I’ve Fallen for a Japanese Fisherman

Should I Tell my Husband?

Gail Boenning
2 min readFeb 27, 2018


Photo Credit: Gail Boenning 2017 — My Instagram

It’s All My Son’s Fault

Well his — and social media. You see, a few years back my fisherman son created an Instagram account and started posting photos from his kayak fishing adventures. Wouldn’t you know, he started connecting with people who had similar interests in all things fishing?

Being a supportive (and concerned/nosy?/protective?) mother, I set up an Instagram account of my own and gave my kid a follow. Every time he posts a photo, I’m there to give it a double tap.

Here’s what happened that I never anticipated; as a result of social media connections and magical algorithms — I started hooking up with my son’s fellow fisherman.

When an ocean fisherman from Japan — Kenji — followed me, I thought, this is interesting — what can he possibly see in me? My Instagram posts were of things like squirrels, horse halters, donkeys, flower catalogs, and rain drops on windows. Maybe he was just hoping to build his audience and had a good understanding of the natural human tendency toward reciprocation?

Having less than ten followers of my own at the time, and embracing my reciprocal nature, I followed him back faster than I can squeeze an earthworm in half. A relationship was born!

Kenji and I only know each other through the photos we post to Instagram. We’ve never shared a comment, but wouldn’t you know he manages to like almost every photo I post? I’ve tried to do the same for him. Take a stroll through his profile.

Who could resist his sincere smile and all of the massive fish he holds? I know it sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. I’m as serious as a hooked muskellunge. If I ever go to Japan — I’m going to look Kenji up. His photos tell me he’s a nice guy. In his profile, he uses emojis (screams nice guy.) He surfs and has more than triple the number of followers compared to how many he follows.

People like him. It’s obvious.

Who knew so much character information could be deduced from such scant social media information.

I’m honored to be included in Kenji’s 1352 following number. I appreciate every double tap he gives one of my photos. I can’t believe I found a friend from Japan this way.

I think I should tell my husband. I wonder if Kenji has told his wife?

It’s all good — we’re all connected.