Dear RV Shrink:
I am married to a retired weatherman. We travel most of the year in a 31-foot Airstream. Actually, he is still a full-time weatherman – he just doesn’t get paid anymore. Instead of reporting the weather to millions, he only reports to me and our surrounding campsite neighbors.
His routine is the same every morning. He gets up at oh-dark-thirty. He puts on coffee and makes toast under the smoke alarm. He checks all his gadgets, barometer, wind antenna, various thermometers and his rain gauge. Then he studies his favorite national weather sites online. By the time I get out of bed he has a prediction.
I put up with all this craziness because it’s his passion and he is happy. However, I think he drives our neighbors nuts. I notice when we are walking around a campground people see us coming and some try to hide. He thinks it is all in my imagination. How can I convince him that not everyone is interested in his weather predictions any longer? —Not the Foggiest in Forks, WA
Most of your neighbors living the RV lifestyle probably use the touchy-feely weather system. If the heater kicks on in the morning, it’s cold. If you hear pitter-patter on the roof, it’s raining. If the awning is flapping, it’s windy. It’s great that he has a hobby he enjoys, can do anywhere you go, and you never have to worry about losing your rig to a tornado.
So the only problem seems to be annoyed neighbors. Every campground has a resident annoyer and sometimes you can handle them if they are not parked ten feet away and at your site every time your foot hits the ground.
Making your husband aware of the fact that he might be annoying some people with too much information should be the first step in curing his over-exuberance. If he just can’t control himself you may need to point out more examples of people avoiding you after first contact.
Meeting people while traveling is one of the greatest benefits of this lifestyle. You will not mesh gears with everyone, but if you are never making any friends, it might be that your husband is still partly cloudy on his ability to read people’s reactions to his constant reporting.
If he won’t listen, just keep trying to get the point across until he becomes a bit less windy. Maybe he would agree to a compromise and he can notify the neighbors if there will be an unplanned-for change in the weather – like gusty winds are expected and the neighbors are heading out for the afternoon but left their awning extended. Some neighbors might appreciate that type of a weather alert, especially from a retired weatherman. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.
The husband could start a blog or youtube channel, then he can tell his viewers or readers all he wants to about the weather, and the people who don’t care don’t have to read it. Everyone wins.
The letter writer needs to do more writing. Her description of “the situation” was amusingly described. Her husband remains true to his profession and calling — employed or retired. It defines him and gives him a reason to get up each morning to fiddle with dials, consult, and make informed predictions. Many others do the same thing over politics, religion, world affairs, and RV maintenance matters…with same level of dedication and certainty of findings. Life is short but feels long without these deep interests and hobbies. Don’t take that away from them without having some new dedication to replace it (a pet? new interests?). Otherwise, I predict gloomy weather ahead for those devoid of enthusiasms and activities.