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-   -   Honey, you drive. My wife can drive! (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/honey-you-drive-my-wife-can-drive-199414.html)

turk123 08-12-2019 02:10 PM

Honey, you drive. My wife can drive!
 
I know there is a lot of threads about the significant other driving while towing the Airstream, but I am excited to say, my wife wants to drive. :clap::clap:

We took the Airstream to our nearby fairgrounds in Canfield. It has many crisscross roads to navigate and she jumped behind the wheel!

I showed her how to make wide turns and to watch for curbs, dogs, small children, and other obstacles. We spent an hour learning to back up. She did very well! Gave her all the tips I learned here and off we went to the next county. 55 mph on a two-lane road with lots of traffic. She did great!!

Hopped on the interstate and she drove back toward Canfield at 65 Mph. Had her passing cars and instructed her how to keep up the speed while getting on the interstate.

I told her I was impressed. I think she enjoyed herself. I know I will enjoy the freedom to pull over, wake her up, get her behind the wheel and then just fall asleep on the passenger side. I've been waiting to do that for years . . . .

Sorry! No pictures. No recordings. No pressure on the first run.

badkat 08-12-2019 03:06 PM

Very happy for you guys!
 
We share the driving but hubby does not care to back but is great at directions. Being full-timers we usually do not travel more than 250 miles at a stretch. One thing we do as passengers though never nap or read. We feel we both need to watch the road..at least the passenger most of the time..but that is what works for us. Safe travels.

kpm 08-12-2019 03:46 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Good for your wife and you turk123!

My wife agitated for an Airstream a few years ago with the idea she was going to be self sufficient. I'm try not to take it personally :wally:. She is just ending a 3 week trip with her sister and 80 yo mother for her mom's birthday. Hitching, dumping, driving - after a couple of years of practice she's as good as I am. Here's a photo of her park job this afternoon at the Indiana Sand Dunes National Park in Porter IN.

Attachment 349221

turk123 08-12-2019 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by badkat (Post 2276134)
We share the driving but hubby does not care to back but is great at directions. Being full-timers we usually do not travel more than 250 miles at a stretch. One thing we do as passengers though never nap or read. We feel we both need to watch the road..at least the passenger most of the time..but that is what works for us. Safe travels.

I probably will not sleep either. There's lots of navigation to do and the dreaded semi watch. We've get pushed over one lane by semi's all the time. It's a vigil.

ROBERT CROSS 08-12-2019 06:19 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I know those roads....😂

Bob
🇺🇸

wulfraat 08-12-2019 07:50 PM

Honey, you drive. My wife can drive!
 
My wife was in the military and was trained on the M16. She’s been dropped out of planes and was responsible for setting up sophisticated mobile satalite telecommunication posts on the front line.

It never occurred to me that driving a vehicle with trailer in tow might in some way be a challenge for her haha.

She gets to drive us in the worst conditions like the time we did 700+ miles across northern California through the Sierra Nevada mountains into Utah in the pitch black night in the pouring rain.

I’m the one that learns from her [emoji4] tough as nails!

turk123 08-12-2019 08:15 PM

I talked to my wife (Doty) tonight about the experience and she said: "Didn't you think I could do it?" She's right. I was not asking her to drive. I just got into the driver's seat.

Lessons learned. The more I think about this, I am realizing how important it is to get both parties trained in towing the Airstream. What if something happens to you?

I was in Lake Havasu last year and strained my back. It was horrible for over a week. I could not drive. We needed to get our trailer out of storage and moved to a state park we reserved. Could not do it. Missed opportunity. Missed opportunity because I had not let my wife drive.

That changes now and it should change for a lot of us. 550 miles to meet up at a campground and you're going to drive all of it yourself??? What, are you nuts? An eye-opener for me. Things will change.

KK4YZ 08-12-2019 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kpm (Post 2276142)
Good for your wife and you turk123!

My wife agitated for an Airstream a few years ago with the idea she was going to be self sufficient. I'm try not to take it personally :wally:. She is just ending a 3 week trip with her sister and 80 yo mother for her mom's birthday. Hitching, dumping, driving - after a couple of years of practice she's as good as I am. Here's a photo of her park job this afternoon at the Indiana Sand Dunes National Park in Porter IN.

Attachment 349221

Indiana Dunes in Portage! I grew up in Hammond, just west of Gary. Friends and I would go to the beach there in high school and college. In winter we’d go there sledding and tobogganing down the hills. You should see that lakefront in winter.

Sorry. Not trying to hijack the thread.

My wife is really good at driving with the AS in tow. It’s nice to have her take over if I get tired. Although our gas mileage drops cuz her foot is a little heavier than mine. ��

She also watches and helps me set up the hitch so she can do it if needed...although getting the Equalizer hitch head into the receiver might be a bit too much steel for her to lift.

CWSWine 08-12-2019 11:06 PM

My wife would get behind the wheel of our 38,000 pound Class A and get this evil smile on her face and just dare someone to challenger her. She probably put over 15,000 miles driving the Class A. The Airstream is piece of cake to her, she can back into a spot without pulling forward even once.

79nTOW 08-12-2019 11:35 PM

We were 22 when we bought our first travel trailer, a 24ft. Fleetwing. Since hubbies work involved traveling it was a necessity I learned how to tow. So, I got in the driv ers seat and took off. I towed the trailer by myself for nine years. This was in the early 60's and everyone towed driving a car. Trucks didn't perform well...rear aend was too light. Of course no cell phones at that time. I always enjoy it...don't ever put limits on yourself. As my Mother always said if a woman can have a baby she can do anything!!

crispyboy 08-13-2019 06:34 AM

I have tried everything I know from being Mr. Nice (encouraging) to also being Mr. Mean (important that she can do this) and cannot get my wife to drive. I have full confidence in her ability but some reason will not drive. We have good solid tow vehicle, hitch and trailer. She does know how to hitch the Hensley Arrow and is great at giving directions for backing into a campsite without a word spoken just friendly hand signals. Maybe some day....

UncleBad 08-13-2019 08:02 AM

I am one of the lucky ones as well. My wife is a better driver than I am actually. She drove fire trucks and ambulances at code 3 speeds for 20 years. Off-road is a different matter. [emoji57]

We split the driving duties, switching at half tank intervals at fuel stops.

I still do all backing up however.

Get out there ladies, no reason at all not too!

Minno 08-13-2019 09:09 AM

My dad taught me to drive with a travel trailer when I was 16. I taught my husband. We switch off at 2 hour intervals when traveling. I'm not the best at backing, and he's not the best with hand signals to guide me, so he does the backing but I CAN do it if I need to. I can also hitch, unhitch, set up and take down camp.
I think it's VERY IMPORTANT for both partners to know all of it! Just watching isn't enough. I know I will never get stuck somewhere with him sick and me unable to hitch and drive.

Kay

Ray Eklund 08-13-2019 09:51 AM

Pilot and Co-Pilot can be Team Work options
 
Great variety of pilot and co-pilot when traveling.

We have a different reason why I pilot and Nancy co-pilots... experience. Not experience towing. Experience of the pilot to find 'potential exits towards potential Off the Grid Boondocking sites'. The co-pilot has the Atlas on her lap and I ask about any exits heading towards THAT area... coming up?

Fishing... knowing what looks favorable or not cannot be debated as you pass an area that was perfect and needing to turn around and get a second look. Let the person who is doing the fly fishing drive as you can slow down, stop, get a look... and decide in seconds to make a decision, see the pullout that the tow vehicle and trailer will fit, down or upwind from the dusty road... and on and on.

I am also following the Ford's GPS as some roads do not appear on a large scale map of miles/per inch.

Since I am looking at the stratigraphy and geology in the distance... it involves team work. Often a split second decision, right or wrong, is what takes us to discovering new OTG campsites in the distance. Often this is from many decades of understanding roads, all season or not road conditions, topography, elevation, walking potential turn offs, if the area offers what we are looking for or expected from previous experiences and so on.

....and when to call it quits, back up, find a turn around and get back to the main road.

Both tasks are important. Taking down odometer readings for distance traveled in the event we need to... back up... or turn around before we get too far into an area that looked better from a distance, but became impassable ahead.

Towing a trailer through rutted parts of a Forest or BLM road takes a different kind of driving skill.

I enjoy towing. Nancy enjoys 'not' towing. It takes two sets of eyes for low hanging branches, places where we need to stop and cut back brush hanging into the road. Moving rocks that have rolled down a hillside. Spotting deer, antelope, elk and ATV's entering our travel area. Understanding the angles of access and departure to avoid pulling off our rear bumper...

If I am tired, the co-pilot is also tired. Why swap positions? Find a good pull out away from the highway and make it a temporary camp site with time to look over the maps at our leisure.

There is compromise in the process. Everyone will discover their sweet zone. Mine is using experience for spotting potential access to places that look 'interesting' and the confirmation may be a time frame of ten seconds, or less.

Our travel is unique in most respects compared to the majority towing a trailer.

I have experienced women who would put other drivers to shame, towing. Not everyone has the ability to be a great driver. Sex has nothing to do with it. Men may think they are better drivers.. well, I would say some men are confused.

I recall a bumper sticker: "All men are idiots and my husband is their King." We still find that one funny.

demijac 08-13-2019 10:15 AM

Never Occurred To Us That It Wasn't Both Our Jobs
 
What's the big deal? It's both our jobs to drive when needed: at the very least, for safety reasons. Now if I could only learn to back up the trailer like my wife.

m rafferty 08-13-2019 10:38 AM

As long as she nows how to dump the holding tanks, that's the important part!!

badkat 08-13-2019 01:23 PM

What a great group. It is great that both can drive. Only thing that gets me is when I back in and some guy stands there and claps like oh my that is a female..LOL!

banderabob 08-13-2019 01:54 PM

Well, Jan can drive, and has. But as a routine her very strong preference is the copilot seat. She’s a great navigator when we need navigation , and overall great second set of eyes 👀 when in horrendous traffic, or those parts of the country where the locals are plain ignorant.

Tschupp 08-13-2019 02:13 PM

We’ve been full time for 16 months. We both tow, hitch up, back up, fuel up etcetera. My thinking is this is a partnership and don’t expect him to pull my weight in the driving arena and I don’t expect him to leave me to set up and clean up. It took me a while but now I can back up with the moderately skilled. He drove thru New Jersey I drove thru San Antonio during road work galore. I drove thru Chicago and remembered why we avoid freeways whenever possible. I am very happy that I jumped out of my comfort zone and figured out how to handle my 2500 Ram Diesel and 30 foot Classic with slide.

rowiebowie 08-13-2019 02:28 PM

My wife drove exactly once (for an hour). Can't get her to do it again even though she does great and I'd like the option of not having to stop for me to nap during my once or twice a week "nap attacks" that seem to hit around 2-3pm.

Overstreet 08-13-2019 06:35 PM

My daughter has and drives a bigger truck and trailer than I do. When I met my wife she had a bigger pick up, bigger boat, a dump trailer, some tractors, a goose neck trailer to move the tractors on and other equipment.

Sure she can drive the truck and trailer. I do most of the driving cause I like to.

Ray Eklund 08-14-2019 08:09 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Getting to a place sometimes is the 'easy part'. Getting out can be difficult.

1- The reverse of driving through Chicago, Los Angeles or Houston in Nevada
2- An intersection in Downtown St. Louis but in Utah.
3- The exit in Detroit- getting out of photo #2.
4- Avoiding bus exhaust in New Orleans... backed down again... in photo #2.

The Ladies are speaking out and clear!

What makes a trip worth doing? Having a spouse who has a sense of humor and can focus when it is needed. In the back country it is all 'Happy Trails to You'.

Men like to drive because... well, they know where they are... going? That is my excuse. I am their King, you know.

r carl 08-14-2019 08:42 AM

One weekend we were going to a lake 30min away and I asked my wife if she would drive the van with our boat attached and follow me to the lake and she said after we got to the lake I would have to back track and find the boat. :D

Dan and Liz 08-14-2019 01:03 PM

18 yo daughter was really nervous about towing — for a few miles. She did a great job and was comfortable after a short while. She’s a really good driver in general.

Flying Pig 08-18-2019 10:08 AM

Honey take the wheel
 
Learning forward is a must! Learning to back up should also be required for co-pilots. I (the wife) worry as to what would happen if my husband was “disabled” while traveling. I also intend to get backing up down if only to illustrate to him that the signal-persons job ain’t as easy as it seems. Still practicing but seems to be a safety precaution for both persons to be skilled in all manner of driving (am aware of a couple who experienced the horror of the driver having an aneurysm while on the road behind the wheel). Better safe than sorry.

Sparkle 08-18-2019 10:09 AM

As a single woman camper, I’ve made it my business to read and learn and ask questions about this whole process of towing and maintenance. I’ve chosen trailers I can handle alone. It is a disservice to your camping partner if they cannot do every task involved. If you’re the primary driver and setup person, make sure your partner can also do it alone and with confidence. You never know when you might twist an ankle or worse and then you are stuck. Stop dividing up tasks, learn to do it all, including cleaning the toilet��.

AndyW 08-18-2019 10:34 AM

Now one day you’ll wake up alone..Wife, truck and Airstream will be long gone..

Hittenstiehl 08-18-2019 10:54 AM

If they can't drive it they don't get to go.

Everyone should be able to do the tasks required for the lifestyle they live. Don't have to be an expert just accomplish the task or in extreme cases know where to find help me.

Gene 08-18-2019 12:34 PM

My wife has been towing for a dozen years. For many years before that we split the driving after I realized sometimes driving hurt my back more and why shouldn’t I get a rest too? I used to like driving, but now not so much. She still likes driving, so good. She prefers me to drive through heavy traffic, construction, or nasty roads, but she does fine when she does. I can see signs further away in urban areas and see better at night, so I am a better spotter for turns and for dark nights plus I learned to drive in NYC so traffic means nothing to me, but I like being a relaxing passenger too.

Getting her to back up a trailer has been impossible though. She says if I can’t do it, she’ll ask someone to help. What if no one is around? What if they screw it up? But if I can’t back up, I’ll probably be in a coma or worse, so not my problem. I hope she can make it to the service.

We share the set up and break down duties so we can each do everything, but she has not learned the new hitch yet. She was fine with the Equalizer, but not the new one. And I don’t know if she could lift the hitch head to attach it to the receiver. I leave it on as often as I can, but sometimes that’s not practical. I’m not sure how much longer I can lift it—I have always figured the weight of the hitch head is what will end our trailer years.

RosenBob 08-18-2019 12:34 PM

My wife drives. We trade off. I do most of it but she is really good when she takes over. She hasn't backed it up yet. That is yet to come. :)

rmkrum 08-18-2019 12:49 PM

Harbor Freight makes a small winch that mounts in the bed of a pickup truck and swivels to reach the hitch area. If I get where I can’t pick up my ProPride stinger I’ll get a winch...

Rovin Raven 08-18-2019 12:53 PM

Folks, can we drop the condescending comments bragging that you LET or TAUGHT your wife to drive. Have you noticed who is driving most school buses? Or the women towing horse trailers, or driving city buses or semis? There is no innate gender advantage to driving and backing up. I understand personal preferences or weaknesses, but gender isn’t the determining factor for driving.

It is very annoying (and sad) when old dinosaurs think we are innately inept at something because of our gender. This summer, tired after a very long drive, I pulled into a campground owned by two brothers. As I paid for the site, one told me the need for a pressure regulator on the hose, and I said, “Yeah, I will buy that one you have on the shelf because I have been meaning to get one.” (lost my other one) The other brother then said, “Don’t you want to first check with HIM to make sure he doesn’t already have one?” meaning my husband. I calmly told them it was my trailer and I know what I need, and he sarcastically answered, “ Oooo, so it’s YOUR trailer, is it?” Woah, if I hadn’t been so tired I would have found another campground. Business 101: treat your customers with respect. (Yes, I bought the trailer and I buy all the stuff I need for it.)

Msherw 08-18-2019 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by demijac (Post 2276428)
What's the big deal? It's both our jobs to drive when needed: at the very least, for safety reasons. Now if I could only learn to back up the trailer like my wife.

My wife grew up on a farm driving all manner of heavy equipment. When the chips are down, I get out, get behind the rig and give directions w/o getting my feelings hurt at all.

We are driving team. And yes, when we are on the road, she and I share the load. We stay awake and help each other stay safe.

ktcosmos 08-18-2019 02:33 PM

When navigator is the driver
 
I bought my camper knowing my husband wasn’t that interested in going along on outings with me. Therefore I am responsible for my towing, maintenance, etc. I get by, I guess you’d say.

When we travel without the trailer, he automatically drives and I automatically navigate.

He’s both uncomfortable with towing and using most apps, including google maps. He also has macular degeneration so screens are a challenge.

One thing that’s stopped me from going on some longish solo trips is that lack of a navigator. It’s fine to set your destination and go but if you want to wander around a bit, I’m less comfortable doing that when towing than when just driving a vehicle.

Gene 08-18-2019 05:33 PM

I imagine to use that winch you would have to remove the tailgate. They're kind of heavy too.

By the way, I did teach my wife how to tow because she never had done it before and she wanted me to do it first so I could explain what I learned. Sort of like being taught on a farm or wherever when you have never done something before. I did some towing years before we bought a travel trailer, so I guess I was experienced. I'm sure my wife could back up if she wanted to, but I can't convince her it is easy (I'd be lying and I never lie to her). Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between preferences and gender prejudice.

She prefers me to drive in snowstorms because I am more experienced at it and I don't let the conditions bother me (I always take my laudanum and she won't take hers). Of course, she's lived in Colorado almost her whole life and driven through much snow, but I am older, so that makes me more experienced, I guess.

I also drive on roads with enormous drop offs because the heights bother me and if I am driving, I feel safer because I am in control (more laudanum please). Somehow heights don't bother her and I can't understand why because I know if you go close to edge, a monster will grab your leg and pull you over (I've never actually seen that, but I am sure it happens; he also lives in the shower drain, so never step on it). I don't like heights when men are driving either.

I am also the designated off road driver. I've tried to get her to try it, but she is too smart to do the work and lets me sweat it (with even more laudanum—I just get so hysterical). I'm waiting for dementia so I don't have to drive anymore. I guess then we can only go to pull through sites at CG's.

We try to share moat tasks in our lives, but sometimes one is better at something or prefers to do it. Preferences are frequently the product of childhood training and are often originally sexist, but those preferences can be hard to change. Barb loves to cook, but I can too. She is usually better at it and I'd be a fool not to accept her superiority at many meals. It started with her parents—her father can only make toast and never helps her mother cook anything, even with them in their 90's. Her mother takes over the kitchen, so who would dare to enter and cook? She perpetuates it and doesn't understand she is part of it. Habits that started with sexism are hard to change even if they are outdated.

I sure wish I could get my wife to change oil and grease the vehicles. I told her it would make her younger, but she didn't believe me. I expect it will take many decades to remove sexism from society.

Foiled Again 08-18-2019 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crispyboy (Post 2276342)
I have tried everything I know from being Mr. Nice (encouraging) to also being Mr. Mean (important that she can do this) and cannot get my wife to drive. I have full confidence in her ability but some reason will not drive. We have good solid tow vehicle, hitch and trailer. She does know how to hitch the Hensley Arrow and is great at giving directions for backing into a campsite without a word spoken just friendly hand signals. Maybe some day....

A. Division of labor. Be honest, partners or master/servant relationship? And I admit some couples seem to thrive on the latter... and sometimes the man is not the lead dog. But IF there is tension and resentment, the passive-aggressive resistance will be formidable.

B. ASK why not.... then LISTEN.
C. Do not sell, argue, wheedle, LISTEN.
D. Repeat back what she says to verify that you heard HER.
E. Think about what she said.
F. In 2-3 days suggest a truck driving school.
G. In the end accept her decision... and find a.way to rally with Maggie.

LeviGergen 08-19-2019 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CWSWine (Post 2276299)
. . . she can back into a spot without pulling forward even once.

That’s my goal! We picked up our new 25’ Serenity last Saturday and hit the road on Sunday for a four day shakedown cruise. I did all the driving, but it took me a couple of tries to get it backed into the site just right. Hubby gets to drive the next trip — at least part of it. ;)

farafield 08-19-2019 12:43 PM

I leaned to drive a stick shift when I was 11. I got my pilots license when I was 19. I have horses and I haul them around. I drive a tractor and change implements between brush hog/bucket loader/arena drag without swearing and crying anymore. I can pee or poop in the woods. I've hell-skied cat-skied water skied. I can hit a clay pigeon 1 times out of ten :) I can cook/sew/knit. I don't clean very well but I clean up pretty good. I bought my AS two years ago and have been hard at work learning the systems. People have been very helpful and no one has batted an eyelash except a high school classmate at my 40th reunion who was from South America and it seemed to be a new concept that a woman would go off in an AS by herself. All of this stuff does not require strength, just a willingness to try and mileage. There is absolutely no reason a woman should be any less able to do any of it. I have and can do a lot of things that many men I know can't. I just get a bit tired of the male/female thing. Rant over and out.

Hittenstiehl 08-19-2019 01:23 PM

Farafield I like the "I don't clean very well but I clean up pretty good" :-)

turk123 08-19-2019 04:23 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by farafield (Post 2278888)
I leaned to drive a stick shift when I was 11. I got my pilots license when I was 19. I have horses and I haul them around. I drive a tractor and change implements between brush hog/bucket loader/arena drag without swearing and crying anymore. I can pee or poop in the woods. I've hell-skied cat-skied water skied. I can hit a clay pigeon 1 times out of ten :) I can cook/sew/knit. I don't clean very well but I clean up pretty good. I bought my AS two years ago and have been hard at work learning the systems. People have been very helpful and no one has batted an eyelash except a high school classmate at my 40th reunion who was from South America and it seemed to be a new concept that a woman would go off in an AS by herself. All of this stuff does not require strength, just a willingness to try and mileage. There is absolutely no reason a woman should be any less able to do any of it. I have and can do a lot of things that many men I know can't. I just get a bit tired of the male/female thing. Rant over and out.

Ya baby!

My wife's car:

alberta paso 08-19-2019 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rovin Raven (Post 2278447)
Folks, can we drop the condescending comments bragging that you LET or TAUGHT your wife to drive. Have you noticed who is driving most school buses? Or the women towing horse trailers, or driving city buses or semis? There is no innate gender advantage to driving and backing up. I understand personal preferences or weaknesses, but gender isn’t the determining factor for driving.

It is very annoying (and sad) when old dinosaurs think we are innately inept at something because of our gender. This summer, tired after a very long drive, I pulled into a campground owned by two brothers. As I paid for the site, one told me the need for a pressure regulator on the hose, and I said, “Yeah, I will buy that one you have on the shelf because I have been meaning to get one.” (lost my other one) The other brother then said, “Don’t you want to first check with HIM to make sure he doesn’t already have one?” meaning my husband. I calmly told them it was my trailer and I know what I need, and he sarcastically answered, “ Oooo, so it’s YOUR trailer, is it?” Woah, if I hadn’t been so tired I would have found another campground. Business 101: treat your customers with respect. (Yes, I bought the trailer and I buy all the stuff I need for it.)

AMEN Sister I am a pround school bus driver for going on 15yrs. I can and have driven a 52 pass highway coach. I was the main driver for our old '78 class c that we bought from my folks and our mini van and tent trailer before that. My dad made me take him on a test drive to prove I could drive it I had been driving a 40ft school bus 2 years at that point. I hauled a 3 horse slant trailer (18ft long) behind that rv all over southern alberta most times me and a kid or 2 (dd was in 4H). I bought the truck I bought MY Argosy. My hubby is good at backing me up but is not nor has been comfortable with larger vehicles. I made dd my hitch/tow partner as most times it was the 2 of us headed to a rodeo. We could be hitched to the trailer and have the horse loaded and leaving in 10min and dd we only 12 when we started. She now drives and backs up farm equip on her partners family place and she is 22yrs old. Now if I could just get ds to get half decent I am set.

Rovin Raven 08-20-2019 05:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gene (Post 2278586)
I imagine to use that winch you would have to remove the tailgate. They're kind of heavy too.

By the way, I did teach my wife how to tow because she never had done it before and she wanted me to do it first so I could explain what I learned. Sort of like being taught on a farm or wherever when you have never done something before. I did some towing years before we bought a travel trailer, so I guess I was experienced. I'm sure my wife could back up if she wanted to, but I can't convince her it is easy (I'd be lying and I never lie to her). Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between preferences and gender prejudice.

She prefers me to drive in snowstorms because I am more experienced at it and I don't let the conditions bother me (I always take my laudanum and she won't take hers). Of course, she's lived in Colorado almost her whole life and driven through much snow, but I am older, so that makes me more experienced, I guess.

I also drive on roads with enormous drop offs because the heights bother me and if I am driving, I feel safer because I am in control (more laudanum please). Somehow heights don't bother her and I can't understand why because I know if you go close to edge, a monster will grab your leg and pull you over (I've never actually seen that, but I am sure it happens; he also lives in the shower drain, so never step on it). I don't like heights when men are driving either.

I am also the designated off road driver. I've tried to get her to try it, but she is too smart to do the work and lets me sweat it (with even more laudanum—I just get so hysterical). I'm waiting for dementia so I don't have to drive anymore. I guess then we can only go to pull through sites at CG's.

We try to share moat tasks in our lives, but sometimes one is better at something or prefers to do it. Preferences are frequently the product of childhood training and are often originally sexist, but those preferences can be hard to change. Barb loves to cook, but I can too. She is usually better at it and I'd be a fool not to accept her superiority at many meals. It started with her parents—her father can only make toast and never helps her mother cook anything, even with them in their 90's. Her mother takes over the kitchen, so who would dare to enter and cook? She perpetuates it and doesn't understand she is part of it. Habits that started with sexism are hard to change even if they are outdated.

I sure wish I could get my wife to change oil and grease the vehicles. I told her it would make her younger, but she didn't believe me. I expect it will take many decades to remove sexism from society.

I agree childhood upbringing has a huge influence. Luckily millennials are doing a pretty good job of avoiding the division of “women’s work” and “men’s work” , but it will probably take a couple more generations. I also sense a lot of regional difference of attitudes towards women. I live in the south now and women are very different from the north, where I grew up. My friend explained it as the north was traditionally small farms where everyone did any work and the south has a tradition of plantations, with clear roles. I also have always been puzzled by women who see a wall between them and some things they want or know they should do (why don’t they just do it?), because I was not raised with a father, so everything was women’s work, or rather, just work that needed to be done. In addition my grandfather who owned a dairy farm near us had no grandsons and I was the oldest grandchild, so I was just told to help (milk, stack the hay bails, bring in the cows, climb a ladder and pick the fruit in the orchard, drive a tractor.) There was no question, and I couldn’t say, “I don’t have to because I’m a girl”. Luckily I married a man who isn't interested in coddling me. He is a also a much better cook than me and enjoys it much more than I do.

Gene 08-20-2019 11:22 AM

I don’t have a few more generations, so I won’t see how the man/woman thing sorts out. There are many people who do not want any change and prefer the 19th century, though if they had lived in it, they wouldn’t like it. Too bad history does not seem to be taught much anymore.

We just try to get the work and play done. Sometimes one of us in charge, sometimes the other, more likely no one. On short trailer trips, I usually drive. We have a road that descends half a mile in less than 8 miles after a steep driveway. Barb is glad to have me drove down or up the side of a mountain. For my part, the curvy, steep road means nothing and when she is driving the motor vehicles alone, it means nothing to her either, but towing is different. She is glad to have me do the work. Thus we start and end every trip with me driving—seems like simple division of labor without any other reason. I also am better at maneuvering into tight spots—I have better vision and can see the relationships between objects better (spatial relations). Because I can visualize like that, I am also the primary designer of our house remodels. That is often “women’s work” and Barb took a while to acknowledge I was a better designer. However, she is much better at seeing color relationships, so she makes the final decisions about paint colors. We discuss and sometimes argue, but we always come to a joint decision. Sometimes one of us is worn out by it and gives in, but you have to accept your decisions and move on.

Over the years we have learned what each does better and who wants to be boss about something. When we first got together, it was automatic I drove. We never gave it any thought, but on one road trip my back hurt so much driving, we changed and she drove much more. I found out I liked being a slug in the passenger seat. I sometimes drive more because of weather, traffic, challenging terrain or just because I feel like it. Sometimes Barb want to drive most of the day. We hope we are making such decisions as friends, not based on sexual divides.

If my wife had been born a generation later when girls were encouraged to be involved in athletics, she would have been a good long distance runner—she has that type of body. Of course, she would have had her knee surgery a long time ago rather than last month. Maybe she would have gone on to medical school instead of excelling at lab work, a more traditional “woman’s job”. Maybe I would have been a decorator, the only straight male one.

No one here is a better cook. We cook differently. Barb likes it more than me. So far we drive differently but don’t hit anything. I think Barb likes driving more than me (although if I had a sports car, maybe things would change—can you do a four wheel drift with an SUV?). Making decisions on who is in charge for the moment should be based on who wants to do it and who is better at it and we try to follow that, though probably have some learning yet to learn.

Whether a woman should tow should be based on skill and desire. Some women are scared of it and it is better they don’t drive. The fear was probably from being taught that they couldn’t do something like that when they were kids and while that can be changed, not everyone wants to change it. Skill can be learned—when we were learning how to RV, we were in the Mojave Desert on our first long trip about a month after we bought the Airstream. How convenient—empty well paved roads in the middle of nowhere. Barb said it was time for her to drive and then she did. She was the lucky one. I had to pull that trailer out of the dealer lot and drove through a city and into a campground with virtually no experience scared I was going to destroy our brand new expensive toy and maybe tear down a few street signs and flatten the electric pedestal.

Yes, Raven, the south is more “traditional.” Having also grown up in the north, the west is another experience. There were a lot of independent women in early western history, but later the culture of both the south and north came here and created something hard to pin down, a blend which is made even more complex by the effects of Spanish and Indian cultures which preceded the “American” one. We just try to do what works and after 33 years together, I guess it works.

LRaymond 08-22-2019 11:32 AM

Wife Driving!!
 
Well,
Congrats to your wife. It took me probably 3000 miles before I was actually anxious to try driving. I thought, no problem, it's nothing but highway; but how wrong I was. I took over driving with all the confidence in the world, then the highway (2 lane) went to very narrow 2-lane through a few small towns with lots of lights and turns, etc.

Anyway, alls well that ends well. The only scary issue I had was driving too fast on the interstate going over a mountain pass trying to pass a truck. Needless to say, I woke up real quick when the suction and wind from the truck began to make my 30' classic jump around. Slowed down and pulled over. Caught my breath and continued on my way towards Salt Lake City.

Leanne:blink::)


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