By Diane Ako
My cousin Val just gave me two new varieties of guppies. We must be related because we seem to go through similar phases at similar times, and of course, because we share our things, we end up increasing our collection of whatever it is we're into. That is why we have menageries for homes.
Lately, we've both gotten into fancy guppies. That was coincidence. Just so happened that my dad was thinning out his stock of red guppies and let me have a bunch. Just so happened she had friends who gave her blue, Russian, and cobra guppies, and then she bought a breeding pair of goldens. She has a rainbow of fish at her house.
I went over to see this newly converted bathroom that's now dedicated to fish. We swapped our extra fish. I now have a new bucket of blues outside, and two bowls of golden and cobra babies in the kitchen window. My reds are in a corner of the house. My new purple Betta, named Auberge, is on the kitchen counter. My fish-obsessed dad is proud.
Out husbands think we're crazy. I tell Claus I'm just being a good Chinese. It was my people, after all, who began raising fish as pets in the 10th century. That doesn't work for Val because her husband is Chinese, too. I'm suggesting she remind him she could be out buying designer handbags!