Unbelieveably enough, I did get to go on another cruise (ref–June 2013 post). This was totally a shock, very surprising, but it totally took me aback!! Never in my life did I think I’d be invited on an all expenses paid cruise, but there you have it!
I guess it helps that I spent a lot of money on art on the last cruise; that IS the reason they called me this time, but I have to admit, I was extremely skeptical. My auctioneer from the 2013 cruise (Jurgen) had recently left his position onboard his ship and returned to his home in Austria. I sent him a FB message asking about it and he assured me that, yes, it was legit!!
After getting all the details, I had to find someone to go with me. Not as easy as one might think! If someone called and said they wanted you to go on a free cruise, you’d think they’d jump at it. Not so.
~~My mom, who is a young 80, still didn’t think she’d be able to handle all the walking involved.
~~My sister, who owns a senior foster home, couldn’t because she was in the middle of recertification.
~~My other sister, said she had classes for which she could NOT miss even one.
~~My two youngest daughters, who are in college, were both in the middle of finals, no chance there.
~~My favorite niece, who is an earth mother type, originally agreed, but then thought she might not fit in on a cruise ship.
~~My oldest and dearest friend, had just had surgery and couldn’t.
~~My youngest daughters “other” grandmother, also 80, didn’t think she’d be able to handle it well either.
At this point, I’m actually starting to think that I’d have to go by myself, because I simply wasn’t having any luck finding someone who (a) wanted to go, (b) could afford the airfare and shore leaves (the only 2 things not covered) and (c) I felt I could spend 10 days with (and visa versa) without feeling the need to drop kick them overboard!!
I contacted a very good friend of mine whom I’d worked with for many years at the bank and who I had been having regular lunches with outside of work. She had also taken me over the mountain to one of my eye surgeries several years ago, so I knew we could spend time together. Voila!! We had a winner!
It’s funny though…I posted something on FB wondering if I’d find anyone, but purposely left out the information about it being all expenses paid, just to see what kind of response I’d get. I don’t mind saying, it was more than a little deflating to see that I didn’t get near the responses I’d expected. In everyone’s defense, the majority of them had been employees of the bank where I worked, who had been laid off many months before, when we were taken over by a larger bank. So, a large group of them were either still unemployed or just into new jobs and therefore couldn’t take unexpected time off. However, it was still a humbling experience to think that not many people wanted to spend time with me. Makes me really wonder, just how many “friends” do I really have?