Saturday, December 11, 2004

The lost lady of Deck 5

Cruises are stereotypically full of elderly. The Nation cruise is full of feisty, left-wing elderly. (For readers who are long-time residents of Seattle, just imagine the Group Health Cooperative's annual membership meeting)

In general, I'd describe these folks as slow-moving but quick-thinking. But I did encounter one old gal, the lost lady of Deck 5, who is rapidly approaching her pull date.

She was wandering around the maze of the spa/salon, looking for the swimming pool. While nudging her in the right direction, I asked if she were traveling with her daughter (as some of the old folks, like my mom, are). No, she said, her daughter lived in Germany--but was coming over at Christmas.

"She's coming to make me sign some papers so she gets all my money," the woman said. "I want to leave it to the Nature Conservancy and the Environment Defense Fund and the ACLU."

I suggested she set that up with a lawyer before her daughter arrives. "My son's a lawyer," she said. "He wants my money, too."


She went on to say she was sharing her cabin with a woman who snored loudly and kept her up all night. But I suspected there was another side to the story, as she related that when she woke up in the morning, she found that the roommate had already dressed and "sneaked out."

Upon reaching the pool, she decided she wasn't going to go swimming, but back to her room to get a book. I escorted her to one of the many banks of elevators on the ship, got in with her, stopped her from toddling off with me at floor 8, pressed 5, and told her the doors would open at her floor.

Oh, dear.

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