Isn’t it always the things that you want the most that you never get?
And isn’t it always the things you DON’T want that you end up with?
So has it been with me lately. I seem to be stuck in opposite land. Maybe it’s not a good time to publish my first post, maybe I should be talking about what I had for dinner tonight, maybe it’s just starting off to be one of those weeks… but the bottom line is that here I am, taking the things life is throwing at me and trying to roll with the punches. (By the way… if you’re ever in a pinch, beef jerky in broccoli cheddar soup is a lifesaver. There, I got my quota in.)
Andrew: “Mom… I’ve been thinking about Joey’s new pet… he let me hold it while I was at his house and it was the greatest.”
Mom (on alert): “You better not have touched that tarantula of theirs. I specifically said not to.”
Erick: “Don’t worry he didn’t. It was a gecko. It was really cool too.”
Mom (relieved): “Good.”
Andrew (looking at Erick, Erick nodding): “Mooooom?”
Mom (not liking the direction of the conversation): “What?”
Andrew (pleading): “…can… we have… a… crested gecko?”
Me: “You boys have the rest of your oatmeal.”
Erick: “Pleeeease? We really want one!”
Me: “Having a pet is a lot of responsibility. They need someone to keep their cages clean, feed them, know what to do when they’re sick. Last time I walked by your room I couldn’t see the floor. How could you possibly keep the cage bottom clean?”
Boys. Boys boys boys. Next thing I know we’re walking through the doors of the local reptile store. Somehow or another we never got to the I found myself standing behind them ogling at a tank stocked with feeder fish. The rest all happened quickly, with two heavily begging children and the orthodontist appointment in 10 minutes I found the employee netting and bagging a little gold thing, me pulling out a dollar bill absentmindedly and us all driving home in a frenzy while shouts of joy filled the car.
How it happened, I’ll never know.
You may not know this about me, but I’ve always had a soft spot for goldfish. The 75 gallon in our garage had been in the living room, but when we moved we didn’t have time to set it back up in its rightful place by the entertainment center. My dad used to keep exquisite fish, and secretly I’ve longed to pack that tank full to the brim with the exotic breeds from his online goldfish supplier.
Yep, if I had a goldfish it was going to be outstanding. Did I mention that I have an – eherm – overachieving personality? I don’t do run-of-the-mill anything.
And this (I’ve always longed for these, by the way)…
Or did I mention this?
Maybe it’s my Asian heritage (that I don’t have.)
But what did I end up with? A few unwanted… dinky… inch long… 15 cent… FEEDER GOLDFISH.
It indeed appears to be another “mom-gets-suckered-into-another-one-of-these-charity-cases” moment.
They plead their cause so thoroughly my heart must have given in. I heard about how nobody loved them, how they were too crammed in together, how I would want someone to save me if I were a fish, how they were going to a gruesome death. I would have to be the most cold-hearted unfeeling woman in the world to turn a blind eye to their situation.
(Theirs and the 3 billion others just like them… why don’t I think of these arguments until it’s too late?)
So here I am stuck with these sorry specimens. Ahem, I mean Nelson, Charlie and Piglet. (Piglet?! Yes, named for the pinkish tinge to the skin as I have been made aware.)
And I have been made aware of the fact that these fellows are a bit more demanding than you would think, and that a 75 gallon tank may not even be enough, because apparently single-tailed goldfish need lots of space – 40 gallons each to themselves. Next thing you know I’m going to be getting a pond installed in my apartment’s 4 foot square front yard, right?!
WRONG. Way wrong. We’ll see how things go and I’ll keep you posted.