Boat Moments

You bang your elbow/head/shin for the umpteenth time on the salon table/companion way/boom. You pull something out of a storage area you swear was dry and it is moldy. You look for the screwdriver/CD/paper towels that you know you put away in the correct nook and you can't find it anywhere.

Minor things compared to the freedom of travel, right?

But suddenly, out of nowhere, all of the little discomforts of boat life come bubbling to the surface and in the face of a minor, easily fixable problem, you LOSE YOUR SHIT.

As our friends on IO captured it: "After removing about eight items, I struggle to take out the compact portable printer from the cubby hole because it fits in there without an inch of moving room. My blood starts to boil, foul language starts spraying, and I look like a lunatic yanking on plastic or clawing on cardboard. "That's it, I'm tossing the bloody thing overboard!"

We have dubbed these "boat moments" and these are the two things that we know to be true about them:

1) You will lose all perspective. The issue will balloon out of proportion until your mental stability, shaky at this moment, will balance entirely on the problem's successful resolution.

2) You will lose all concept of appropriate levels of force. You will pull/push harder, throw impeding objects clear of your path, and inevitably break something much more valuable and/or hurt yourself.

In order to deal with boat moments we have, so far, come up with a three step plan:

1) Correctly identify the boat moment: The other person, who is hopefully home, will yell "You are having a boat moment" or if they are not home, we strive (although often fail) to label it ourselves.

2) Step away from the boat moment. It is now the other person's job or at least, you need a time out.

3) Play Gypsy Kings until you are shaking your booty rather than your fist.

That's it so far. Ideas?


  1. When I get frustrated I try to gain some perspective. Any problem I am having seems ridiculous when I think of problems around the world: the Haitian who just lost the little they had in the earthquake, the Sudanese constantly fearing for their life, the Malian who doesn't have any food. In comparison, my computer freezing or the printer jamming are luxuries I should be thankful for.

    Then I get frustrated that people around the world are having these problems and we are doing so little to help - but at least I no longer want to throw my laptop against the wall or defenestrate the printer.

  2. Felt the same about the house last week: gas fireplace wouldn't work; JenAir fan turned off by itself all the time; and then the septic alarm meant big trouble (after spending $23,000 putting it in last year).

    I know, not my house really, but definitely my problem.

    After living this long I just believe these kind of troubles cycle... it's just life, and like Ryan, my troubles seem small compared to others.

  3. True, true. I don't think I'm evolved enough to think of global hunger or poverty while the toilet is overflowing but it is something to aspire to!

  4. oh my gosh, I had about FIVE "boat moments" today. I tend to handle them by using every four letter word I can think of and then about six times each. My husband recently just started kicking the boat and I stand there, holding my breath, knowing that all he's doing is creating another opportunity for something to go wrong (hole in the fiberglass, splintering wood, breaking a tool....) I like the idea of pointing out the moment and then having the other person take over. That is wise :)



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