May 1980

A dozen beautiful red roses were delivered to my house; I was shocked  to learn they were from one of my friends in the Hotel Tech program.  I had absolutely no clue that he liked me that way. I thanked him for the flowers and explained that I had a steady boyfriend who went to a different college.  Apparently, I don’t talk much about Lou at school because he didn’t know I was going out with someone.

The flowers really are gorgeous. The last and only other time I got a bouquet of roses was in 1976 on the M/S Kungsholm. We were on that ship for most of the year, doing short cruises to Bermuda and Canada, and really long ones to the Mediterranean and all around South America.  One of the photographers and I became really good friends. We used to hang out together all the time; I wasn’t even 14 yet, and he was obviously a lot older, so nothing was sexual.  He was always a real gentleman and a friend.  The roses were yellow, which he said were a symbol of friendship and respect. He got in trouble with the ship’s captain who said there were rumors he was having an inappropriate relationship with me, which simply wasn’t true. He is married now, but still writes occasionally, and always sends sunset picture postcards at Christmas.

The person who should have gotten into trouble was one of that ship’s top officers, a Swedish guy who was missing part of one of his fingers. He was very sociable and always flirting with all the women.  One night, I mentioned how much I liked being out on deck watching the ocean; it’s just mesmerizing. I said that I usually watch the wake from the back of the ship. He invited me to go to the bow of the ship, where only crew are allowed. It was awesome to be out on the very front of the ship, but it was really, really windy and really, really cold.  He said his cabin was up front too, and had a great view he could show me.  I looked out the porthole for maybe a minute before he asked me to sit down on his couch to talk, and he put his arm around me and started moving in.  I jerked away, and said I had to get going.  I acted like I didn’t understand, and he walked me back down.  I know I looked older, but he knew my age.  It wasn’t my fault.

Anyway, Lou would probably freak if he found out about the flowers. I really didn’t lead the guy on, but Lou may not believe that.


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