Monday, July 16, 2012

ApheIchthyophobia

When I was in the first grade, the class had a small aquarium full of guppies.  At the end of the school year our teacher let us take some home.  I remember being thrilled to have my own pets, not shared pets like our two dogs.  My mother got a small aquarium from somewhere. It couldn't have been new because of ongoing financial issues from my dad being in and out of work. I digress and digest: it's called multitasking, folks. So we got a glass box, full of water and colorful rocks, to throw live animals in. Yep, my Lite Brite didn't stand a chance.

I was no good at cleaning the tank and dealing with the dead, but I was sure as hell good at feeding the damn things.  For some reason, these fish started leaping out of the tank. It scared the Jesus out of me.  Bejesus was still safely inside, awaiting for that encounter in third grade with the hobos in Woodland Park. I know my brother and sisters were getting fed up with taking care of my pets; eventually, the responsibility of taking care of these fish on my own would be unavoidable. 

So one day I come home from my friend's house to see a couple of fish flopping around on the floor. I tried real hard to get them into the net, but I couldn't. I tried grabbing them with my hands, but something about the struggle and the fish moving around made me lose my shit entirely. I ran into my room screaming and didn't come out until my mother got home. So, dead fish on the floor and me having emotional problems, my mom took care of the dead fish and then "suggested" that the older kids have fish as pets.  

To this day I still have to fight not "losing my shit" when having to handle live fish. I don't care to touch dead fish, either. I do it when I absolutely have to, but I usually let someone else handle them.  I think I can live with that.


7 comments:

Outdoorsy Girl said...

I had always wondered about your fear of handling fish. This explains a lot. If we ever go fishing together, I'll unhook your fish for you if you keep a lookout for snakes for me.

I wish I could get to the bottom of my snake phobia.

Outdoorsy Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christielli said...

It's good when you know where a phobia comes from.

Guppies are kind of crazy in the way they reproduce very quickly. I actually had a colleague try to pawn some off on me this year. I said no.

J. Kwiatkowski-Schuler said...

I was afraid I would kill our fish when we got it. Now it's a year and seven months later. I'm just waiting it out. I'd really rather have a new coffee pot where the fish tank is.

The Grunt said...

O-Girl~ I appreciate the unhooking offer. As for your fear of snakes, maybe Freud would have something to say about that.

Christielli~ Man, that's the other thing I remember about those dang fish. The aquarium went from eight fish to a butt load in no time.

Julie~ Fish have no souls.

Jules said...

Describe what losing your shit actually means. Cuz I think that might be embarrassing as an adult... perhaps bring some depends with you when you go fishing from now on.

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