One Down

This entry is part 2 of 25 in the series Cruising With the Mothers

I think Kris was momentarily taken aback. “Well, my mother probably would – but your mother? I doubt it. I don’t think my mother would want to be all alone in a room, though.”

“Our cabin can sleep four,” I said, mainly for effect. It worked.

“No way!” said Kris.

“It’s a lot less expensive that way.”

“No! Absolutely not,” Kris said.

“I could upgrade to a suite for the three of us and still save money,” I said. I knew she wouldn’t go for it, but what better way to demonstrate my love and flexibility – with no risk whatsoever?

“I love my mother, but I want my own cabin,” said Kris.

“So you want me to room with your mother?”

“You know what I mean.” Kris denied me the chance to continue the tease. “She’d have to pay her own way, right?”

“Afraid so,” I said. “I’d love to treat, but we can’t afford to go in the first place.”

“I know,” Kris said. “Should I call her? How much would it be for an inside cabin.”

I looked up the range of prices and gave Kris the figures. “Unfortunately, the single rate is 160% of the double rate.”

“Well that stinks,” said Kris.

“It’s better than double, which is pretty common,” I said. But hopefully I’ll be able to talk my mother into going, and they can share the cabin.”

“Do you think they’d get along?” Kris asked.

That was an interesting question. The fact was that since our wedding 27 years earlier, the mothers probably hadn’t spent more than an hour together. “It’s probably a moot point – I really can’t see my mother signing up for this. She’s just not the vacation type,” I said. Readers of the first story in this series will recall that until our Galaxy cruise, Kris and I weren’t vacationers either. My mother taught me well…

“Let me call mom,” said Kris. “She’ll probably want to think about this for a while.”
I read the paper while Kris made the call. She laid out the proposition quickly and efficiently.

“…That’s right…August 20th…Boston…We don’t think she’d go, so you’d probably be by yourself…Yes, it costs almost the same for one as it does for two…I know…I just thought I’d ask…No…No…You’re sure?…OK, then…I know…We will…I’ll tell him…Yup…OK…Love you, mom…Bye.” The phone call was over in less than two minutes, and I assumed that Kris and I would be traveling alone.

Kris hung up the phone, turned to me and said, “She’ll go.”

“Just like that?” I asked.

“Yup – no hesitation at all. She’s really excited.”

“She didn’t have any problem with the higher rate for a single?”

“Nope. If it works out that way, she’s fine with it,” Kris said.

I felt myself flush with concern. “Is this a dumb idea? What if she hates it?”

“If she hates it, she hates it,” said Kris. “What about your mother?”

“I won’t even bring it up until next year,” I replied. “It’s going to be a tough sell.”

“Well, aren’t you going to book it?”

Chester the travel agent… “It can wait a half hour,” I said, returning my attention to the newspaper. “They aren’t even officially announcing the cruise until the show tonight.”

Of course, I should have listened to Kris and acted immediately. I intended to pick an inside cabin category that I could arrange to be near our hoped-for aft cabin. When I got back on the computer a half-hour later, all of the inside categories except for “K” were sold out – and those cabins were a long way from where I hoped we’d be. In fact, there were only a handful of categories open at all. I quickly booked a Cat. K in my mother-in-law’s name, which, for the record, is Irene. Like me, though, she goes by an alias – Pat.

By noon the next day, the cruise was completely sold out – possibly a world record. I was glad we had a spot, but held the nagging concern that we’d just talked Pat into a situation that she’d forever regret. Now all I had to do was talk my mother into going, but that would have to wait until we got through the holidays. I only have so much stamina these days…

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