Thrive Newsletter - Issue #24 - Quick Trip To Cozumel Edition
Rednecks + hot tubs make for interesting social dynamics when Dan walks by in his swimsuit...
We are a week into the new year of 2023! While the government has shown its propensity to destroy any hope for the new year by showing its big red elephant arse right out of the gate, my arse is exhausted from a quick voyage to Cozumel and back this past week. Check out these fun photos by clicking here or on the screengrab below. (Newsletter continues below).
We had a great time on our relaxing cruise this past week. We sailed Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas to Cozumel and back. It was a quick trip across the Gulf, and we had a blast. Only one moment of weirdness that tried to test us, but we got past it quickly.
At one point on the cruise, I turned to my friend Ezra and said, “On Virgin Voyages, I feel like Dan, and I are tropical fish swimming among a teeming coral reef of other colorful fish. On this cruise, I feel like we are two tropical fish caught in a salmon farm.”
I am really good at overly dramatic metaphors.
On our Virgin Voyage cruises, no one blinks when we walk by in caftans, Versace, and skimpy bathing suits (Dan). On the first sea day for this trip, a hot tub full of rednecks heckled Dan about his bathing suit as he was walking away from the adult-only area to get us drinks. While entirely appropriate, his swimsuit admittedly accentuates something they apparently don’t have and are jealous of.
It wasn’t even skimpy by our standards. I was mad but withheld verbally eviscerating them because I didn’t want to give them any power to affect us for the rest of our cruise. So instead of calling them out in a public confrontation, I marched my big gay board shorts-covered ass over to their crowded hot tub and parked it right in the middle of all of them. I genuinely smiled and tried to be peaceful. I talked with a few as others continued to say ignorant things. Most of them were not realizing they were talking about my husband.
That was cleared up when Dan returned and joined me with our drinks. :) The hush that fell across the hot tub was priceless. They looked at him, then me, then us, and one lady even rolled her eyes when she made the connection. Lol. They eventually went on to talk about a myriad of other things to talk about and ignored us, which was fine with me. For the rest of the week, we kept running into some of them, and by the end of the cruise, we had a couple of new acquaintances.
As I pondered the experience, I remembered that the most homophobic of the guys who started the whole thing was incredibly drunk and obviously not a happy person. It’s usually those guys who end up either being gay or bi themselves and are projecting internalized homophobia onto others. I have no clue if that is a true dynamic for him. But when he showed up the last night at a bar on the ship that had an awesome Korean cover band playing, he was dressed like Richard Simmons and barely able to walk. It wasn’t even a theme night so who knows why with regard to his motivation for the outfit. I had compassion and genuine concern for him.
That said, we met many other LGBTQ+ and generally really cool people. But it was remarkable how the social dynamics differed dramatically from one cruise line to another.
The unhealthy side of my Southern upbringing would have me return energy for energy with the rednecks. Yes, I did enjoy my passive-aggressive incursion into their hot tub area, but even though I was angry, I genuinely wanted to see more about who they are. I didn’t want to let that one moment define them. I am glad it didn’t, and maybe our willingness to not avoid them and make genuine small talk made a difference.
And to be clear, I loved this cruise for many reasons. Their app/tech is excellent, and they have many more entertainment and activity options. We had a great time hanging out with our friends, having fun, swimming, drinking, eating…. all the cruise things. I even ate snails for the first time (escargot, and yes, I was a few drinks in when I chewed on those butter garlic-covered chunks of protein. Virgin Voyages is definitely my favorite so far, but I wouldn’t hesitate to do Royal Caribbean again.
Monday I head back to the pay-the-bills job and with all the holidays over, not terribly excited about that :). I look forward to seeing my work family though.
That said, 2023 is going to be amazing. Thank you for journeying with me and for your support.
Let’s have the courage to be our beautiful selves together,
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