I learned recently that tandem kayaks, kayaks that hold two people who have to work as a team, are notoriously called “divorce kayaks”. Had Marte and I known this two summers ago it would have saved us a lot of trouble. It is my deep personal belief that teamwork and aquatic activity go together much in the same way that orange juice and toothpaste blend in a seamless array of wonderful flavors for your oral ecstasy. To be fair, such teamwork does exist, in the form of row teams, or dragon boating a.k.a. the Chinese row team, but these efforts require hours of practice, a coach, a rather spiteful individual yelling “row” at you constantly, and a physical prowess that your joe average couple who would entertain such an activity, does not possess.
From the moment we stepped in the kayak and started paddling we both knew we were in for it. “Go left, NO THE OTHER LEFT! Keep paddling. I AM PADDLING!” Up was down left was right, cats and dogs living together, complete pandaemonium.
She was cranky, then I was cranky, then I was cranky some more and after what seemed like eons, and by miraculous wonder, we made it out off the calm jetty and in to the ocean. At that point, we both became cranky simultaneously… game over.
If you ready any research on what makes a relationship successful, 9.975 (no that is not the actual statistic, but it is the USS Voyager’s warp speed limit. Geek!) will say that communication is numero uno. Consequently it is also shown to be the number one killer of relationships. Every couple does things their own way. Marte and I get cranky, say sorry, then go in to what made us upset and what to do about it. I know couples that analyze each and every detail. Others are forgive and forget and move on while another likes to yell and taunt. No matter what the method, if the issue isn’t identified and solved together, it all goes down in flames.
I think tandem kayaking should be required activity for marriage. If you get can through that and live to tell the tale, and more to the point tell the tale with the same person you went with, then you’re going to be a okay.