Our Afternoon
The Dance Classes in My Youth Have Not Paid Off

We Lost Our Sense of Humor. (Don't Worry. We Got it Back.)

When you lose your sense of humor, where does it go? Since laughter bubbles up out of a person, perhaps a lost sense of humor sinks into the bilge and waits to be invited back into the main living areas. We both lost our sense of humor last week, and in retrospect, it was pretty funny.

At the time, I said, “You can be sure that I won’t write about this!”  Evidently, I lied.


Honeymoon Beach

We were good-humored at Monday Movie Night on Honeymoon Beach. We had gone in early with Carl and Carrie so that we could enjoy the French fries from Joe’s. Not sure why it’s called Joe’s as Britt seems to run the place, but in any case, word was out about the fries and there were too many orders ahead of us before the movie started. No worries. We trooped across the sand, chatting with new and old friends, set up our chairs in front of the screen, and bought our hot dogs and sodas. The movie was Captain Ron, a sailor’s classic. It’s a funny movie, even though it gets most sailing, boat repair, and Caribbean geography horribly wrong. It was even funnier because two couples in our group know all the good lines and have the comic timing to speak them in that split second before the actor, causing us to laugh even more.

The next day, I gradually felt a bit icky.  By afternoon I had a mild intestinal “issue”. EW was perky, perky, perky.  Around five I said, “I’m not feeling great and don’t feel like eating at all. Do you mind taking care of your own dinner?”  “No problem, My Sweet,” EW said. “What’s wrong?” So I told him I had an intestinal thing and cramps. Said I didn’t feel like eating and didn’t really want to even cook anything. I went back to my book.

A while later, EW said, “I feel like French fries!” I assumed that he would take the dinghy into the island and get some from Britt. But no.  “That’s fine,” I said.

“I’ll make them!” He said. “Wouldn’t you like me to make you French fries?”

Um. No. Actually, I could think of few things that were less appealing than a pile of greasy starch.

“No thanks,” I said with a bit of an ‘are you kidding me?’ tone.

EW proceeded to haul the hot dogs out of the freezer and hum and bustle in the galley. “Do we have any butter open?”


“Which oil should I use to make the fries?”  I couldn’t  have cared less and requested that he leave me out of it. He was hurt. Really. After all, he had offered to make me homemade French Fries. He was happy. He had cleaned the bottom of the boat and needed a high carb meal. He was making that meal. Wasn’t he wonderful? What was my problem?

I was crampy and somewhat sick to my stomach. I had an intestinal bug. But at that moment in time, EW was my problem. He hummed. He bustled. He carefully cut and peeled the fries and placed them in a bowl of cold water. When I saw that, I paused. “You really know how to make French fries.”

“Yeah,” he said, in a tone that meant ‘Of course, why wouldn’t I?”

Well. “We’ve been married for 26 years. In that time can you remember ever making French fries for me?” I asked, with a tone.

“Nope, guess I can’t”, he said.

Now I love French fries. We had even had a discussion once about not making them on the boat due to the large amount of hot oil in a moving galley. He had never made them for me in all of our married life and there he was, happy, happy, happy, about making French fries when I didn’t feel up to eating them. What part of this reality didn’t he understand? What was left of my sense of humor scurried into the bilge under the forward cabin, as far away from us as possible.  I took my book and moved to the cockpit so I didn’t have to smell the sizzling oil and the fries in the making.

He popped up into the cockpit and stated as Britt does, “Fries take 10 minutes. Extra crispy fries take 12,” smiling cheerfully. I didn’t give a … well you know. There was nothing left to give. I glared at him. He was hurt by my defection.  I went back to my book with a sigh that meant, ‘leave me alone.’

Mr. Happy couldn’t let it go. Once his meal was prepared, he once again popped up into my supposed fry free safe seating zone, waving his plate of loaded hot dogs and sizzling hot crispy fries. “Doesn’t that look good?”

“Get away from me!” I had lost it. He was stunned, stunned I tell you, by my rejection.

What part of “I don’t feel like eating, cooking, or looking at food” did he not get?

And frankly, I was ticked off that he had actually made fries on the boat when I was ill and couldn’t eat them. I was more than ticked off. I was not in a loving mood.

That morning, when EW had single-handedly cleaned the waterline while I had gone ashore to do laundry, he had scraped up his right hand on the barnacles. He had cleaned his wounds and applied anti-bacteria cream and adhesive bandages. Normally, I would have been sympathetic.

After his repast, the galley looked – well -- messy. I am normally the dishwasher and don’t (normally) mind at all. But I had decided early in that evening’s war that there was no way I was going to assist in cleaning up that mess. Ever.

Here’s how that conversation went:

EW asked, “What should I do with the fry oil?”

I charmingly replied, “I don’t give a damn.” He was not pleased.

A while later, he said, “I don’t think I can do the dishes with my hand like this.”

And I smiled and said, “Then they’ll sit there until your hand heals. I’m not doing them.”

These were not my finest hours.

He was stunned.

I remained uncaring. “Did you get all cut up like that with your gloves on?”

“No. I forgot the gloves and just kept going anyway.”

“I have no sympathy for you. I’m going to bed.”

Oh, I can be nasty.

EW cleaned the galley and washed the dishes. I went to bed and slept very well, thank you.

The next day,  I imagined all of this as it would be played by one of those British comedies. He would be waving a hot platter of crisps under her nose. She would turn green and run for the loo. The audience would laugh uproariously.

It was kind of funny.

Our sense of humor peeked up through the floorboards and gradually came back to live with us, but we haven’t yet actually laughed together over this episode yet. Maybe someday.

He owes me a batch of fries. I’ve found the fry oil in a bottle in the fridge. I’ll wash the dishes.


NOTE: Yes, EW has read and approved this message. He even laughed. I love EW. He also took me to lunch at XO in Redhook once I felt better. I had a marvelous CBA – Chicken, Brie, and Apple sandwich. 

NOTE 2: The photo of honeymoon beach was taken from the website, www.water-island.com. If you don't have a sailboat, this is a marvelous property to visit when in the islands. You can find out more about Honeymoon Beach at this website for beach lovers

 NOTE 3: If you like my sense of humor and haven't checked out my book -- Harts at Sea Sailing to Windward -- you can find it on Amazon for Kindle for just $2.99. Tell your friends. Heck, tell your enemies. Thank you.

Harts At Sea Sailing to Windward


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Mike Laurence

Hi, A quick note to let you know that I am thoroughly enjoying your book! Keep up the good work :-)

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