February 23, 2016

Difficult choice: Wife or boat

I GOT A DEAR JOHN LETTER. Not the usual sort. This one was from a man calling for help because his wife was threatening to divorce him if he spent any more money on his boat.

Well, I’m sorry but I don’t think I can help. There are too many unknowns. How much work does the boat need? How much money has he spent already, to make his wife so mad? Has she made this threat before? Did it worry him? Did he back down? Will she back down next time?

Political correctness demands that I advise him to quit spending money on the boat and start patching up his marriage. But logically, the first question should be — Which is more important to him, wife or boat? If he can’t have both in good working order, which one would he choose to spend the rest of his life with? Only he can answer that. (Hint — whose picture does he have in his wallet next to the West Marine card?)

Perhaps he should consider taking his problem to Dr. Phil, whose national audience of voyeuristic landlubbers might be fascinated to know how much it takes to outfit a boat in a half-decent wardrobe of sails and running rigging. Yachtsmen are all too often portrayed as filthy rich and incurably snobbish but he could make the case for the rest of us, the great majority of modest male sailors whose financial states compel them to hide from their wives the bills from the boatyard, the sailmaker, and the engine repair man.

Meanwhile, the only advice I can offer is that he should bone up on stuff like cooking supper, washing clothes, darning socks, and fixing buttons. Just in case.

Today’s Thought What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.
— George Levinger

“I see Old Moneybags finally got hitched to that chorus girl he’s been chasing for so long.”
“Yeah, he spent a fortune on her, so he had to marry her for his money.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)


Alden Smith said...

Perhaps he should convert to the Muslim faith - he can then legally have up to 5 wives. If he is clever he will marry a fleet? of wives who love sailing - he can then Trump - it his solution to sailing members of the GOP - may even influence the primaries LOL.

Mike K said...

Can't think of anything worse than having 5 wives. I get in way too much trouble already and I only have one.....

Alden Smith said...

Mike, I agree with your sage like advice ... one is quite enough.