My wife and I just returned from our sixth — count 'em sixth — cruise. Now, there's a sentence I never thought I'd see myself type. Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed each and every one, but, honestly, they all have been very similar experiences. First of all, we are on vacation, so the level of energy we exert is minimal... as it should be. Sure, there are people aboard the ship who jog or exercise or swim or workout in the large gym. Not me. I don't do those things at home, so I am certainly not doing them on vacation. What I do most often is eat, as does the majority of the passengers. After all, cruise lines are famous for their sumptuous and abundant buffets, most available 24 hours a day.
Some folks, however, spend a ton of money on a trip such as a cruise and have no idea how to relax. Or even how to interact with other people. Over the years, Mrs. P and I met many fellow passengers who were travelling as a single. Even on this most recent cruise, we met several people who were vacationing by themselves. But, they were friendly, personable and outgoing. Richard, one of the members of a Facebook group my wife joined prior to our trip, was a great guy. Funny, interesting — a real character. He even wrote a book that he allowed his cruise comrades to download to their Kindle for free. Mrs. Pincus, a supporter of the arts... I guess, purchased an actual copy. Richard was flattered, adding there's a possibility she may have purchased the only copy. George was a hoot. Tall and quite noticeable, George bore a striking resemblance to beloved teacher-turned-meth-dealer Walter White from TV's Breaking Bad. He stuck to his story that it was merely a costume (as we sailed over Hallowe'en), but I was leery. Again, George was traveling alone, but every time we saw him, he was in the center of a crowd — smiling and laughing and making the most of his cruise. There are people, though, that board the ship with luggage in their hand and a chip on their shoulder. We met one.
At first, we felt bad. But, the more we thought about it, the more we realized the absurdity of that guy's reaction and behavior. Here he is, on a ship by himself, with 4000 passengers — and he's angry because someone was standing near him?!? Hey dude, if you don't like people standing near you, a cruise ship is the last place you should be. At some point during the week, someone is gonna be near you.
The next morning, Mrs. Pincus and I were in the Garden Cafe, the ship's buffet, finishing up breakfast. Suddenly, I saw the "hover table" guy place a plate filled with breakfast foods at a table just a few feet from where we were sitting. He turned and headed toward the self-serve beverage area and grabbed a coffee mug from the rack. I jokingly said that I was going to stand next to his table when he returned. I watched the "hover table guy" reach to dispense himself some coffee by jutting his hand right in front of another passenger who was also getting coffee. Again, he reached right across this poor man's personal space to grab a few sugar packets. Then, he lumbered back to his table, a scowl across his face, and seated himself at his breakfast plate. Then, he bowed his head and crossed himself. My wife frowned and commented, loud enough for me to hear, but not so loud that the "hover table" guy could hear: "Did Jesus teach you how to be rude to your fellow man?"
|... for comfort.|
I'll bet this guy's neighbor probably lives too close for his liking.