Okay, because KML was nice enough to remember and to be interested enough to ask, I am following through on my promise to report on my cruise - even though it's all past and gone and pretty much out of my mind (although it was talked about quite a bit again this past weekend including with Wild Girl's parents and aunt - all because hundreds of interested parties and many dozens of cruisers were together at a weekend event.) So here you go:

The cruise was a month ago this week. All in all it was better than i was anticipating. I'm certain that is greatly because I had pretty low expectations. If anything I found out much more about some of the core group i was with - more than I wanted to know. In all, it was not nearly as much fun as last year - and not just because i was alone and not getting laid smile Without saying anything to the others, they said it themselves - just not as good. Why? Well, it's a long list. We had to work more and harder. There were three less bands this year but the same amount of performance time. The food was not nearly as good, nor the service. I'm not a drinker but the drinks were TERRIBLE. I thought for sure I was drinking a virgin margarita. The cruise for whatever reason skewed really old. The ship was a ghost town by midnight and the number of canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, OMG. Cabins not as large - bathroom by far was smaller and the shower barely fit one person where last year two were tight but fit. Don't ask me how i know that. LMAO.

Moreso however, and I knew this was going to be the case, where we had a core group of 12 or 14 last year for shore excursions and around the pool during the afternoon or bar hopping at night, it was a lot of the time just 5 of us. I did my best to stay out of photos to not look like a loser 5th wheel. It was not too terrible being by myself other than when like the ships photographer or others came around for couples photos - yeah award and then my "friends" would use this to make a comment. Which happened enough, Though you guys clearly know how I dish it out so I can't blame them for taking an opportunity for them to dish it to me. That said, I lost count how many times others said they should have come by themselves like I did. That's yet another of the many posts I could make - perhaps I will. And then, though I guess it really doesn't matter and it's just male pride, the wife of the keyboard player, who also knows Wild Girl's parents evidently told them Don didn't have much fun because Wild Girl didn't go. Really? So this is what it looks like under the bus. She's one to talk as I may do a post on this dysfunction going on with the two couples I was with but there was no reason for her to say that - other than to be a Btch.

There was the girl from out-state NY who I had flirted with last year and I had in my sights. I'll just say mission completed but no we did not have sex - I mean in the literal meaning anyhow. I did have fun with her and I'm glad i pursued her but, like often happens, I feel like I'm trying to force it. I don't want to body shame, but she just is bigger than i'm used to. Yes she does carry it well, but well, I'll just leave it there. She's as sarcastic as me, quick witted and fun, but also seems like perhaps some self esteem issues as well there. She talked bad about herself often, things like "Need to get my fat ass out of this chair" and stuff like that - like why put yourself down, especially since she is very cute, outgoing and fun. Anyhow, we did hang out a bit on my deck and had fun for much of the week - enough that we've kept in touch and are planning to meet up the next time work brings her to Chicago or anywhere within a reasonable drive of my location. We ta;led about me visiting, especially to ride her horses, but I'm not sure I'd risk that until we do a day or two during a work trip together to make sure. It's not a love connection and barely a lust connection. But at least it added to the cruise experience.

On the very last night at like 11:00 PM or later I finally got to talk to someone I had briefly met at the airport. She was friends of another musician i know but not well. Anyhow, we totally hit it off. She's age appropriate (I'm pretty sure very close to my age) a nurse but now works in upper management, very friendly, smart, fun, confident, very good shape and pretty. The total type I'd ask out in a second. We both said too bad we did not talk sooner as we'd have had so much more to talk about. Her husband is somewhat more quiet - yes she's married... of course she's married - all the good ones are. They met nearly 40 years ago - near FORTY FLIPPING YEARS and have been married 32 and seem very happy. Of course who knows, but I didn't see the bickering, etc. with them that I did with other couples I was with. I wrote this the way I did not to hint that something inappropriate went on as it did not - just that the pool of what is left over pales in comparison to those who have stuck by their marriage and don't bail. In other words, once again, the women I would totally date are already taken. I think I'm back to hoping for a widow.

So in the end, it was okay going alone but not near as much fun as last year. Also, as I look back, I almost want to go back and retroactively retract the invitations I made to at least some of the women i asked. They didn't deserve to be asked by me and clearly didn't deserve the extra effort I put into trying to convince a few of them to go. To be honest, there was really no one that I asked that i was as sure about as I was Wild Girl nor that I wanted to go as much. Then again, there was no one that I had dated more than a dozen times and spent like half a dozen weekends with either so it would stand to reason this would be the case. However, this was a true gift to some of these women who sat home and did nothing a month ago. It's their loss, but they can't seem to get out of their own way and now I feel bad for "lowering myself" to their level. I know that may sound harsh and I'm not even saying like I'm all that and they missed some best of their life opportunity - I'm just saying, I wish I would have not tried as hard with some people who didn't deserve it. And I'm not talking about all of the 4 or 5 or 6 or whatever it was just some.

As an aside, it was also interesting, I ran into a couple others this weekend who were on my list of considerations but I never asked. One I had known years ago and had a bit of a hook up with like close to 15 years ago right after my D. Wow, has she changed including she's now a smoker. Very glad I did not roll the dice there. Ran into someone else, and she would have been perfect and I was kicking myself for not checking and told her so. She's got a new job and could not have gone anyhow, so no loss, but it looks like we are going to get together here sometime. She lives about two hours away, however.

It's about 95% certain we will not be back next year - which since they are on the same cruise line, this was Princess BTW, we are sort of happy we are not. I'd say it's at least 50/50 we'll be back again in 2022 or 2023 though so hopefully there will still be a chance for a repeat of 2019.

And that's it, unless I'm missing something and if so, I'll be happy to try to answer. As an aside, there are all sorts of other things going on in my life as well but I've just not been feeling it here lately, although some of my faith has been restored as of late. We'll see if I get back to posting here on this thread more. Then again, I can't even remember the last time I posted on my FB page either, not even a single cruise post, so maybe I'm just posted out in general and it's just me and not the environment or others. Time will tell.


DonH
Midwest
Me 56
WAW-EXW 55
Met 11/95 / Married 5/00
Bomb 6/20/05 / She Filed on 6/2/06 / Divorced on 10/9/06
4 who'd qualify as GF since D & dated about 25 women since D