If you’re not caught up, you can read parts 1-9 here (scroll to the bottom).
Part of me was hoping you’d all forget about this blog series so I wouldn’t have to figure out how to wrap it up in a nice thousand word package. But of course, you didn’t. And then I opened my big Twitter-mouth and brought the Donnie into it. So here we are. At the end. It feels like the real end. Not just of the blogs but of the cruise, too. This was my way of keeping the spirit of that damn ship alive. I’m feeling dramatic because I’m drinking a dirty martini on an empty stomach, so this might come out a little funereal. It’s for sure going to be long, rambling and a little sentimental. Let’s all hold hands and dive in.
I last wrote about the photo-op, and couldn’t remember details due to a severe hangover and the fact that it’s been over a month since it happened, so I just roasted the guys one-by-one, instead. It was my favorite thing. I remember Sunday’s deck party with greater detail because there were a few things that had me in peak butt-hurt mode. And I like to sulk. Megan and I wandered down to the piano bar after the photo-op, and found Christina, Kala and crew posted up on a series of couches. They informed us that Joe would be doing a show there, and I thought it was a great opportunity for Megan to find out about how the guys actually do sing and stuff. We had skipped the concert, remember? Her only frame of reference for these guys thus far had been them bopping around on the lido stage, sometimes singing over the DJ, but mostly just riding their security guards around like beefcake prize ponies. (Sorry, Cory. You’re not a prize pony. You’re a shining beacon of white man in a sea of…well…white men.) Megan was still hurting big time from her drunken antics the night (morning) before and I was delighting in showing everyone that picture of her asleep on the toilet. Because I’m an asshole and I take my vindication where I can get it.
Whispered conversations about who had said there would be a Joe show, and if it was really happening were swirling all around us, and frankly, making me a bit nauseous. As it turned out, Joe was in the middle of a massage when it was announced that he’d be playing a piano-bar show, a la his eyeball namesake, Frank Sinatra. So it was a rumor after all. Andrea Barber was also disappointed. She didn’t say that, but her face did. Megan and I were standing right by her at that point, so we decided we should probably take a group pic with Kimmy Gibbler. She is so chill. I aspire to that level of chill, honestly. She was even chill when Megan offered her some prescription drugs in response to Andrea mentioning how tired she was. She politely declined, like any responsible celebrity might when offered pills from a stranger. And I said, “Megan! That’s illegal.” so Andrea would think I was an upstanding citizen. Then I popped one when she wasn’t looking. I mean, it’s prescribed to Megan. It’s not like we bought it off the street. But anyway, way to go, Andrea. That was a test. You passed the family-friendly-netflix-show-star quiz.
Since nothing was happening for a few hours (absolutely unheard of on these cruises), Megan and I decided to head back up to the casino to do our new favorite thing. We sat at the quarter-push machines for literally two hours. At first we said we weren’t going to spend money. We were just going to wait for the ship to move and for nature to push sweet, sweet quarters our way. But uh…that took too long. So we got a bottle of wine, pushed quarters, talked to whoever walked near us, shouted upsetting things at Caleb, discussed the concept of “hygge” with our Danish pals Carina and Malene, and created an inside joke of “Ay-yo River!” with dear Angela. It was the most productive we’d been, honestly.
Finally, the time had come. The time for the LAST deck party of the trip. It was GPS night and Megan and I really phoned it in by wearing black pants (Spanx leggings for me) and our Funny Girls t-shirts. I mean. It did represent us. But it would be confusing to others. Which is basically my whole essence. At this point in the weekend, I was determined to salvage the cruise of my dreams. I had spent the past few days watching Megan be famous and dance on stage with the guys I’ve been fangirling over for my actual whole life, and I was salty about it. I honestly tried not to be. I had a good time. I promise. I was just jealous. This fandom is a big part of my life and my warped brain had felt like it was betraying me by loving Megan more. Which is just stupid. I realize that. But you can’t be rational when you’ve been awake for four days and living off vodka and potato salad. She IS delightful. I get it. It’s not your fault.
To combat a little of this “cast aside” feeling I had, I decided to wear my blue lipstick and really lean into the character I had created for myself. It was a new start. Anustart, for fans of Arrested Development. We had a decent spot to stand, once again thanks to Kala, Christina and company, and we just sort of jammed out for a while. I don’t remember many details because of the time lapse I let happen, but a few things stand out. Ready for some butthurtness? Great.
Let’s talk about the conga line. Literal miles of fun. I saw it start, but then lost track of it as I turned in circles in what was my attempt at dancing. Apparently it had made its way around the stage and across lido, because soon I felt someone shove me, pretty hard, and I almost fell down. I looked behind me, venom in my eyeballs, and saw Donnie reaching past me to grab Megan so she could lead the line. I doubt he even saw me as he literally shoved me out of the way, in what was the physical manifestation of my “poor me” feelings of the weekend. I’m positive he didn’t mean to do it. But in the moment, my feelings were very hurt. I was drunk. I had bottled up feelings. Megan tried to grab me into the conga line to come with her, because she didn’t see the shove. But I was at my limit. I shouted, “No fucking way!” and stood there to try and will the tears not to come. It worked for a while, because I was pulled into the conga line about 30 people later. I reluctantly joined, and ended up huffing and puffing my way across the whole damn ship, up to VIP, through the All Access VIP area, and back down again, literally gasping for air as my fat ass struggled to keep up with the rest of the line. It was a lot of unexpected cardio. The conga line ended where it began, and I broke off back at the area I had been, just as I looked up and saw that Megan had once again been escorted to the stage.
I was by myself (in a sea of people), once again trying to intimidate tears into staying inside my face. But they didn’t listen. We can thank the vodka and my tendency to hoard feelings for that. So here I am. A grown ass woman, standing on lido deck on a giant cruise ship with a bunch of people having a blast, and crying like a little bitch. I made a beeline for the bathroom because I was embarrassed. But the lido bathroom is a disaster. So I composed myself as best as I could and walked out, running into Christina, Kala and Dan. They were rocking All Access passes, and Christina took one look at me, took her pass off, handed it to me and told Kala and Dan to “take me up there for a bit to decompress”. Bless them. It wasn’t so much the access to the forbidden area that cheered me up, but the absolute kindness and willingness to take care of me. I barely know these people. But it meant a lot. Obviously the feeling of superiority you get when you get into the All Access area was pretty great too. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. It’s not necessarily better up there. But at the same time it is. You know. Because of exclusivity. If Gossip Girl taught us anything…
I composed myself up there, realized that Megan was probably wondering where the hell everyone was, and went back to our original spot on lido. When I arrived, a drunk chick I didn’t recognize grabbed my arm and shouted, “Aren’t you so sad because last year you were a celebrity but this year you brought Megan?” Like. I mean. Why would you say that?! Anyway, Meg was nowhere. Which wasn’t good. I tend to catastrophize things in my head when I’m not provided with accurate information immediately. So I assumed she was pissed at me. She was assuming the same thing. She went back to the cabin, which is where I found her. We had a brief discussion about the events of the lido conga line, decided we weren’t going to let that or anything else ruin our last night, and drank some more vodka. Then, Megan proved that she had been paying attention all weekend by successfully (finally) naming all the guys in NKOTB. Which was a BIG accomplishment. We were pretty pumped.
Once back on lido, we just sort of danced and shouted song lyrics and had a blast. I had repeatedly told Megan that this party would go until dawn, because historically it has. So we dug our heels in, and moved closer and closer to the stage as the crowd wound down. After a while, Jon wandered our way. Well, I shouldn’t say Jon. It was drunk Jon. Which is different. I expressed that I didn’t yet have a selfie with him and Megan suggested we get an I&I group pic. She stopped him, he swayed, she said, “Jon! Brother! Let’s get a group pic with my friend here.” He looked at me (through one eye, no doubt) and promptly asked me to hold his drink so he could get a pic with Megan. At this point in the night, it was nothing but funny. Because of course he asked me to hold his drink. Megan had to physically guide him into position to get a selfie with both of us, and I handed his drink back without incident. Only Jon would feel comfortable just placing his drink into the hands of a stranger/fan. Bold move, drunk Jon. Bold move.
I’m pretty sure Donnie made a moving speech, but at that point, I was in my own vodka-fueled world, motivated by dissociation from my feelings of inadequacy. And then suddenly it was done. Abruptly. And I was confused. I was so confused about why it ended early that I wouldn’t shut up about it. As it turns out, Miami has a history of noise complaints, which is why we had to lock it up early. Fuck Miami. I wouldn’t be stopped that easily, though. I marched my ass right onto the abandoned stage, and took about a million pictures of a pack of Brazilian ladies who were living their best life, before squatting uncomfortably and having Misty take a quintessential butthurt picture of me. It was iconic. But I immediately got yelled at to get down. I did get down, but not before shouting at Tim, the fireman, as he dejectedly headed toward his cabin, alone. “Tim! Don’t give up so soon! You can do it! Just go after the weak, the sick, the old!” I thought it was funny at the time. As I usually do.