This is a slightly edited, slightly updated version of the email I sent my family. Please forgive the cutting and pasting but internet here on the high seas costs $384 a minute. And I have to figure out some why of writing the Culture Blog, which might be coming from the public library in Juneau, where we dock in 3 hours! Okay, here goes:
Greetings from the lesbian cruise!
We're "at sea" currently, having left Vancouver Sunday evening. Today, at 3pm, we arrive in Juneau. As I keep saying to Melissa, "We can describe this all we want. No one will ever believe us."
Picture, if you will, 1500 lesbians from EVERY end of the spectrum. Most are middle aged, casually dressed, lots of "walking sticks." Lots of men's haircuts, matching t-shirts. They're from all over the world and I guess it's just like any other cruise. Some are here to read and relax, some are here to get wasted and hook up.
I can't help but imagine my mother walking around, regarding the entire experience as a fascinating glimpse into lesbian life. (Mom, you'd constantly be saying, "This is SO interesting!")
There are 3 or 4 male passengers, or so we've been told. Sunday, after waiting forever to get into our TINY* but totally acceptable room, Mel and I ate (kind of shitty) lunch and sat on the deck watching sea plans take off and land from the harbor. We finally got in our room to shower and nap and then suddenly, we had to have this lifeboat drill (we're in boat 11, FYI) and I, for the life of me, could not figure out my lifevest.
Please now visualize sirens blaring as I stand on the deck in sweatpants and a pashmina as 6 (six) very reassurring and very butch lesbians all tried to tie me in this complicated vest and I kept screaming at Melissa to stop laughing while alternately thanking these problem-solving women.
Then the staff did a roll call.
"Gladys and Elinor?"
"Melissa and Elizabeth?"
"Susan and Sylvia?"
Silence...Who knows what happened to Susan and Sylvia. They could be dead in Vancouver Harbor for all we know. That was the end of them.
We napped until it was time for dinner. We were seated with 4 other women, one couple from Oakland who were very nice and 2 "solos."
Anyone on this cruise alone can be part of "Solos" and wear a necklance proclaiming their aloneness. Melissa and I are constantly noting the Solos. They have all kinds of activities throughout the day (and night...heh.) Anyway, we have not really revealed we are not lesbians yet although I made mention to a childhood crush who was obviously a guy and then thought, "Oh shit. They'll know!"
No one pushed me on the issue however.
After dinner was spent at the Martini Bar, one of 583 bars on this boat where Piano Man Dave played hits from the 60's, 70's and 80's to a devoted and enthusiastic audience of 9 women. Piano Man Dave's repertoire consists of such of revered classics as "Desperado" and "Take me Home Country Road." AND Piano Man Dave punctuates certain parts of a song with "Boom."
As in, "You've been out chasing fences, for so long now....BOOM."
Obviously, we find ourselves wildly attractive and Melissa keeps saying, "OMG, you just got checked out!!! Ima about to kick some ass."
We've worked out every morning in the gym although we both almost fell off the treadmill as it is VERY choppy today. I'm fine but Mel's feeling a little seasick and is wearing her pressure point bracelets. Every once in a while, we see a little pile of sawdust where someone has thrown up. Yesterday was lunch on the deck before "Trivia" and then "Close and Personal with Betty Degeneres." Last night was Formal Night (lesbian prom) and also the Newlywed Game, which we did not try out for, although considered it. The lesbian prom was really something to behold, mainly because of the varying version of "formal wear." There was everything from gowns and tuxedos (tails!) and black "Olivia" t-shirts paired with black sweats and sneakers. Melissa and I both wore black wrap dresses and had our photo taken, because again, it's prom.
Oh! I can't forget to tell you about Trivia, but I think I should save it for the Culture Blog. Um, we have a Jeopardy champ on board. You know how people who went to Harvard manage to bring up Harvard every 4 seconds? Yeah, so do people from Jeopardy. Especially at "2pm Trivia in the Crow's Nest!"
There's tons of activities and we can't decide which to do, although we're pretty compatible in when we want to do activities and when we want to lounge. A million DVD's are available to borrow in our room, and tonight, we plan to view Titanic.
No joke. Titanic.
We haven't decided on a shore excursion yet, although are debating several. We're playing it by ear and in between saying, "I cannot believe of all of our schemes, this is the one we actually did," we are having a very fun, make-up-less time.
Seriously. There is no way to describe this experience. It's hilarious and fun, however and we're taking lots of video.
We miss you and love you!
xxoo, Beth (and "Mel")
PS: "I bet everyone thinks I'm the man." -Melissa Griffin
*We got a room upgrade and now have a window, which is awesome until 2 am last night when we thought the ship was going to capsize. Mel and I sat perched on our knees on our pillows staring out the window terrified as waves crashed and the boat DRAMATICALLY rocked back and forth. We looked like dogs...