I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast on my wedding day.  But I do I remember the kitchen was a wreck as the condo was in the final stages of being updated, the avocado green appliances being replaced with newlywed stainless steel. And my night sleep wasn’t good; I parked on the couch as my pots and pans covered the bed.

The weather was April ugly,  sideways rain that scared away blossoms for a few more weeks. I scurried to Octavia’s, my faithful friend and hairdresser, even though she colored my hair pink—hours before a funeral I had to attend.

“The French twist is beautiful,” I smiled at our reflections in the mirror, her parrot cawing in agreement.

I scuttled back to my condo and put on my peach silk dress–strapless– which required a corset style push up bra. Then the panty hose. And a spare pair for my oldest  sister to tuck in her purse, just in case .

I picked up the flowers. Gerber Daisies for me. A bouquet of lilies for our moms.

Then the vows, a kiss. My singleness gone, packed away like winter sweaters in an attic. Traded away forever for a ring, the adult version of trading a new role life savers for a toy at a playground.


Who’d ever thunk eighteen years later, I’d be living in China, contacting a divorce lawyer at 5 am  about the fate of a seven foot marlin in Wisconsin?

“I want Jay Jay’s to have it. I heard their old place burnt down.”

“Jay Jays? “ she responds. She knew the Mexican restaurant quite well.

In case you don’t the fish story…

After I left China and moved to Jesus People for a year, I was bequeathed a seven foot marlin, reeled in by a four foot aunt.

It barely fit in the van from my uncle’s in the suburbs, the pointy nose changing the stations of the radio. I schlepped it up to my fish-bowl sized room, wondering how I’d get it on the wall.

Ben, the resident plumber who looked like Jesus with a monkey wrench, came to my rescue.

He hung it up on my wall, at a bit of an angle, “It’s the only way it’ll fit.”

For the next year, that seven foot marlin was my confidant, he’s who I’d talk to when I  was lonely or heard gunshots outside my window or blubber after  putting a gallon of sriracha sauce in the recipe for pho instead of  a cup by mistake.

But then I moved back to China, the marlin migrating swimming up stream to Wisconsin, where it stayed with my husband…hoping that someday, well ya know.

Then I discovered “Happily ever after” are the final words of fairy tales, rarely written on epitaphs or divorce settlements.

So I contacted Jay Jay’s, thanks to a tip from a burrito loving friend.

“The fish would be happier hanging with tourists drinking  margaritas than in a storage unit with my grandmas’ china.”

Plus, it could be a reminder to broken-heart women that their fathers were right: there are other fish in the sea.

So now getting the seven foot marlin to Jay Jay’s has become an international affair, involving two lawyers  and two countries. Do I need to call the State Department?

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