After many years as a carefree bachelor who would do all kinds of things and go all kinds of places on the spur of moment, marriage brought with it much happiness, plus new responsibilities and changes.
For the last 18 months, I have had a very special person in my life to do things with and to travel with.
Being married to Elaine has been and still is a very delightful experience and a "ton of fun."
However, I have also learned as a new husband, that there are some things that you quickly discover and remember, such as:
No. 1: Never get into a disagreement with your wife.
The best you can hope for in that disagreement is second place.
No. 2: Always, always remember to say, "Yes, Dear" or "No, Dear" or "Gosh, Dear," dependent on the circumstances at that time.
When you do, life is good.
When you don't, life can get ugly.
If you foolishly disregard rules 1 or 2, you quickly get into trouble.
I also learned that a husband and wife fishing together can be extremely frustrating. Let me explain that statement:
When we got married, Elaine graciously made the radical switch from being a fly fisher person to a spincaster.
She had been a fly fisher person for many years, while I have been a spincaster all of my life.
That switch was based on my inability to become any kind of successful fly fisherman due, primarily, to my color blindness. As someone who is color blind, there is no way that I could ever "Match The Hatch" when fly fishing.
However, Elaine's spincasting has also brought with it some interesting fishing outings for Little Donnie Q.
On one of our first fishing outings to a trout lake, as a married couple, Elaine asked, "How do you tie that thingy to your fishing line?
Not being married too long at the time, I stupidly said, "Thingy? What in the heck is a thingy?"
I got one of those "wife" looks and she said, "You know that thingy that attaches your line to the lure."
Not necessarily getting smarter by the second, I loudly sighed and replied, "Longtime spincasters call that thingy a silver-colored, locking, snap swivel."
I got another of those intense "wife looks," my IQ immediately shot skyward and I quickly said, "Gosh, Dear, let me show you how to do it."
I then proceeded to show Elaine how to properly tie the swivel to her fishing line. Then, I made the error of asking her what color of lure she was going to use.
Elaine sweetly smiled at me and replied, "One of those cute colors."
Mr. Dummy smirked and pompously said, "What in the heck is a cute color?
I got another "wife look" as she answered, "It's one of those cute colors that I like, not one of those that you use that never catch a fish."
Being a typical, know-it-all male, I smugly challenged her by saying, "OK, I'll tell you what. I'll bet you a dinner on the town on three different bets: the first fish, the biggest and the most of the day."
Elaine said, "Sweetie, I'll take those three bets," and the dummy's fate was sealed.
She selected a "cute"color No. 2 TOR-P-DO lure and cast it out, as I turned to rig up my fishing pole.
As I was busy tying my silver, locking, snap swivel (AKA "Thingy") to my fishing line, Elaine said, "Honey, can you get the net for this fish?"
I spun around and sure enough, she had nailed a nice rainbow trout on that cute colored lure.
I muttered under my breath, "Blankity Blank, that's Blankity Blank luck on your first Blankity Blank cast."
I got one of those "wife looks" and Elaine asked, "What did you say?"
Not being totally stupid, the husband quickly replied, "Yes, Dear."
I carefully netted the fish and Elaine asked me to take the fish off the lure and release it, unharmed.
Once that was accomplished, she began to cast again, as I returned to trying to get ready to spincast.
Elaine said, "Honey, Can you get the net again?"
I spun around a second time and she had nailed another nice rainbow.
I muttered under my breath, "That's Blankity Blank."
Elaine gave me one of those looks and asked, "What did you say?"
I sighed and said, "Yes, Dear."
That trout was also brought in and released, unharmed.
I turned back to rigging up my fishing gear, Elaine cast her cute lure out and immediately there was a tremendous splash in the water only several feet from where I was kneeling.
The husband jumped up, shaken, and said, "What in the Blankity Blank was that?"
The wife said, "Oops, I forgot to open the bail on my reel."
The husband disgustedly said, "God, after that Blankity Blank cast, all of the Blankity Blank fish are scared off to the other side of the Blankity Blank lake."
Then, sensing a possible chance to win the biggest fish of the day category and salvage some badly damaged male pride, the husband slyly said, "Hey, Honey, there is still a way for you to try to catch any fish that were not scared away. Why don't you switch to fishing on the bottom with a worm, while I try to see if I can catch anything by spincasting with that lure of yours."
Elaine agreed, reeled in her lure, I put it on my silver, locking snap swivel on my line and finally began to spincast for the first time that day.
After several minutes of fruitless casting with that cute colored lure, I turned to see what Elaine was doing.
The wife was down on her knees and was busy pushing a stick back and forth on a large, flat rock.
The husband said, "What in the Blankity Blank are you doing now?"
The wife looked up and said, "There is no way that I am going to cut a large nightcrawler in half with my fingers, that why I am using a stick to saw it in half. And, then I need you to put that Yucky thing on my fishing hook."
The husband loudly snorted, threw down his fishing pole in disgust, took the stick out of his wife's hand, cut the large worm in half with his fingers, threaded it on her hook and cast it out.
Then, the husband returned to his pole, cast out her lure and on his first cast, got it snagged on a rock.
While he was ranting and raving, tugging and pulling and trying to get the lure unsnagged, his wife said, "Honey, Do you mind. I need the net again."
She had caught another rainbow on her first cast with a worm.
At this point, the wife had won a total of three dinners on the town.
The husband said, "Aw, to heck with it," put away his fishing gear, sat down and worked a crossword puzzle while watching his wife catch fish after fish.
So, the moral of this story is that a husband and wife fishing together can be extremely complicated and very expensive...for the husband.
-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you which of the two of us caught the largest Halibut in three days of fishing at Sitka, Alaska.
If he grins and says, "Elaine," he must be a married fisherman, too.