Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Last week, I had a conversation with a recently-divorced friend, and I told him he'd be fine, since he was a "good catch".

He elaborated further on this: he was a good catch, but his wife of 15 years tossed him back in the sea when she asked for a divorce. Now he is a newbie fish, swimming around in uncharted territory, not knowing what to do, especially when it seems as though you are surrounded by other fish who seem to have it down-pat.

It got me thinking to that old adage, "there's plenty of fish in the sea". Really? Are there really plenty of fish in the sea, or is it like kissing 1,000 frogs to find one prince? That a good catch will take at least 1,000 reels to find the big one? If you do find one, will it be fresh and healthy, or will it have some unrepairable flaw and need to be tossed back out into that proverbial sea?

My own experiences with fishing, as in the activity, have not been positive. I have not been fishing since high school, when I went to cast off and promptly caught myself a person. Yes, a person. Hooked right through the nose.

As for keeping fish for pets, my daughter was in love with the fish she'd see at Wal-Mart, so I relented and purchased a Betta fish. She put Play-Doh in the water, and it was dead within a day. Not having much experience with fish--and especially dead fish--I pretty much hoped that it would just float round in a horizontal position until I could replace it, thus (mis)leading her to think that her fish was still alive. Unfortunately, that was not the case. When I came home from work that night, the fish was bobbing vertically, and it was such a gruesome sight that I had no choice but to flush. A conversation with my daughter ensued when she noticed the disappearance of her fish, and it went a little like this:

AC: "Where my fishy at?"
Mom: "I don't know. Where do YOU think he went?"
AC: "He at school?"
Mom: "Yes, honey. He is at school. The private school of fish that can be found only by a flush down the toilet."

Her dead fishy was quickly replaced, and shortly after that, she lost interest.

The job of maintaining these "catches" of hers now falls to me, and I rarely remember. Maybe every few days, I think, oh cr@p! I haven't fed those fish in days! Truthfully, when I go to check on them, I secretly hope they are dead, and that I will no longer have to deal with them. Alas, they live on, no matter how poor the conditions. It's a little like my ex-husband: I ignored him for days on end, deprived him of basic needs, and would wake up each morning, hoping he was gone. Much like the fish that refuse to die, he also refused to leave for a long, long time, well past the lifespan of what our marriage should've been.

Now much like my friend, I have been tossed back into the sea, looking for a good catch who will view me the same. I'm hoping that I can find one, even if I do need to forcibly hook him in the nose to convince him that I am catch-worthy, and this time around, I won't hesitate to flush him away to the private school of fish if necessary.

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