By Marie Anne Greene
We typically perceive most events in our lives as planned, habitual, accidental or perhaps even coincidental. These are the parameters of this little story. The initial action began Halloween morning at about six o’clock EST. Our GAL was slumbering peacefully about 120 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean on a Cruise Ship returning from a short (five day) excursion to the Bahamian Islands. When her Cell phone buzzed.
It had been silent the entire previous four days so she was a little startled and concerned. She was puzzled as to who might be calling and why. She rolled over punched a button or two and listened to the message on the voice mail. It began “Marie, Honey, this is Tanya have been trying to reach you for a day and half now with a request and invitation. I do not know if this will reach you in time, surely hope so.”
The Girls at the Salon have just decided to have our own Halloween Party at the shop since both of our traditional haunts have elected not to hold their usual “Huge” parties because Halloween falls on a workday plus the weather forecast calls for cold rains and high winds. Our Brave all girl contingent here has voted to ignore the latter threat and compensate for the two “Negative Business Decisions” by holding our own party and IF the weather gets really bad, the girls decided we would just turn the dancing and singing into the added fun benefit of a “Sleep-Over”.
“Well, am sure you get the idea Hon, and we all thought we just had to include our Marie Anne into this fun night. Girl, you just have to call me as soon as you can so I can fill you in on the details, etc. By the way, we all are jealous of the gorgeous golden tan you have acquired since last we saw you and are dying to hear about any adventures you and Phoebe -Your Dream Maker- had. See you soon. Luv You.”
Well, this was quite a wake-up for our GAL! It left her in a little bit of a quandary, however not for long. Marie rallied to the challenge and mulled over some options until she heard a mumble from the other bed where Phoebe was huddled under her covers. After briefly reciting the call, Marie asked Phoebe’s opinion. The Dream Maker responded “Silly girl there is no question YOU have to go!”.
With the decision made now came planning the logistics. The choice of a costume was first. In the previous three years Marie had essentially carried the show each time, the first as Wonder Women, the second as a Club 21 Bunny Girl and the most recent as a major character from Murder on the Orient Express. There was no way Our Gal could recycle any of these and there was precious little time to select a new character and prepare a convincing costume.
Phoebe came to the rescue, saying “That Multi-colored Dress you “stole” from the poor manikin when we visited the Tara museum last month would make a unique and smashing choice…. I even have a candidate name. You could call yourself a Halloween Harlequin.” Marie commented, “Great – That problem solved. Thank You—You are a real genius and jewel of a friend. Now let’s grab some breakfast and change to our swim suits and gather more suntan time. Today is our last chance! Agreed?” The Dream maker responded with a big smile and one word “Perfect”.
Our Gal had developed a sun tan sequence involving two sessions – Morning was topless in male shorts sans her Marie mane on the rear sun deck while the afternoon session was on the forward upper deck pool area on a recliner in full Marie mode, sun-streaked mane, her favorite yellow two-piece Bikini and flowered wedge sandals and sunglasses. A perfect image of a Gal perfecting her tan. A knee length white crocheted cover up and beach bag and sun glasses completed the picture. Phoebe wore a striped blue and white one-piece suit and giant sun hat and glasses to both venues and was focused on reading the closing chapters in her romance novel.
You may wonder how our gal managed this split effort. It began with some forethought on Marie’s part when she was making the stateroom selection. She was hoping-anticipating there might be an opportunity for some Marie time while on board but not wanting to attempt any off-ship tours as these would require the presentation of ID documents which matched the boarding Photo and supporting documents i.e. Passport.
The selected stateroom was located at the stern of the ship at a junction which provided two avenues of access to other sections of the ship including the upper sun decks locations. One led to the rear sun deck on Deck Nine and was designated by our duo as the morning (boy)session corridor, while the afternoon session corridor led to the forward sun deck on Deck Ten thus substantially minimizing any recognition of the dual presentations being noted as the same person. Further the white crocketed Cover Up and Sun Glasses along with her giant beach bag further enhanced Marie’s Golden Girl presentation. Now back to real time.
It was decided once the ship was in port, our two Musketeers would hustle their luggage, two rollways and Phoebes Giant purse and Marie’s computer bag down to disembarking gangway on deck four and be among the first to reach solid land and make a beeline to Marie’s car, load quickly and then drive out of the very packed parking lot. Next stop Phoebe’s Studio, unload her stuff, hugs and hand-waves and off Our Gal headed for the three-hour drive to her cottage, with one telephone call to extend Puppy-Dog’s reservation at his Kennel home-away-from-home another night.
By the time the luggage was transferred to the cottage bedroom and the contents properly distributed it was mid to late afternoon and Tanya had told Marie she should attempt to arrive at the Salon as close to seven as possible so she would not miss out on any of the fun.
In accordance with Tanya’s guidance, all the Gals were to be in a character costume of their choice and wearing a full-face mask to cloak easy identification and each was to bring Food for the group, Drinks, a Game of some sort and a Riddle, plus their best sense of humor and a CD with some of their favorite music. These were the dictates laid out by Tanya, the party instigator.
Our Gal was fully prepared for these adventure requirements. Marie had three bottles of Italian Champagne chilling in the fridge as well as a large tray of Shrimp cocktail also nestling there.
Marie chose as her Game a unique version of hide and seek, her Riddle was a geographic place where two oceans and two continents meet, and her choice of Music required some research. It was a song from the 50’s that invoked ghostly skies.
Next Marie decided to layout the elements of her Harlequin costume including a yellow head scarf, a feathered mask, gloves (Red or Black) and footwear (Sandals or Boots) to get a sense and visual impression of the colorful combination. Marie was pleased with this display and by adding a brunette crown in lieu of her normal sun streaked blonde she was hopeful that in combination with the feathered face mask her identity would be concealed, at least for a few minutes.
With all the “requirements” satisfied Marie Anne transported the physical essentials to the car which included the wine and shrimp Platter, an overnight bag, two quilts, a pillow, PJs and sundries, (just in-case the “Slumber Party” became a reality).
Marie had one more and very important priority requirement – some sleep. Allowing time for a warm cleansing shower, hair shampoo and drying, dressing and make-up Our Gal set her alarm for a two-hour nap. Within about six minutes our Bahama Cruise warrior was non-compos-mentis, (that is she was no longer in the waking world).
Part 2 tomorrow…..