Monday, May 9, 2011

Fish Story

Fish stories are all the same and the size of the fish increases each time the story is told.

Well, in my fish story, I’m just going to put it out there right away that this fish was absolutely humongous. It was so big that it left two adults and two small children standing in complete awe and jaw-dropping confusion.

Flashback to the wonderful afternoon I had planned with the grandparents and my younger kids, Xavier and Yasmin, up to Apple Hill. At the ranch where we visited there is a pond where you can rent a pole and go fishing. There were a hundred red flags that went up for me from the moment Xavier asked Grandma if she would rent a pole for him (which of course she didn’t hesitate to say “Yes!”).

I Showered This Morning ... Now We're Going Fishing?

There were zero reasons why I would want to include fishing in the day’s events and a slew of reasons why not. First, I was looking and feeling great that day. I had plenty of rest the night before. I woke up and wasn’t rushed to do anything or go anywhere. I got to take time for myself to choose a cute outfit and put on eye makeup. Heck, I was even able to take a shower. Second, I would wager money that neither of my in-laws have ever gone fishing in their lifetime, which would mean that I would likely need to assist. Third, if you caught a fish, you had to keep it or be charged $100 to throw the fish back. The list could easily go on, but I’ll stop there.

Xavier got the pole and I just stood back. I watched in amusement as my mother-in-law struggled to get the hook loose from where it was safely secured on the pole. My father-in-law offered to help, but she knew he wouldn’t have any idea more than she did, so she shrugged him away and continued. After at least two minutes of my son impatiently begging her to “let Mom try”, she did get the hook loose and Xav happily started fishing.

The pond was amply stocked with trout, but none were biting. Plus, there was no bait on Xavier’s hook. I have no idea whether people thought they’d catch fish with an empty hook, but I truly didn’t care as I stood my safe distance. I’d say he was fishing for about ten minutes when a sweet girl came up to him and offered him a piece of bread for his hook. She helped him thread the bait on his hook and, sure enough, as soon as he put his hook in the water a fish was caught!

Does My Super Cute Cocktail Ring Go With This Fish?

Xavier pulled the fish from the water with whoots of excitement, eyes gleaming with pride, and a smile brighter than the sun on the pond. But, what happened next still irritates the #$%@# out of me.

My father-in-law grabbed the string by the bobber and, since this fish was so big, the string broke — leaving the mammoth trout flopping on the shore. The scene was exactly as I described in the beginning — two adults (my in-laws, standing with blank stares), and my 8-year old son and 3-year old daughter watching this poor flailing fish with confusion and helplessness. I can easily say that I felt mad at my in-laws for standing there in utter and complete uselessness. My father-in-law advised Xavier to “pick it up by the string”. He began carrying the fish over to the weighing station and the hook tore a chunk out of the side of the fish’s mouth. Xavier was so close to the water that the fish fell back into the pond.

In that split second, I forgot about my disgust of green, algae-ridden, sitting ponds and slimy, scaly, smelly fish and my inner frugality kicked in. I could only think of two things: 1) my poor son wanted his fish and 2) it is crazy to pay $100 if that fish swims away! Garnered by some instinct I did not know I had, I sped over to the waterside, pushed my hand into the shallow depths, and grabbed that fish by his wide girth with my bare hand.

Let me just say properly that, I WAS PISSED. On so many levels, holding that bloody, writhing, and dying trout in my hand was just plain wrong and I was the last person who should have had the responsibility of grabbing it. Where was Grandma, who so sweetly agreed that fishing was a good idea? Where was Grandpa, the only grown man in the situation, who by the way was wearing his standard jeans and a plaid cotton shirt – and not a silky orange halter top, white-cuffed capris, and jute wedge sandals? Oh, and I add that the hand holding this flailing behemoth wore a super cute, gold and orange cocktail ring with a huge red-orange daisy — that was now covered in slime and mud.

The Big Fish Story

The story does actually end there. Completely disgusted, unsanitary, and still tasting the bit of water that splashed into my mouth one of the times the fish flopped its tail, I left feeling a bit defeated, maybe physically sick, but still somehow triumphant. I can still remember the smile on my son’s face as he held up his catch and even later that night as he proudly became the “hunter/provider” for the evening’s meal.

I’ll deny it out loud if you ask, but I am pretty sure that one of these days (not soon) I will likely go fishing with my kids again. No matter how awful and mortified I remember feeling, it all becomes worth it that the size of my son’s smile was as humongous as the fish he caught on that day. Each time I tell it, the size of his smile gets bigger — and that’s no fish story.


  1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I love to fish, I'm fairly sure my mother-in-law hasn't been fishing either...I'm your newest follower!

  2. I'd love to fish except that I'd have trouble baiting the hook!! Ewwwwww! Worms!

    Hi! I'm your newest follower!

  3. awww look how cute his smile is.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am following back.
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  4. Oh, that's hilarious! I kept waiting for the part when Yasmin fell THAT would have made it even better! Good job!

  5. The funniest stuff comes from everyday moments that just happen to happen, right? :) Thanks Aumie, Veronica, Erica, and LaDawn!

  6. following you back from :)
    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Thanks for the visit at 2Boys+1Girl=OneCrazyMom
    Following you back via GFC....
    Happy Halloween

  8. I used to love fishing, I am your newest GFC follower and hope you will swing by and check out my blog at when you get a chance. Have a fantastic week!