Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Favorites: Evolution

As newlyweds, Chris and I often ventured on creative (read: free) dates to the local pet store. We’d wander through the isles, crunching stray cat food underfoot, and inevitably fall head-over-heels in love with nine puppies, seven kittens, a few parakeets, one or two lizards, maybe even a rat. Our lovesick voices jumped two octaves as we cooed, “Hi puppy(/kitty/itty bitty lizard/fuzzy cute thing)! Hi! You’re cute! You want to live with us, don’t you?! Hi puppy wuppy. Oh, that’s a good boy. You’re a cutie.”

We eventually succumbed and bought a “pet.”

Sparky was a sophisticated red beta fish who lived in a vase with coordinating red glass rocks. And floating atop his house was our first green house plant.

Although non-reactive to our coos, Sparky was a resilient little thing. One Christmas break we brought him to Colorado to meet the family. Having no convenient transportation devices, we were forced to remove a blade from the nut chopper and secure him in the glass jar. The method worked until Chris unloaded the trunk and tipped the chopper, draining Sparky’s water and leaving him flopping helplessly against the glass walls.

Dying fish in hand, we hurdled the hedges, jumped down four stairs and barreled through our front door, frantically searching for bottled water. Sparky lay gummy and tired in the bottom of the jar until we drenched him with a giant swig of water. We stared at the horizontal floating fish for five minutes until he regained his bearings and began his usual routine of swimming…and pooping.

Did I mention that he pooped ALL THE TIME? His lovely vase was more often than not murky and filled with smelly floaties, which was good for the plant and bad for the fish parents. I regularly promised my life away to get out of cleaning his vase. (I’m still paying.)

Eventually we ditched the plant to control the odors.

That didn’t help.

Then we ceased showing love and affection.

Then Sparky died.

And Chris flushed him.

We had a (tiny) hole in our hearts and instead of filling it with Sparky 3.0 (we did get a 2.0 -- HIS name was Isabelle), we'd walk around the garden store, falling head-over-heels in love with every columbine, begonia and orchid we passed.

We are now the proud parents of four African violets, a Christmas cactus, two jade plants, a bonsai, a spiky African green thing, several planters of assorted pansies, allysum, dahlias and geraniums. Oh and lots of basil.

But no fish.

Evolution from fish to plants is my favorite.

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Chris said...

Poor Sparky.

Ashley McNair said...

Your balcony is the best-looking one in the building! I love the flowers! You guys are pro-gardeners!