I am the middle aged woman who’s only ever slept with one guy.
She met him in high school. When they met they had everything in common, like homework, binge drinking and teenage hormones. They stayed together throughout their early twenties and she watched as all of her friends were hooking up with other guys, different guys, different types of guys just to see if that guy was the right fit for them. But during this time of peer group experimentation she stayed true to her man. Throughout her twenties she’d occasionally see other guys that she liked the look of, sometimes she flirted a little but she never acted on anything because she already had a man, and whilst he wasn’t the best man in the world, he was far from the worst and he was hers.
Then as she aged into her 30s, it started to go wrong. He was often away for work, or he was working late, and when he finally did come home he came home drunk and they’d argue. They stopped having sex. Then one day in the middle of one of their constant arguments he hit her.
He was so sorry and ashamed afterwards, he promised it’d never happen again. She justified it by saying he’s under a lot of stress at work, and it was only that one time. She said to herself that she probably made him do it. But then one day it happened again. Gradually it became more and more frequent. She ran out of excuses to tell to her friends to explain her bruises, all of her friends told her to leave him, but it’s not that simple. He’s the only guy she’s ever been with, maybe if she just made sure she didn’t talk back so often he’d stop beating her and it’d go back to how it was before, not perfect, not perfect by any means, but safe, and familiar.
This is my story. I am this woman. I am in an abusive relationship with my boat trailer.
It started off innocently, I wanted a tilt trailer so I could wind the boat up onto it from the beach easily. I scoured eBay and Gumtree and a month or so later I parted with $200 and gained a trailer that I thought would meet my needs. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a tilt trailer, seemed in reasonable condition and I was sure with a few changes I could make it close to perfect. Over the next year I started to mould the boat trailer into the boat trailer I wanted it to be. I swapped out the rollers for full length skids, I swapped out the hubs to suit my Landcruiser, and installed Landcruiser split rims and tyres. It wasn’t quite perfect, but that didn’t matter, it was mine and I loved it.
Then as I took it up north for a 6 month fishing trip things started to change.
First on the Bloomfield track on the way to Cooktown the winch bracket cracked.
That’s Ok, I told myself. I was putting it under a lot of pressure, there were some tough corrugations and I was probably driving a little fast.
I forgave it, and lowered the bracket in the frame so that the crack couldn’t spread and pretended it never happened.
Then on the way to Archer River roadhouse a spring shackle exploded.
Not to worry, I’m sure that’s a common failure and to be expected. I’ll just ratchet strap it together and limp to somewhere where I can get it welded and everything will be fine. It was probably my fault really for hitting a bump a little too fast.
At Weipa I thought I should get a more permanent repair. $1200 dollars later and I’m telling myself that the price seems reasonable. $1200 seems about right for $60 dollars worth of steel and 4 hours of labour. It’s probably because they’re highly trained professionals, and not painting the welds is probably ok on something like a boat trailer that only goes near salt water occasionally, and it probably doesn’t matter if the leaf springs aren’t exactly perpendicular to the axle. Shortly after on the way to the Tip a leaf spring decided to shed some weight to help out with fuel economy.
Those springs weren’t as springy as the used to be anyway. The boat trailer probably needed a new set of springs to make it feel good about itself again, it was my own fault for not replacing them before the trip. I bought a new set of springs in Bamaga and swapped them out under a tree at the Jardine river mouth.
Then as our trip came to a close, literally as we pulled into the driveway I noticed the trailer wasn’t sitting quite right. Upon closer inspection I found that after driving maybe 20,000km across the roughest roads in this country the frame decided to crack on both sides on our last day of driving.
That’s Ok, all trailers this age have the occasional character-crack, no big deal. No need to get a new trailer, it just needs a little reinforcing.
Then after toughing it out being back in the real world and gainfully employed for a few months I decided to maximise the benefit of the ekka holiday by taking two days of leave and turning one public holiday into a well deserved 5 day fishing and camping trip to middle creek. Just as the boat was being wound back up onto the trailer on the morning of our departure back to Brisbane I noticed another crack. Almost all way through on one side.
Nothing that serious right? Only a few millimeters of steel stopping the trailer from taking a sharp right hand turn into a well executed army roll at devastating turbo diesel Landcruiser speed down the Bruce highway. I’m sure that’s a common issue with most boat trailers.
Nothing for it except to tie a ratchet strap around it and drive the 500 km back to Brisbane constantly staring in the side view mirror in a state of maximum “it’ll probably let go at 110kmh into a Mercedes full of orphans” induced stress.
Why doesn’t she leave him? Surely she could find another man, that would treat her how she deserves if she really wanted to. And even if she didn’t, she shouldn’t need a man in her life to fulfil her.
Why don’t I just buy another boat trailer? I can certainly afford it, even a brand new one. Think of all the stress it would save me, and the time I’d gain by not having to repair it all the time.
Is it the fear of the unknown? Is it Stockholm syndrome? Am I secretly some kind of masochist, consciously unaware of the perverted incentives that drive my irrational behaviour?
What’s your irrational boat trailer type hang-up? Comment below.
By they way, I realise domestic violence is a very serious matter, and any mature adult shouldn’t make jokes about it, especially bad jokes. If I ever meet a mature adult I’ll be sure to let them know.