Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Honey, What's on the Fish Tank Tonight?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Honey, What's on the Fish Tank Tonight?

Article excerpt

This January, my husband and I returned to the United States after four years in Japan. We were thrilled to be back within nonstop flying distance of family and friends, and - given my husband's fanaticism for any professional sports team from Boston - to live in a city where the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox now could all be followed on prime time instead of tape delay at 2 a.m. Having made do in Tokyo with a hodgepodge of furniture that we ultimately distributed in a sayonara sale to friends, we were also excited to start from scratch decorating a home. (Not to mention buying appliances where all of the instructions on the remote controls would be in English.) Given that our apartment was connected to ESPN before we even signed the lease, it was inevitable that we'd launch our new decor, and our return to American culture, with the placement of a carefully selected television. Instead, we ended up with fish.

The fish and their tank were only meant to be accessories to our family room. With all the acquisitions required to make our house a home, buying fish was the natural way to ease into purchases requiring closer scrutiny. The purchase of Buenos Aires Tetras, at $1.99 a fish, required less deliberation than the long-dreamed-of Labrador puppy. And investing in an aquarium, including the trickling, "whisper" filter, demanded negligible research compared with that necessary for buying flat-screen technology or surround sound.

The fish were given a corner of our den, away from the algae- producing light of the window, but not so far along the wall facing our couch that they would occupy that perfect spot for a TV. Our new pets joined our home just before the Super Bowl, and we talked of buying a TV in time for the Patriots-Rams game. But to avoid rushing into a purchase, we decided to watch it at a friend's house. …

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