Wednesday, March 30, 2016

RV yap flap

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


Unknown said...

Love the last line.

Jerry X Shea said...

Hey,wait a minute. Did my wife post this? Ha.

I think she is missing an important point. Many of us enjoy talking with others about our RV experience. Place to go, hints and tips, what's new, what works or will not work. Even if they are staying in one park for the whole summer, others are coming and going. If her husband is not "picking" on just one couple/RV I doubt if he is annoying anyone. If he is going over to the same RV/Motorhome 4-5 time a day, then yes, you have a problem. Otherwise, let him go talk while you read your book without interruption.

Unknown said...

As my father told me "Strangers are just Friends I haven't met!" he loved camping so much that he opened a campground in Colorado so he could meet new RVers every day. I still "wander" the campgrounds whenever we go camping just to see who I can meet. If I get tired of walking I pull out my Mandolin and start practicing and often it turns in to a impromptu jam session. it is all about enjoying life.

Anonymous said...

How about the person who is "cornered" into listening... and listening...and listening to the guy "just trying to be "friendly". My husband and I love to RV all over the country many months a year but sometimes find ourselves cornered by a talker. After a few minutes of listening to their tales of their grandchildren, their rig, their medical history, their military history,etc. we try to politely excuse ourselves... but they just keep on regaling us with their life. After another 30 minutes, we realize they don't have a clue that complete strangers are not necessarily fascinated by their entire life history.

Jerry X Shea said...

Hi Anonymous - Yes, we have all been been "cornered" by the friendly talker. When dealing with a senior citizen you are many times dealing "senoir mental problems." They honestly don't realize what they are doing. It is not uncommon for a spouse to say to you, "I hope my husband isn't bothering you." You have to learn to just "walk away." They won't even remember that you walked on them.

Try this next time:

"Bob, we just arrived and have to finish setting up - talk to you later" and walk back into your RV.

"John, I need to finish a project, catch you later" and walk back in."

Whatever you come up with, you are not being rude by walking away with an excuse to do so.