Achilles’ Heel

I love my husband. He is clever and kind and he makes me laugh. I would like to believe we were made for each other. But if we ever get into a kayak together again I’m not sure our marriage will survive.

It has been approximately ten years since our first kayaking experience. We had been together for about a year, so our relationship was still in relative infancy. My memory of the incident is fairly vague. I think my mind, in its wisdom, has blocked out most of the details. But I’m pretty sure there was much yelling while in the kayak, and then stony cold silence after we made it back to shore. I’m not sure how we managed to get through it, but no doubt it involved lots of wine and then lots of sex. Ah, young love…

Anyway, that experience made enough of an impression on us both that we have avoided taking part in any oar based water activities ever since.

But we are on holidays in Vanuatu. Our eldest daughter is six and a half, and the idea of life jacketing her up and going for a spin was just too tempting. Plus, that was years ago. Surely our relationship has evolved beyond such petty arguments…?

No. It hasn’t.

Get Hubby into the back of a kayak, and he metamorphoses into a bossy, cranky, incompetent, self-important know it all. Clearly, get me into the front of a kayak with Hubby and I become well…ahem…rather critical myself. Suffice to say, our daughter’s inaugural kayaking experience could have been more enjoyable.

I’m not sure what it is about kayaking that has us beaten. Somehow, we just seem to go around and around in circles. I mean literally. We never seem to actually go in the direction we intend and it’s incredibly frustrating. He says it’s my fault, I say it’s his, and we yell at each other until I insist on going home.

Hubby believes we must not let this beat us. We must try again – conquer the mountain. He suggests seeking out an online deal for kayaking lessons. I maintain the only kayaking deal for us is one that comes with free relationship counseling, and I haven’t spotted any of those on Groupon lately…

Kayaking is officially our relationship Achilles’ heel.

There could be worse things, right? For example, it would be quite inconvenient if we disagreed on how to raise our children. Or had different taste in TV shows. (Is it wrong of me to think that I may not have listed those in order of importance?) Those things would be a problem. This on the other hand is just a minor inconvenience that only surfaces every ten years or so when the opportunity for water sports happens to disturb our otherwise happy existence.

So I say we should let it go – forget the whole incident, and never kayak together again. Hubby says we should go out first thing in the morning when the wind is low, and see if that makes a difference.

We disagree on this point. But at least we’re talking to each other again. We might still have the problem, but it would seem the solution is still highly effective. Thank goodness for that.

What is your relationship Achilles’ heel?



Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/


2 thoughts on “Achilles’ Heel

  1. Hmmm, can we just pick one? Or perhaps two heels, one for each foot?? The first one is far from original but it is what it is. Anything and I mean anything that involves navigation has the potential to cause problems with us. This one has certainly improved over the years…we have learned to avoid any situation where we need to read a map in the car….but we have been known to have some explosive arguments in the past. I remember spending a day walking through Naples by myself following one such incident, a night walking home in a huff from a Santorini nightclub and don’t get me started on Paris. We have had issues closer to home too. Who could forget the Great Wynnum Cupcake Debacle when our young, romantic and clearly feisty selves set off with some cupcakes that I had made for an afternoon picnic by the bay? A few wrong directions later and my beloved was out of the car and supposedly walking home (he was new to the country and had no idea of where he was going so a bit funny really) as I drove by throwing cupcakes at him. We still laugh over that one. The second Achilles’ heel is definitely DIY. This one shows little sign of improving but as luck would have it I discovered just yesterday that IKEA will assemble a stand alone wardrobe for $90. Sounds expensive? Compared with marriage counselling I think it’s a bargain. I can only imagine what would happen if we went kayaking together. In this regard we know our limitations…and always go for one-man kayaks!!

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