Everyone needs a hobby, something they enjoy in their spare time. For my husband, in addition to hip hop dance, his hobby is fish.
But not cute little guppies or goldfish. No. He likes big, ugly fish, like the ones that have balloon foreheads (do fish actually have foreheads? Whatever), dragon fish, tiger fish, and fish that can grow to half my size, if you have a tank big enough. Shiver.When I first met him, he had a small-ish tank in his apartment and had just gotten four of the balloon-head fish (which he named after the penguins from Madagascar, by the way). Over the months, one tank became two, and the occupants of his apartment included a couple of dragon fish (one of which committed fishy suicide by jumping out of the tank when he was away and I haven’t let him live down), some tiger fish, a turtle, and a couple of sting rays (OK, I’ll admit, the sting rays are cool).
Now that we are living together, he has started making noises about a tank in our apartment so he doesn’t have to make the trip to his old place to take care of his fish every couple of days. There was even mention of somehow hooking up the tank to the toilet to save water (something about putting the fresh water into the tank and the waste water from the tank into the toilet since we don’t need to have clean water in the toilet…I don’t know, he’sthe engineer in this relationship).
Luckily for me (for now), he has noted the size of the doorways and stairwell and the fact that we live on the fourth floor of an apartment building with only stairs and decided that the size of tank that he would like will not fit. And no, I haven’t suggested the tank be built in the apartment or put in through the window or anything like I know some of his ‘friends’ from an online fish forum have done (I’ve seen the photos to prove it). I’m a bad wife, I know.Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to having a pet. I love pets; I would just prefer them to be cuddly and cute and soft and fun to play with, which fish decidedly are not. I would love to have a cat or a dog – but I also know that at this point it would be irresponsible, since we wouldn’t have the time to properly take care of one.
Despite this, we’ve spent time discussing it and my husband would much prefer a dog over a cat. I am more of a dog person as well (although let’s face it, they are much higher maintenance than cats), but was curious as to his reasoning.
I know he’s uncomfortable around cats. Once, when we were over at a colleague’s house for dinner, drinks, cards, and visiting, he laid down on her bed for a bit late in the evening (by cards, I should have written ‘drinking games’ and he was feeling the effects). Her two cats naturally headed over to investigate, sniffing and staring, which he responded to by swatting them away and grumbling about cats. In his state, he was quite convinced they were going to claw his eyes out or something.
So I know he is uncomfortable around them, but I didn’t know the depths of his dislike until I asked him what exactly the problem was.
And that about settles that discussion.
(Note: When I asked him to give me a few pictures of his fish to use in this post, he took nearly half an hour to choose them. He told me he wanted to make sure that he chose good photos that showed people “how they are such good pets.” Yeah, I’m still not convinced…)