Sometimes when my Drew wants to justify a special purchase, he claims Andy wants it.
That was the supposed thrust behind Drew’s treasured fish tank, although Drew had told me for years that he personally hoped to later procure an aquarium.
Drew’s dreams were realized on a very special day this past August when he purchased the aquarium that now houses “Andy’s” beloved fish.
(Let’s assume it’s even kosher to call the rectangular, 10-gallon, glass shoebox sitting atop Andy’s dresser an aquarium).
It was an elaborate fish finding experience, as most experiences go with Drew.
Drew could never just show up to an event he’s greatly anticipated. He plans ahead, talks about the treasured event for days preceding, lays out his clothes (and equipment, in the event it’s sports related), and always arrives early to assess the environment.
This is precisely how our weekend went as we made trips around the city to various pet stores in search of the perfect aquarium for Andy.
Before we had even made our first stop at a pet shop, we participated in a lengthy discussion about what sort of water figurines Drew hoped would be available.
Drew giddily speculated that we could find an intriguing figurine that would appear animated, as it bobbed with the water.
Additional details concerning the aquarium were discussed ad nauseam:
Will a colorful aquarium be too flashy?
Will the summer heat strain the fish as they transition to their new home?
Will Drew need to immediately purchase a vacuum?
Will multiple figurines stress the fish?
And oh, the anxiety of choosing salt versus fresh water–Drew vacillated to and fro on this issue, diligently researching both.
Drew eventually decided on the perfect aquarium starter kit. We raced home, so he could assemble his new friends’ abode.
He informed me that he would first confirm the aquarium had achieved a desired level of homeostasis before we could obtain the fish.
Each day, Drew–with patience and great anticipation–carefully assessed the quality of the water and tank environment until he eventually deemed the aquarium suitable for procuring four of his treasured fish.
You can imagine how extensive the fish selection process was. I will tell you that Drew is hyper-critical of how pet shops care for their fish.
After deciding on four very special fish, Drew ever so carefully helped each fish acclimate to the tank environment by gently placing the fish, in its individual incubator, afloat the aquarium water for a time, and gingerly guiding the individual fish into its new home.
You may know this about my Drew, but he can be fairly reserved–even stoic–in public settings, excluding sports events. So the exuberant smile Drew wore ear to ear as he watched his treasured fish move about the cabin was truly unmatched.
Drew watched the fish flourish.
And watched them.
And watched them some more.
Until they weren’t flourishing.
To Drew’s extreme chagrin, there were a handful of casualties, largely due to a certain oppressive fish.
Well, if there is anything my Drew hates with a fiery passion, it’s bullies. I sometimes call Drew the “sheriff” because he is very tender-hearted and champions the cause of the helpless (Mostly animals. Rolls eyes.) in the spirit of justice.
Exasperated, Drew knew he needed to extract the renegade fish, but he could not bring himself to flush a seemingly vivacious and flourishing creature. So naturally, we drove to the ends of the earth, to a pet store that houses a tank for misfit fish.
It warmed Drew’s heart.
While there have been additional casualties, Drew has mostly restored the respite for his cherished fish, although his concern for the fish has not dwindled.
My husband has not used the vacuum once at our current house, but about every other week, he asks if I think it’s time for him to vacuum the fish tank. Once nearly 30 days have passed, I can find Drew gleefully vacuuming the fish tank before work.
Drew is also incessantly fixated on the tank’s water quality. He calls from work, more than once a week, to ask if the water is looking clear.
“Do the fish look lively today?”
I wish I could recount how many times he has asked me if I’ve fed the fish.
“Have you fed the fish today?”
He also interrogates me about precisely how much I feed them, although he’s cooled off a smidge after I garnered research proving Drew was overfeeding, and likely killing, his beloved fish.
Drew’s latest concern is how quickly the water evaporates from the tank. He is very perplexed about this.
Like most of my Drew’s ideas, the tank has unfortunately been a hit with Andy. So much so that Andy will gleefully show you his fish–which our Andy very articulately pronounces as $h*!.
To our delight, fish are plastered on the walls of our church nursery, causing Drew and I to beam many a time as Andy proudly pronounces his version of fish for multiple nursery volunteers.
Now, you must be wondering why I’ve recounted this lengthy level of detail about our experience with the fish.
It’s a legitimate question.
And as much as it hurts to admit, I confess that I harbor intense jealousy for these aquatic, gill-bearing, limbless creatures.
Maybe it’s the level of delight Drew effortlessly exhibits toward them.
Perhaps it’s the extreme lengths of concern he expresses about them.
Or the amount of care Drew has shown these creatures.
At the end of the day, I suppose some people have fit goals, mom goals, career goals, financial goals, and the like.
I have fish goals.
To be loved like my husband loves his fish.