Too damn much! Vacation Diary (part 2)

Now that i am back, I have a lot to talk about. You already know what happened on the first day of the ship. Things did pick up, I was just being a hermit/ingrate. The 2nd day we woke up to a view of the port of Freeport, Bahamas. Wow, such a beautiful place I thought. Went downstairs to eat breakfast at at this fancy restaurant outside of the buffet area. I stayed out of the buffet area for most of the trip. Then with our outfits on, and tourist naivete, we decided to head towards the excursion area. We were too early so we went and checked out some the port shops that sold local craft items. The Bahamian people sold T-Shirts and craft bags. Local taxi cab drivers beckoned tourists, while holding up signs made of poster board and permanent marker. We walked around this circular tourist path and witnessed a live band playing beautiful Caribbean music. Things were going exceptionally well.

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Our tour bus pulled up and we entered the 60 passenger commercial vehicle. The weather was cloudy and humid, with very little sunshine.

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Our tour guide was an 18 year old island girl who gave us a brief history of Freeport, Bahamas. It is a small town with a population of 55,000. There is only 9 gas stations, and 4 stoplights, the crime rate is only 3 percent. This is a town that makes its money off of alcohol and tourism. They are very prideful of their heritage. The racial makeup of the island is 85 percent Black, and 15 percent white. They are a peaceful island, and represent Bahamas as a proud culture . What we pulled up to looked like a decrepit convalescent home. The building had to be about 60 years old. When I entered the building, you could smell the age of the place. You could smell the mold of the vents, it had the smell of a  abandoned classroom bungalow. We were greeted by this guy.

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He had a very bold and affable personality. Screaming and singing  with boastful cheer, this guy was our museum guide. He gave us an entire history of the island and spoke gleefully about the “Junkanoo” parade. We danced and took pictures in front of the custom mural painted on the wall.
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After we left, we entered the bus to find out the weather immediately changed to pouring rain. I looked outside, and felt disappointed that we were possibly going to miss out on the beach. Somehow, someway, we got to the beach and the rain subsided.

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We got to the beach and took some great pics, despite the weather. My wife tried the Bahama Mama for the first time, a drink made of 151 proof rum, and I tried conch salad. That conch was a 12 out of 1 to 10. Excellent flavor.
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Then afterwards they took us to a marketplace where they sold more items for to buy souvenirs and duty free items. The rain recurred, and I hid under a store awning.
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We continued on our trip and went back to the boat to rest before dinner. When we arrived to the restaurant on-board we ate some fancy stuff.
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There was a party later on that night that was incredible. The DJ had the boat rocking harder than the ocean. I had even hit the dance floor. Lol. It was a great night.

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Let the foolery begin. Part 1

Imagine being a complete zombie after a 6 hour red-eye flight, and a 3 hour layover before being en route to the cruise port. When you go outside to catch a cab, there is man who looks like an angry mechanic that chose to drive cabs. That is where I begin with this story. I originally had apprehension about my wife ordering an uber driver, because the stories I recently heard about Kristine Leahy had me apprehensive. What if we got some sort of machete wielding axe-murderer that has a penchant for hacking tourists to death. With the weary and skeptical mind state I already had at that point, it completely made sense.

Anyhow, we get into the cab and he speaks with a thick Haitian Creole accent. He asks us “Where to?”, we tell him the company and location and he drives us there. His cab was junky; Bible with church service pamphlets, rogue papers, and random junk. He drove like a bat out of hell and rolled the windows up, without asking me or my wife if we were cool with it. Inhaling aromas of what seemed to be Ben Gay ointment and dehydrated incense, I happened to take a picture or two of the buildings

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That was cool. Arriving at the port, I continued to go in to get processed and board the ship, which took another hour. We got in the buffet line and and ate food to kill the time. I barely ate anything, due to my fatigue. We couldn’t get access to our room until 1330 and it felt like I had a four hour deficit of sleep, coming from the west coast. When I got in the bed, I was laid out until the luggage arrived. The rest was okay, until I realized they wanted everyone on the boat to do this Emergency Drill, as required by maritime law.

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After the drill was over, I went back to the room for some more rest. But, lo and behold, I was musty and grimey. I needed a shower to feel clean again. As I turn on the shower, water sprayed all in my face from a leaky hose shower. I couldn’t believe it, what kind of cruise is this. And I thought I suffered on the last cruise. This place was disappointing me in more ways than I could describe. The room was; way too small for all of the luggage we had, plumbing was faulty, and design of room was antiquated with outdated “Miami Vice” furniture. For a second, I thought Crockett and Tubbs were going to bust into my room. Ridiculous.

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Then to top things off after that, this place only has one power outlet per room. Me and my wife are playing tug-of-war, asking each other “whose phone has less power?”. Starting me off in a bad direction for the day. I have no channels to watch  sports, only local access ship channels that give perpetual safety debriefing. There is nothing to do on this boat, compared to some of the more prestige ship boats out there. I don’t gamble, drink, or eat stale buffet food all day, so I feel awkward just being on the boat. I had to order the best wifi plan to have some sanity. I hope things get  better tomorrow. So far, the whole thing feels like a let down. I can’t tell my wife that, because she felt like she put a lot of effort into making this “getaway” happen. Will keep you guys posted.

Off to vacation, Anxiety and All

Swimming Pool at Sunrise
Pool Deck at Sunrise – Deck 8/9 Midship Seabourn Odyssey – Seabourn Cruise Line

Guess what wordpress family? I have been conned into going on a vacation again. Anxiety be damned. I tried putting this vacation in the dark recesses of my mind, but once again I am on another getaway. The word “getaway” irritates me. The word feels like I am running away from something, like a temporary fix. I guess I am.

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I absolutely hate getting on planes. I most definitely will panic and have anxiety. When the plane lifts off, my stomach turns. This will be a red eye flight, which mean I will hardly be able to sleep. I definitely will be taking some pictures to share with you guys. As always, I know I will have an encounter that’s awkward — its just bound to happen —  and I will capture it all. The irony is that I am comfortable on a boat, but uncomfortable on planes. Wish me luck, I need to pop some motion sickness pills. Bye.

 

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Stuff (Unabridged)

Lord knows I am trying to figure this out. I cannot figure out what makes a person pay a ridiculous amount of money for a storage full of nonsense. I bought this book to get a view from the hoarders perspective. We all tend to hoard, but this is irrational behavior at its peak. Smh. I thank wordpress for being a place to vent my frustrations. I’m losing a piece of my sanity, day by day.

I’m 6% through Stuff (Unabridged) by Randy O. Frost, Gail Stekeete, narrated by Joe Caron on my Audible app.

Try Audible and get it free.

Life has enough Junk, Get rid of it

Junky Storage

More on the never-ending MIL saga. With almost two months approaching, I figured that now would be a good time to tackle the big issue that my MIL has.  Her ridiculous storage account. This is an account that this woman has been paying for since me and my wife met. First of all, it is none of my business what this woman wants to do with her money – when she isn’t in my house- but that is not the case. As you become older, which we all will come to grips with, we will eventually retire or become disabled. When this situation happens, you become dependent on a fixed income. With this fixed income, comes a mind-bending reality. If you haven’t saved in your youth, by opening a Roth I.R.A. account, by time you become a senior-citizen, you are on a budget. With this mindset, it becomes  hard to let go of all the things you have accumulated over time. Husbands/wives become widowed, technology of all the “modern” furniture/electronics become obsolete, and you look like a hoarder. These could be things that make you nostalgic such as: Children toys, who are now adults, old music crates, plates, glassware, blenders, vacuum, chairs, TV’s, computers, tax returns, recreational trophies for children, school awards, electric blankets, pillows, clothes you can’t fit in, and  the list goes on.

As the time passes by, you move around and travel. Some people migrate to different cities. Job promotions and career changes happen. Best friends pass away from malignant illnesses. Vices catch up with your health and you start to experience mortality knocking at your door. I can only imagine that the process of aging, is a hard pill to swallow. For some, this may not be the case. I digress, however, I mentioned all of the things  above because my MIL is not in reality. She has a boatload of junk inside of a storage, from staying at one place and moving to another. Life has been a roller coaster for her. {Make no mistake, I have no empathy for anyone who I feel can make a difference for themselves.} She has been paying for this storage for too long.  Being that I have Saturdays off, I volunteered to help her clean out her storage. This is kind of half-hearted, because the real reason I am helping is to speed up the process. Despite a 15 minute wait of  the MIL not being at her storage, I remain calm and eager to see the storage.

 

I opened the storage and there was a mountain of complete junk to be sorted out and thrown away. I am not against storages, however, if you have a storage, you need to be using the stuff that is in there within 6 months to a year. If you run a business and you need a storage to keep your equipment there, no problem. If you have a temporary situation where you have to move out of state, and work on a job project for 6 months, no problem. The MIL has shit from the 1970’s that need to be pulled apart and “examined and shredded”. I was aghast at all of the stuff I saw from paid tv programs. She had an outdated exercise bike that she was adamant she wanted to sell. I arrived there around 12:41 p.m., we didn’t leave until 7:15 p.m.  It was so much stuff that I had to take out to hand to MIL, letting her dissect the box  as I begged her to “donate”, only to realize that it was only 1/4 of the work. I came home stewing over it, brooding to my wife about how ridiculous the storage situation is. To make matters worse, she bought an additional storage for a promotional deal that the storage company was throwing. I was perplexed to find this out, asking the mom directly, “What do you need an extra storage for?”, and she answered that she simply needed a spot that she could place her everyday things. I understood where she came from and left it alone, but still let my wife know about it.

 

So, a couple of days passed by, and I told my wife that she must bluntly tell her mom to get rid of that junk that she has in her storage. My wife was too delicate and submissive to tell her mom this, but I am not. The straw that broke the camel’s back, was when my wife presented to me a receipt for 291.00 U.S. Dollars, for a program that will teach my daughter how to read. I was one, under the assumption that this bill was for me, which my wife quickly dispelled by saying the MIL was paying for it. Second of all, I take my daughter to the library every three weeks, and read to her several times throughout the week. So, how is this “reading program” going to help my daughter, when she is barely 4 years old. She is already at the head of her class in every subject, with the occasional behavior flare up. Thirdly, how in the hell can you argue me down about throwing away a blender with dead spider eggs in the box,  when you just whipped out 300 bucks for a program, that has nothing to do with you.

 

I appreciated the gesture. It shows the altruism of a doting grandmother, however, this is money that needs to be placed towards your living situation. Which leads me to believe, A. she is not serious about moving out, B. she is not serious about getting her storage cleaned out, and C. she just is oblivious to the whole situation and thinks she can passive-aggressively stay by “nice-ing” her way through her stay. So, at that point I become infuriated and address the issue.

 

 

I start off by asking MIL did she call the donation truck, she said yes. Then I bluntly tell her, that it is in her best interest to get rid of all of the junk inside her storage. I for one, do not know what is sacred and what is not, so I cannot force you to throw out anything that you do not wish to throw away, but 70 percent of that stuff has to go. I offered to pay for a truck and dumping fees. I explained that it would befit her to get rid of all of that stuff, rather than harbor the junk like a “hoarder”. It will be a burden financially that will hurt her in the long run. She was thrown off completely by my assertiveness. I assume because she usually saw an amiable side when she used to visit us. Now, I had shown my other side. I told her that I would go help her separate the pile for donations one more time, but after that , I am getting a truck, loading it up by myself and getting rid of the excess junk. I walked back into my room, and slept peacefully.

 

After further reflection, I thought about how she may have not wanted to get rid  of the storage. I called myself aggressively helping her, but she may have seen it as being too intrusive. I couldn’t care less if she was offended, because what I said, I meant, and felt it was true. The gift that I have as a human is to reflect and think about how the other person may feel. She may feel, “How in the hell can you tell me what to do with my shit THAT I PAY FOR?!, The unmitigated gall of this muthafu#^@!” . “I can do whatever I please, I deserve my personal business.” So that may be true, but you have to think about my privacy as well. I lost my privacy, the moment MIL moved in.  If I am an overeating, coke-snorting, philandering, alcoholic, you will see all of that. All of a persons business becomes public, once you move in. So, privacy is a luxury we both lost. What I tell my wife is that she doesn’t have to clean out her storage, if she doesn’t want to. However, she will have a deadline of getting out of the house. In other words, if she wishes to put storage over shelter, so be it. It is not my business what happens to her after the deadline. My wife understood where I came from, and relayed the message in the most watered down way a daughter could.

 

Here is my gripe, before MIL moved in, she was humble and willing to do anything, I asked of her to do. She was cognizant that I am the man of the house, and she must respect the rules I lay down. She was open to getting help. Since she has been here, she hasn’t used the assets I have provided for her, free of charge: rental website subscription, free rent, free labor, time that I could’ve spent elsewhere on my day off. She has not told me about any lists that she could’ve put her name on. I am offended, that she is offended. I would be ecstatic, if I were in the same predicament and I had a SIL that would look out for me like that. I guess we just have different mindsets.