THis on northjersey.com
"Last week it seemed as if everyone was talking about vacations.
"You didn't go anywhere on vacation last year, did you?" my mother asked on the phone, hours before my brother and his family departed for Disney.
"I don't think so," I replied. "I don't remember."
"You don't remember because you didn't go anywhere," she said. "Why don't you plan something FUN this year?"
"Fun like what?"
"Fun like a cruise," she said. "You'd get away, meet some new people ..."
Years ago, my parents went on a cruise to the Caribbean -- on the QE2, no less. But as far as I could remember, they didn't like it.
"No, we liked it, eventually," my mother said. "I was sick for two days, but I was fine after they gave me the shots. And we got such a good deal!"
She went on and on about how I had to go SOMEWHERE this year and then recounted every minute of her cruise. But, no, I still wasn't interested. Then, a few hours later, I went to the office and walked right into a conversation about ... cruises.
"I'm taking one in two weeks," said co-worker A.
"We took one a few years ago," said co-worker B. "My wife and I had a really good time."
"Ugh. A cruise? Not for me," said co-worker C.
I was with co-worker C. And that's "C" as in C-sick, C-monster, lost at C and "No, thanks; C you when you get back."
"But cruises are so much fun!" Miss A insisted.
"Please, I just had this whole conversation with my mother a few hours ago," I said. "She and my father sailed once on the QE2. They're still talking about it."
"The what?" asked Mr. C., who is a mere 24.
"The QE2," I repeated. "Some big boat named for Queen Elizabeth II. They went to the islands for a week. The whole thing cost them $239."
Co-worker A was SHOCKED at the price. "Are you kidding me? They paid $239 for an entire week? How long ago did they take that trip?"
"I don't remember," I said. "Probably during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Plus, they got a porthole -- which I guess is a good thing, right?"
Miss A was stunned: "A week on the QE2 for $239? With a porthole? People pay FORTUNES for portholes!"
See, this is part of the problem: I'm going to go on vacation and spend a week in a room that may or may not have a porthole? And it's on the WATER?
Not going to happen.
"You're just being silly," Miss A insisted. "It's like being on a big, beautiful hotel!"
"Hey, I love big, beautiful hotels," I said. "I just don't like the kind that MOVES. Why does it have to move? Why can't it just stay home and mind its own business?"
"Well, don't tell me you're AFRAID of water," she said. "You're a Cancerian. That's a water sign. You should be comfortable on the water."
True, I was born under the sign of Cancer the crab. So? What does that mean?
"It means you LOVE the water!"
"I don't believe all that astrology stuff," I groaned.
"But you're still a crab!" she said. "And you love to cook and eat crabs. You've told me that a million times."
True. And now that I think about it, my mother is an Aquarius, and she once cooked and ate the guy who read our water meter.
Still, the idea of spending a week trapped on a boat, in the middle of the ocean ... it makes me nervous just thinking about it.
"First of all," A said, "you're not trapped. The boats are very spacious. And there's so much to do! Casinos! Buffets! Live shows! And poker! You love poker, don't you?"
Yeah, just what I need: being in the middle of the ocean and hearing someone yell, "All in!"
"They also have water rides now! And rock climbing! That's the new big thing! Doesn't that sound cool?"
Just what I need, Part 2: being on a boat with a million pounds of rocks on it.
"OK, look," I said. "I am not interested. I do not want to be on a big hotel that moves. And I don't want to go to any of those islands where you get off for a couple of hours and buy straw hats and souvenirs that were probably made in China."
"Yes," she said, "but you don't have to go to the islands. You could take a cruise to anywhere! Or, I know! You could take a cruise to nowhere!"
Nah. That's where I went last year."