My husband loves to fish and, in his defense, will eat what he catches. He will filet the catch and dispose of the mess properly, too, and clean up before entering the house – a total dream for wives of fishermen, I know, but my problem is that “Paul” doesn’t always catch stuff that is…well, mainstream on the scale of edibility.
Paul goes fishing once or twice a week, year-round, regardless of the weather. He has caught some wonderful stripped bass and flounder, but he has also caught things like sea robins, king fish (which are very oily), and tropical fish that I consider too pretty to eat – or so they were before Paul gutted them – and I can barely bring myself to prepare these fish, let alone eat them, and I beg off at the dinner table, saying I am not hungry but then needing a snack later in the evening.
The cooler weather is once again coming to our shores, and Paul is talking about all of the “great winter fish” he expects to catch. I don’t know why, but I suddenly feel like I have reached my breaking point; I can’t bear the thought of cooking up yet another skate or sculpin and need a polite way to tell Paul that while his efforts are appreciated, perhaps he should practice catch and release of his less edible catches. Can you help me with the words I need to say?
Catch Of His Life
Dear Catch Of His Life:
As a cat, I love fish, but sculpin and sea robin? Those are rather bony and have very little meat on them! Be glad you don’t have to filet them – with their tough skin and bony plates it can be quite an effort! Paul must love you very much to go through such trouble to provide for you – don’t forget that this is what he sees himself doing: providing for you, and perhaps easing his conscience for taking so much time away from you to indulge his hobby.
|Sea Robin: It's what's for dinner?|
As much as wives would like them to, husbands cannot read minds; if you cannot bring yourself to tell Paul what you do not like to eat you can tell him what you do like, thus steering him in the right direction. I suggest that the next time you see your husband geared up to go fishing, give him a big hug and say, “I am really in the mood for ______.” (Fill in the blank with a type of fish you like, such as flounder or stripped bass). “Do you think you can bring one home today? If not, I can plan on making _______ for dinner” (Fill in this blank with something else you would want to eat). This dynamic gives your husband something to aim for – catching a specific fish to please his wife – and lets him know that you will not be disappointed if he is unable to fulfill your request; that you will make something other than fish for dinner.
If your husband surprises you and brings home the type of fish you asked for (from his own hook or from the fish market) thank him and tell him how you much you love him, and how happy you are to have such a wonderful provider for a husband. The ego boost should help the lesson stick.
Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.