Friday, January 30, 2009
A Fish With No Name
Two years ago this month, we acquired a beta fish. My husband's company traditionally holds its holiday party in January. This particular year, the centerpieces were beautiful floral wreaths, and in the center of each was a lovely glass bowl containing a beta fish. As is the custom, the centerpieces were given to one lucky(?) recipient at each table.
I was delighted to carry home my prize that evening. I truly was pleased, because Em had been asking for a fish (and a cat, and a dog, and a horse, and a monkey) for AGES, and she was just thrilled with her surprise. For about two days.
Since then, it has become my fish. For the past 728 days, it has been mine to feed and clean and to balance on my lap when we moved across town last summer. It has no name. No one has had an interest in it long enough to give it one. It is simply the fish.
I can't help but wonder if it has grown as tired of us as we are of him. My oldest son tells me that goldfish have a three second memory. If this is true, and since betas look a lot like goldfish, so they must be related, then every time the fish swims around the bowl, he thinks he's in a new place. He must be thrilled to discover his little ceramic treasure chest over and over throughout the day. And each time he comes upon his little Easter Island statue, he must think he's on another vacation.
For the first year, I was very careful to tend to the fish by the book. I lugged home artesian drinking water by the gallon and made sure it was brought to room temperature before I refreshed his bowl. Then, I decided if tap water is good enough for me, it should be good enough for him. So I would fill a pitcher and let it sit for several hours to come to room temperature. Now, I just run the water in the sink until it feels about right and throw him in.
If it weren't for my sister-in-law, the fish would be long gone by now. With a three second memory, think how fun the city sewer system would be for him. But, my SIL is a strong believer in karma, and she will escort a fly out the door before swatting it. The thought of doing something naughty to this fish, and what it would do to my soul, is more than I can bear.
Besides, for a fish, he has quite a personality. If I hold a piece of food between my thumb and forefinger, he will follow it all around his bowl. He'll back up, and even sway from side to side. And. . .he let's me pet him. AND, when I come in the kitchen, he will watch me, going around and around his bowl. I guess, since he has a three second memory, he always thinks I'm somebody new.
So, finally, the point of this post. My first contest ever. Name that fish. Whoever comes up with the best name, wins the fish! I will mail him anywhere in the continental U.S. Just include a SASE with your entry. You may enter as many times as you like. If you win and do not claim your prize, may 1,000 betas swim up your pipes and clog your plumbing.