“After Christmas Sail”

Dec 26

 

Reality and perception can be the exact same thing, until we get clarification. That’s when we say, “Ooohhh. Now I get it.”

My wife tells me I don’t pay attention when she talks to me. That’s her perception. I haven’t admitted to agreeing with with her, even though I wear the t-shirt she bought for me that says, “My wife says I don’t listen… or something like that.” I only wear it because I like the shirt and people get a good chuckle when they read it. But, a few days ago something happened that just may have strengthened her position. In fact, it turns out she might be right.

Last weekend we were down at the marina, puttering around on the boat and she said,

“I think we should go sailing on December 26th. With the kids gone, I thought the two of us could do it together this year.”

“Sounds great.” I’m pretty much all-in whenever sailing is on the table. As far as I’m concerned, if the weather cooperates, we can go sailing on Christmas Eve, Christmas day and again on December 26th.

“We’re going to get up early and make a day of it. I don’t want to be heading out late,” she added.

“The earlier, the better.” The breeze tends to be best in the mornings in Tampa Bay. No reason to lay around and waste good sailing.

Christmas Eve came and we relaxed at home with our youngest daughter. Christmas day didn’t bring any sailing, but we had a great Christmas. The day started with a tray of kielbasa, homemade nut & prune roll and Italian Pantellone, all washed down with coffee and mimosa and Christmas music playing on the stereo. Then we opened our gifts and sat in wonder at how richly we are blessed. Later in the afternoon we stopped by the marina to have lunch with friends. It was an all around great Christmas day.

The 26th arrived and it was time for the day after Christmas sailing. I was up and at it at 6:15 and quickly brushed my teeth and headed down to make a pot of coffee. My wife slept in for another hour or so, but I made use of the time by rummaging through the Christmas leftovers and making a couple of sandwiches. As I packed the cooler with snacks and sandwiches and a six-pack of Corona I heard stirring around up in the bathroom. A few minutes later I heard the shower come on and I headed upstairs to get dressed.

I bopped into the bedroom and grabbed a pair of wrinkled cargo shorts and slipped them on, along with my favorite, “Do Your Job”, Bill Belichick – New England Patriots t-shirt. I threw on my favorite light blue Columbia Bonehead fishing shirt and slipped on my canvas deck shoes. I was ready. When I heard her getting out of the shower I went back downstairs and got the cooler and my sailing bag and loaded them into the car.

She was still upstairs when I came back into the house so I poured her a cup of coffee, grabbed a pastry and headed back to our bedroom. This is where the perception/clarification thing comes in.

I stood in the bathroom doorway, holding the coffee and pastry and wearing… sailing stuff. She was wearing blue jeans, a nice, white cotton button-up shirt and a pair of shiny black shoes. She looked good, but didn’t look like she was dressed for going sailing. There were a few awkward moments of silence as we looked at each other with confused looks on our faces.

“What are you dressed for?” she asked.

“An after Christmas sail.”

She smiled and seemed to understand what was happening. I continued the confused puppy look, while holding her coffee and pastry.

“We’re going to the after Christmas Sale, not sail.”

I don’t understand.” I looked confused some more.

“You are just too cute.”
“What’s happening?” I asked, sincerely meaning it.

“At the mall. We’re going to the mall, Papa.”

“But you said we were going to go sailing… after Christmas… on the 26th.”

“No. I said we should go to the after Christmas sales, on the 26th. And, you said you would love to go with me.”

“Ooohhh. Now I get it.” Suddenly it didn’t sound very fun anymore. Damn that clarification thing. I’m glad I wasn’t wearing the t-shirt that said, “My wife says I don’t listen… or something like that.”

For the record, I would like to state since my oldest daughter has moved to California, next year’s after Christmas shopping responsibility falls to my youngest daughter, not to Papa.

Next year I plan to be on a real after Christmas sail on a boat, not in a mall.

Merry Christmas everyone!

B.M. Simpson

About B.M. Simpson

B.M. Simpson was born and raised in rural Maine. He joined the Air Force at the age of 18 and lived and moved across the U.S. and Europe. After leaving the military, he spent years living and working in the Caribbean. On the islands of Anguilla, St. Kitts and Grand Cayman, he discovered a passion for island life and formed friendships second to none. After more than 20 years of writing songs, poems and short stories, he wrote his first full-length novel, Island Dogs, A Caribbean Tale of Friendship.