Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We travel a good share of the year in a very small travel trailer. It forces us to spend a lot of our time outdoors. We love the lifestyle as we both spent years trapped in a cubicle working for Fortune 500 companies. It is like having a backpack with wheels.
The problem I have is keeping track of my husband. He tends to be a yapper. I think if we had a larger RV he might just go inside when he tired of outdoor activities, but instead he now goes in search of other campers to talk with and sometimes annoy.
He says I am imagining the worst and assuming these people are annoyed with his constant social butterfly patterns.
Do you think a more spacious rig would anchor him a bit? I sometimes think he is angling for an invite into some of these large, plush rock star buses by pretending he is interested in buying one.
I don't mind him networking with other campers, but do you think his behavior is normal when he constantly seeks out other campers to kibitz with?
--Yap Flap in Flagstaff
Dear Yap Flap:
Unless he is constantly angling for a sleep over, I think his behavior is perfectly normal. Perhaps he was psychologically damaged more than you from being locked up for years in a cubicle. Did he have a window? Was there any contact with co-workers?
I cannot gauge as to whether he is a closet "Big Rig" yearner. I assume he did not equate your very small trailer with his cubicle or he never would have agreed to live in it for months at a time. But he could be in denial. You should discuss it with him.
I wouldn't take his wandering so personal. A wonderful part of camping is sparking spontaneous conversations with people from all walks of life, with a kaleidoscope of interests. Those conversations spawn all kinds of great ideas, answer puzzling questions, vary your travel path, and develop new friendships.
There is a fine line between sparking up a conversation and annoying people. Most of us can sense when it's time to push on with the dialog or simply push on. If you do not think your husband is picking up on the subtle body language that signals a timeout, then you may want to school him on it.
You can save a lot of money by sitting down and discussing these issues. Otherwise you might be rambling around in a rock star bus all alone while your husband is out talking to strangers about tiny trailers.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink