It's Not Just A Guy Thing

August 2012 Feature

Sorry men, but women like being outside, gardening, sports, do-it-yourself projects and of course boating. Remember years ago when men could sneak out of the house and go to the manly lumber yard or the hardware store on Saturday mornings? If your spouse was in the car she didn't dare get out and enter those "men-only" stores. Women would be glared and stared out the door as if a suspected shoplifter. 

After years of the home improvement, lumber and hardware stores catering to the men, women received inspiration, confidence and lessons from icons like Martha Stewart that women can use power tools and shovel dirt as well. The home improvement chain stores realized that women can also make purchases for their homes and spend money too!   Females soon discovered after watching multiple choices of cable television shows that we could bring home the bacon, fry it in the pan, grow a garden, and envision lovely yards with our shopping list in hand. This is a familiar and cherished phrase at our house, what's on my "honey do" list this weekend? My husband Tom is either very blessed or very cursed for being such a great handyman. My friends and neighbors have told me numerous times how lucky I am and my return comment is "Back off, he's already booked."

When we purchased our 25-year-old Gibson Houseboat, his knowledge and being a handyman was a blessing.  From bow to stern or head to toe, it needed to be remodeled, updated and have some TLC.  I am the creative one of this partnership with visions and ideas and Tom is the one who makes most of my dreams come true and most of my visions as I requested.  

I can make it look good, but he's into operations and can make it run.  I love browsing through magazines and even marine catalogs to find ways to improve our houseboat and keep Tom's honey-do list filled. He is impressed when I use nautical terms and actually have a useful suggestion, rather than just the color of the bedding and placement of the furniture. Yep, it's not just a guy thing.

Of course with renovating, there is that dreaded word "budget." Some projects are known as money pits, some fixer-uppers and some smart investments. Everyone needs to make his environment his own and his surroundings pleasing to his taste. We can all go to boat shows and visualize owning that $350, 000 luxury yacht, but reality hits you between the eyes when you walk into your own small nest and sit on your saggy, sloppy and not so sumptuous sofa. 

Priorities. Which comes first: the new engine or new furnishings? The bow thruster or appliances? Some water enthusiasts do not care if their houseboat even has a motor or not. I have seen some motor boxes-due to neglect-make a great plant container box.  Many people become nauseated or do not like the gentle motion of great waves crashing into their salon as that foolish threesome on PWCs speed past you to see what color eyes you have bulging out your head. Some folks just want to live on their boat, enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the days and be inspired by the atmosphere, sights, sounds and smells of the water. Yes smells. Tom swears that wonderful aroma brings him back to days of his childhood. Everyone has his own desires and wishes and mine is the best of both worlds. I live on my boat on weekends and take it out for those great barbecues on the front deck with a cool beverage, my hubby, relaxing music in the background, the sun setting on the trees and no cell phone service. A refrigerator filled with food, a head and my own bed in the back helps. That is relaxing, rejuvenating and so restful drifting up and down the lake, but if you stop do not forget to anchor.  It's not very romantic and actually quite embarrassing to become beached and stuck in the clay or deep mud and having to call on the radio for a tow. Especially when everyone who has their radio on can hear your desperate call.  Plus it's really not very romantic when you're sharing your nice meal with the captain of the tow boat.  Sorry, that will not make his services cheaper either!

I guess you know that answer to the question about priorities-furniture or motors, appliances or bow thrusters. If you know my husband then you know the answer. My budget is only a fourth compared to what he spent on the guts and operating necessities, so that was my strategy. I renovated and restored at my own pace. I would walk through those manly home improvement stores that are now tame and catering to the female market and get ideas from my much loved cable shows. As the boat improved, so did I.  My outdated project that looked like it came from the projects, now was getting a much needed facelift and is ready for project runway. Being a team is essential as well as being patient. Whether you are waiting for payday to continue your plan or the weather to improve, your day will come.

If you want your environment to be calm and serene then visualize that with every choice you make before you purchase. If you want it to be a manly men's only club and environment then visit your favorite bar and visualize the atmosphere with neon beer signs up on the wall. It is your houseboat and your choice and this is our subscription to Houseboat magazine. Just remember men, it's not just a guy thing.


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