Whenever I see them sitting out there on the iced-over reservoir, alone, still and quiet, I wonder about them. What’s happening at home that makes ice-fishermen — and they’re always men — think You know, I’d rather sit on a plastic bucket on six inches of ice that’s melting by the hour, watching a string in a hole, than be at home today.
Yet I admit that I’m sort of jealous of these ice-fishermen. After all, women — and especially mothers — can’t find solitude like that. If I told my family that I was going outside to sit by myself in the cold all day, they’d seek psychological help for me. And then they’d text me and ask if I could could swing by the supermarket to pick up some chips and Gatorade on my way home.
The closest thing to that kind of alone time that I can get is an hour at the crowded gym, or hiding in my bedroom with my Kindle. Otherwise, I have to wait for my family to leave me in the house all alone. (Thank you, Boy Scouts of America!)
I know, I know. This sudden quest for Me Time makes no sense in light of last week’s blog in which I essentially cop to Premature Empty Nest Syndrome.
Really though, it’s the thought of that kind of peace and quiet that interests me more than actually getting it. How do men pull it off? Why do we understand when Daddy needs to be alone, while Mommy must be on call 24/7, even if she’s at work, Target or behind the bathroom door? It seems to me that if anyone deserves to spend an afternoon on ice, it’s Mom. But alas.
I passed by two ice-fisherman (who weren’t sitting together, of course) as I drove through the reservoir yesterday on my way to coach an indoor soccer tournament. I asked one of the kids in my car, a 12-year-old fisherman, what was the allure of the sport.
“Nobody bothers you while you’re out there,” he explained matter-of-factly, perhaps not yet realizing the unwritten code of fishermen: “Don’t tell the women-folk we’re just hiding from them.”
Later that afternoon, on our ride back home along the road that cuts through the reservoir, I noticed that the ice-fishermen were gone, leaving behind small areas of cleared snow over holes in the ice and solitary footprints to the shore. They were done for the day.
I like to think they were at the supermarket buying chips and Gatorade.
Share, Share: Do you think it’s harder for women to get time alone? How do you get it…or do you?