"Where are we going on our honeymoon," soon-to-be wife#1 asked.
"It's a surprise", I answered. And it was. In many ways I should have read the omens in the fact that the caterer never showed up for the wedding, and asked for a second opinion right there. But no, that sort of thing never bothered me. I was Euell Gibbons, getting back to basics. We drove north from Boston toward New Hampshire because I had always wanted to try the striped bass fishing in the Merrimac River, and there was a really hot smallmouth bass lake a short hundred miles past that I had just read about. A sure thing. And she had so enjoyed our fishing trips up 'til then. It was raining, both an omen and a reality.
She figured out the plan, or at least realized I was serious, about the time we hit the state border. It was just the time I pulled into the little "quaint" motel along the road, because I wanted our first night to be spent in luxury, that a sequence of events began which would be recorded, videotaped, and etched in stone, to be re-told, replayed, and re-hammered, depending on her mood, at the slightest excuse, for the next 13 years. "THE 72 HOURS OF OUR HONEYMOON". All of you who ever spent more than 15 minutes in the company of xwife#1 can stop reading here. You've already heard it.
Actually the blame rests mostly with the weather and the fish. But you've got to accept that about fishing, right? Let me give you the bare details. I took her camping, in a cold downpour, without a tent or a fire, on a muddy and scrubby tidal island, surrounded by neo-urban blight. And, there were no fish, as though she cared. I did have that alternative plan, so we paddled and dripped our way back to the car against the (I forgot about the) tidal current, and headed inland for the bass lake. The lake was rather nice and quaint, or would have been in better weather, and I talked the resort owners into opening up a cabin for us, even though it was preseason. More musty, cold and damp. And no fish. And I tried, boy did I try. Zilch.
But around noon of the thank god third and last day of our honeymoon, we found ourselves bobbing in the boat in a secluded cove of this pretty New Hampshire lake. I was standing and casting poppers since the wind had finally died. Xwife#1 was huddled in the bow reading Cosmopolitan, scoring a test of some sort on marital compatibility with a fury, when the sun came out. The lake was still for the first time. It got reasonably warm. She took off her coat. It got warmer. She loosened her
clothing and tested the water. No fish yet.
"I think I'll go swimming", she said.
"You don't have a suit," I reminded her.
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