One of the things I neglected to mention a couple of weeks ago is the fact that Beloved shares a birthday with The Young One. And since Beloved was out of town on business, I wanted to post about The Young One’s early entry into the world and Beloved is stoutly maintaining he turned 38 (for the ninth consecutive year) I, well, neglected to mention it.
While I may have neglected to mention it, I was well aware that it was his birthday and wanted to surprise him with his gift when he got home at the end of the week. However, since the man is notoriously hard to buy for, I was at a bit of a loss. He’d asked for a new electric razor, but honestly – who wants to buy their husband an electric razor for his birthday?
That clearly has “Father’s Day” written all over it. So until June he can just shave with a cheap, plastic disposable razor.
Because I’m just thoughtful that way.
And because I’m the wonderful wife that I am – YES, I AM – I’ve been listening to him talk about how he’d love a huge, salt water fish tank for the last ten years…and actually paying attention. So, while he was out of town the week of his birthday and I was buying futons and cell phones for the kids, I went out and priced large, salt water aquariums. I then had to weigh his desire for a salt water aquarium with his desire to kill his wonderful wife for spending that kind of money on fish you can’t even eat. ‘Cause honestly?
Salt water aquariums are ridiculously expensive.
So, wanting to really surprise him and being the Queen of Compromise that I am, I bought a 30-gallon fresh water tank and tricked it out to look like a salt water tank. That takes talent, folks. (Humor me, okay? It takes talent. And a lot of fake coral.)
What I didn’t know at the time was that you can’t just buy a tank, fill it up with fake coral and plastic plants and throw fish in it. Oh, no – you have to treat the water, let it run through a carbon filter and test it to death for a week before you just throw the damn fish in it – on a carefully planned schedule. So on the day Beloved was due back in town (well, he was actually due in on 2 a.m. the following morning), The Young One and I found ourselves in the living room struggling to assemble a stand and fish tank, including 30 gallons of water, 2 pieces of neon-painted coral, 4 plastic plants, one filter, one heater, one thermometer, one fluorescent light and one wish that I’d just bought a damn Norelco razor.
Just no fish.
The fact that our house is still standing is a testament to our determination, because neither I nor The Young One are what you would call “mechanically inclined.” But we got it done, turned on the light (which made it look way cool, even fishless) and set a large balloon arrangement next to it. Then went to bed, because setting it up took all damn evening.
Needless to say, Beloved was very surprised and spent all week itching to get fish for it (we went to the pet store twice just to look at them). Finally we bought six fish this Saturday – three long-finned danios (one of which has already been returned because he apparently had the first signs of something called “ich”), one hatchet fish and two beautiful gourami – one looks just like the fish pictured above. Except for the one we’ve had to return, they all seem to be doing really well and adjusting to their new environment.
Then Sunday while I was making brunch, Beloved called me into the living room to take a look at this:
Say “Hello” to our little friends.
Just too darn cute.