“It’s great to just disappear, grab a suitcase, switch the answering machine on and just go somewhere else.” (Dido Armstrong)
We made the most of our cruise, our time alone together and even our packing.
Prior to our departure, as we were packing for the trip I saw my husband add his BYU t-shirt to the pile of things he was planning to cruise with. I thought it was odd (in my prior cruise experience, we had packed evening wear, tuxedos, jewelry and business casual clothing to wear during the day; t-shirts had been for exercising—but I had a sneaking suspicion in this new life that wasn’t what they were going along for!) but I didn’t say anything. Finally, I couldn’t help myself.
“A BYU t-shirt, huh?” I commented. “Don’t we want to dress nicer than that?”
“I always make sure I take a BYU shirt on cruises,” my husband replied. “You’d be amazed at the people you meet and the conversations you have because you’re wearing one.”
I didn’t really believe that, but one thing remarriage to a man who is now 50 has taught me: he has his own mind, his own way of doing things and it has all worked very well for him for the almost five decades prior to meeting me so what can I say? Absolutely nothing. He is a tidy, helpful, very sufficient man who knows how to cook, clean and do laundry better than I do and he always looks nice…so I decided to trust him on that one. We didn’t discuss his packing choice any further.
A few days later, on the cruise, he put on his BYU t-shirt. I looked at him but was determined to not say anything—or request a shirt with a collar. He winked at me and acknowledged his wardrobe choice for the day by reminding me, “You never know who you’ll meet because you’re wearing a BYU shirt!” and we headed out to tour the city of Boston.
Believe it or not, before we got to the heart of the city of Boston, my oldest called me from college to share a Ponzi scheme-related experience he’d had with relatives of a victim (Yes, 2 1/2 years later we still confront those types of things several times each year) and I confess, as much as I try to rise above all that garbage, I hung up the phone feeling a little low.
I tried not to let it show, but I’m a terrible actress. My husband asked, “Are you ok?”
I stalwartly replied, “Absolutely.”
My husband added, “Are you sure? Because if I’d just received a call like that, I think I’d be a little bit upset. Do you want to talk about it?”
“No,” I replied. “I’m fine.”
So we continued on in search of The Freedom Trail, Paul Revere’s house, Harvard campus and various other destinations we had planned. However that day, they were filming a movie in Boston. Many streets, like most of the streets on our tourist map, were blocked off. So we wound our way around different streets, side streets and made all kinds of detours.
And then unexpectedly, I heard it.
I paused. Had I just heard my name?
And then I heard it again: “ANDREA MERRIMAN!”
And before I knew it, one of my favorite people in the world and one of my closest Colorado friends (my friend who’d been with me through my nightmare in every possible way—she even helped me write my divorce) was running toward me. Before I could even say anything, the first words out of her mouth were, “Thank goodness your husband is wearing a BYU shirt, or I’d NEVER have noticed you!”
What are the odds that one of your favorite people and closest friends from Colorado moves to NYC for one year after you have moved to Utah and you both end up in the city of Boston, on the same day, at the same time, winding your way through the same off-the-beaten-path streets due to the filming of a movie and you run into each other…thanks to a BYU t-shirt?
Another beauty of the unexpected life.
(And by the way, although I didn’t tell her anything of my crazy Ponzi morning, that chance encounter with my good friend was exactly what I needed to shake it off and have one of the best days of my cruise! The entire day, and everything I got to see, and getting to share it all with my husband turned out to equal one day of absolute perfection.)
All because of a BYU t-shirt.
The power of a BYU t-shirt.
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” (Mark Twain)