Way back when I was in year twelve or year eleven (I can’t remember which), I wrote an English essay about occupations that did not interest me and why. It was one of those ‘prose under supervision’ things, where you got to choose the topic and plan what you would write, before completing the whole thing in a set time limit.
I really enjoyed this particular task and was quite proud of it (as evidenced by the fact that I can remember it a gazillion years later). The occupations that I included in my list of things I would never do, were a Kraft Factory worker, a paleontologist, and a professional fisherman. (I feel like there’s one more but I can’t remember what it was.) The longest paragraph went to the professional fisherman; I had reasons as to why this was a terrible occupation, coming out of my ears. The majority of them, albeit, inspired by dull fishing trips on hot riverbanks while someone was always on croc watch. I spent most of these particular adventures sitting in the car with a book, avoiding the need to slather myself in bug spray, sun cream or touch stinky bait. (There’s a reasonably good chance much of my distaste is related to smell.)
It strikes me as the craziest thing that I then went on to marry a professional fisherman. One who quite often comes home with shmeckle all over his clothes, and smelling like… well, a fisherman.
When we first started going out, the fact that Boatman liked fishing was kind of irrelevant. It was his thing; a hobby, and not anywhere near as important as how much fun he was to look at. 😉
Of course, I soon learnt that that love was just the tip of an iceberg; we were talking about a person who spent most of his time thinking about fishing, planning going fishing, and if not actually fishing, wishing they were doing so. For someone who thought of this as pretty much the least interesting thing on the planet (apart from golf or tennis), it took a little bit of adjustment.
Of course, history shows that I did adjust and I now find myself examining wind direction (important for boating), eating small amounts of seafood (mostly just squid, but sometimes fish if it’s disguised well — I’m basically a three-year-old), and blogging about shmeckle.
Life is weird sometimes.
The thing that got me thinking about this yesterday was Miss Ava. She’s in her first year of ‘big’ school and it’s all very exciting. So exciting in fact, that what better way to spend an afternoon than practicing writing for fun and praising various letters of the alphabet? At one point I rather indulgently suggested that she could be a writer when she grows up and she said with great joy, ‘Oh could I? That would be awesome!’
To say I swelled with pride is an understatement.
This was also after having heard BJ read a narrative at school that day, that he and Bridie had spent a good portion of Sunday happily composing. Last week Taylah was excited that her science assessment included writing a story about a molecule.
They are story tellers these kids — they ask ‘what if’ and see the mystery in everything. You only need to read about the man in the yellow ute to know that. (An update on that: it is a man. I saw him the other day. Also, he disappeared around the same time that I was in Melbourne. The kids and Boatman were asking questions.) It makes me stupidly happy to know they have inherited this from me.
The funny thing, though: while I can giggle at the thought of marrying a fisherman and having kids that just the other day told me it was great weather for squidding, I have to also laugh at the fact that Boatman married a writer. He who doesn’t love to read or write and couldn’t care less what the difference between there, their and they’re is, is now married to a woman who corrects the grammar in his text messages. If you had asked him to write the same essay as a teen, there’s a fair chance he would have written about the horror of writing, although he would never remember doing so. Instead, he would tell you what and how much he caught while fishing that weekend.
It always strikes me as bizarre that the two things we both love doing most in the world, are the things that the other one of us just doesn’t get at all. It’s testament to the fact that God has a sense of humour, as well as the idea that you don’t need to have all shared interests for relationships to work. Shared values yes, but interests not necessarily.
So despite the fact that most fishing trips are endured rather than enjoyed, or that Boatman’s listening to my frustration with plot point is often only polite, I now find myself constantly checking the wind and weather and he has just expressed frustration with low assignment word counts. Because love makes you better in every way; even the ways you don’t think are that important. And while I may never dream of Saturday fishing trips or he be concerned over where an apostrophe goes, we’ve got four kiddies who can simultaneously praise the merits of the alphabet while gutting a fish. It really is the best of both worlds.
Do you and your significant other have opposite interests?
How do you feel about fishing?
Anyone want to hazard a guess what schmeckle is? (hint: don’t google it. It is not the male organ of love.)