The last day at sea. A last chance to buy goods from the over priced Duty Free store for distribution to friends.
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Today was our last chance to sleep late. And both of us took advantage of this last day to do so, barely getting to the back of the ship for breakfast before they shut down in preparation for lunch.
Unlike Lili, I had already started to get ready to leave the night before, having packed many of the things I wouldn't need again into my big suitcase. Since a couple of my dresses were beaded, I was not going to leave any of them to be laundered by the ship's staff. But Lili had a free laundry bag to use, and she made sure to have clean clothes she could wear during the week. (Now that she has lost weight, most of her old clothes no longer fit. And she was carrying those clothes that do fit with her on the cruise.) I figured that I could do my laundry when I got home, and acted accordingly....
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Lili found that she liked wearing a dress or two, and was very comfortable wearing a second dress on-board ship. Although the color wasn't right for her, it was comfy and could be used as a beach cover-up if she wanted to do so. Because of this, she decided to wear the dress below when her boyfriend picks up us at the dock.
Maybe, I've had a liberating effect on her in regard to self image. Who knows? One thing I know is that she won't dismiss dresses out of hand, as many are very comfortable and forgiving on people with not so perfect figures.
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Lili, like my brother, doesn't understand why I want to leave money to establish a scholarship fund. She focuses on the potential for abuse, and not at what good it can achieve. She'd prefer it if I were to spend everything, not being sure of how long my money would last. But then, having lost both a mother and a sister in the course of the last couple of years, she senses her mortality and wants to squeeze in a lot of new, more intense, experiences while she is able to enjoy them.
The need for intense experiences is common among people who are addicts. Lili and I both acknowledge that we are food addicts, but differ in the ways we attack our problems. I've found that I don't need intensity any more. Instead, I prefer things that are familiar, but softly introduce me to things that are new. In short, I like having road maps, so that I can explore a little off the beaten path, knowing that I can find that path when needed. Lili has gotten bored by this cruise, and seeks to go to new destinations and on different cruise lines. And I can't blame her - she had fallen into a routine of always taking the same cruise line to the same destinations whenever she needed a break from her routine. Whereas, when I had money, I often used a single destination (San Francisco) and explored California from there. I had a base routine, but diverged from that as soon as I arrived in town. This made it easier for me to adapt to change (such as not being able to travel to Chicago on the railroad route I planned one year) more easily than she does.
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Although we are decent travel partners, one can easily see that we are very different in attitudes. She wants me to drop GFJ as a friend, as it serves me no value to see her without any chance of her wanting to live with me as Mario/Marian. I feel that it is always good to keep an ex girlfriend as a friend if possible, but so see things in a harsh light. My bets are now on the Cat Lady, as she has not turned away from me after seeing pictures of me as Marian. The proof that this would be the wise thing to do will be if she wants to keep seeing me after meeting me in Marian mode.
Lili also loves to gamble. She took $3500 with her to play table games, and at the end of the night came back with $700. She spent more at the tables than she did on the cruise. Contrast this with me. I was willing to put $20 at risk each night, but won $360 early in the cruise. So I nursed my winnings, and cashed out $350 ahead of the game. This money will be put to good use, as I will use it to pay for my speech therapy at Mercy College.
It's amazing how two very different people can travel together. But we do, and enjoy it. I guess that it's because we're the only two people who could stand each other in such close quarters for a week or two....