Anniversary. noun. My buddy Ed called recently. We were making fishing plans for the coming week. “Wednesday is my anniversary'” I said.
“Oh that’s right,” he said, “you caught a beautiful king that day on the River Styx last year, didn’t you?”
Herein lies the problem with people who fly fish for king salmon. We tend to see everything, and I mean everything, in terms of chinook salmon. Normal men know that one’s anniversary refers to the calendar date when we hooked up with the woman we love. Normal men keep track of this date because failure to do so is likely to spawn (see what I mean?) dire consequences.
Not guys who fly fish for kings. We forget important dates like anniversaries, birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas too. We are pretty much beyond salvation.
We do, however, remember the exact date when we caught a great fish, lost a small fish, had an arm-wrenching grab, went in over the top of our waders, buried a Clouser in our nose, tied a crappy knot that came undone when we hooked a fish, saw someone else catch a fish because they got to the hole before we did, fished muddy water, fished clear water, ate a nasty corn dog, spilled coffee on a cell phone in the truck, dropped a camera overboard, ruined a prop on a gravel bar, smelled a skunk, got hailed on, tagged a fish we had just released, forgot to leave cash in the ashtray for the shuttle driver, watched The Matrix after midnight at the Shoreline Motel, and the like.
Lisa, thankfully, understands the genetic impairment of the important-date-remembrance region of my brain. She is even kind enough to remind me the week before our anniversary by dropping a little hint, like, “our anniversary is next Wednesday.”
This charitable act allows me to keep a straight face and pretend that I knew that all along and was making some sort of plan. She knows me better. She is just being extra loving.
“Thank you honey. Happy Anniversary. Can we celebrate when the water is too high? Too low?”