Lookin' Good at 58

Monday, April 27, 2009

An Incredible Serendipitous Chain of Events Leads To Marriage

In April of 1995 a new stewardess comes on board while our ship is in Monte Carlo. I was working as a waiter in the dining room and it was just after breakfast when I was heading out for an espresso and I see this red head at the reception with a suitcase. Having heard there was a new crew member coming on board I figured this was the person. I sort of remember actually very little. We might have have said hello but I can tell you there was no big aha moment.

I had been on the ship already for close to four months by that time and the way on the ship how it worked is for the first 6 weeks you were new and it was sheer energy and adrenaline that were in abundance. Then after that period you settled in and started to rest more when you got a chance. As well by that time all the crew had gotten to know one another so anyone new always created an interest. You see during the 6 months very few changes in personnel were made because usually after that stint the ship would be transitioning to somewhere else in the world and the crew would go home and be replaced by a brand new crew.

At this time I was in my last couple of months and I felt the energy to go out after breakfast again rather than just have a nap to recover from the late night before. I was looking forward to finishing up shortly and heading home in July. That is how we first saw each other on her arrival. My new found energy to head out for an espresso that morning.

This new girl and myself became friends but only in the hey how is it going sort of way. It was a small ship with only about 78 crew so it was not hard to get to know everyone on the ship. Now I had by this time had a few failed long distance relationships and I was pretty sure this would be my last contract. I had saved some money and really was getting tired of being on the road. After all I had been on a cruiseship in 1986 , Switzerland for a couple of years , Jasper , England and the Isles of Scilly during that time , a stint in Ottawa going to school , and now it was 1995 and just having turned 36 was more interested in staying at home this time. Home at this time was a small room I rented out in Victoria BC where I could hang my hat when I was not on the ship.

So this girl from Iceland , while we are in Sorrento Italy and a whole bunch of us are having lunch , says why don't we exchange addresses so we can keep in touch. I reply back , listen don't bother cause I am never going to see you again anyway cause I am never coming back on the ship or visiting Iceland anytime soon. I was kinda harsh. She buys me a farewell key chain , and I give her my neck pillow cause she suffers from a sore neck.

I leave that ship and go home and never gave her or the ship a thought. Well it is summer in Canada and I don't feel like looking for work at all. I get back and figure oh what the heck I may as well return to the ships again in September and take the summer off. I phone back the office and they ask me what ship do I want and I really wanted to go back to the Caribbean and I liked that ship so asked for the same one. It was going to do a trans-atlantic crossing and I was keen on that. I did it once before and it was real fun.

I returned back in September and this stewardess named Soley from Iceland has a week to go in her contract. We had a few dances at the party before she left and she wasn't sure she was going to return to the ship either. She left the next day and that was that. Or so I thought....

Meanwhile I am having a great contract and ready to head to the Caribbean when in Casablanca I get called up to the hotel manager's suite and he says I am going to be transferred to another ship as Maitre'd. I say no I don't want to go I want to stay a waiter. He says you are ready to be promoted. I fought with him but he won and so I had to transfer ships.

This other ship where I was going Maitre'd had two cruises left and after it was going dry dock then heading to Asia. So while in dry dock a lot of crew changed and we are checking the manifest to see who is coming aboard and guess who is? You guessed it , this girl Soley!

The hairdresser says to me Soley would be nice for you. I say yea sure but you know even if I thought she was right I wasn't about to admit any favourite cause now I was Maitre'd and I had my own cabin. Now I had because of the privacy of my quarters a harem of women to choose from. Pfffttt....

Anyway a couple of days before embarking for Singapore Soley gets on board the ship. She had heard I was on the ship from a friend and had brought me a shirt from Iceland. Very thoughtful indeed. It was a busy time getting the ship ready for passengers so for the first few days hardly saw one another.

About the second night of the voyage the chef and I are upstairs having a drink at the bar and he says Soley would be good for me. I go yeah right! Pffttt.....I am starting to know that but you know I am now Mr. Playboy.

Before we even get to the Suez Canal she has moved into my cabin. We are dating by Egypt. We had our first real date off the ship in Phuket Thailand on New Year's Eve. I left the ship on March 10, 1996 , asked her to marry me in April. She came to Canada to stay on June 18th. Then we got married on August 24th 1996 and have been happily since.

All these coincidental chain of events , the decision to return to the ship , the transfer afterwards to another , and also I might add her desire to go to Asia as well all led to this. It was meant to be.

It still is the best decision I ever made.............Period!


SkippyMom said...

Have you ever thanked the hotel manager for insisting you were promoted? :D This is such a sweet story.

I thank my former SIL [my brother's second wife] every year on our anniversary because if not for her insistence I would never have my best friend and husband.

[And I had to pay her $10 in quarters for him too...that's another story. heehee]

I love this story. Thanks.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SkippyMom...Thanks. I knew you would like this one. It is a real blessing in my life. It happened when I least expected it and thank heavens I did the right thing and asked her.

bulletholes said...

oh, man, thats sweet!
You must be a real numbnuts to have to have a Hairdresser and a Chef to point out this gal to you!
I met mine at the hotel we worked at...here....

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Bulletholes...yeah I thought I could stay on the loose for a while longer. Ha!