Search This Blog

Blog Archive

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The "Look" that Launched Curtains

Our new curtains, made with fabric from SailRite.

I read in a novel many years ago (maybe it was ShoGun) how the people of Japan have been accustomed to living in very close quarters with one another and with only paper walls between them, no less.  Therefore, in order to maintain a sense of privacy, each person restricted their attention to one’s own living space.  You simply would not “hear” what was produced on the other side of the wall.  And certainly, you wouldn’t look into someone else’s living space. That would invade the neighbor’s privacy.  In some small ways, I think I have adopted that sense of finding my own private spaces.  
We had a little work done on our boat at this marina in Connecticut.

And then we moved onto a sailboat.  When we’re at a slip in a marina, we may very well have another boat close alongside on both sides of our boat.  They have windows—we have windows.  When the boats are of similar size, the windows often kind of line up.  As a matter of privacy, I don’t look into other boaters' windows (unless the boat is an enormous yacht in which case, I figure they WANT you to gawk) and I trust that nobody is purposely looking into mine.  At night, the boat’s interior is well lit, but like on land, it doesn’t really bother me too much to think that someone might casually glance through the window as they drive or walk past. 
Carl really liked the shades on our friends' boat.

My husband apparently did not read the same novel about Japanese privacy that I did.  He is, I would say, fairly bothered by the notion of someone being able to see into our windows.  Not all of the boat’s windows produce this concern for him, however.  The windows in our stateroom, where we change clothes and sleep are not problematic for him.  They’re small portholes and without the lights turned on, you really can’t see inside the boat.  With our galley and head the portholes are a bit larger but still not problematic, by his way of thinking.  
Our stateroom with two small portholes, one on each side.

However, the windows in the main salon of the boat, where we spend the bulk of our time onboard—those are long windows that extend the length of the settees. Since we moved onboard, Carl has occasionally made noises about ‘Are you planning to make curtains for the boat?’  My reciprocal response has been ‘No, not really,’ because I’m thinking ShoGun, right?  Well, this “noise” became more insistent a couple of months ago.  
These two long windows are the ones that "need curtains" per Carl

We were in a slip at a marina in Connecticut, surrounded by boaters who were primarily not live-aboards.  I mention that fact only to offer that perhaps their privacy meters may be “set” a little differently from live-aboards.  Not sure about that— just throwin’ it out there.  
Celebration included boat parade

Anyway, there was a celebration that weekend and lots of people were on the docks.  The large power boat next to us was hosting a family of guests, I presumed the younger ones were their grandchildren. 

Carl is really good about introducing himself to the people that we meet on the docks.  If nothing else, somebody will invariably want to know about Jax. ‘Oh, what a beautiful dog!  What kind of dog is that?’ and the conversation is off and running.  Such conversation had already taken place with the next door neighbors.  
Jax, forever popular on the docks

The owner of said boat adjacent to ours was a fastidious man.  There was lots of cleaning, polishing, etc. going on over there. We, on the other hand, were not hosting any guests, and were decidedly not cleaning and polishing over on our side of the dock.  I mention this fact only to allow as how he might have wondered if we had any friends, or whether we might be slobs, who knows?  At any rate, this gentleman made the gaff of looking into our window.  
We're "okay" with no curtains on these portholes

You’re wondering, ‘how do you know he looked into your window?’  I know because my husband suddenly jumped up,  “Ardys, I can’t sit here.  We looked at each other.”  I had not been privy to the shared “look" but apparently they had locked gazes and clearly, it was unacceptable.  I’m like, “Whaaaat?”  “We looked at each other through the window.,” he says.  “I can’t have this.”  He’s pacing within the small confines of our boat now.  “What do I do?”  
Carl's favorite spot for relaxing

Now, in all seriousness, is this not hysterically funny?  Two grown men make eye contact across the dock, one is inside his boat, the other outside his boat (I’m hearing strains of “Some Enchanted Evening”) and one of them is bothered enough by this that he can’t figure out what to do about it, but clearly something must be done and done now.  My husband was not going to be able to sit down again until this “problem” was addressed.  It was I who was being called into action to fix the problem.  Since I’m leaning more toward ShoGun “rules” I did think this was an unfair expectation on his part.  But okay, I rigged a cloth across the window so that my husband could sit down again, in privacy.  So... that was my clue that I was going to be making curtains for our boat and sooner, rather than later.  

Random sights driving cross-country
I took all the measurements on the boat and installed the curtain mounting brackets from SailRite before we went on our driving trip to Memphis.  I had the fabric shipped to us in Memphis so that I could sew the curtains during our visit there. 
Love my workhorse SailRite machine

Carl is pleased with the curtains.  It seems his sense of having privacy has been supported enough just by knowing they're there, as an option.  Curious remnant of a tune still in my head, though….Some Enchanted Evening……

1 comment:

Mark Bennett said...

Carl! You should have just stared the jerk down!