A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

I knew I was going to marry the guy I was dating the first time I saw him hitch his Crown Line to the back of his truck, haul it over 100 miles of winding roads as if it were no more trouble than a little red wagon, then expeditiously launch it into Colorado’s majestic Lake Granby with unprecedented ease.

It was our first long weekend away together, and I was thrilled at the invitation to spend 4 days exploring the lake and hiking trails, catching and preparing lake trout, and simply relaxing into a quiet escape from the sounds, sights and summons of city living.  And, since this was not his first time to weekend with friends on the lake, he knew exactly where to anchor and set camp for the absolute best in all things relating to comfort and practicalities.  Needless to say, the ‘date’ was perfection, until the inevitable arose and we were faced with an urgent situation that required precise and direct communication if we were to avoid certain disaster.

As we’d only just begun to know one another, the ability possessed by seasoned couples to cryptically or telepathically direct, and respond with, definitive action during times of crisis simply was not yet in place.  And let’s face it, while I love to boat and am gradually developing somebody’s version of water sport finesse, if we have to rely solely on my inherent nautical skill or cat-like reflexes to get us out of pinch, chances are good we’re in big trouble, buddy.

So, being forced to employ more rudimentary options for presenting the right direction to incite the right action, (ie, verbal exchange of the American language), we found ourselves smack in the middle of a Mars vs. Venus situation, and suddenly reminded that effective communication between the sexes isn’t always easy when the unexpected arises and critical action is required.

Quite fortunately, he and I are both from the same school of thought that it’s far more appropriate (and fun!) to figure out who is right and who is wrong after danger has passed by.  We avoided the mishap by using the valuable seconds prior to that final moment of “Shew, we made it!”, or “Holy Cow!  Are you okay?!” to refine our statements and sharpen our interpretation, rather than give ourselves over to the powerful (and sometimes numbing) effects of adrenaline.

It takes practice to stay calm when submerged in chaos, and whether you’re from Mars or Venus, remembering to keep your words productive can assist anyone you’re depending on to react quickly and correctly at crucial moments.  In my opinion, that’s the stuff good Captains are made of, so with this as the first of many cooperatives in successful navigation of adversity, he’s become my Captain for life.

Christine McKenna


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