|I’m wearing my headlamp – that means I’m actually working, not taking a break.|
Everyone needs a way to unwind. Absolutely, they do. Reading. Running. Ping pong. Sailing, for example. But here we sit, still fixing our rig, and ways to relax are thin on the ground. We’ve read all our books. We’ve walked all of the scenic walks. We can’t swim here. There is no wind, so we can’t break out the sailing dinghy. And so we fall back on that old standby, the internet.
Sometime during the Gangnam Style era, the girls introduced their father to YouTube. Erik has never been a computer person; until that point, I’m pretty sure he thought computers were strictly for Excel, Power point, and Halo. But now he has discovered that he can find sailing blogs. And sailing photos. And sailing videos.
Now, every family has a cheapskate, and I’m it. Whenever my back is turned, I hear a video load. I squawk, “Stop eating up our bandwidth, that stuff costs a fortune!” And the three of them snicker at me.
And then came Transpac. (For those of you not tuned into the sailing racing world, this is a trans-Pacific (get it?) race from California to Hawaii.) And Lending Club, a boat trying to break the race record. Now, I like fast boats as much as the next person. These racing boats are marvelous examples of technology, and they require impressive human expertise to get the most out of them. And in the beginning, I happily looked over his shoulder when Erik would call me over to watch something. Later, I gave the screen a polite glance. Finally I said “hmm,” without looking up from my book.
Because I saturate pretty quickly on sailing videos. I’d much rather be on a boat than watch one on the small screen. I feel like I am back at my grandparents’ house circa 1984, being forced to sit through golf on a nice summer’s day. (Fun fact: the only sports my family watches on TV are golf, curling, Formula One and the Tour de France. Maybe that is why I don’t care for televised sports.)
And then came Dorade. (And I’m looking at you, Charlie Doane.) The classic boat won Transpac back in 1936, and did it again this year. Which is fantastic! I am happy for them. Sadly, the win initiated several exchanges like this one:
“Amy!” said Erik.
I looked up.
“Did you know that Dorade has spruce masts!”
I shared a look with Stylish, who rolled her eyes to the ceiling and shook her head. “No,” I said, my voice thick with sarcasm. “Re-ally? Spruce masts? You must be joking.”
“No, really!” said Erik, his enthusiasm undimmed. He began to tell us about the masts in detail. Eventually, he noticed us snickering. “You’re making fun of me,” he said, bewildered. “This is really interesting, you know. Jerk.”
And I felt like a jackass. But only a little. Because I’m glad Erik likes this stuff (although he really should stop burning through so much bandwidth). And I’m delighted he wants to share it with me. But – and I mean this in the kindest, sweetest, more wifely way possible – he doesn’t have to. Really. We share a lot. I don’t have to love everything he loves.
But Transpac was over, Dorade had won, and I was looking forward to some quiet on the internet front. But what… he was… was that another sailing video?
“I thought Transpac was over,” I said, frowning at the screen.
“Right, it is,” he said. “This is the qualifying for the America’s Cup.”