Going by the statistics and facts, RC is a male dominated hobby. RC appeals to guys, and a small percentage of females, but generally speaking (we mean 99%) this hobby is filled with guys. Guys who love to spend money, tinkering, building, and
flying expensive RC Planes. Women tend to enjoy other hobbies, and while there are always exceptions, the ladies out there not only avoid RC but also tend to hate it. I’ve seen bumper stickers that say “RC WIDOW” for a reason. If you’ve spent more than one weekend at a flying field or at any competition, you’ve heard guys talk about how their Wives/girlfriends dislike RC. This isn’t true 100% of the time, but in general, women tolerate RC more than they support it. After many decades in RC, I figured I would take a stab at why some RC girlfriends and wives find RC as appealing as a Star Trek convention.
RC is expensive.
Most people live on budgets, when an all-consuming hobby like RC comes into your world, the monthly budget can easily be blown to bits. Guys who are normally responsible with their money, and those who never were, may suddenly become binge-spenders, dropping $100 here, $300 there, until the monthly RC bill nearly equals the monthly mortgage. There are guys out there who even go so far as to hide all of their RC purchases from their wives (stop looking around, we are all looking at you). There’s a reason for that, some wives and girlfriends look at RC as a colossal waste of money…this is money you could be saving, or better yet, spending on them.
RC is messy and dirty.
As men, we tend to love women for many reasons, not the least of which being they are prettier, cleaner and tidier than the average (any) guy. Many women want their man to clean up well, dress well, and eat well. Soooo, that’s kinda the opposite of flying RC planes. RC guys have dirt, grease and oils all over themselves after a day at the flying field. They spend hours on the hot asphalt, or rolling in the grass working on their planes to get one more flight in. RC guys dress like they’re stuck in high school or been retired for 10 years, in ragged t-shirts and oil-stained shorts. And let’s not even get started on the average RC guy’s food that can be found at the flying event. If food is offered, it will most likely be something Bar-B-Q’ed by a fellow club member. A chilidog is often the healthiest choice, which of course you top with a pound of onions. By the time we get home, we look and smell as if we picked a fight with a shop full of airplane mechanics who ended the battle by spraying us with glow fuel and stuffing an onion our mouths. Small wonder your wife/girlfriend doesn’t get all snuggly when you get home.
RC takes up a lot of your time.
This is the big one: when you’re into RC, there’s little else you’d rather do. RC consumes your thoughts along with your wallet. And it consumes your conversations, just listen to the guys who aren’t in the air in the pits, if they are not talking about their aircraft they are talking about someone else. Some guys use RC as an escape from their significant others, which only compounds the problem. Want to make your girlfriend insanely jealous? Start flying RC planes. Flying RC planes is like taking cocaine; once you start, you can’t stop. You’ll spend more time building, flying, practicing new maneuvers and hanging out with your flying buddies than you will with her, and that’s almost guaranteed to flip jealousy switches in her head you never knew existed.
RC Flying makes no sense.
I know, I can’t believe she said that either, but as guys, we tend to be simple minded…ie, dumb and stupid. Sorry, it’s true. Try answering these common girlfriend questions and then try to tell me we aren’t somewhat dumb. “Do you win money if you win an RC flying competition?” No, no money, but some events give me coupons for some…umm…RC purchases. This one gave me some coupons for some free CA glue…which I will need because of that slightly less than perfect landing. “Is the trophy really nice?” Not exactly, it usually looks like that “most improved bowler” trophy on the shelf over there…just with a statue of a plane on top of it. “Did you get to fly your plane all day?” IMAC competitor response- Eh, not quite–I did get two flights in before I bounced the landing and broke off the main gears, I spent the rest of the weekend scribing for the Judge. Pylon racer response – I did get in two really fast heats before another guy and I flew into each other’s planes on turn 1, then I spent the rest of the weekend counting cuts on turn 1. Combat Pilot response – Not exactly, I flew in the first round, I was on fire!, got two cuts and came around sighting in on my third victim, when this guy came out of nowhere and plowed right through my plane, it was spectacular! The crowd went nuts! All I could say was “that was the best midair I’ve ever seen! It was so cool, and then I spent the rest of the weekend launching planes and counting cuts for the other guys. Basically, the same as all the other combat weekends…I need to go buy some more CA glue. Helicopter competitor response- not really, I started my first program and I was in the middle of the lowest tick-tock I ever did, when all kinds of crap went flying everywhere, we picked up what we could and John and I went back to the pop-up and drank beer the rest of the weekend. It was fun…hey how much do we have in the checking account…I need some parts.
Sorry guys, I was going to prove this statement wrong…but……
RC makes us act like children.
If I haven’t offended everyone with my generalizations yet, maybe I will now–RC can make grown men act like children. When else would a 30yr old man watch out his window all day for the UPS delivery guy to show up? When else would an adult male lie about his whereabouts or money, unless he was actually doing something really bad? When else would a grown man scream like a child or get in a fight over a toy plane? The last time most of us did these things is when we were children. RC planes can make all of this stuff happen again…in your 20′s, 30′s, 40′s, 50’s and even into retirement. Women tend to find this type of behavior appalling. When they tell us you’re acting like a child, what is your response? Mine is, “no I’m not, I’m not, I’m not, not, not, I’m not”…as I walk away into the shop.
Yes I already know–plenty of you have girlfriends and wives who don’t mind RC at all, and are supportive of your fun. That’s awesome. Pat yourself on the back, because you’re in the minority. And please, get rid of that smug look on your face!
Do you have any other ideas about why your girlfriend/wife hates RC? Share them here.