This chapter opens with:
But it's just a hint. No actual spectacular sunset for you guys! Just know that the sun is lowering, and there are the right amount of clouds (everybody should comment with what they think that number might be), and those are all the hints you get.The lowering sun and the right amount of clouds hinted a spectacular sunset.
Doctor Morgan Hamilton meets the maitre d', whose name is "Dimitrrri." With three Rs. Because all the boys in his family were named after his father, Dimitri, each kid with an extra R. Doctor Morgan Hamilton talks to Dimitrrri for awhile about absolutely nothing relevant to anything, then Skye shows up, demands the Hamiltons come sit with her family, drags them over to their table and sits in between them while the Leontious smile pleasantly at how cute and bold and confident and witty their daughter is.
This is all reminiscent of those awful children running around the plane screaming in the second chapter. Rothdiener thinks obnoxious children are adorable children. Fun fact: they're not. Also, "Leontious" should probably be pronounced "Leon-shuss."
There's another couple at their table:
OH MY GOSH IT'S A LADY DOCTORDr. Leontiou continued with the introductions. “You’ve probably heard of Doctor Samuel Roberts, and his wife, Doctor Elizabeth Roberts.”
Albeit a lady doctor who is, of course, married to a man doctor. But, hey, we're taking steps. At least he's willing to give a female doctor a title at all.
There's also a Dr. Laurence Whitman here - one of the few times when Rothdiener says "Dr." instead of "Doctor." Most of the time, it is spelled all the way out.
Tammy is flabbergasted by the presence of all these people.
Which re-asks the question HOW DID THEY NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?“I heard there was a medical convention here, but I never realized to what magnitude. I mean, the four of you have rewritten the medical journals on many childhood diseases.”
Their job requires a fair amount of research. They're working to cure childhood diseases. They should know what's going on in the field. Including major medical conventions full of people they idolize that happen to be on the same ridiculously long cruise they're on.
They are the worst researchers ever. Though I guess that shouldn't be a surprise, since their only accomplishment that we know of is an article persuading people they should care about rare childhood diseases. That probably didn't require all that much research.
Mrs. Whitman shook Tammy’s hand, and then Morgan’s. “I’m the nobody in the group. I’ve never written a book, and I’ve never discovered a cure for anything. I’m just an ordinary housewife.”Tammy warmly responded, "It's OK, I've done all that my husband has done and more, but I don't get to be called a doctor."
"Yeah," Malinda said, "we're all pretty much in the same boat. Let's go do some dishes or something and let the men discuss things."
Dr. Whitman reassures Mrs. Whitman that she is TOO important because she is a mother, and this gets into a lecture on how important motherhood is. They ask Doctor Morgan Hamilton whether he thinks motherhood is important. He hems and haws and finally says it is important "if and when you have the opportunity to become a mother." Then this happens.
Then without thinking, Dr. Whitman blurted, “I take it you don’t have any children yet. Being in your thirties, I’m sure you know it gets more dangerous to have children the older you get.”What the heck??
Is Dr. Whitman reprimanding them for not having kids yet?
That came out of nowhere. Way to be sensitive.
Mrs. Whitman apologizes for her husband, and Doctor Morgan Hamilton says, it's OK, he's been asked that question a lot before. Sigh. Come on, Rothdiener. Think. What question? Whether they have kids? Whether they know that it gets dangerous to have children when you're older? Whether motherhood is important? (That last one was the only question they've actually been asked in the last few minutes.) He shares with the group that they can't have kids.
There's awkward silence and then an abrupt transition into the meal. They begin to eat, and Skye immediately reprimands her father for not praying before they eat. Skye prays for the meal, and she prays for a "special blessing" for Doctor Morgan and Tammy Hamilton, which makes Tammy cry.
The others at the table stared at each other in silence— perhaps because of the content of the prayer, perhaps because they prayed at all.
Tammy and Morgan were amazed at the love this little girl showed others.
They’d rarely seen such compassion in an adult, even less in a child.OK, let's run through this, shall we?
The content of the prayer was thanking God for food, praying for the hungry, praying for orphans, and praying for Doctor Morgan and Tammy Hamilton.
Yes, it was a loving prayer that mentioned a lot of people beside just herself. That was nice.
However, it's far from The Most Compassionate Thing of All Time. Doctor Morgan and Tammy Hamilton claim to have once been religious, or Christian, or something. Have they seriously never run across somebody who likes to pray for those less fortunate? Or, heck, give something to those less fortunate?
This prayer is pretty generic as far as compassion goes. I mean, yes, it's appreciated, yes, it's sweet, but it's not some superhuman show of compassion.
I think we can only assume that Doctor Morgan and Tammy Hamilton have been socializing entirely with horrible people. It's not unlikely, given that in the midst of a sensitive situation with their current crowd, one colleague reprimanded them for not having children earlier, while another abruptly changed the subject and decided they should eat. Not exactly a group of compassionate supporters.
Poor Doctor Morgan and Tammy Hamilton. And the rest of the crew. Stunned into silence because a little girl did something nice. That says less about the little girl and more about the sad, sad fact that nobody else in their entire existence has apparently ever bothered to do something nice for them.
“Dr. Hamilton.” Layland looked directly at Morgan’s wife."I don't deserve to be called a doctor. The author doesn't think so, anyway."
“Please, call me Tammy.”
Doctor Layland Leontiou invites Tammy to speak at the conference on Tuesday. Because I guess they didn't book enough speakers of their own. Skye is devastated that her father wants to go to the conference on Tuesday, because apparently he promised her they were going to "kiss the dolphins" in Jamaica on Tuesday, and they can't do that any other day. (In other news, apparently the Panama Canal cruise is taking 14 days because they're randomly going to Jamaica as well. That wasn't in the brochure...)
Doctor Layland Leontiou responds to these objections:
“I realize that, but Tuesday is the most important day of the conference. I can’t get away and the schedule can’t be changed. You know that.”THEN WHY THE HECK DID HE MAKE THAT PROMISE? Why did he actively promise his daughter he would spend the day with her on what he knew was the most important day of the conference? And, for that matter, this whole "the schedule can't be changed" thing is a lie. Obviously the schedule can be changed, because Tammy's randomly speaking at this thing now.
I think Doctor Layland Leontiou just doesn't want to play with dolphins with his daughter, so he deliberately scheduled it for a day he couldn't make it.
Tammy, on the other hand, suddenly volunteers Doctor Morgan Hamilton to take Skye to play with dolphins. Malinda warns him that Skye talks way too much and suggests that he spend all day with Skye tomorrow to decide whether or not he actually wants to spend time with her again the day after that. (Um. Sure. That makes sense.)
At the end of the meal, Doctor Layland Leontiou has a book signing, and so he can't take Skye to the cruise theater, and she doesn't want to join the group of kids who are going. Doctor Morgan and Tammy Hamilton offer to take her instead. Because apparently they won't be spending enough time with her over the next two days.
Next chapter: more Skye! And more! And more! Probably! Fortunately, I got the idea from the synopsis that she gets sick and dies, so maybe that will happen sooner rather than later. Maybe she gets a rare dolphin kissing disease.