For about a month Nonna has been asking me to get her fish for Mothers Day.
While I know Nonna’s love for her family cannot be topped…her love for fish is a close second. When I was younger, she used to buy fish and name them after her grandchildren. Everytime one would kick it all five of us would scramble to figure out which grandfish died…Nonna would randomly declare which one went to heaven (usually whichever kid wasn’t there) and then say ominously…”you next…”
This cycle continued regularly until the Great Fish Massacre of 2009.
Last summer Nonna invited a friend to her home. This friend is a cause of great anxiety in Nonna’s life. This “friend” is actually the closest thing Nonna has to an arch nemisis…But like the old saying goes…keep Jesus close, and your enemies closer…(or something like that). Anyway, Nonna invited her friend over for lunch and as she was walking her friend to the door, Nonna happened to point out her fish. Her friend said hello to the fish and then left.
The next morning, all three fish were dead.
Aside from the distress this naturally caused Nonna, it also confirmed her suspicions that this friend is the devil incarnate. I mean, she sorta has a point.
Every since the great fish massacre of 2009, the tank has been filled with water…yet sadly empty. Not because we haven’t offered to buy her fish…but because she was not sure of how to assure this tank was not cursed. She conducted what I will call an exorcism on her tank. This involved rearranging the various college decals she placed on the tank, cleaning the stones, rearranging the fake coral reef and filling the water approximately 10 days in advance of mother’s day to assure the water was at room temperature for the grandfish to arrive.
And then, on Saturday…they arrived.
Nonna, Little Immo and I went to Petsmart (is it Pets Mart or Pet Smart? I’ll never know…and it really bothers me). After fifteen minutes of examining the fish and their prices…(naturally Nonna attempted to bargain shop for fish)…she settled upon three very cute and reasonably priced little guys. We flagged over the sales lady and Nonna proceeded to ask her about 4000 questions…
Nonna: “How long my fish gonna live for?”
Lady: These should last a while.
Nonna: I want them to live forever….
Lady: They will live for a while.
Nonna: One time I had a fish that lasted for two years.
Lady: that’s nice.
Nonna: Tell me, how long you gonna leave the fish in the bag before you let them out.
Lady: You put them in the water for about ten minutes.
Nonna: I got the tank ready.
Nonna: You like workin here?
Lil Immo: I think Nonna wants a job here…
Nonna proceeded to stand less than six inches away from the Nonna and help the woman package the fish up. At one point she grabbed the bag from the woman’s hand in an attempt to “help her” fill the bag up with more water. Finally, the process was over and we traveled back to introduce the little guys to their new home.
Unfortunately, Nonna didn’t name the fish after her grandchildren this year. She only named one. She named him “Obama.”
Yep, you guessed it…the fish is black.