Thursday, September 07, 2006


One of my bestest friends is moving in a week, to teach in France for the school year. Awesome opportunity, and am totally envious. Anyway, months back when she told me of the news of her getting this sweet job, she asked me if I could watch her 2 cats. And I love cats... LOVE them. Like, spend tons of time daily thinking about getting one, what it will be like, what I'll name it, etc. Unfortunately, Mr. Landlord said "no pets" on the lease (I'm working on this). So, I can't watch cute little Igby and Lola. However, I did offer to take B's fish. Fish, yesss! Sounds cool right? I thought it could be fun, an easy job, and the cool tank would add a funky flair to the apartment. B told me straight up that she didn't think it was a good idea- too much work, too much cleaning, etc. And she knows how fishy, gunky crud could potentially skeeve me out.

Fast forward to today. B calls me and says that she has come up with a whole new system to clean the tank, and would I still be interested? I thought it sounded great! Cute fish, easy to take care of- I just have to feed the little guys twice a day, take out the filter thingy once every couple of months, etc. I was up for the challenge of watching the school for the nine months while she's gone- no biggie. So I called roommie, she's down, and I figure it's a go.

Then the reality sets in. Since this conversation with B, I've had the most anxious, nervous feeling in my stomach since icantremember, and it won't go away! They're only fish! It's not like it's a puppy that I actually have to reallllly watch, take care of, bring up, etc. And I was the one who wanted to babysit these guys for 9 months in the first place! And here I am wanting a kitten and I can't even deal with fish? So I've been doing some thinking and it could be one or all of several things:

-when I was in 6th grade we had a fish tank at home. It was huge. Tons of fish- all kinds, big, small, babies, the gross ones that suck on the tank, really- TONS of fish. We go away for a vaca for a week, and come home to a tank full of DEAD fish. Apparently the electricity went out, and the heater, filter, I don't know-whatever it is that electricity is needed for for a fish tank (clearly I'm not too savvy about fish tanks and the like) had died, and so did a tank full of fish.

-"But what if one dies?" I ask B? "Just get it out with the net, and flush it." Ooook...flush it. Not so much the problem as actually sifting out a dead fishy, from a tank, and carrying it, DEAD, to the bathroom and giving it the heave ho.

-What if they come here, we get them all settled in their new place, and they freak and die? This makes me nervous. I can barely keep a plant alive. I buy fake flowers. I have a fake mini fish tank in my office..hello, sign, no?

-Maybe it's because I used to be a swimmer? I've snorkeled? It's all hitting too close to home?

-Or maybe it's the thought of the cleaning process? I dunno though...I'm girly in a lot of ways- ie- I like pink, and accessories, and eye shadow... but not in the can't clean the bathroom, or scrub the floor kind of way. So I don't mind getting dirty.. but maybe the thought of emptying a tank and making sure the little guys (all 30 of them) live while I do it... makes me nervous?

-B says that she has a big attachment to these guys- "they grew up in this tank!"... she can't just let them go... she can't flush them, she can't bring them to a pet store and give them away. And I understand this. Part of my worry is that Ii will end up being more attached to these fish than I'm ready for. And they'll be more important to me and my well being and happiness than I am to them (what do they care?)... and if/"when" (and B says they WILL)-gasp!, die.... what will I do? ohmygod.

Honestly, I don't know what it is, but wow, even writing about it right now is giving me the feeling! I'm ligitatamely feeling nervous about this. Maybe I just don't want to disappoint B? I feel like I would be a bad fish caretaker, and she'll come home from France to an empty tank? Here I was the one that offered up my fish babysitting services months ago. Not sure what (if any?) hidden meaning there is to all this. Maybe I should just suck it up and do it, it could be good for me, right?


Samantha said...

This is great!!! And don't worry - you are going to be a great fish-sitter!!! Try to get your hands on a fish light and you won't have to worry too much about dead fish. But you're gonna be great - don't worry!! All you have to remember to do is feed them and you'll be golden. :)

B said...

Mega :) I will teach you everything you need to know about fish...and that might take about 7 minutes. Don't worry about it :) No pressure to take the fish!! Just think of it as a built in night light every now and then...and soothing running water sounds. These little fishies will nibble at your fingertips when you dip them in their tank. It turned out to be a fun hobby for me...but I don't want you to think that if you don't take the fish I'll stop talking to you. If you kill them...that's a different story. Just kidding...but worries. :) Love ya! *B*