Saturday, July 11, 2009

Amy's Sailboat Campaign - July 07

I haven’t been out sailing since New Year’s Day. It was a day of firsts and lasts for me. My first “race” as skipper of my own boat with it’s newly acquired PHRF rating of 225. My first poker run. The first day of a new year. It was also the last time I would sail my boat before I sold it, my last sail on the lake before we moved, and sadly, my last sail since.

I didn’t win my hand of poker, even with three jacks, but it was an exhilarating day, none-the-less and my little sailboat handled beautifully. She’s since gone on to another lake, to teach other beginners the art of sailing, and strange as it sounds, this makes me proud. But I miss my boat and I miss going out for a late afternoon sail anytime I want.

Our first few months of living here, sailing was pushed to the back of my mind by such things as settling into a new house, finding a job, trying to help the kids adjust to a new location, and everything else that comes with a big move to a new place. But we’re all settled in now and I’m getting a little antsy to go sailing. Actually, obsessive might be a better word. Take pity on Mike because he bears the brunt of my obsession.

He had to deliver a sailboat to Bonaire recently. The trip was to take about ten days, which meant that I couldn’t go due to my work schedule. Miffed is a word one might use to describe my reaction to this. Jealous is another. They’re both milder than I would use if this wasn’t a family newspaper. I want to go SAILING!

And so began my campaign. I like to call it, “We’re buying a sailboat and that’s all there is to it!”
As we all know, any good campaign must begin with a substantial cash flow. Which I don’t have. So where to find it? Anywhere and everywhere. Every penny I make in tips at work goes into the boat fund. I do all the laundry now and the $27.00 I’ve found so far in the washer is now in the boat fund, including the five I found after doing a load of the kids clothes. Do I feel guilty? Nope. They probably stole it from my purse anyway. When Mike does remember to empty his pockets at the end of the day, any money mysteriously disappears by morning. I blame it on the kids, but we all know it’s in the boat fund.

I asked Mike to help someone who needed to move his boat to a transport ship. When the owner tipped him for helping, I snatched the cash out of Mike’s hand immediately. Boat fund. I went grocery shopping recently, a task I usually leave to Mike since he does most of the cooking, but I try to help out when I can. On this particular occasion, I saw some rather nice steaks that would have been great cooked on the grill. But the difference in price between five steaks and two packages of hotdogs looked much better in my boat fund.

It isn’t just money though. Another aspect of a good campaign is the skillful utilization of propaganda. For instance, I changed the screensavers on both our computers to text that floats and bounces across the screen with messages reading “Take Amy Sailing!” and “Buy a Sailboat!” Rather than writing “dust me” on the TV screen or the door of Mike’s truck, I write, “You should be out sailing with Amy!” I’ve also found I can get his attention by cutting out ads for sailboats and taping them in places he’s unlikely to miss. Like the lid of the toilet, the first fold of his wallet, his steering wheel, on his pillow, in his underwear drawer, the sole of his flip flops, on the grill cover, on the cover of the key lime pie I so thoughtfully picked up for him, and over the label on a bottle of rum.

I like to think of this as therapy for me, too. Coming up with creative ways to remind him that we need a sailboat keeps me from going out and stealing one.

But the bottom line is, of course, the bottom line. Meaning, we can’t just afford to go buy the sort of boat we want. So what I would ask of all of you is, if you have or know of a sailboat that might be had for about what one might expect to pay for a month’s rent in a nice neighborhood, or even better, a month’s rent in a really bad neighborhood, please email me the info. Consider it an act of kindness toward Mike because until we find a sailboat, my campaign continues.

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