I guess we fall somewhere in the middle. Actually, I'm shy and my wife has never met a stranger. But someone here expressed the thought of liking to establish deeper relationships rather than just the casual shallow ones. That leads to preferring smaller gatherings. When we're at a marina we love to get together with another couple or family
. We invite others to join us and we join them. We build relationships with those persons and remain in touch with them. On the other hand we don't like huge gatherings. We don't do pot luck for numerous reasons including the fact we don't eat food
prepared by those we don't know in conditions we don't know. I know many might find that strange but it's a personal thing. We will gladly share meals
with those we get acquainted with on an individual basis. Are we anti-social? Our friends say not but those who don't know us may feel we are. Regardless, boating
is recreation, a pleasure activity, and it should involve doing those things you enjoy and should not include pressure to do things you don't enjoy. We value our friends highly and have made friends boating
. But we don't feel a compulsion to be part of the "group." On land it's the same. We may have 15 or 20 at our home, all friends, on a Sunday. But we don't do country club. We belong to yacht clubs only for reciprocal arrangements.
Now has that been a problem for us? No. We politely decline those things we don't wish to participate in. We don't make excuses or lie or even offer reasons. We simply say, "Thank you but we won't be coming." We will even politely say that a couple of times. Only when someone keeps asking and rudely insists on asking "Why not?" will one of us get rude, normally me with "Because we don't want to" or my wife with "We don't freaking want to." I have been known on occasion to respond to rudeness toward us by saying, "What part of the word, "no", do you not understand?" We are not going to be intimidated or pushed nor made to feel guilty or bad over our choices.
Now one other thing that enters into the equation. That is the consumption
of alcohol. We do drink but not as often as many boaters do. We've been surprised at how many choose to drink every evening. We may drink once a week or even less. And we don't go to bars. We have no problem with those who do. It's just not something we enjoy or do. We don't like to be around a lot of drinking people and certainly not around drunk people, nor do we like the smoking in many bars. We don't like the noise
in many or in many clubs. That's not anti-social as part of that reason is that we want to talk with those we're there with. We like being able to carry on a conversation. When we drink it's probably at a fine restaurant or it's back on our boat or more likely it's at home with friends on a Friday night. We do have one club at home we enjoy but that's because it's a full time karaoke club which we like. But we go there to sing rather than drink. Again, we're not passing judgement on any others, just these are our preferences.
Another thing the group events
and pot luck and bar visits often evolve into is discussion of politics and religion and other highly controversial issues and we don't discuss those in group settings or with strangers. Our close friends know our views on those subjects and we know and respect theirs. But boating is for pleasure for us and sitting in a group where multiple people are arguing politics over their third pitcher of beer
is hardly the place we're going to discuss that. Nor do we discuss our business or finances or any of those type things with strangers.
We do stay at marinas
mostly as opposed to anchoring
although we do enjoy anchoring
occasionally as a change of pace. We don't mind the people walking by or the other activity at a marina. If that bothered us, then we'd not stay there. Is it occasionally excessive? Yes. But not so often as to bother us.
As to group or association boating and rendezvous's and buddy boating. We understand both but only participate minimally. We will talk to people about plans and talk about leaving the same day and seeing each other the following night or a few nights later at another location. We even could enjoy a group and meeting them at various points on a cruising plan. But we don't commit to cruising side by side or one behind the other. We prefer to set our own speed. If we want to linger, fine. If we want to move faster, fine. We do keep in touch on the way, communicate as to where we are and others are. But we like doing things on our own schedule.
Now for those attacking others here because of their preferences, that makes no sense and is not appropriate. Why so intolerant of those who feel differently about things and about activities. There is nothing elitist about not liking large groups or pot luck. I didn't like them when I was 10 years old and the pot luck meals
were at church. This isn't money
related nor ethnic nor race
nor status nor anything other than just simply people who are different. Most of us are complex humans and our personalities reflect that, our likes and dislikes sometimes even surprising. My wife and I have different personalities, but we then have those collective preferences. We have friends who enjoy things different than us.
This is just who we are and we're happy with that. We are WYSIWYG. We hope our friends are as well. But frankly we don't really care how total strangers feel about that. They don't know us and if they want to make superficial judgments, then so be it.