Recently, on our visit back to home, Mike and I were in the car, driving back to Boston from a wonderful weekend in New York. Mike was the driver, I was in the “Nagivator” seat. We were stuck in traffic on 95 south, stop and go, stop and go, stop and go, trying to listen to Stephen King’s “It” on audiobook. But I was too tense about the traffic to concentrate on the plot of any novel, and not even Stephen King could distract me. I asked Mike to put the book on hold so we could “talk” for a minute. But the Nagivator took over.
Me: “I think that if we had put on Waze before we started out, like I told you to (those words were not uttered aloud…at least not how I remember it), we wouldn’t have all this traffic.”
Mike: “I’m following the GPS, which accounts for traffic.”
Me: “Waze is better. It’s always better. We should be on the Merritt. Your GPS really sucks.”
Yes, I had gone there. I had insulted his GPS.
Me: “You should get in the other lane, it’s moving now.”
Mike: “Would you like to drive? I’ll pull over right now, and you can drive.”
Traffic clearly does not bring out the best in us. And not being grounded in a home of our own, and sleeping in OPB (other people’s beds…together) has added to the tension.
I thought of this cranky car/traffic scenario many times over the next few days, mulling over the question that I had been asked about a dozen times since we had been home: “So, you live on 49 feet with your husband, like, all the time…how on earth is that possible?”
In my world, most people figure we won’t sail into a hurricane or get attacked by pirates, but they are completely baffled by the relationship thing. How do we do it?
“Because there is no traffic,” would be the simple answer to that one.
But actually, that’s just a part of it. While so much is difficult living on 49 feet, being with Mike almost 24/7 is not even in the top 10. Maybe not even in the top 20. Many of the annoyances of every day life on land- like traffic jams and work deadlines and being in a hurry all the time -they are non-issues for us at sea.
But it is more than the lack of land annoyances. We have bigger, more collective things to worry about (like surviving) and I truly believe that some instinct must kick in to make us work together as partners so neither of us goes overboard, has a heart attack from being super pissed off when there is no 911, or eats a fish that will immediately cause neurological damage.
On the boat, we need each other. On land, maybe not so much. So while we certainly have our disagreements from time to time at sea, we generally do not squabble, which is one of the reasons I am looking forward to going back to Exodus at the end of our visit.
“The Nagivator” was our second choice in a boat name- we joked about it for years. I’m glad we went with Exodus. It’s a matter of survival.