Sunday, June 5, 2016

Wife Preserver

We kicked off the official start to Summer yesterday by getting the SS Lee wet for the first time this season. Well, technically it was the second time if you count the test run after the annual spring thaw mechanic work happening earlier. It didn't sink that time, and it made it back to the dock.

It was hot as balls yesterday, too. So I just cannot tell you how happy I am that my children do not play stupid ass summer sports. There is no fiber of my being that wishes to burn my rump roasts on a hot metal bleacher seat despite my love for them. I am very sensitive to temperature extremes, and at least in the boat I have quick access to cool off.

It also couldn't have come at a better time for my sanity. Memorial weekend came on the heels of my out of town work trip, and as is customary for liquor and travel fueled celebrations for others, that meant Hubs spent a LOT of it away from home. Add in the boat races that needed extra hands on the water and I almost forgot his name by Tuesday.

We do not camp. Well, I do not camp. But boating is that thing that allows us to shut the world out, regroup as a family, and center ourselves where there's no wi-fi. To go where there's no time to be anywhere except when the sun goes down, to not stress about work, or deadlines, or asshole bosses or coworkers, or classmates, or whether you locked the front door.

"I thought YOU locked the front door."

"No, you were the last one out."


I'm kidding.

Boating seems to be where we fire on all cylinders. Communication breaks down in other places, and how could it not when we are going different directions all the time? But when it comes to this, he's the Captain and I'm the First Mate.

I even have a shirt.

*Not actually me, FYI

 That's not me, mainly for the following reasons:

  1. I believe we have established that I still do not understand selfies and also I have T-Rex arms.
  2. My shirt is in the laundry and I'd rather write a blog post than do laundry.
  3. This shirt breaks my "no graphics/words" rule because TBH my rogue underboob awkwardly eats things and ruins the joke. So my shirt very likely just says "Mate". Which is weird.
  4. I wanted you to see where to go buy one if you really liked it, so here's the link.
Anyway. We are like team RamRod at the ramp. I envision that when other couples are having their court ordered counseling sessions triggered by the domestics we witness during their disastrous loading/unloading attempts, that they sometimes talk about us, not out of jealousy over the sweet sweet boat we have, but for our graceful dance, the one without words, the one that we execute like two Russian ice skaters who were forced at gunpoint to pair up and practice from a very tender age and can get very near one another with such sharp blades and no blood gushes forth.

They are SO jelly.

But we have it dialed. And we know that once we are away from the dock, we pause, but the dance continues. He makes the Boat Drink* while I remove two towels. One for the children to stand on while I sauce them up. One to sit on because the seats make my legs sweaty and that is disgusting. The children assume prison pat down stance. He kicks off the playlist for the day. I slip my wedding ring off and put it in the cup holder while I rinse all the sunscreen off my hands because I worry that the sparkler will slip right off my finger and sink 400 feet down, which is not even close to how far my heart would sink if that happened. We leave the world behind.

And we go burn a literal boat load of fuel. And the boy children take turns pushing themselves and each other to try new things at the end of a rope. And then ToddlerBandit needs a nap. So we just float. And swim. And float some more. And do literally nothing. And it is fantastic. It's really the best thing.

TB last year. Kid loves the boat.

TB this year. Professional chillaxer.
Still needs a haircut.
Still isn't getting one any time soon.

When we're done, it's all the same in reverse. He wipes down the outside, I gather up towels and garbage. I haul the bag to the dumpster and then I pee because it's a long ride home. Then we answer the eight million questions of the Fish and Game guy if he's there like, "no we didn't catch any fish" because "no, we didn't go fishing" because "there's never been a pole allowed on this boat", and "we were out there approximately seven hours". I help him with the cover, I make sure all the buckles on my side are snapped, and I put the back straps on. And we go. He is in charge of starting the movie for the kids once we're headed home because I don't know how electronics work.

It's a team effort, this.  Can he do it all himself? Yes. Totally. But you'll never catch him out there by himself. He's not that guy. Could I take the boat out with my friends or the kids for a fun day out without him? No. Not at all. I wouldn't want to. A First Mate needs a Captain. That's how it works.

Now before you think I'm getting all soft, let me remind you that as soon as we got home and the towels were in the dryer and the cooler was unloaded, things were....back to normal.

I headed to the back yard where Hubs was walking with a full armload of firewood that I assumed he was going to pile up near the back patio. Just as he dumped the entire load atop his already blazing bonfire I said,

"ToddlerBandit's girlfriend just stopped by to tell us that her parents were inviting us over to sit by the fire at their house."

He stared at me blankly.

"Could you not have maybe told me that BEFORE you watched me dump that enormous load of wood on this fire?"

"I thought you were hunkered in back here. I didn't know what your plan was."

"I for SURE would rather be at their place. But now we have to wait for this to die down."

And so again, our communication about all things off the water sucks. So we scooted our chairs back a little from the flame that was threatening to singe our eyebrows off and bored one another to death until we loaded up and headed off to better company.


Because a lot of people ask for it, and because it's not that complicated, and because it doesn't even have a fancy name, here's the recipe for:

*Boat Drink

  • Coconut Rum - Parrot Bay is Hubs' fave - eyeball to your level of alcoholism
  • Pineapple juice - He uses a whole mini can per drink
  • Sprite - However much room is left in the cup


  1. Wow for all the thing and for all them that was involved in making the thing happen. XXXOOOs to all of you. Wish your locals would get their fecal matter together and fund me a trip to work. That way we could have pizza and triangulate and I can watch all of you smile. Thanks for the article!

    1. Hope that happens soon. Our locals could benefit from your wisdom. Xo

  2. Is this where I admit to grinning when I read about the firewood. That kind of idiocy goes on in our house all the time.