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Men are from Mars, women are from… hell if I know.

10 Oct

Remember the book titled “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” that was hugely popular a few years back? Basically it explored the differences between men and women primarily in the areas of relationships and communication. I never read it because I tend to turn my nose up at self-help books. I’ve always thought that when it comes to communication between the two sexes, it shouldn’t be that difficult and that two mature adults should be able to speak clearly, openly and effectively. Right?


Mike decided to take his boat out on the water yesterday and asked me to go with him. (Bud, too, of course!) Apparently he decided that while I don’t merit First Mate status due to my lack of knowledge/skills, I do qualify as a First Mate in Training. I thought to myself, “This can’t be too hard. I’m relatively smart and I can probably catch on pretty quick.”

Feel free to snort laughter right about now because by the end of the day I discovered one truth to be self-evident. Mike is from Planet Lake Minnetonka and I am from Planet-I-Have-No-Clue-What-You-Are-Saying-To-Me.

Our day began with the “official” launching of the boat. Bud’s job is to stare at me while my job is to… uh… hold two ropes while keeping the boat from hitting the dock. Or is it a pier? Why are there two words for the same object anyway?

(Note to self: ask Mike to explain the difference in language I can understand).

Back to preventative boat bumping. This is harder than it looks. The wind is not cooperating with me at all. Just when I get the back part of the boat away from the dock, the front part moves far enough away that I’m almost pulled into the water. Bud is no help whatsoever. He just sits there like, well… like a dog on a boat.

The Official Launching of the Boat

I finally see Mike coming towards me after parking the truck and my relief is almost palpable. I remark that it’s harder than I thought it would be trying to keep the boat from bumping into the dock.

(Cue Mike vs Lisa Communication Salvo #1)

M: This is hard? Baby, I know you lift weights and work out. It can’t be that hard!

L:  I lift hand weights! This is a boat. I can’t lift a boat.

We get out into the open water with no more tutelage. Yet. Mike lets me drive and I’m torn between excitement and a bad case of nerves.

M: Rule #1: Don’t hit anything.

L: What’s Rule #2?

M: Rule #2: Don’t fall overboard.

Keep repeating quietly to self: Don’t hit anything. Don’t fall overboard. Congratulate self on doing neither. I got this.

Do I look like I'm having fun? Huzzah!

We spend a couple of hours on the water before Mike decides we need to gas up.

(Salvo #2)

L: Where are you going to get gas?

M: At the marina.

L: They have gas pumps on the water?!

M: Of course. Where else would you get gas? (Looks at me in amazement).

Where indeed. Frankly, I’d never pondered the age-old question of “Where do boats go to gas up?”

(Second note to self: think before asking a question so as not to appear a dumb ass).

(Salvo #3)

Pulling up next to the dock, Mike asked me to grab the stern line and bumpers.

I don’t even have to speak because the look of Whuuut?? on my face says it all. (Dumb ass expression totally not my fault because this man is speaking Greek).

Mike lifts a small hatch at his feet and pulls out a rope and this white, rubbery, bouncy kinda thing.  Ah. Stern line and a bumper. God, I’m amazed at my ability to put two and two together.

M: Tie the bumpers to the side of the boat and attach the stern line to the cleat.

L: Blank look.

M: Here, let me show you. (Suppresses a sigh).

I do feel kinda bad at this point because I feel completely clueless and it’s evident I am zero help.

M: The bumpers should be at this level and you tie the stern line with a figure eight knot.

Oh, great. I’ve read about slip knots and what-have-you.  I never thought I might actually have to knot anything other than my shoelaces.

(Third note to self: Please do not let there be a test at the end of the day. If there is, I’m going down in flames).

Mike pays for the gas and asks me to grab the line from the bow.

L: Blank look.

M: The bow is the front of the boat and the back is the stern.

(Fourth note to self: vow to write letter to National Boating Association and demand to know why words ‘front’ and ‘back’ can’t be used).

We head back out onto the water and amazingly enough, Mike lets me drive some more. It has not escaped my attention that a senior citizen on a walker could easily outpace me, but I’m cool with the speed for the moment. Oh, wait… maybe it’s not speed. I think it has something to do with knots. Didn’t he mention knots at some time or another? I wasn’t paying attention.

(Fifth note to self: look up ‘knots’ on Wikipedia in order to avoid yet another blank look).

I am feeling just a little self-congratulatory.

After staying on the water ‘til well after the sun set, we head back and Mike loads the boat up on the trailer. Silly me. I’m thinking you just go home at that point. Little did I know there is a checklist that must be completed before you can hit the open road and head home.

(Salvo #4)

M: You didn’t think we were done, did you?

L: I have no idea what you want me to do. Tell me.

M: It’s really not that difficult.

L: Well, I need you to explain it to me in detail.

M: I shouldn’t have to… most people that I take out on the water have an intuitive feel for what to do.

Trying hard not to be needled by comment and not succeeding. Crossing arms in front of myself, I respond.

L: Well, I’m sorry I don’t have an intuitive feel for your boat.

M: Baby, don’t get defensive! I’m not criticizing.

L: Well, it certainly feels like criticism.

M: I’m just trying to teach you and I’ve never had to do this before.

L: That’s evident cuz you’re not a good teacher.

Yes, I’m pouting at this point and I do not care that I’ve taken on the mentality of a three-year-old.

Mike walks me through what needs to be done and I learned about lake grime as well as aquatic hitchhikers. After we finish, he hugs me and tells me I’ve done a good job.

Feel free to snort laughter again.

Not that it really matters because I have a sneaky suspicion that all my efforts were in vain and that I have been replaced by another First Mate in Training.


Sneaky bastard.

Lots of love,

Lisa D 😀