Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

“Pilots, control-freaks or boys in men’s bodies”: Discuss.

I think pilots are control freaks. At least, that is my experience, and from what I have learned from other pilot wives and girlfriends, it seems to be a fairly common trait. It seems particularly prevalent when they are passengers in a car. Bf is such a terrible back seat driver (even by his own admission); that I will actively avoid driving when he is a passenger.

I guess they are so used to flying efficiently to conserve fuel, and anticipating every possible problem that they may encounter; that this mindset cannot help but bleed through into their personal lives.  He’s so technically minded too, that he understands how even the tiniest bell or whistle in the vehicle he is flying, driving or riding affects safety and fuel economy.

I on the other hand, am about as technically minded as a banana. I have no real idea of what I am looking at when I pop the bonnet of a car. I love that Bf takes ownership of everything to do with car maintenance, as I used to get ripped off by mechanics left, right and centre. If I have car issues en-route, I rely on the fact that I have roadside assistance; and if all else fails. I stand by the car and cry-and eventually someone will take pity on me and help out!

However, despite my lack of mechanical knowledge, I actually think I am quite a sensible driver. We have an MPV, Diesel 7 seater car and 3 children, so it’s not like I could cruise around like a maniac even if I were stupid enough!  

Sooooo… I find it RRRRRRRRRREALLY ANNOYING when he constantly picks holes in my driving. To the point that I make totally daft errors simply BECAUSE I am so focused on trying not to. Not unsafe errors, just ones that leave me braking more sharply than I would do normally, etc.

He is SO conscientious about this stuff, that for a while when we first got this car, he even had me writing down all the information whenever I refuelled the car, (litres, cost per litre, date, car’s mileage) so that he could enter it into a spreadsheet on the computer which would monitor the fuel economy of each tank! It made me paranoid; because he’d say, we got 50 less miles out of this tank, what have you been doing? (yes, seriously)

Oh, and he groans at me if I use the brake ‘too much’. He thinks I should be anticipating the features of the road more and just ease off the accelerator, allowing the car to naturally lose it’s momentum.  I do feel like I do this; but just not to the same extent that he does! He told me once that he viewed it like a game-of seeing how little he could use the brake.

I happen to think he is more than a little bit anal about this stuff. However, I have found it best not to have a discussion with him about it, as it just leaves us both frustrated and irritated by the other. Nothing can be gained from these discussions any wau… To be honest, it’s not worth having a disagreement about.

I indulged his little spreadsheet quirk for a few months, knowing that he would eventually realise that it was impractical, and sure enough, his obsession with how many litres I had bought and at how many pence vanished. 

I think he dresses up his little quirks to me as ‘games’ partially because he thinks that will appeal to my competitive/playful nature and part;y because I accuse him of being anal. Well, that and the fact that men never grow up! 😉

One of the Captains he knew actually admitted that he used to play games whilst driving. One of these so called ‘games’ included crossing his legs and switching his feet around… Guess what? He wrote his car off, and ended up in hospital with concussion. HAHAHAHAHAHA But I somehow doubt he told his insurer about his fun little ‘game’.


4 Responses to ““Pilots, control-freaks or boys in men’s bodies”: Discuss.”

  1. Control Freak!!?? Sounds like a flaming bully to me!!!
    Get some gumpton lassy and stand up for yourself!!!

  2. Your story made me giggle so much! My other half is the epitome of control freak but on the driving subject I have the upper hand (it is the only area I do). I am an engineer so I know more than he does about even the mechanics/electronics of the Apaches he flies than he does – I did my thesis in it randomly enough. It got to the point that last week he had to ask me to help him through some of the finer engineering aspects for a test he has. I swear I was in my element!
    I bet you are a better driver than he is. Drive at 65mph instead of 85mph and your fuel economy is significantly better – but I bet he would never be caught dead driving at 65mph, hahaha!

  3. True what you highlighted. I am better off a passenger than a driver whenever he’s around. He doesn’t trust my driving & his friends’. When the boys go out together in one car, he is the one volunteering to drive! Hahaha!

  4. Did you see the horrible news about today’s Miami shootings with the masked gunman?

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