For my 22nd birthday, my mother surprised me with the most hilarious and ridiculous present I’ve ever received in my life. Here’s what happened:
Friday the 13th, the day of my birth 22 years prior, I should have known something weird would come from being born on this day (like my liiiiife), my mother and I took the day to do our favorite things, book and clothing shopping. We spent the majority of the day looking at stuff for Europe, mom and dad were leaving in February for a trip, and then did a little clothing shopping for moi. After the day was over, mom had a few more errands to run so I went home and got ready for dinner for that evening.
All dolled up in my little jumper, so what if I’m 22, I can still rock a jumper, I was waiting on mom to come back to the house and get me for dinner. She comes in and calls my name. I walked to the kitchen where she was and she stood at the door with this very large cardboard box. She had “that” look on her face. I stood there looking at her and said,
“mom? What’s in the box?”
“it’s your present!”
“I thought the clothing and stuff were my presents this year?”
“no, I got you one more…”
Dun, dun, duuuunnnnn…
As she starts pulling things out of the box, I start to become a little concerned. Rocks? A bamboo stalk? Is that a display box?!
The last thing she whips out is a clear plastic box, like ones used for storage, and a bag inside. I’m standing there and I know I can feel my heart sinking. I. Am. Terrified.
Small back story: my mother is one of the most thoughtful people in the world. I don’t think I’ve ever really appreciated it until close to recently. And even now I fail at seeing how precious she really is.
Thoughtfulness: when I lived in auburn, I had a pet fish, 3 really, but 2 died from ick. I barely mourned over them because they weren’t with me very long. However, I had this other fish, Thaddeus, who was a precious little tiger barb. I felt like it was appropriate, auburn tigers, tiger fish… anyway, I had Thaddeus and he was so cute. He would swim like crazy whenever my roommate or I entered the room. I think we watched Finding Nemo one night and he must have been paying attention because when I cleaned out his bowl later that week, he jumped down the drain. Freaking out, I call my mother and ask her, through tears, what I should do. She says, and I quote, “just get him out with a fork.” Me: (sob, sob, sob…) “YOU ARE EVIL!!”
All that to say, Thaddeus died; he found out only drains near the ocean lead to the ocean. All the other ones lead to sewage systems or to the nasty, evil duck infested pond back behind my house.
*Back story over*
Mom pulls out the little bag and two creatures are floating around in it.
“mom…? What the heck is that?”
“…like from our back yard?” we had an over population of those little tree frogs that would reign over our back porch at night; it was disgusting, but my mom thought they were adorable.
“no, clara! They’re African water frogs!!”
Puzzled look: “ohhh, naturally.”
“you love frogs.”
“no, mom. You love frogs. I love fish.”
I start laughing because I can literally not believe this is happening. Tears are pouring down my face, I don’t think my mother feels that this is any laughing matter and is bemused as to why I find humor in this at all.
“clara, you said you wanted fish, but I saw these at brookstone and thought, ‘she’s quirky. She’d probably love these.’”
Insert me falling to the floor, in a heap, still crying from laughing.
The rest of the night followed with me at dinner, and after a margarita, still laughing with tears, talking to my sisters asking why they allowed her do this, and hanging out with a friend later still crying from laughter.
The joke’s on me. They’re still alive, and one of my friends recently looked up the life expectancy for those specific frogs: as long as 20 years. Blessed little Minerva and Gottfried, the best/worst and weirdest present I’ve ever received in my life.