Last week, my darling mother and I went on a four-day cruise to the Western Caribbean. It was wonderful and fun and sunny, beautiful weather...until Wednesday.
Apparently we were following the hurricane that was, according to an article in weather.com, "a tropical disturbance roaming the Caribbean." Roaming? Disturbance? You're kidding me.
Everything was going well until Wednesday morning, when I had the brilliant idea to get up early and see the sun rise over Cozumel, Mexico. I think I made it up two flights of stairs before the nausea hit.
"I've got to sit down," I mumbled under my breath as I fought my way to the nearest bench.
I tried to focus on on the wall in front of me and take slow, deep breaths. But then...
"Moooom!" I guess we never stop needing our mothers. She took one look at my face and quickly called out to the nearest steward.
"Excuse me... Do you have a bag?"
"Yes, a bag," my mother said. She pointed behind her to the bench, where I was quickly turning into a ghostly version of my former self.
Yes, you idiot! A bag! Otherwise that fake tree over there is my next best option.
"Well...uh..." He grabbed another steward's arm who was walking by with a mop.
Good, I thought, you'll need a mop in about a minute. You'd think the cleaning people would have barf bags available on every corner. You'd think they would have handed them out like candy when we got on the boat. Instead, they took a picture of my mom and I in front of a fake background and were trying to charge us $25 for it. Now where had that gotten me? I had a stupid, expensive picture and was about to throw up in my shirt.
"Bag? Do you have bag?" the unhelpful steward asked a woman in a white smock. She had a name tag, so I assumed, in my sickly haze, that she knew where stuff was.
She pointed down the hall. "There's a bathroom down there."
Thank you. That's extremely unhelpful. Apparently the name tag didn't get her "in the know" to help with emergency situations.
My mother sighed and shook her head. "She can't exactly move right now."
Suddenly, the boat swayed to the right. "Ahhhh." I moaned and crossed my arms, trying to breathe deep. "Stop...the...rocking." I felt like Meg Ryan in that scene from French Kiss where she's riding on a train and has--despite being lactose intolerant--just eaten a lot of cheese. The only difference is, she looked much cuter.
"Here!" Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone rush at me holding a white bag. "I have bag."
"Bag!" Someone else rushed at me waving a white banner.
"Will this help?" Smock lady was back holding a huge red bag. I swear, I could have jumped inside it and camped out. Along the side was written HAZARDOUS MATERIAL. Good grief! What did she think I had inside my stomach?
I continued to sit on the bench overlooking the ocean, holding one bag to my mouth while gripping one white and one red bag in my hand. Somehow, I controlled the churning and was able to make my way outside for some fresh air.
The worst part was, by the time I made it outside, I'd missed the sunrise, which was the entire reason I'd gotten up in the first place! Stupid hurricane.
The next three hours were spent slowing regaining my composure and my pink coloring, and by the time we ported in Mexico, all was well. I did not, in fact, need the hard-to-find bags, but the experience of having at least three stewards frantically running around while I turned more and more pale was slightly embarrassing and one I won't soon forget.
But don't feel too sorry for me, because just a few slow, painful hours after this picture was taken:
I took this one: