My boyfriend (who from this day forward shall be called Brian) has this stuffed fish, it’s a barracuda that he caught in Florida about 10 years ago. In his old place it hung in the dining room, over the table that was primarily just used for our monthly poker game. I barely noticed this fish, so it really wasn’t even on my radar when we decided to move in together, and not a subject that came up in all of the conversations that followed about where things should go in our new place.
The day of our big move was chaos from the very start. We were exceptionally blessed to have so many super awesome friends volunteer to help us with the move. A bunch of them had gathered at Brian’s house to help him load up the truck, with the plan to then go to my place to load up my things. My son had arranged for a small army of his friends to help us out with the move as well, all of whom were at our place throughout the week helping to move smaller things over to the new place prior to the truck getting there. These kids made me have to seriously re-think a lot of the bitching I have done about teenagers over the past couple years. They STEPPED UP. They were powerhouses of strength and energy, who followed direction, kept the stuff moving, and really never complained about anything. Even my son, who gives me crap about everything.
I drove out to Brian’s house with my son and two of his friends to help move the truck loading along. As it would turn out, there would end up being 2 truckloads necessary to empty Brian’s house, and 1 ½ to empty mine. I don’t know how we ever thought it would ALL fit into one truckload, clearly spatial reasoning is not a strength in our home.
When we got to his house, people were everywhere, emptying the house and loading up the truck as well as their own cars. There were a ton of things sitting on the front lawn, waiting to find out if they would be loaded onto the truck, or left behind on the curb. In the midst of the chaos, one of our friends jokingly asks what don’t I want to make it onto the truck. I looked around at it all, and replied “The Fish”.
Here’s the back story on the fish, because as I’m sure you know, every stuffed fish has a story to go along with it. It was on a business trip in Miami, his team went out deep-sea fishing, and after 2 hours on the boat he caught this 4 ½ ft African barracuda, which took just under an hour to reel in. They asked if he wanted to keep it, and of course he did! They would stuff and mount it for him, and he would have to pay half up front, priced at about $100 ft. Clearly the fishing crew knew they had caught a big one as well. $1000 and 6 months later he finally got his fish and it was hung on his dining room wall. Until moving day.
So the move was chaotic, at best. It may have also been referred to as a cluster fuck of a train wreck, depending on who you asked. At the end of the day we had 3 refrigerators, 3 sets of washers and dryers, too many dressers and dining room tables, an extra bed, and boxes EVERYWHERE. The only thing that wasn’t there was The Fish. This was discovered during the minor meltdown Brian had at the end of this very long day, due to his lack of actual control over every aspect of the move. We looked everywhere, The Fish was definitely missing.
After a bit of investigation, it was discovered that The Fish was put in the back of one of our friends cars, and somehow “forgotten” there when he left that day. Once Brian could finally start to laugh (a little) about the move, I had to come clean. So when the subject of the fish came up again, which did not take very long at all as it had become a bit of an obsession, I mentioned that I had been asked what I didn’t want moved that day, and how I had responded. He was mildly disturbed by this I think, though he understood that it was not said seriously, and I had NEVER expected anyone to honor this request. It had now become my mission to get The Fish back as well.
Three months, 200 text messages, 27 phone calls, and 2 poker games later, The Fish finally made its way home. I feel a little bit bad that I thought it was so funny how obsessed Brian had become with getting The Fish back, though I’m relatively certain that the reason it took so long was because everyone else thought it was rather entertaining as well.
In the end, I was so happy to have The Fish home (and the subject of it no longer being
discussed) that I didn’t care where it got hung. For real. So I had absolutely nothing to do with it being hung in Brian’s walk in closet, he did that completely on his own. Swear. Though in all honesty, The Fish is a scary looking, stuffed, dead animal. Thankfully, my man is smart enough to know that it would best be hung somewhere that I wouldn’t see it very often. Yep, I caught me a keeper!