I am getting a fish and I am naming it Harriet. I recently saw the movie Harriet and am now a super fan. I do this. I know nothing (due to my resistance to actually learn anything during my formal education years), then I see a movie, read an article, or see a play… and from that moment on, I cannot learn enough. I learned American history from becoming obsessed with the musical Hamilton. I am currently in my Underground Railroad/Harriet Tubman period. Since there are no plans for more children, and we already have two cats and a dog, I will get a fish… because I must name something Harriet.
Harriet the fish will do fine in our home, we have a pretty good track record for fish. Carl the fish was won at a town fair many moons ago. One of those events where clubs, sports teams, boosters, non-profits all sell something or run games in order to make money. The Boy Scouts sell sausage and pepper sandwiches in a tent run by parents and kids… it is a throw back to small town life at its best. Back to Carl the fish. One year, after running a booth for some cause all morning I needed to fill in for my husband grilling at the Boy Scout tent. Our daughter who was probably 10 or so was on her own, checking in every once in a while in person, those lovely days before cell phones. Midday she came flying up to my grill. “Mom! I am leaving this here ok? Bye!” A wave and a smile and she was off. Her stuff on the curb, halfway under a grill, on the first really warm day of the year. Hours later, the sun going down, exhausted and covered in grill grease, I went to grab her stuff to head home for a cozy night. I was sickened to find…. a fish…the poor thing had been boiling in the sun, under a grill, in a barely tied plastic bag and a few dribbles of water. The bag was so hot it felt like it would melt away. Oh. My. Gosh. Olivia came bopping over excited to introduce me her prize… “his name is Carl, we have to go to the pet store to get him food and a bowl”. Well it was a no brainer this fish would probably not last the walk home, let alone the night, but she would have none of it. She knew he would be fine, she just knew. So, we went to the pet store, mostly to avoid this becoming a session with her therapist when she turned thirty, “my mother was too cheap to buy fish food for my first pet, and THAT is why I have trouble forming relationships”. Anyway, we put the bowl with poor half cooked Carl on a shelf in the kitchen… and we waited for him to die. He didn’t die. He lived for years. People would forget to feed him, he lived. The cat found him, he lived. Carl the fish was immortal, until we told the poor cat sitter not to worry about Carl, “just give him a sprinkle of food, we promise… you cannot kill Carl”. And with that assurance, Carl died. Ever the fish to do the opposite of what you said, he died as soon as we were sure he couldn’t. And now, after writing all of this… I am getting a succulent and I am naming it Harriet.
Harriet the succulent showed up in the mail today… a bit worn from the cross country trip… she will be saved. Thanks to Ella and Jacob for this lovely valentine.