It’s Weird to Be Back

May 14, 2014:

Isn’t it funny how quickly you acclimate?  Thirty some-odd years living on land, but after only six measly weeks living on a boat during our trip to the Keys it seemed our bodies and minds had converted wholeheartedly to cruising.  Our first day back on dry land, we were doing and experiencing some mighty strange things as official land lubbers.  Any of you familiar with these phenomenon?

1.  The Sink Pump:  You walk up to the kitchen sink, hold your hands under the faucet and start pumping your foot on the floor thinking water is going to magically come out.

2.  The Drawer Jam:  You just about break every finger trying to jam it into a hole in the face of the drawer, that is not there mind you, to unclip the little hickie-doo that keeps it shut.

3.  Elf Syndrome:  Have you ever been back to your old elementary school or perhaps the house you grew up in?  Some place you only knew as a child that you remember as being huge, vast and tall?  But, then, when you return as an adult it feels so tiny, claustrophobic even.  Well, reverse that.  After being packed tight in the little cabin of the boat for so long, sucking in to slide by one another to get to the sink, the condo felt e-NOR-mous!  And, I was tiny!  I mean, I could do a handstand in the living room.  A handstand!  I’d never realized that before but was somehow mesmerized by it now.

4.  Decision Fatigue:  With seemingly endless possibilities, it felt exhausting trying to decide what to wear in the morning.  There were so many options, so many colors and combos and shoes!  Where I was once torn between the flip-flops or the deck shoes, I now had heels, boots, flats and more flops (and I kind of hated it).  The same applied when it came time to decide what to eat, what to watch, where to go.  It was exhausting.

5.  OCB:  Obsessive, compulsive battery disorder–the inexplicable and irrational need to find and check some non-existent battery meter in your home, apartment or condo (none of which run on batteries) to make sure you have enough “juice” left.

6.  Shower Legs:  It’s that dizzying feeling you get in the shower after being on a long, rolly passage.  You don’t quite have your land legs back and if you close your eyes, you have to put your hand on the shower stall wall just to stay upright.  To re-create, bend over, put your head on an imaginary bat, spin around twelve times, stand up and close your eyes.  You’ll find yourself reaching for the stall wall in no time.

7.  Road Risk:  The opposite of road rage.  Somehow the need to zip in and out of traffic, peel out, brake hard and honk at indecisive drivers, doesn’t have quite the same appeal.  In fact, you feel you’ve become that slow old-lady driver you used to curse and shake your first at as you now gingerly put on your blinker and slow three blocks in advance before making that soft, steady turn onto Mayberry Lane.  You may have beat through storms in blue waters, but it didn’t feel near as dangerous as getting behind the wheel of a car.  Driving is scary.

8.  Duck Disorder:  The persistent urge to duck before stepping through any doorframe, albeit one with three feet of clearance over your head.  I was even ducking to get into the shower and when reaching into the fridge.

9.  Pot Disenchantment:  You pour water in the white plastic basin in the back, put a filter and coffee in it and you push a button.  Where’s the magic?  I missed filling up the kettle with the foot pump, turning on the burner on the stove and hearing that sweet fwoof sound when the gas lit.  And, I mean, it’s a kettle.  It’s like old-timey tea days.  It whistles.  How fun is that?  Sorry Mr. Coffee, a button-push and a drizzle just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

10.  Connection Anxiety:  Once folks know you’re back, all of a sudden they need to hear from you, like they’ve never needed to hear from you before, certainly not in the last six weeks when you were out, on that beautiful boat, crossing crystal-green waters in silence.  And, everything is urgent.  People expect you to respond to their emails immediately, text them back all the time.  If you don’t, they’ll call you, at anytime of the day, without warning and usually without a real need.  Just … you know … to tell you they’re driving to the grocery store.  They ask you what you’re doing.  You tell them you just left the grocery store and then an awkward silence ensues.  Your face contorts in mild disgust when you realize this is why they called you.  They want to talk about nothing.  This is what they do.

While these strange phenomenon had us chuckling at ourselves and shaking our heads, we did take advantage of our time back ashore to debrief and look back on our close calls, the lessons we learned and things we could have done better.  Stay tuned next time for our Mishap Recap.


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