In the Bag!

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

In the Bag!

September 29, 1984 – the day I married my prince. Oh yea, I kissed a lot of frogs before I got to him, but God finally sent him my way. Chuck likes to say that I would not have been ready for someone as sweet and nice as he until I got the troublemakers out of my system. He’s probably right.

But it’s not the wedding I want to tell you about, it’s the honeymoon! No, I am not sharing intimate details you understand, but rather one special, really fun activity we did on our seven-day cruise in the Caribbean. And with Halloween just around the corner, you should appreciate the story.

Neither one of us had ever been on a cruise of any sort. I feared getting seasick since I still got carsick, for goodness sake, but the medicated patches behind my ears helped keep me feeling grounded, so to speak. Also, we both hated dressing up in foo-foo clothes, preferring casual elegance, which we call “dressing down,” but a cruise just sounded sooooo romantic, Love Boat style. We just had to try it!

We visited St. Marten, St. John, Barbados, San Juan, St. Thomas and Martinique. The islands were all amazing, and over the past years of our married life we have flown to each of them to spend more quality vacation time.

Preparing for the cruise was very tough since so much fancy attire was required for dinners at night, not to mention the formal captain’s party. We really stressed over it, so much so that we forgot to bring something crazy to wear for the costume party, which was also on our list of travel necessities. But there was “no way Jose” that we were going to miss this event, because Chuck and I enjoy this kind of “dressing up” most, giving us a chance to be our theatrically obnoxious selves. Having won the prize for the “Best Dressed Famous Lovers” as John Lennon and Yoko Ono at a wedding shower in our honor weeks before, we could not let this chance slip away. We knew we were good at this! But what on earth could we wear when we brought nothing with us from home for the occasion?

There we sat, sunbathing on the ship in our comfy lounge chairs, cruising the beautiful blue sea trying to figure out the plan for that evening’s big bash, when a crew member came by emptying a nearby trash container. All of a sudden it hit me! Garbage bags, yes that’s what we need! I knew that if we cut a hole in the bottom of the bag we could actually put them on over our heads and decorate them with other stuff. So, I jumped up and asked if I could have two big garbage bags to create some magic for the costume party. As maintenance steward pulled them out of the box and handed them to me I noticed the brand name “HEFTY.” That’s it, I thought. I know exactly who we will be tonight!

After dinner, we were all given about an hour to get ready for the party and then told to meet in the huge entertainment complex. Amidst the big band music and all the great flamboyant costumes that had been neatly packed in suitcases and dragged from all over the country to appear in the costume contest, we took the prize wearing garbage bags and not much else. Chuck had a big sign on him that said “HEFTY.” I had a sign that said, “The honeymoon is in the BAG ’cause he is HEFTY, and I’m GLAD!” Playing off the famous names of garbage bags with a little sexual innuendo to boot, helped us snag the first place trophy and $100 to spend in the bar! Our advertising expertise and creative genius, as Chuck refers to it, had the crowds going wild for us as the judges tallied their scores. For the rest of the cruise itinerary, the other guests and staff referred to us as “HEFTY” and “GLAD.”

Thank goodness, twenty-nine years later he’s still HEFTY and I’m still GLAD.

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2 Responses to “In the Bag!”

  1. Oh my goodness, what a fun story. Your crusie sounds like a blast. My hubby and I have won costume contests too by being original, but your idea takes the cake. Don’t you just love cruising? I think I left my heart on one of those islands.

  2. Quite a party that must have been! Funny idea, and there’s no better place to have $100 bar credit.

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