Forget about the birds and bees; here’s a fishy story about love

I have a friend who has recently begun dating a lovely woman. He and I were talking the other day and he said he’s excited to take his new girlfriend fishing, because his new girlfriend says she “loves to fish.”

I smiled indulgently. Of course she said she loves to fish. We all love to fish when we’re single.

When my husband and I were still dating, he “loved” going to the theater with me, just as I “loved” spending an entire weekend wading in a creek/river/lake/pond/whatever, touching live, squirming worms with my bare hands, shoving a sharp, barbed hook through the poor baby worm body, imagining a scream of terrorized pain from the poor baby worm, hooking a poor defenseless fish, tying that fish by the gills to a stake in the mud before filleting it right there on the bank and then frying it over a campfire.

Oh, I “loved” the crap out of those weekends.

Of course I did. Just like my friend’s shiny new girlfriend loves fishing, too.

After my husband and I got married, I stopped fishing. I just stopped. One day, after we’d been married for about two years, my husband asked why I no longer wanted to go fishing with him.

“Uh, we’re married. Do I still have to do that?” I asked.

“Don’t you like to fish anymore?” he asked, all sad eyes.

“I love you so much. But no. I don’t really like fishing,” I said.

His expression made me feel like a bad wife. Feeling guilty, I went with him. While he fished I read a book next to the creek. That’s called compromise, y’all. Now we compromise by him getting to go fishing with the guys while I stay home with our daughter. It’s the best arrangement.

Here’s another fishy love story which explains my, er, reluctance to fish ever again:

The first year we were married, my husband and I were still in college and we took a biology class together. One of our required field trips was to Crawford State Park in the dead of winter where we had to ice fish. Blech. Sorry, Mr. Williams, but that was the worst class ever.

I really needed to pass bio and graduate from college, so I laced up some boots and tramped out over that lake. I fished. I was a sport.

That wasn’t all Mr. Williams had up his sleeve, though. After a half day freezing on the lake, we took all the fish we caught back to the lab where we had to do a bunch of science stuff. We weighed them, measured them and, I’m sure, other stuff. That was a long time ago. I forget.

My job was to measure the little fishies. After sitting dead in frozen water for a while, they were stiff. My job was to straighten them out and measure them. I grabbed the first fish and bent its body straight. As I did, a white liquid squeezed out from somewhere on the fish’s body.

I’m pretty sure I squealed like a girl. My teacher walked over. I pointed to my hand, where the liquid stuff was. “What the hell is this?” I asked.

He was so calm. “Kami, don’t worry about it. It’s just a little bit of fish sperm. It’s no big deal.”

Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I stopped. I let some other squeamish girl measure the fish. Pretty sure I got a C in that class.

Once a girly girl gets fish sperm on her skin, it’s pretty much over. I’ll be the one reading a book by the lake from now on.

I bet within a few months, my friend’s girlfriend will pull up a lawn chair next to mine while the guys fish away.

‘Cause that’s love. We let you fish; you let us not fish.

And also? FYI, fish sperm on your hand is always a big deal, Mr. Williams.

Kami Collins lives in Delta with her daughter and her infinitely patient husband. Everyday life is hilarious, Kami just puts it into print. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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