“Makeshift tents on the decks.”
“Reduced to eating ketchup on buns.”
I need to stop reading about Triumph, the “stricken cruise ship.” I’m having flashbacks to the overflowing Port-a-Potties at a three-day outdoor folk music festival I attended in the late 1980s.
To be honest, nobody was ever going to get me on a cruise ship anyway.
First of all, there is the seasickness. I once took a three-hour “cruise to nowhere” in Florida, and wound up spending the entire trip laid out in a deck chair, eyes screwed shut, softly groaning.
Second of all, I can’t swim. Well, technically, I do know how to swim. It’s just accompanied by a crippling phobia of drowning.
At summer camp when I was 7, I failed my swim test because I refused to go in the deep end. I clung steadfastly to the edge of the pool no matter how many times that camp counselor poked at me with a big stick.
I blame my phobia on the cousins who, when I was little, thought it was fun to grab me by the legs and drag me face down around the pool.
I have tried to battle my phobia of deep water. When I was 29, a friend talked me into signing up for swim lessons with her. Our teacher was a teenaged surfer dude, half our age. I would have been humiliated if I wasn’t so worried about drowning.
But I made progress! Halfway into class, I was swimming in the deep end! I was jumping in the deep end! And then I broke my wrist.
I made a valiant effort to stick with the swim lessons. I wrapped a garbage bag around my cast and tried to swim while keeping my right arm out of the pool.
I decided it was easier to just steer clear of open water.
I read an article recently about a scientist who is studying Neanderthal DNA to determine what makes modern man different from Neanderthal man. One striking difference seems to be that Neanderthal man didn’t have the gene that says, “Hey, let’s get in a boat, go out there in the open water and see if there’s anything on the other side of the horizon.”
I don’t have that gene, either.
My husband grew up near the Tombigbee River in West Alabama and has long dreamed of renting a houseboat and taking the family out to cruise the river from the Mississippi state line down to Mobile Bay.
I hope he and the kids have a very nice time. Me and Neanderthal man, we’ll be here on our little spot of dry land, waiting to greet them when they get back.
Email Lisa Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.