I’m a sucker. I’ll admit it. I am a complete wimpy ass sap when it comes to my daughter and my grandson.
I tend to put other people’s happiness above my own; but the payoff is writing about almost everything I see. My daughter loves owning aquariums. I love visiting aquariums. The reason I love visiting them and not owning them is because fish are stupid and dirty. My stronger sentiment that they are delicious with wine and lemon and meant to be eaten and my desire to own or understand one disengages when I see how gross their tanks are. Therefore, unless a Roomba can clean the tank then frankly I’m not interested. They don’t even fetch or cuddle or hold interesting conversations about my unnatural attachment to converse sneakers or why I will argue that Combat Rock is still one of my favorite albums or why Kevin Kline is the funniest person on the planet. Fish, to me, are uninteresting unless Mr. Kline is sucking one down in my second favorite movie.
About ten months ago, Mei Mei talked me into getting a fish tank. She’s slick..that little turd is. Crafty..wily…
She’d been blathering on that “we” should get a fish tank. “We” found them so soothing and relaxing. “We” would emotionally benefit from said addition to the house as watching fish swim is very soothing. I sat pondering if watching paint dry was equally as soothing since it provided the same level of excitement and was given the same withering stare my mother used to give me when I was being sassy in my youth. Oh goody I grew up only to discover that I raised my mother. One day when I’m an inappropriate senior, living under her roof because I’m old and feeble, I’m pretty sure she’ll ground me for trying to sneak out through the window to rave with the other old biddys. I tried a different but equally discouraging tactic. I asked if “we” were paying for this or would the bill squarely arrive on “my” American Express. “She” was not amused. I compromised (it could happen) and said “we” could get a beta fish and if “we” did well with that then “we” could further discuss the notion of a fish tank but for now “I” would like a scotch in order to mull over how much longer “we” were going to carry on the charade that “we” were unanimous in this decision.
We were out shopping about two months later and she pitted the Wee Baby Child against me, coaching him to look sad and unfulfilled in life. In retrospect, I’m willing to bet they worked on this tactic since the initial “we” discussion. He was clearly coached. It worked. We went to Petsmart which conveniently was only two doors down from where we were shopping.
Hmm…interesting…because that wasn’t planned or anything.
There we purchased Leo, the fighting fish. He was quite pretty, predominainantly red with vivid streaks of blue. He was put on the dresser in WBC’s room and all was well. Every morning WBC would waken him by greeting him with kissy noises and every night he would “tuck” Leo in by telling him to dream good fishy dreams (a slight variation to his nightly tuck in from me…sleep well, dream good baby dreams). Every day before he would leave for daycare he would instruct Leo to make good choices, primarily because this is what he hears me tell Hellhound on a daily basis as I boogie out to work. Two things became quite evident.
One- I am probably not the greatest role model
Two – He truly loved this fish.
Long story short….Leo started failing. He lost his color; fading to a muddled brownish pink instead of the vibrant flame red he’d been when we first brought him home. He wouldn’t eat and started losing his top fin. I became attached. To a dying fish. Because I’m an idiot. Or as my mother likes to euphemistically say…the eternal champion of underdogs and lame ducks…errrr….fish. Mei Mei bought a bigger tank and nursed this fish back to health with what could only be categorized as a Herculean effort. She changed the water, cleaned the tank, upgraded the filter; she practically hand fed this little guy gently explaining to WBC exactly what she was doing and why to try and help Leo feel better. In this process of scrambling to find the right tank, the right filter, the right everything to save this silly little fish that the small man loved so much, he broke down at the store. He sobbed that Leo was dying and I would think that he wasn’t taking care of him and it was his “responsumbitty” and he didn’t do it and that’s why Leo was so sick…….
$200 later, we had a fish tank for downstairs too in addition to the new tank for Leo just to prove how much I knew he had tried to care for his very own first pet. The five dollar fish had become an investment. Leo recovered. He never grew back his top fin but eagerly swam towards us when we walked near his tank. It turns out the tank size advised to us was only compatible if we were raising some sort of brine shrimp – you know, becuase they’re a popular pet and all…
So instead of living 50 years like he was supposed to, Leo made it another 6 weeks.
Considering how hard we tried to save Leo, WBC took it pretty well. He’s a tough kid. He quietly asked if we could get another fish. So we bought a blue one this time. Have you ever seen someone so angry that they look like they may eat a small child for kicks? That’s what this fish looks like. Never has there been a more pissed off fish. It’s like Roz from Monsters Inc has been reincarnated in fish form. He will CUT YOU….
It’s like he knows I’d prefer him sauteed and he can’t compete with Leo.
Want to know what his name is?
Happy. WBC named him Happy. Dark humor clearly is genetic.