Not only is the party almost over, the outdoor temperatures are about to soar….again. Our house-sitting adventure staycation is coming down to the final one or two nights before the homeowner returns. (He is currently making a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2 and swears he will never leave the ship, but I have a feeling when he hits New York he’ll be ready to come home.) I spoke to him this morning. He was sitting on the balcony of his stateroom watching the ocean pass by. Now I don’t like to brag but I would be SO GOOD at that. I would be equally accomplished in a deck chair. I could positively preside over an en suite stateroom. I have these refined skills and talents – yet no way to exercise them. I could flag down a nattily dressed steward and gracefully request a something or other and do it with such panache. Seriously.
The ship above is the RMS Cunard Campania. It happens to be the ship Margaret Carroll sailed on from Ireland to New York and then spent her 18th birthday on Ellis Island. I’m glad she did, she later married Martin McGill and they became my maternal grandparents. I’m sure when Grandma sailed on the Campania she was probably in steerage. That seems to have set the tone for my life – I’m a first class girl always sailing (and flying) in steerage. What’s up with that? It is enough to convince me in the possibility of having past lives – and in one of mine I must have been some kind of grande dame with engraved (not thermographed) stationery and all the accoutrements necessary for exercising the civilized life. What else explains my penchant for bread and butter notes, cloth napkins and having the instinctive knowledge of how to properly eat soup?
My mother used to say I had champagne taste on a beer budget. True dat. I don’t need to fashion myself as wealthy or throw myself around on boudoir furniture and feign a swoon at odors, but jeez I do like nice things. Not expensive or pretentious things, just nice. Everything is so disposable now, nothing is made to endure. From appliances to dishes to events (an e-vite? Are you kidding me?) it has all gone down with the ship. Now we must pack up our bags and return to home sweet home. Oh well, we can always dream, right? I think of all the things I’ll miss about the staycation house, the central air conditioning (and the world’s greatest couch for napping) will be what haunts my dreams most in the ungodly hot days to come.