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Micro-inequalities and swimming the Hudson River

Yesterday Tom and I swam across (ok almost across) the Hudson River. Tom ( you will remember this is Tom of the broken neck last year) made it about 3/4ths of the way across the Hudson River and was tiring; so the plan was for him to go in with Nancy the kayaker and for me to swim in. However when I saw he was swimming toward the police boat, (the police said he couldn't go in on the kayak; he had to go in in the police boat) I realized my rule that Tom will never again be an ambulance without me holds for police boats too. So I turned around swimming as fast I as could toward the police boat.

Once we were both on the boat- the police officers told Tom what good shape he was in and kept asking me if I was sure I didn't need medical assistance. I was seen as the one in need of help and Tom was seen as the one to admire. He is indeed a person to admire but I was so not a person in need of help; but that's what they saw/thought/whatever. We're good; it was a lovely day and we will do it again next year. Yet these those micro- inequalities-- they mount up....