The following conversations took place on the decks of the ship and on the islands I visited during a recent eight-day cruise with my family.
Lady behind me on tour bus (spying my Yankees hat): Oh, you’re a Yankees fan?
Me (turning around): Yes!
LBMOTB: So you know Jorge Posada then?
Me: Of course!
LBMOTB: Have you seen that boy’s thighs?
Me: Oh ... well, yes. On the field though. Not, like, in person or anything.
LBMOTB: I bet he can f*** standing up with those thighs!
Me: Oh ... my ...
LBMOTB: And look good doing it!
Me: I well ... I ... I guess!
(I turn back awkwardly as my uncle has also been listening to this exchange.)
Guy from Ohio: So hey...what’s the deal with your sister? She involved with anyone?
Blackjack Dealer: Hello, Lia.
Me: Hello ... (stumbles over name I can’t pronounce)
BJD: Who is standing behind you?
Me: That’s my sister, Lindsay.
BJD: Hello, Liiiiiiindsayyyy.
(Blackjack dealer literally stop dealing cards to talk to sister for 10 minutes.)
Lady in San Juan: What are you taking a picture of?
Me: Well, this block. It’s awfully cute.
LiSJ: You’ll probably never remember that photo.
Me: You’re right, I probably won’t. But I like it.
LiSJ: It’s not going to be a very good photo.
Me: Oh. Well no, probably not.
LiSJ: Just saying.
Me: Thank you.
Guy from North Carolina: I gotta ask you a question.
GfNC: Your sister. Is she married?
Me: Did she tell you she was married?
GfNC: She is being mysterious about it.
Me: Then I will also be mysterious about it.
GfNC: That means yes.
Me: No, it doesn’t.
GfNC: So it means no?
Me: It only means we’re both being mysterious.
GfNC: I like y'all.
(The following scene takes place entirely in whispers.)
Me: This magician sucks.
Me: No, seriously. You can't just, like, turn off all the lights when you're about to do the trick.
Sister: He is the worst.
Me: How much do you think he is getting paid for this? Like, more than we make in a week right?
Me: I think I’m going to go play blackjack. This is making me angry.
Sister: Just watch. It’s so bad, it’s funny.
Me: No. I can’t. I’m getting physically mad. I’d seriously rather lose money than watch this for one more second. (looks at mom who is glaring at stage.)
Mom: Let’s go.
Super Hammered Guy from Missouri: Your sister...
SHGfM: She thinks she’s all that doesn’t she?
Me: All that? No, she doesn’t.
SHGfM: Well she’s trying to act like she’s better than me.
Me: That’s ridiculous.
SHGfM: We weren’t all born with silver spoons in our mouths.
Me: We’re on a Carnival Cruise. None of us here were born with silver spoons in our mouths.
SHGfM: I paid for my entire family to be on this cruise. I don’t need her shit.
Me: You realize this is my sister we’re talking about? Why don’t you just change the subject before I get mad?
SHGfM: One time I rented a Ferrari in South Beach just so I could crash it.
Me: Is that ... Dad?
(My sister and I look down the deck where my dad is pretending to stride toward us after hiding behind a partial wall. It is 5 a.m.)
Sister: Oh, God.
Dad (approaching table where we sit with a bunch of people eating pizza. Puts fist down on table and makes eye contact with only us): You two okay?
Me and Sister (in embarrased unison): Yes.
Dad: It’s getting early. You should come to bed.
Me: Oh ... well, soon, Dad.
Sister: We’ll be there soon, Dad.
Various People from Boat: Are you two the sisters with the ninja dad?
GfNC: So how fun was your sister’s wedding?
GfNC: Just heard it was fun that’s all.
Me: Where would you have heard that from?
GfNC: From Dave over there.
Me: Where would Dave have received that information?
GfNC: He said he got it from you. Drunk last night. You told him.
Me: (Thinks a second.) I didn’t tell Dave that! (laughs)
GfNC: You’re right I was trying to trick you!
Lia LoBello works in public relations and marketing by day, but spends her nights crafting, cooking, and watching real-crime television. She blogs about her projects and recipes at Pretty|Delicious. She lives in Astoria, Queens, with her boyfriend G.C. and her dog, Pelusa.