In two days, on June 1st, I turn 30. Most of my friends are younger so my turning 30 before them makes up for a string of pubescent disappointments: last to pierce my ears, last to buy a bra, last to get kissed.
In Book 1 of The Prelude, Wordsworth recounts stealing a boat as a young boy and rowing into the night. He is impressionable and paranoid; soon, a menacing black peak appears from behind a smaller crag. His guilt imbues the shore with a sublime power, and terrified, he oars his way back, returns the boat, and later recalls (in a moment of tranquility, of course):
“…after I had seen the spectacle, for many days, my brain
Worked with a dim and undetermined sense
Of unknown modes of being; o’er my thoughts
There hung a darkness, call it solitude
Or blank desertion.”
“The spectacle” of 30 is like this mountain. It’s startling but not inherently monstrous. It only looms when you’re afraid of it. Knowing this, I decided that the best way to approach my 30-rock isn’t in a stolen skiff, but on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship. How can a darkness possibly hang o’er your thoughts when you have access to a casino, a Latin Lounge, and two outdoor pools?
This Saturday, my three best girlfriends and I fly to Miami, otherwise known as “port of call for Majesty of the Seas.” I’ve been preparing by listening to Jimmy Buffet and scouring Brooklyn for cheap couture. My mother has been preparing by offering bi-polar wisdom: praising her 1960’s Bahamavention with her nursing school roommate Margie, and then, in the same breath, updating me on this.
I grew up watching shows like Love Boat and Hotel and Restaurant . Haha I made that last one up, but you catch my drift. Attractive staff + transitory clientele + exotic locale= sex. Everything I know about boats I learned from Captain Steubing. Or Charro. It’s formulaic fun!
I have a new love interest so I’m not concerned with seeing the formula through, but I do want to introduce the four of us, aka next week’s guest stars. I hope to be blogging from the ship. So, in alphabetical order: