The Story of 3 Pink Fish

I realized this morning that I’ve never written about why this site is called pink fish, the reading part is obvious. Pink fish, and specifically 3 pink fish, has nothing actually to do with my 3 guys. It’s about something that happened back when I was in my first month of university.

I went to St Jerome’s College at the University of Waterloo and back in the day they did a carnival week full of activities and fundraising. All first years had to join a committee to help out and I joined the games committee, although looking back I’m sure I didn’t really want to. The committees were led by upper years, in my case a second year named Scott.

He was quiet and I knew of him but only that he seemed kind of grumpy and hung out with a totally different crowd than mine. Our meetings were short, he didn’t talk much that I remember, and he definitely didn’t seem impressed with me. Especially when I came to our second meeting with a prototype for the game I wanted to make and run.

I’d taken bright pink sheets of construction paper and cut out three fish, each with a comic looking eye and smile. I punched a hole in the fin of each and cut three different lengths of string, tying each to a fish. The other end of the string was tied around the end of a pencil. I barely even remember, it was lame, he had no need to be impressed. I think the goal was the pick the fish that had the longest string attached, who knows. I’m sure I’d half halfheartedly made it while sitting on the floor of the common room watching ER one Thursday night.

I took the fish to the next meeting, he obviously thought I was insane. That was 1995. The carnival came and went, Scott and I never spoke again for years. He thought I was a bit of a flake apparently. I just thought he was a huge grump and was glad to done working with him.

Fast forward to winter of 1998. I was a don at my residence and one of the other dons had gotten ill and needed to leave. Scott had been a summer don before, and at that time he was in L.A on co-op. Everyone loved him and I was in our director’s office when he was called and asked to consider talking position for the next term. He said yes and I was miserable, our team was perfect and I didn’t want him to join. No one understood why I was being so stubborn.

So January 1, 1998 we were all waiting for him to come back to school so we could go away on a don retreat with our director. I was hungover, badly, from a New Year’s party the night before. I have been hungover twice in my life, and that made it even funnier for our team. That’s how Scott met me again.

Long and fun story short, we got along, realized we had completely misjudged each other, became really great friends and three months later – on March 19 – we kissed for the first time. Two year later, after a trip to LA and starting at UofT for his Masters and teacher’s college for me, he proposed.

We still have the original 3 fish. For some reason I stuck them in a book and kept them but I can’t find them this morning. I am covered in dust from looking. But just as good are the three fish Scott made and used to put my engagement in when he proposed.

From that first March 19, 23 years ago, we’ve been grumpy and flaky and everything in between – but mostly so very happy. We’ve got pink fish from Italy that my aunt brought us, earrings, Value Village findings, Christmas decoration, plates, so many pink fish things including this blog. So for tonight’s Love in a Pandemic dinner, Indian takeout for adults only is the plan. And yes, so is retelling this story to the boys who have heard it so, so many times.

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