So I went to the Cunard website today, because I have this fantasy where I fly to Wales, spend a few weeks walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, go by rail to Southampton and then cross the Atlantic by ship. When I came back I would be different - changed somehow. Quiet. Introspective. Wise. Laconic. There could be an ineffable air of quality.
Anyway, I was looking at the pretty pictures of ocean liners, dreaming of brass door handles and parquet dance floors, windy balconies and sparkling portholes, and I noticed a link inviting me to order free brochures to be sent in the mail. You could choose any three of their glossy publications, including an informative DVD. I ordered that one, naturally, along with "Transatlantic Crossings" and the "2009 Voyages" brochure.
They asked me to fill out some information. Address and phone stuff, mostly, but then they politely inquired whether I had cruised before, and would I please check all the cruise lines on which I had travelled?
This is the weird part - I blithely told them that Yes, I had cruised before, and I had been on Princess, Norwegian, and Holland America. I was planning a cruise in the North Sea and was interested in Scandinavia. And - Oh, what the heck, send me more info on the Mediterranean as well. Why not!
What compelled me to spin a web of lies for the benefit of an anonymous and uncaring Cunard clerk? Would it really matter to them if they knew that every cruise I've taken, thus far, has been with the classy, inimitable BC Ferries? (I recommend the Pacific Buffet, by the way - you can make your own toaster waffles - many as you like.)
I read over my newly-minted Cunard profile, wherein I am (apparently) a woman with nothing but money and time to lay on deck chairs all over hell's half-acre, and wondered what on earth possessed me. It occurred to me, on reading the places I have (not) been, that I had invented a curious blend of where my parents have been, and where I want to go. It's very odd. Plus I think I put "Norwegian" on there because I would like to go to Norway. How nonsensical is that.
See me? I'm waving out of one of those portholes.