in mind that I was actually planning to keep this whole “stealing someone else’s bag and wearing other people’s clothes” on the down-low. Not. gonna. happen.
Sure enough. Someone complimented me on the dress. “Uh.. thanks? But it’s my hairdressers..”??
It only took a few days, and I became known (all over the ship) as the lady who steals suitcases.. and wears: the ship’s shoes, her hairdressers formal dress and someone else’s bra?
By the end of the cruise when I met someone, they would say “Yeah.. we heard about you..”
Everywhere I went, people were either complimenting me on what I was wearing or just asking me if it was mine.
One guy said, “Hey.. is she wearing my mother’s jacket?” His wife said, “Yeah.. I just threw a few of your mother’s things in the suitcase right before we left..”
I will say this. I am pretty sure that I met more people on this trip than all of our other trips combined. There were a few opportunities to share the Lord, give counsel, to laugh.. and to just enjoy life. I met some really nice people.
As far as reconnecting with my sweetheart.. well.. I think if someone has a cabin.. perhaps a cabin that is about 50 miles away from everything and everyone.. that might happen. For now, I’m just going with the “I’m so glad I have someone who puts up with me” kind of thought.. and I’m not.. just not going to worry about getting away or even being romantic.
How about just lighting a fire in the fire place and having a cup of tea? That’s about our speed right now. pretty much. pretty much.