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Boating's Happy New Couple
By Barb Hansen
January 2, 2004

Dave Barry, having accompanied his spouse to dress shops while she looked for the perfect dress for her class reunion, concluded that the ideal name for a dress shop would be, simply, Size Two. No matter its size, each garment would have “Size 2” sewn into the collar.

Well, I have accompanied Vic to discount boating supply stores so he could run in and grab a couple of things. I have concluded that Truth in Advertising should mandate that the name for these stores be, “We’ve got it. You just have to look. It may take awhile.”

For every minute we women have kept our men waiting while we shop for clothes, they have paid us back by the hour searching for exactly 14.25 feet of eight gauge electrical wire and four one-half inch stainless steel Phillips flat head screws. At least dress shops provide chairs for our men. At boating supply stores the little lady is welcome to sit on a used trailer tire.

He complains about the time it takes me to find the perfect black cocktail dress. But what about the time he spends looking for a boat cabinet hinge? Do you want the offset, inset, piano, continuous, flat hatched, T, shortsided or non-mortised hinge? It could take awhile.

Just need some line for the boat? Nylon or Dacron? Twisted, solid braid, double braid, or hollow braid? Do you want 3/8, 1/2, or 5/8? Yikes!

And then there's the question of cost. The cost of my entire wardrobe is nothing compared to the cost of spare equipment on our trawler. Vic’s deeply-held belief system dictates that if it pumps, sucks, or spins a person should have a spare on board. That means extra bilge pumps, impellers, a/c cooling pumps, water pumps, and other mechanical wonders. For the $1,000 they want for a cooling pump, a girl could get a very nice spare something or other in gold and diamonds.

It may be too late for me and Vic, but I’m betting that evolution is going to take care of this battle of the genders in generations to come. Eventually the genes that dictate our Mars-Venus conflicts will be replaced by genes that steer what I call Boating’s Happy New Couple. Motto: the couple that shops and boats together, is happy together.

If she says, come with me while I try on some new clothes, he’ll shout, “Yes!” If he says, “I’m just going to run into the “We’ve got it” store and grab a couple of things, she’ll say, “Oh good. I’ll come in with you. I could spend days in that place.”

When she admires something on the rack, Boating’s Happy New Man says, “That looks terrific. Let me hold your purse while you try it on.” Trying on foul weather gear, he will be compelled to ask, “Do you think these new Frogg Toggs go with my skin color?” And, he would add, “After shopping would you like to go to see that new Brad Pitt movie? I’ve kinda lost interest in Monday Night Football.”

Of course, these Mars-Venus compatibles can bring their new genewerks to the boat. On Saturday morning, for example, the New Boating Woman would volunteer to go get the boat ready and gas it up. “Just come on down when you’re ready, dear,” she will say.

“Thanks, my darling,” he replies. “I’ll just need a little time picking out my outfit and accessories. I’ll see you there in a couple of hours, give or take a few.
 

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