13 October 2007

The Brotha Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

Where do I even start with this one?

You know something's wrong when your significant other often tells you how supportive he is of your surfing. Frankly, if you're as supportive as you say, you wouldn't have to keep saying it, would you? Somehow, I think he's trying to convince himself more than he's trying to convince me. I don't think his attitude about my surfing can be classified as supportive. He tolerates my surfing . . . barely.

And what is it about surfing that pisses him off so much? That's the $64,000 question. For years, I spent my weekends out training on my bike. I was often gone for hours at a time, riding with a whole bunch of guys. That never bothered him in the least. But this surfing thing is a whole different animal. I'm still at a loss as to why surfing, specifically me surfing, bugs the shit out of him. I've not dropped everything else in my life to surf. Yes, I schedule much of my life around surfing. However, I was the same way as a cyclist. I haven't completely ignored the needs of my family in my quest for waves. I don't dream about dropping out to become a feral surfer. I still put my job as "mommy" first. I still bring money into the house. I still do all of that stupid shit that's required of a wife/mother (i.e., do all the shopping, cooking, dish washing, laundry). I've not forgotten I'm married and that there's a man here who requires my attention.

It's rare that I surf freely. By that I mean, there's always a feeling of dread connected to my surfing. Is he going to be mad because I surfed? Is he going to be mad because I want to surf? These thoughts are always in the back of my mind when I'm in the water (or in the parking lot or in the car driving to/from surf or online reading other surf blogs or online looking at the surf report). And I'm tired. Surfing shouldn't be this unpleasant for either one of us. It's not like I'm going to stop surfing. I don't give him shit for riding his motorcycle. He's gone for hours at a time. My attitude is that everyone should follow his or her passion. I surf in the morning for a few hours. You ride your bike for the rest of the day. It's like a tag team wrestling team. You watch the little man first, then you tag me and I've got him. I don't have a problem with that. The little man doesn't seem to be bothered by it either.

I don't ask for much. I'm not a high maintenance female. All I ask is that a man let me be me. Don't trip. I've never cheated. I didn't bring a lot of baggage into the relationship. I've just been here the whole time, being me. We've both changed over the almost two decades we've been together. That's to be expected. Have I changed for the worse? I don't think so. He hasn't hinted at that. So why all the fucking drama about surfing?


At 10/14/07, 12:03 PM, Blogger jb said...

Oh, the balance of surfing, marriage, parenthood. . .

At 10/14/07, 9:21 PM, Blogger dgm said...

Is your passion for and focus on surfing (even when you're not in the water) more intense than what you had for cycling? It might not just be a matter of how much time you put into it, but the level of passion you have for it.

I have a friend whose ex wife hated, absolutely hated, the fact that he surfed. But worse than that was his passion for playing the guitar. It pissed her off so very much, and he never figured out why. I've seen a similar attitude by men when their wives get into bodybuilding. Can't explain it, but you're not alone.

My dude actually wants me to surf--will go out of his way to accommodate my surfing because he is so obsessed with it himself, and he wants to be able to go out without guilt. Plus, he wants the whole family to incorporate it into our lives.

At 10/15/07, 6:37 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

My passion for surfing is not even close to how obsessed I was, and had to be, as a competitive cyclist. I'm also a mother now. My priority is my family. Surfing, unlike cycling, is a sport where you win every time you go out. Cycling is nothing like that, thereby requiring you to be totally committed, dedicated, obsessed, etc.

Once I've surfed, I'm pretty much done for the day. I've got other things that require my attention (like my child and my husband). With cycling, everything I did was influenced by the bike (i.e., what I ate, how much rest I got, how much time I spent up on my legs, etc). I'm not like that with surfing.

At 10/15/07, 10:49 AM, Blogger clayfin said...

Yes, marital drama!!!

I don't know, I can't relate. Every morning that I leave my wife tells me to have a great surf, take as much time as you need, and are you sure you don't want me to get a part time job so you can buy more boards? Yes, I am a lucky man, she 120% supportive all the time.

heh, heh, right. With two kids it's just a competition for time to ourselves, but she doesn't give a hoot what I'm doing on mine as long as she gets hers. Perhaps because SB1 isn't a surfer, and maybe not a water / beach type at all, it's just hard for him to understand why you like it. If my wife suddenly got totally into dirt bikes I'd probably be annoyed.

At 10/15/07, 4:05 PM, Anonymous venicesurfergirl said...

Yup. I had a nine year relationship that ended, in large part, due to my surfing "passion". And believe me, I tried to compromise. But it's not about the time away actually surfing, it's about everything else that consumes the surfer; the planning of when and where to paddle out, which board to take, weekend surf trips with surf buddies, vacations (God forbid) with surf buddies, talking about surfing, watching videos, going to surf shops, spending any extra $$$ on surfy things (why paint the house? It's fine?), and thinking about it. Because they know that we are always thinking about it, even when we're not talking about it, they KNOW.

But they just don't get it. They are so jealous because they just cannot understand the passion, the obsession, the relentless pursuit of the next great wave. It's the not getting it that drives them crazy.

I've had many passions/obsessions in my life but surfing is different. And they know it. So while they say they don't mind, they do. It eats at them until finally, they just cannot stand that, once again, you have to get up at 5:00 am to drive up and down the coast looking for the perfect peak...even if you promise to be back home in time for the 10:00 am kickoff and coffee together.

At 10/15/07, 4:32 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

VSF, I've never been on a surf trip. Every. Nor do I expect to ever go on one. I've been as far south as San O and as far north as County Line. That's it.

On the weekends that I surf, I tend to get up early, surf early, and then return home to be wife and mom. I'm always home before 10 am. I'm often home before 9!

Yes, I do read surf magazines and watch surf videos. He reads motorcycle mags and watches motorcycling videos. His passion for motorcycles matches mine for surfing. I don't give him any shit for it.

My passion for surfing is well contained because it must be. I'm not bitter about it. I'm just glad I'm able to surf at all, regardless of where I surf.


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