(Here they are, three of the 60 that call themselves the Asheville Yacht Club. You can join them, too. The only talent you must display is a strong inclination to play.)
In my next life (if there is such a thing), I desperately want to come back as a man because I believe they know how to have more fun than women. I think men relegate time for “play” throughout their lives, and in this, women can take lessons from them.
For instance, when I was a teacher many years ago, I learned that the men on our faculty made sure they had their fun times (once a month, on Fridays, like clockwork)–occasions when they’d get out with their peers and whoop it up. When some of us female teachers tried to organize something similar, we were met with a chorus from female co-workers: “Oh, I can’t…I have to get dinner ready for my boys,” or “No, can’t go out for drinks because I have to make cookies for the church bazaar.”
There was always a reason they couldn’t comply. And then I got it: They were desperately trying to make up for the fact they weren’t stay-at-home moms. In their downtime, they were busily trying to accomplish what they couldn’t do during their workday: Be the housewife, the cook, the den mother, the Brownie leader, the knitter…you get my drift.
Men never have these problems. They find time to play. And for that, I salute them, because playing (after the work is done) is healthy and necessary–no matter what one’s age. The men who are the focus of this post are older gentlemen who are retired or close to it, but they continue to play in life, just as they did when they were younger (it’s just the size of their toys has changed).
Take Dick Weaver. He‘s an import from Michigan to the Asheville region (most of Asheville is from “away”), the man (in the lower picture) who’s wearing the orange tee-shirt with “Live Slow” emblazoned on it. On Lake Huron, he used to sail far larger boats, but he’s tamped down his criteria in craft. He now stays on shore and directs his model boat with a remote control.
They all do, that motley crew of a dozen or so men (at regatta time) who call themselves the Asheville Yacht Club, the ones who meet each Tuesday and Saturday (weather permitting) from 1-3 at Beaver Lake in Woodfin, North Carolina. And I mention “men” here because that’s who I see launching their boats, competing in races around the buoys. Women can join this group, but apparently they don’t.
The prize is a silver cup, for two successive wins, but apparently that’s never happened, so the cup remains “unclaimed.” Who are Dick’s cohorts in the picture? Well, there’s Gerry Provost from Ottawa, Canada and the “Commodore” and “Fleet Captain,” Jeff Zautner from Wisconsin (think their former Great Lakes’ boating affected them?) The boats they sail are of similar size and brand (Nirvana and Seawind), thus making the competition equitable.
North Carolina men aren‘t the only ones operating toys we often associate with children. Way up north, in little Rhode Island, men launch another type of craft in the remote sand dunes in rural Coventry. There, several men meet weekly to deploy their motorized, model airplanes, again operated with remote controls. Their planes dip in the sky, run loops, and barely avoid collisions, as they race one another for the honor of being first.
In men’s play, competition rules.
Over my lifetime, I’ve noted that men continue (beyond high school and college) to partake in sports as when they join bowling teams, play hockey, basketball, touch football. The more sedentary men play cards, gamble at casinos, play chess, bridge, or checkers. But they all pretty much make sure that they get “their night out.”
I believe women have “their night,” if all other things are completed (which almost never happens.) For, if they work long hours, then their downtime is spent on domestic chores or making up for the fact they’re not there for the family, in other ways. As such, the full-time working Mom gives up jogging, the gym, dinner or drinks with other women friends.
In the end, they end up with little to no time off for their own recreation.
Yes, I want to come back as a male in my next life because I think they never forget the value of “play.” If it’s poker night, it’s poker night…End of story. It’s simple…it’s fair…and it’s right….And no one thinks that’s weird.
You know another surprising twist? It’s not the men who deprive women of equal time. In the end, women sabotage their own opportunity at enjoying recreational outlets. And until they learn to place the same value on “play” that men do, I want to come back as a man in my next life.
P.S.…The ONLY thing we women might suggest to the men regarding their model boats: Personalize them. Run a multi-colored flag (US or Canada?) above the mainsail, glue on bright faux cushions to the seats…accentuate them. We might not get our priorities right (for recreation and play) but we damned well know how to decorate.…
Note the body language on the one in the middle, the “Commodore.” I remember leaning like that when my bowling ball headed for the alley. If you click on the smaller picture, you’ll see Dick Weaver’s slogan “Live Slow” on the back of his tee shirt. He tries to live down to that expectation.