My Dear Seaside –
We’ve been seeing each other for almost two years now, and I think we’ve reached the point in our relationship when it’s time to have “the talk.” Things have gotten serious, now that you’ve given me this Diamond.
Of course, we had gotten well acquainted online over a year before we met in person. I feel as if we know each other pretty well now. I love you; there’s no doubt about that. I have to confess that in the beginning, it was your incredible good looks that first attracted me. When I saw you standing there, so straight and tall, towering above those other silly ships that were wagging their whale tails, I was intrigued. And when I got my first glance at that amazing rear end of yours … well, who could resist?
Was it a rebound thing? Maybe. I was just getting over a bad breakup. The divorce from Carnival had been long and drawn out. I’d tried to make it work for a while even after the thrill was gone. I’d invested a lot of time and money into that relationship. And there had been many good times, even great times. Those memories kept me coming back for “just one more try.”
But there comes a time when you just have to admit that it’s over. There’s no need to point fingers; we just grew apart. It wasn’t that Carnival changed (although it did) — it was more that I had changed. I needed something different, something more. I grew up; Carnival didn’t. Life is too short to spend it married to a cruise line you no longer love. It was time to move on.
For a while, I withdrew from cruising altogether. Yes, I had trust issues. But I got lonely for the companionship of the sea. I longed to dress up in my finest for elegant night. I missed the gentle motion of the ocean rocking me to sleep. I wanted to love again.
When a friend, Ray McDonald, set me up on that first blind date with you, I was excited – and also nervous. You had a reputation – and not all of it was good. There were people on social media who warned me that you’d let me down. Some of your exes said really nasty things about you. Some of my friends tried to dissuade me from getting involved with you.
Here’s a secret: I came very close to cancelling our first meeting. I was afraid I’d feel like a stranger in a strange land. You were so handsome, but so different from what I was used to. You came from a different country, a different culture, with different customs. Was there any way we could make it work?
But I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. I decided that, like Kris Kristofferson sang, I’d rather be sorry for something I’d done than for something that I didn’t do. And so I flew more than a thousand miles to meet you on your home turf – although you were new in town at the time. I put on my bravest smile and I walked right up to you and introduced myself … and that was when the magic began.
It didn’t take me long to realize that your beauty was more than skin deep. I was mesmerized by your suave Italian charm, but what really won me over was the way you treated me. From the moment I was escorted into your waiting lounge, plied with champagne and pastries (the way to a girl’s heart, for sure), then shown to my beautiful room, you made me feel like royalty.
You’ve been making me feel that way every time we’re together, ever since.
And now, here we are and you’ve met my family and won them over, too. In a couple of weeks I’ll be getting to know one of your sisters, and then I’m going to spend some time with your other, older sister in December. You’ve made plans to take me to your family’s private island. Things are moving fast.
When I split up with Carnival, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to love cruising again. You showed me that it’s just a matter of finding “the one.” And now I don’t care what others say about you; they don’t understand you like I do.
Oh, I know you’re not perfect. I don’t expect you to be (neither am I!) I know you’re going to do some things that I don’t like. You’re a bit wishy-washy sometimes and I just wish you’d make up your mind about things. Sometimes you change the rules on me without telling me. You don’t always communicate as frequently and as clearly as I’d like.
But I love that unlike some loves in the past, when I complain, you actually listen. And more often than not, you make positive changes in response. I love the way you’re always coming up with little surprise gifts that I didn’t expect – free Internet packages, deck parties, little candies left on my bed, little snack plates that I didn’t ask for. I love that you remember my birthday and make it special. I love that you take me to beautiful, exotic places where I can forget all my worries and responsibilities for a little while and just be me.
I know some people prefer to play the field, but I guess I’m a serially monogamistic cruiser. I’m proud to wear your Diamond now as a symbol of my love and loyalty. When we’re apart, I miss you so much.
I can’t wait to see you again.