Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Fish Story

My father was not much of a hands on kind of dad, but he did make an effort from time to time, probably at the insistance of my mother.

One such time he took me to the store to buy goldfish. We picked out a fish bowl and  four fish, two standard goldfish and a couple of fancier looking bug-eyed fish. This was not a fancy fish store but more of a variety store where you picked  fish out of various bowls with a net, put them in a box full of water that looked like a chinese take-out cartoon and headed on your way.

As it turned out, our selection process was a little less than perfect. The morning after I got the fish the two goldfish had disappeared, apparently having been eaten by the bug-eyed fish. A tough lesson, but c'est la vie.

The two bug-eyed fish fared well for the next few days, until I tried to clean the fish bowl. Before I even got started with the cleaning process I dropped the bowl and it shattered on the kitchen floor. This was immediately fatal for one of the bug-eyed fish and somehow resulted in me cutting a small chunk out of my ring finger near the knuckle. The other bug-eyed fish survived, but he had only one of his buggy-eyes left. He survived, briefly, with just one eye, but ended up succumbing to his injuries.  

I was sadly left with no fish and a scar on my finger. The fish are, mostly, long forgotten and the scar is barely visible these many years later. It is just visible enough to remind me that my dad did make an effort.


  1. Oh no, you at least know your dad wanted you to have a good experience. Yikes, cut your finger and only one eye left in the remaining fish. Quite a story. And quite a memory for you, kinda bitter and sweet huh.

  2. what a sweet memory about your dad. But I know deep down he loved you so very much and would do anything for you. I think men of that generation just didn't know how to be a hands on dad but they were ever so faithful to their families with going to work and being a good "bread winner"

    fish are such a hard thing to have as a pet I do believe


  3. That is kinda sad girl! Most men back then were like that... they went to work and provided for their families... and left the 'mothering' to the mother! lol

  4. Awe, I agree with Chris. That is a little sad. It's a fish eat fish world. Dad's were a lot different back then.

  5. I think that was the way dads were back in the day. Mine too. Thank goodness today men [at least my man] are much more involved. He still doesn't know what size shoes the kids wear or their schedules, but he takes them to ball/hockey games, to Europe for a learning/sight seeing trip, and is always willing to share the carpooling. I'd talk about changing diapers and late night stuff, but that seems ages ago.... but then too, he was very involved. Sweet story!!

  6. A very touching story, Jeannie. I agree with everyone about dads back then. Some dads instilled this value so well in their sons, that it continues in families today. I think our kids are learning how vital hands on will be for their children. Thanks for sharing.

  7. My dad was NOT hands on either. I can totally understand that. I was the oldest so he was still learning, but by the time the 4th child rolled around, he was actually playing games with her... :)
    Sweet that you at least have this memory with your dad!

  8. Actually, I was laughing as I read this, almost like you were telling a REAL fish tale, because surely this could not be true! But apparently it was, so I'm sorry about the fish...and glad that your dad made the effort to connect. I think it's especially hard for some dads to find things to do with their daughters, so this was a neutral, generic and sweet activity!

    My grandsons bought me a male beta blue for my birthday...we named it Lou-ee the Blue-ee. I have it over my computer desk and love watching him float around.

  9. Poor girl
    mean bug eyed fish
    Hardy is still alive here at Grammies (o:

    Dad's of our generation really weren't trained on the kid front
    I bet he felt bad about it
    I had to train my husband because his dad never played in any way
    so it did not come naturally to him

  10. love fish stories,
    cute post!

  11. good thing he didn't let you pick out the gerbil's. they can be pretty feisty, and fast too!

  12. That was a sweet memory. I think dads in our generation's youth had very little to do with parenting. Their job was to go to work and mow the lawn. Many will be able to identify with it.

  13. That is both sweet and sad but I love that you still remember it and relate it to your Dad spending time with you.

    We had an aquarium when I was very little. My dad and I would sit together in silence and watch the fish together--SILENCE, I have no idea why neither of us ever talked but it was time together :-)

    Happy long weekend,

  14. A brief sweet moment. Thankfully times have changed and dads really are more present these days!

  15. I won't be leaving any fish with you when I go on holidays!!...

    Great story though :0)

  16. Great memories - goldfish must be reincarnated otherwise heaven will be full of them.

  17. Fish murderer!

    LOL, just kidding Jeanie! They deserved it, damn little cannibals!

    So sorry I've been MIA. We've been so busy with company and stuff, I've really all but abandoned my blogging. But I'm back and I've come straight over!

    Missed you my good friend. So happy to be back with you again.

  18. That story is so sad. Your dad probably felt worse than you did.

  19. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry at that story.

    It made my heart hurt...just a tiny bit.

    I'm glad to see you back.