Cat's out of the bag

Cat’s out of the bag

Harrison taking his chocolate cake to-go.

Harrison taking his chocolate cake to-go.

A lot has happened in the last twenty-four hours. Smith cut Rigby’s hair off, Eve disappeared for the evening with a dark-haired stranger and I told the crew about my blog…I might have to start writing in code. At the very least, I have to be prepared for Bly’s proofreading comments and ready to defend anything I’ve written so far.

I didn’t really think through the implications of my revelation, but it was getting too weird. When I told them, we were all sitting on the cabin top after dinner taking advantage of the witless access from the hotel across the street – and i was uploading my last post. See? Weird. Plus, I’ve been getting way more hits lately, so it’s also starting to feel like it’s not just my friends and family who are reading about … them…

Anyway, to my surprise, they took it in stride. They even started reading it! This morning after breakfast, when I told Smith, her eyebrows went up. Uh-oh, I thought. Maybe this is where it stops. “Well, at least I’m not too much to write about,” she said. I figured I might as well put it all out on the table: “Actually, you’re my favorite character.” I drew a deep breath; crossed my fingers. She grinned.

Implications
When I woke up this morning, there were paper roses on my countertop and a rose made of palm leaf stuck in the handle of one of my cabinets. During morning routine (when the crew washes down the boat and cleans the cabins and the heads, Bly popped his head in to say that aside from the typo, he liked the substance of the blog. A few minutes later Harrison said his mom was reading it and she liked it so far. A half hour later Smith popped her head in. “Thanks for causing me to spend a half hour of my morning not getting work done!”

Uh-oh, I thought. Would the roses have appeared in the galley yesterday? Will I have to wonder whenever they complement my food from now on if they just want me to mention them favorably? Put another way, have I jeopardized the authenticity and honesty of what I’m writing now that all the characters are in-the-know?

Will they do entertaining things to get a mention? Will they, from now on, always be on their best behavior? And the flip side, of course, will they trust me … Not to air their confessions from, say, a late night of drinking?

Waffles staying warm in the oven.

Waffles staying warm in the oven.

Parental guidance 
Into this day walked my mother and father. When Eve went to introduce herself, she said, ” Hi, I’m -” she paused and turned to me – “should we use our real names?” My mother gasped, wide-eyed.

Well, if they were unsure about what kind of person would secretly blog about them for weeks on end, by close of day, they knew. Nothing like having your parents at the dinner table to ensure that the nuances of your personality are amplified and explained and your childhood misdeeds exposed (“C.Cook had colic and screamed for months,” my mother confided).

My parents were their lovely, entertaining selves. Dad asked everyone at the table their birth order to see if he’d psychologically pinned them down. Mom cracked jokes and waxed prosaic about food. We sat around talking even longer than usual. Before the meal’s end, Dad got a little sentimental and told the crew how special it was for he and my mom to spend some time among them. It was a little cheesy. It was a little awkward. But I couldn’t have summed up the day better myself.

Sunday’s Menu
Breakfast
Waffles and eggs over-hard, medium and easy (and not a yolk broken!)
Lunch
Goulash, and cauliflower paprikash for the vegetarian
Dinner
Mom and Dad bought flank steaks, ravioli and a bucketful of Asiago cheese for us
Dessert
Key lime pie but with lemons… Key lemon pie?