The Cruise Group

The cruise group was founded in approximately 1966. Six individuals met through church, paired off into couples and married. They have been best friends ever since. They all had their children around the same time and see each other about once a month for birthdays, BBQs, weddings and bat mitzvahs (they are not Jewish, but they attend). In 1989 they planned a cruise to the Caribbean so they call themselves, “The Cruise Group”. Strangely enough, they never went on that cruise, as one member developed a nasty case of diverticulitis two weeks before they were due to set sail.

Each couple in the Cruise Group conceived at least two daughters, and the daughters grew up to be the best of friends. They call themselves cousins, even though they have to explain how and why they use the term “cousins” when there is no blood relation between them. They call themselves the “Cruise Group Part 2”, though cruising is not on the agenda.

STAN & LINDA have a hobby farm with llamas and miniature goats. Stan, a carpenter by trade, built a half-size, non-working, 1920s replica gas station in the back yard, so he and his pals could “hang out” in it. He loves to sing Patsy Cline while driving his Ford pick-up. Linda has a whisper of a voice, which makes phone conversations difficult, but matches her quiet, subdued personality. Their daughters, MICHELLE & KIM share in their parent’s love of antiques and collectables. Every Saturday they leave their husbands at home and hit the estate sales, pushing the little old ladies aside in order to be the early bird. Kim is a ventriloquist and an actress. She doesn’t work much. Michelle is a substitute teacher who rarely works so they have plenty of time to “hang out”.

INGER & BILL wish they had a hobby farm. Slightly jealous of Stan and Linda, they often bring pets (dying birds, lost dogs, field mice) home to nurture them. Inger is a grade one teacher who has a dangerous passion for crafts (blow-torches, flammable materials, hot glue, etc.). Bill is a former 60’s pop singer (with a loyal following- 100 albums sold), and is now employed as a welder. Their daughters, LISA and KARI, are both angelic nurturers. Lisa works with special needs adults, while Kari work as a nurse at the local hospital. They both like to pull pranks, act silly and make people laugh (not good for the hernia patients).

AL & DARLENE are the wackiest of the group. Darlene is a stand-up comedian by night and a receptionist by day. Al works as a welder, but has a particular fondness for hiding out in his garage and lawn maintenance. They have three daughters: ALISON, CHERYL & TRICIA. Alison is a make-up artist for low-budget horror movies and a self-described “Trivia Junkie”. Cheryl is a Christian missionary with a heart of gold and the whitest teeth you’ve ever seen. Tricia is a motivated health nut who works at an organic coffee shop, frequented by a certain motivational speaker.

Their parents are aging, and the daughters are adjusting to adult life, and slowly but surely becoming contributing members of society. As the girls grow up (now in their 20s and 30s) their priorities are changing. Some are married with children, some are getting serious with their boyfriends, and some seem to have their lives sorted out, but really, really don’t. Secrets are not kept in this group. The mothers make sure of that. Affairs, gossip, jealousy, depression, death, and unemployment are all dealt with humour and affection. After all, we’re family.

Based on a true story.


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