I once saw a sign posted at a buffet in Vegas. It said “Take as much as you want, but eat what you take”. Pretty wise words for a buffet. It’s always stuck with me. To the point that I feel embarrassed or even ashamed to have staff pick up a plate of mine with a ton of food left on it. There’s just so much wrong with doing that. There are all sorts of implications, the most obvious being health, economic and environmental.
There are a ton of people at the buffet on this trip that could benefit from reading that sign. And I realize that when it comes to cruises, there’s a bit of that ‘ya pays yer money, ya takes yer chances’ mentality...but it doesn’t make it right!
Now we have breakfast at the buffet. Lunch we generally skip, or grab something light at one of the various dining options. But our dinner we love to have in the dining room. We have a very nice table this trip. We like tables for 2...helps to feed our antisocial tendencies. Plus, it avoids the necessity to make conversation with people you don’t wish to. The trick of the cruise line is this. They have all the 2 tops side by side in a line, so even though you are at a table for 2, you are actually close enough to other tables on either side that you are practically a table for 6. But the difference is this...when you’re at a 2 top, you don’t feel compelled to make conversation. A lot of time you get really nice ‘neighbours’ in the dining room whom you don’t mind exchanging pleasantries...but not always.
On this cruise, we’ve got 2 sisters sitting beside us in the dining room. They are early 70’s. One I can only describe as a blonde Elvira, right down to the pale pancake makeup. The other is her sister Joanne. They are from Boston. They are annoying. They have singlehandedly turned our enjoyable dining experience into a prolonged, frustrating affair. Tonight, for example, they each ordered an appetizer. Elvira ordered fruit salad, Joanne the warm oysters. Elvira had a spoonful of her salad. Joanne I don’t think even touched her oysters. They told the waiter they were done. Their next course, they both had French onion soup. They each had about 3 spoonfuls, and then left them to be removed. For entrees, between the 2 of them, they had FIVE, count em, FIVE!!! They didn’t eat more than a sampling of anything. Really? REALLY!! And if that’s not enough, they are constantly demanding the attention of the waiter for this or that because everything they order requires a modification. Not mashed potato, but baked potato. No gravy on the dish, and then when it’s served, Joanne will ask for gravy on the side. You would expect them to be pencil thin based on the tiny bit of each dish that they actually consume. SO not the case!
And there’s no one that enjoys talk of travel more than I, but yet I find their incessant trip planning in their Boston twang to be nothing but annoying. Last night they spent the entire meal talking about going to Istanbul and looking at dates. Tonight, it seems, Istanbul had gone by the wayside and they did nothing but compare flights from Boston to Warsaw, Poland. They talk about a tour they plan to go on being ‘moderate’, yet when they get up to leave the table, it’s apparent that Joanne has mobility issues. Like she could handle a moderately paced holiday!
My early take on these 2? They are lonely, demanding, high maintenance old maids who like attention and to make people think they’re well traveled. Oh, and did I mention that they’re annoying...extremely annoying!! Oh well...everything can’t be perfect!