Fish or Cut Bait

“Fish or cut bait.” You heard of it? It’s an expression I’ve heard several times but never truly understood until recently.

Today, I was enjoying lunch with one of my very favorite co-workers, Lynne. Lynne is a sassy, southern faculty member. More than being an amazing lady and role model, she’s become Momma Lynne (while no one can compare to Momma Higg, there are only two amazing women in the state of Virginia I crown with the label “Momma.”)

After chatting about work, volleyball, and food, the conversation turned to dating (naturally–let’s talk about dating with the 26 year-old single girl). Momma Lynne has a great marriage story. When she was 30, Lynne and a large group of friends went to dinner and randomly invited her to-be-husband who was a prospective faculty member at the time. By the time dinner was over, they knew they were getting married. Seriously.

They were married five months later. Isn’t that crazy?

She asked about my dating life and we talked about my current prospects–which are limited….and aren’t exactly promising.

Momma Lynne: “Meg, he needs to fish or cut bait.”

Meg: “Huh?”

Momma Lynne: “He needs to suck it up and make a move!”

Me: “I’m a firm believer that if a man wants to ask you out, he will.”

Momma Lynne: “Fine. Then you need to fish or cut bait.”

Me: “Oh Lynne.”

Momma Lynne: “Then invite him over to my house for dinner and I’ll ask him out for you.”

Me: “Goodness gracious.”

See? The expression never meant something to me until now. So is she right? Do I just need to make a move instead of waiting on a man to make them move? Do I just say, “Hey punk, I like you. So fish or cut bait.” Ugh. It’s so against my southern-ness and old-fashioned-ness.

Fast-forward on the same day to a conversation with my pop. We were chatting about some recent professional opportunities I’ve had:

Poppa Higg: “Meggy, it comes a time when they either need to fish or cut bait.”

Me: *whoa deja vu* “What do you mean?”

Poppa Higg: “You know, people can’t just string you along on promises. They gotta show something for it. Fish or cut bait.”

Can you see how this has become a recurring theme? What a strange expression for two completely different areas of my life, but are they right? Where is the line to fish or cut bait? And when do you know when (and how) to do it?

In other news, I think I’m going to take my Zebco to the nearest pond. Then have a fish fry.

4 thoughts on “Fish or Cut Bait

  1. Yes I’ve heard the expression but I am old. As to asking the guy out…hmmmmmm, see answer to #1. That wasn’t done in my day but it’s a new age and if your counterparts think that it’s O.K. then I’d say go for it. If you do the you pay?
    As far as the professional companies are concerned….they DO need to fish or cut bait!!!

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