Confessions of a Bigamist

Posted: May 18, 2011 in Deep Thoughts
Tags: ,

Friends, especially mine, can be all shapes, ages, colors, and sizes, and with titles to match:  Amigo, Homie, Compadre, Buddy, Associate, Brother From Another Mother, Partner, Bro, Cell Mate… you get the point. My closest, and most valued friends have one common trait. No, despite what my wife says, they’re not all borderline lunatics, they’re all fishermen of one type or other. So in fact, they are full-blown lunatics.

"Fishing Wife" Charlie

I have learned many, many things in the last 23 years that I’ve known the smart, beautiful, and sarcastically gifted woman I call my wife. One of the most important, was how she defined the word “like”. Upon meeting her, it took roughly 19 minutes for me to ask Janet if she “liked” fishing. (Yes, I am a born romantic.) I must have been terribly cute back then, because she didn’t get up and walk away. On the contrary, she admitted that she did actually “like” fishing. My heart lept as I gazed into her pretty green eyes and she told me about fondly remembered trips to the Oregon coast, and lakes high in the Cascades. She shared tales of her father teaching her to tie knots, bait hooks, cast, fight, and clean her catch. She recounted, somewhat enthusiastically, that her older sister also “loved” to fish. She also told me in great detail how her Dad would catch a few trout on a fly rod, then cook them up for dinner over a roaring campfire for the girls to share. She even showed me a bunch of well-worn gear, and seemed to know her way around the nomenclature. I took this as evidence that I had found the total package; a hot, young, intelligent girl, who liked to fish, and who could tolerate me.

"Fishing Wife" Kevin

Well, I imagine with a build up like that, you can already smell where this is going to end up, so I won’t bore you with the long version. Let’s just say that Janet is a lot of things, very attractive, fit, health-conscious, disciplined, and driven, but an angler she is not. As it turns out, she puts up with my fishing, and most of the time she “likes” me.

As I have continued to imbibe in my chosen recreational vice, and test her patience, I have encountered some people who ARE equally addicted to the sport. While this was initially disconcerting to Janet, as I imagine she was alarmed that there were others similar to me in mental defectiveness, she has grown to accept my hobby as a means for me to chill-the-hell-out with the boys. She also understands that the time I spend fishing is an investment in my own sanity.

As part of her acceptance process, which for many years resembled a lot of kicking and screaming, she has come to accept my absence as a positive. Nonetheless, she is one to make a point, so she gave my fishing chums the name “Fishing Wives.” This was clearly her way of making it clear that she did not approve of the number of hours spent with these boys in  man-sized meat suits. She’s over it now, but for a little while there (20 or so years) it was touch and go.

"Fishing Wife" Oklahoma Joe

The term Fishing Wife is, to me, an endearing one, bequeathed upon a super-select group of guys who not only share my most favorite of pastimes, they also have a little “something or other” that makes them special. Not just any dude with a fishing rod and reel qualifies. (I’m no fishing whore. OK, so I might be a fishing whore.) You’ll hear me refer to each of them in posts by name, size, age, fishing ability, idiosyncrasy, smell, flatulence level, or an affectionate pseudonym. No matter how I describe them, they each hold a special place in my heart because they have, and do, share my #1 passion. That, and they put up with me for hours at a time.

"Fishing Wife" Matt

Some, like my dearly missed Oregon wives, brother-in-law Charlie (who married the sister who REALLY does LOVE to fish), and best man Arik (my first fishing wife – swoon…), will be rare guest stars of the blog, as they live more than 1,000 miles North, and we get to fish maybe once or twice a year. (In truth, their fishing agents are difficult to deal with and demand too much money for use of their likenesses.) Others you’ll become very familiar with as Hook Ideas regulars. For example you’ve already met Matt, and you’ll soon know way too much about Kevin, and Oklahoma Joe, all of whom live, work and play with me here in Orange County. If you pay attention, you might catch a sighting of more well known fishing friends of mine like TV’s Dan Hernandez (http://ow.ly/4Yrpi), and blogging sensation SoCalSalty (www.SoCalSalty.com), who I recently eloped with after a 35 minute courtship on an overnight boat to San Clemente Island.

I’ll wrap up this entry by saying there’s a lot of love in this blog, for my wives (the wedded kind, and fishing types) and legion of fan (thanks for reading Mom). Of course, I mean that I love these guys in a strictly platonic, non-gay way (not that there’s anything wrong with THAT). I’m very grateful to you also, my reader, who apparently shares my love of fishing. Either that, or you just can’t get enough heartfelt, albeit mediocre prose. Whatever your reason for visiting, thanks for spending the time to get through this. Perhaps I’ll see you on the water. In which case, be warned… Fishing with me can sometimes come with a lifelong commitment.

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