Wimpy Fridays – Easter

Wimpy Considers Cruising

The Super Bowl of Marriage Maintenance!

(Excerpts of his Game plans from Tom & Mary past reviews)

That Wimpy Character, Tom’s Cruise Persona:

Mary has said the most memorable and best parts of our cruises are the things Wimpy does to surprise her. Wimpy views every cruise as an opportunity to practice some major marriage maintenance. He prepares for each cruise like a coach prepares for the big game. He thinks about all the things he could do to surprise his Mary. After much soul searching, he carefully formulates his game plan. He knows defense wins the big games in football, but it’s the strong well thought-out offense that’s needed for a super week of marriage maintenance. Read the details of some of Wimpy’s successful game plans. 

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Voyager of the Sea: May 2001

Our Drive To Port:

Mary and I did our pre-cruise routine – the Island dinners, our fashion week, our dance sessions, all the things we wrote about in our article. Our drive to Miami is the final phase of our pre-cruise activities. We find listening to the CDs of the Los Panchos Trio, Pedro Vargas, Edie Gorme, and Julio Inglesias, creates just the right mood to begin to feel the tranquil, laid back feeling of the Caribbean. Having my lady at my side as we listen to the soulful, romantic voice of Pedro Vargas is a wonderful beginning for our 23rd “Honeymoon”, more mellow and serene with each mile we travel. I can sense that whatever is remaining of Macho man’s demeanor is rapidly … fading … into the background. The four-hour drive passes quickly as we find ourselves going over the causeway bridge leading to the cruise terminal. As we approach the highest point of the bridge, the Voyager of the Seas begins to come into view. We have done this same exact thing twice before, but we are still awed and speechless at the sight of this magnificent vessel. The first view of the Voyage of the Seas is absolutely breathtaking. As we turn into the terminal area, our excitement level reaches new heights. We’ve made 22 cruises, and we still get excited as if was our first cruise. I can tell by the way Mary is smiling at me with her heart… that she knows… the Jeckyl & Hyde thing has happened again. Macho man has slowly been replaced by her lovable cruise companion Wimpy. She senses he has something special in mind for their anniversary, but she has no idea what it might be. Wait until you read what Wimpy did. Mary’s in for a big surprise.

Our Cabin:

We had a lot of fun with our Cabin Stewardess Irma from Romania. Not only was she a meticulous housekeeper, she also had a wonderful sense of humor. She loved the scented plug-ins that Wimpy brought with him on every cruise. (We gave them to her when we disembarked.) She also liked the things that Wimpy did for Mary. Each morning when she made up our cabin, she couldn’t help but notice that the Easter Bunny had paid us a visit. After four or five days, she couldn’t resist using Wimpys gifts to make all kinds of different pillow decorations. (Later in the review, I will tell you about Wimpy’s Easter surprises for Mary.)

Lunch With My Mary:

We boarded early and decided to have an early lunch. We had a delightful lunch, with a special treat, Neil Parkinson tickling the ivories on a baby grand. My Mary loves pasta. Our main course was linguine with marina sauce, and I ordered a nice Cabernet for Mary. (Later in our review, I will tell you why I said I ordered the wine for Mary, and I didn’t say for us.)  When the wine was served, with the strains of “Unforgettable” being played in the background, Wimpy squeezed Mary’s hand and told her she reminded him of a fine Bordeaux …  you get smoother and more velvety with every passing year. Mary squeezed his hand and gave me one of those … “how sweet that was” looks …  she leaned over and gave Wimpy a kiss and whispered in his ear. I know you would like to know what she said;   I’m not going to reveal what Mary said to me, but I will tell you, my pulse rate increased and my heart skipped a beat. Another tender moment to add to our shipboard memories, and we haven’t even left the pier.

It’s Getting More Difficult To Surprise Mary:

This being our anniversary cruise Wimpy wanted to maximize his opportunity to earn some high marks in marriage maintenance. On previous cruises, he has hit the ball out of the park … every time. But for some reason, for this important cruise, he couldn’t decide what he should do. Just when things were looking the darkest, he got an idea in an unexpected way.

A month before the cruise we were having dinner at our club with some old friends. Marion Merkel, who was seated next to me, leaned over and whispered in my ear, “What is Wimpy going to do for Mary on your anniversary cruise?” I told her I didn’t have a clue. She said, “Being you’ll be away for Easter, why don’t you do something with Easter in mind.” Easter! It had completely slipped my mind that we were going to be at sea during Easter. It took a minute or so for her remark to sink in… then I realized… that’s it… the Easter bunny is going to visit Mary at sea. There isn’t a woman in the world that doesn’t like those cute little bunnies and those fuzzy little baby chicks … now all he had to do was formulate his game plan. It wasn’t long before he decided to adopt a plan similar to the one Wimpy came up with on our Valentine cruise. I began collecting small stuffed Easter Bunnies; you know the soft cuddly kind, not the chocolate ones. I hunted around until I found Easter Bunnies in every imaginable position; sitting, standing, lying down, sleeping, holding a carrot, and even in the act of kissing. I know men don’t often use the word adorable, but it’s the only word that truly describes what they looked like … they were adorable.

I surfed the Internet and found a web-site, www.RomanceHer.com, that had a number of romantic items Wimpy could incorporate in his game plan. I ordered a Scented Gel Candle in a beautiful fluted champagne glass, with a red heart. I ordered a box of return address size strips of paper, each with an expression of love on them; one for every day of the year, A dozen small red cards with romantic messages with companion envelopes. And for Easter Sunday, in the Hallmark section of Bookland, I spotted two larger bunnies; the girl bunny was dressed in little skirt and blouse, and the boy bunny, in shorts and a top. I also bought five anniversary cards that said the very things I wanted to say to Mary. Each one spoke my heart in a very special way. Being the bunnies were made of soft material, I was able to stuff all of them in a carry-on Wimpy bought for this occasion. I was a little apprehensive when I sent it through the scanner, thinking the magnetic lips might set of the alarm, but thank god, that didn’t happen.

Mary had no idea what I was up to. When we’re aboard ship, I’m usually the first to wake up. I make my morning visit and then call room service for our coffee and Danish. After Mary wakes up and makes her visit, that’s when Wimpy would hurry to the closet and open the valise with the stuffed animals, and quickly select the Bunny of the Day. He would put it at the base of the light on Mary’s night table and return to bed. Wimpy was all smiles when he saw the open-mouth, surprised look on Mary’s face when she saw the cute little bunny. She picked up the little guy and cuddled him. Then she turned to Wimpy and gave him a big hug and a kiss and said some very nice things that warmed Wimpys heart. Each morning I repeated the same routine, with some slight variations. Sometimes I would rearrange the ever enlarging family of bunnies, (as you well know, rabbits do multiply rather quickly) or maybe add a few baby chicks to the group.

As the week progressed the table was a little crowded, but it looked great. After breakfast and in the evening when we returned to our cabin, we would find that Irma , our cabin attendant, used some of our bunnies and baby chicks to make cute little groupings on our pillows. It became a contest between us, who could arrange them in the most imaginative way. During the cruise, sometimes at dinner, other times during lunch, one of the red envelopes with the romantic messages appeared under Mary’s plate. Wimpy would slowly reach for the envelope, open it and with his new found sultry voice, read the love message to his Mary. Between receiving the bunnies, the cute little fuzzy chicks, some “hold me tight” dancing and now Wimpy reading her words of love, Mary was in another world. I could have told her a spider was crawling up her leg, and she would have reached for Wimpy’s hand and smiled. My Mary is never going to forget this anniversary.

Wimpy Loves The Way Mary Signs Her Cards:

Mary is such a sweet spirit. She reveals this in the way she signs her cards. I won’t be so delicate to reveal what she wrote in her anniversary card to me, but I will share the way she signed it. The front of the card read, “The music of life is love. Each couple makes their own beautiful melody.” Mary signed it, “We have made beautiful music over the past thirty three years and you are the music of my soul that makes my heart dance, I love you forever, Mary.”

Momma Mia:

The Maitre d’ of the Personal Choice dining room was a handsome young man with  a low key, infectious personality. As our readers know, Mary enjoys being well dressed. She packs one dress for each day and another four or five in case she changes her mind. She would have been right at home in the olden days when women traveled with steamer trunks.  Each evening when we entered the dining room, with Mary dressed in her finery, Catlin would leave the maitre d’ stand and slowly approach her with outstretched arms, and in a soft voice would murmur, “Momma Mia”, an Italian expression meaning, “My God, you look good.” Then he would take her arm and escort her full length of the dining room to our table. That isn’t something that’s taught in hotel school.  Although he is a young man, he has that old world charm and is everything a maitre d’ should be.  Since we’ve been home, when we are dressed and ready to go to dinner, I would look at Mary, all dressed up,  and doing my best to imitate Catlin, slowly approach her with open arms, and in a very slow, husky voice I murmur, “Momma Mia”… It came off pretty well, except for the fact I’m 45 years older and have a lot less hair than Catlin. But that’s all right, my Mary likes it.

Wimpy Likes Perry Ellis:

As we entered the Wheelhouse lounge, we heard the deep, sultry voice of Perry Phillips singing one of the wonderful, romantic ballads of days gone by. As we stepped on the dance floor, and I took Mary in my arms, my feet began to sense the rhythm of the music. As I’ve said many times, there is something very special that happens when your holding your loved one tightly in your arms, while dancing to one of those magnificent romantic ballads of the  past. There was never a more fitting expression than, “Dancing is Truly Love Set to Music.” The sensuous beat of the Perry Ellis Trio, made us do things we didn’t know our feet could do. Of course our basic steps are what we refer to as the “World War #2 slide and glide”, but always with a new variation. Usually when I try a new step,  Mary will give me one of those smiles that says, “It  would be nice if you let me know what you’re doing”, but with the rock-solid beat of the music, old Wimpy was in rare form, and Mary gracefully followed his lead. I can’t adequately express our feelings of what it meant for  us to be able to dance to, what I term, our kind of music. Perry sang the songs that stay in ones heart and memory forever. I bet 90% of the people reading this review will not remember many of the songs we danced to. Do you remember any of these songs?  “In My Solitude”, “For Sentimental Reasons”,  “The Very Thought Of You”, “The Nearness Of You”.  I know being in our late seventies we have a leg up on you, but just for the fun of it, let us know if you remember any of these beautiful romantic ballads of yesteryear.

Wimpy Hits a Home Run:

Toward the end of the cruise, when Mary thought Wimpy had done everything he could possibly do, Wimpy hit a home run. One afternoon when we returned from the pool, when Mary was showering, Wimpy took everything off the bed, except the white sheets. He then took a box of 365 return address size, red love notes, held the box over the bed and let them fall like snow all over the white sheets. There were red love notes everywhere. The contrast of red against the white sheets was something to behold. When Mary came out of the bathroom and looked at the bed, she actually gasped, “What in the world did you do?” As I coyly rolled my eyes, I  said to her,”Being my memory isn’t what it used to be, (thank God it’s only my memory) Wimpy wanted her to have a love note from Tom for everyday of the coming year; he wanted to make sure he never forgets to tell Mary he loves her.”

Our women readers will like this:

Behind Every Man Is a Great Woman

Thomas Wheeler, CEO of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, and his wife were driving along an interstate highway when he noticed that their car was low on gas.  Wheeler got off the highway at the next exit and soon found a rundown gas station with just one gas pump.  He asked the lone attendant to fill the tank and check the oil, then went for a little walk around the station to stretch his legs.

As he was returning to the car, he noticed that the attendant and his wife were engaged in an animated conversation.  The conversation stopped as he paid the attendant.  But as he was getting back into the car, he saw the attendant wave and heard him say, it was great talking to you.      

As they drove out of the station, Wheeler asked his wife if she knew the man.  She readily admitted she did.  They had gone to high school together and had dated steadily for about a year. Boy, were you lucky that I came along, bragged Wheeler. If you had married him, you’d be the wife of a gas station attendant instead of the wife of a chief executive officer.  “My dear,” replied his wife, “if I had married him, he’d be the chief executive officer, and you’d be the gas station attendant?                                                                                                                                                         

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Why I said, “I ordered the wine for Mary, and I didn’t say for us.” 

Explanation: I worked in the alcoholic beverage industry for most of my adult life, and it had its affect on me.  December second is a very important day in our life. Not only is it Mary’s birthday, it is also my 35th year in the A.A. program. Thirty five years ago on December 2nd, 1965, I went to my first AA meeting. Because of this wonderful God-given program, I’ve had the most wonderful, fruitful life imaginable. Mary and I have been married 32 years. What is unique about our marriage is that both of us were previously married 2o+ years. One of the many blessings God has bestowed on me is that during our 32 years we’ve been married, Mary has never seen me have a drink. This is the first time in my 35 years of sobriety that I have broken my anonymity. I do so with the hope I might be of help to someone. I would be glad to answer any questions you might have.  The first week I was in the program, an AA member gave me a card with the following thought printed on it. In fact, I still that very same card in my wallet. I would like to share it with you.

Yesterday: There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains; yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act performed; we cannot erase a single word we said…yesterday is gone.

Tomorrow:  The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds…but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow for it is not yet born.

Today: This leaves only one day…today. Any man can fight the battle of just one day. It is only when you add the burdens of those two awful eternities...yesterday and tomorrow, that drives men mad…it is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.

Mary Is The Wind Beneath My Wings:

My Mary has been the wind beneath my wings for the 36 years we have been married. When we cruise, I assume the Wimpy persona as a fun way to show Mary how much I appreciate her. We had a wonderful memorable cruise that will place high on our list of special memories. I can’t think of a more fitting way to end our review than to repeat what I wrote in the very beginning of this review. Regardless of age, Mary & I can’t think of a more romantic, intimate, exciting way to spend quality time with the one you love than when cruising. If you haven’t cruised, we strongly suggest you try your first cruise. It could add a new dimension to your life.

May your next cruise be your best,

Our Warm regards,

Tom & Mary

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