It takes us a while to recover – both from the passage and from whatever illness has knocked us down. On Friday (3/6) we start feeling a little better. After showering, we take the boys up to the resort to use the pool. Matt brings our charts and we spread them out to talk about an alternate plan. When they see the charts, a number of current and former sailors stop by to tell their stories. They think it’s great that we are doing this trip with the kids now rather than waiting. One of them assures us that the Bahamas sailing will be easier than what we’ve been doing (nice to hear but I try not to let them set my expectations). After looking at the charts, Matt calculates we can make it to FL in about 12 day sails (fewer if we do overnights). We will split up the day sails with 1-2 days off in between, depending on what the locations are like and what there is to see. Once we get to FL, we’d prefer not to spend another three weeks going north in the ICW. I tell Matt that maybe the boys and I can fly to NH to see my sister, get our van and then drive down to meet him in Annapolis. Matt will probably look for a few people who want offshore experience and get the boat up to MD in 5-7 days (so if you’re a wanna-be sailor with a proven strong stomach and a flexible schedule, feel free to get in touch). We’re still not sure when we’ll get to FL but we’re estimating early May.
It’s days before we feel well enough to clean the boat and do all the other necessary things. The marina has no laundry facilities but sends it out and charges $1-2 per pound. Our bag of saltwater-soaked laundry must weigh 70 pounds. We decide it’s cheaper to just rent a car and do it ourselves. So, on my birthday, we get a tiny car and see some of the island. We make a quick stop at a beach to see the water. At some point, Matt and I have a small argument. We recover and later find a place to have lunch. The song “Baby when I see you smile” by Bad English is
playing at the restaurant. Matt starts singing it to me but replaces ‘smile’ with ‘snarl’, singing to me about how “you’re a ray of light” and “baby, when you snarl at me.” The boys find this absolutely hysterical and join in. They now sing it to me at random times, unprompted. I may not get that Mother of the Year award after all. We find a laundromat and Matt feels bad that we spend hours doing laundry on my birthday. “Don’t,” I say. “Clean clothes are worth a lot.” We also find a video store and decide to rent some movies. New movies are such a treat because there’s no way we can download them over the sporadic wi-fi connections we get.
We get The Wolf of Wall Street which, if you haven’t seen it, centers around a depraved and amoral drug- and sex-addicted married stock broker. The next day, Matt asks if seeing the movie causes me to consider how he is as a husband. I’m momentarily confused. Random thoughts dart quickly through my head: Is this the moment where there is a huge marriage confession? Is he a closet drug user (or a user of other women)? And finally, the most horrible thought of all … Did I marry a stock broker?? (just kidding). I ask him what he means and he clarifies, “Well, … does it lower the bar for me as a husband at all? Does it make you feel like I’m doing pretty well or doesn’t the comparison even cross your mind?” I pause to consider this question. “You mean because you’re not a drug addict who visits prostitutes?” I ask. He nods. I shake my head and admit that no comparison entered my mind. “It would be like you seeing a movie about an alcoholic housewife with a shopping addiction. Do you really make the comparison to me or is it just too far afield from who I am?” I ask. He gets my point and nods. “Actually,” I say, “the comparisons to you are the ones that are closer to home. In a book I just read, one of the characters says she knew her significant other was one of those men who would be around as long as things were good. He wasn’t someone who could deal with any of life’s harsh blows, with any tragedies.”
He looks at me for a long time. He knows what I’m saying and the compliment which I’m giving him. He is one of those men who follows through on commitments (marriage or otherwise), one of the solid rocks among men. With the boys, we also watched the movie based on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Right before battle, the king turns to his general and asks, “Are you with me?” The general replies, “To the death.” That answer reminds me of Matt. It would be his answer. It is his answer. He is the kind of man (and friend) you want by your side. Always.