All the euphoria continued . . . until later that day, at dinner.
Now, Vikings DO NOT fit in at fancy restaurants; I discovered this firsthand. Extravagantly dressed people filled the whole place. Flower-shaped lights hung from the ceiling. Beautifully adorned French gates loomed against the walls where a sunset peeked through the slats of wood. I watched as the colors dipped and changed; it was an illusion some Disney genius had concocted just to make the place more appealing. Every detail spurred amusement. The place shone stunning, and I couldn't pull my eyes from the scenes around me.
I studied the stuffy people there. They weren't Vikings. They might have been millionaires, but they were not Vikings. I smiled into my mutton, well it was actually a chicken breast, but to me it tasted like mutton. I tried remaining proper in an effort to fit in, except no matter how hard I tried, I still felt like everyone knew I didn't belong.
"I need to use the bathroom," The Scribe tugged at my arm.
"Not right now, darling," I said, hoping the fancy lady to my left would hear my use of the word "darling." Rich people use that word! "Dessert is coming. As soon as it's here, then we can go."
"But I really need to go."
"And it can wait," I practically sang like Aurora.
The Hippie whispered to me then. "This fancy food tastes different. It's not bad, just different."
"It's because they don't have any Viking cooks." All day I'd been teasing my girls about Vikings. They loved it since they weren't seasick either and just knew they was part Viking too.
The dessert arrived. I'd never seen so much dripping-hot chocolate in all my life. My eyes grew big and I licked my lips. "Dig in, kids."
"But, mom," The Scribe persisted. "I neeeeed to go to the bathroom." She pulled the napkin from her lap and folded it on the table. "Please."
We must have been the only party with children in that place. It was so desired, they took reservations years in advance. We excused ourselves from the table. The Hippie ended up tagging along and everyone around stared as we left the room. Maybe because they didn't have kids, or maybe because we didn't fit in since it was kids' pirate night and my girls were dressed to impress.
The Scribe wore this set.
It's one of the outfits I made for the cruise.
Anyway, as we walked to the bathroom, The Scribe suddenly turned green. Some extremely well-dressed women crossed our path. They wore shawls, BOOTS, and puckered expressions! They turned to us and gave us a strange once over. "Hhmph!"
That's when The Scribe looked at me. Her bottom lip trembled. She burst in the direction of the bathroom, but right as she ran by those judgmental women, she threw up all over the floor at their feet.
"OH MY GOSH," I blurted.
"What the Hell," one woman said. She nearly shook and I didn't blame her. "You almost hit my new shoes! MY NEW SHOES!"
"I'm . . . I'm so sorry," The Scribe said.
"We didn't mean . . . it was an accident," I finished for her. "We can pay you."
"I . . . I . . . How disgusting!" The two women ran off down the hall and left The Scribe, The Hippie and I standing where a bunch of high caliber people gawked at us and the floor.
We darted into the bathroom and hoped no one would be there. We were wrong. Stately women stood in a long line. When the women saw The Scribe they instantly parted like the Red Sea. "Let her through," a worker said. "We have a seasick little girl here."
After a thorough hand washing and cleaning, The Hippie and The Scribe ended up having first priority. It was horribly embarrassing for The Scribe and myself. I felt so bad for my little girl. I stood outside of their stalls and whispered to The Scribe. "Why didn't you tell me you felt so sick? I feel terrible I didn't bring you to the bathroom sooner."
"Did you see some of those people in there?" she asked. "They're rich! I didn't want to seem poor and tell you I was sick. I bet rich people never get sick, ever. I just didn't want them knowing we're not like them."
A lady smiled next to me. "Rich people get sick too, honey," she said toward the stall.
The Scribe gasped, obviously embarrassed that someone had heard her.
The lady went on. "When it really comes down to it, we're all the same. You'll be wise if you remember that."
Some of the women behind her stood straighter as if money made them exempt from such phrases.
I'd needed to hear that. All throughout dinner, I felt out of place, like I wasn't good enough. I wondered what my girls thought though. They'd walked into that place to simply use the bathroom, but they'd step from those stalls as changed young women. They'd know that everyone's the same regardless of religion, appearance, creed or status. They'd know what really makes a person. It isn't the size of their paycheck, but the strength of their loving spirit. I was just about to ask my girls to share their thoughts, ask them about their obvious conversion to truth, when I heard a fart that sounded like a fog horn.
I paused. Blinked. I didn't know what to say. I could have sworn that the sound came from The Hippie's stall.
"What in thee world!" an elderly lady bit on the words. "It's like a circus in here!"
Another lady waved her hand in front of her face.
"Hippie, was that you? Are you okay?" I asked.
"I just went number three, mom," The Hippie yelled, then giggled as loud as the fart had been. She's normally such a quiet, good child. At that moment I realized how much she's like her older sister. I laughed. I couldn't hold it in.
"Number three?" I whispered as the lady next to me chuckled.
"Yeah," The Hippie answered. "You know, how people say 'I have to go number one, I have to go number two?' Well, now you know what number three is."
The Scribe came out of her bathroom and we all went back to our cabin. "Do you still think I'm a Viking?" The Scribe asked.
"Of course I do. You made it all the way through dinner and no one even knew you were sick!" I smiled at my girls. "Did you hear what that nice lady said?"
"Something about rich people getting sick too?" The Scribe asked.
I nodded. "She was trying to say that everyone's the same. No matter what, God made us all. Did you hear any of that?" I asked The Hippie.
"Nope." She smiled innocently. "I was too excited about going number three!"