Monday, October 1, 2012

STDs make lovely birthday gifts

My gentleman friend's offspring is celebrating his eleventh birthday today, an alarming fact considering he was nine when we began dating.

I'm going to leave that poorly-used pronoun so you can decide if I'm a creepy pedophile, or merely mind-numbed by the number of times I flagged awkward pronoun usage in manuscripts I judged for a writing contest this weekend.

For the record, my gentleman friend is a consenting adult, and his offspring is celebrating his second two-digit birthday. Since I'm still pretty new to this kid thing, I sought my gentleman friend's counsel on selecting an appropriate gift for his spawn.

"What about giving him crabs?" I suggested as I perused the internet a few nights ago.

My gentleman friend didn't look up from his computer. "Did you just suggest a venereal disease as a potential gift for my son?"

"No, hermit crabs," I said, pointing at a photo of a beautifully-decorated terrarium advertised for sale on craigslist. "They're pretty low-maintenance as far as pets go, and it might be fun."

He politely refrained from pointing out that we already have that brand of fun in the form of five cats, a dog, and two large fish tanks. In fact, he agreed it would be a fine gift for me to present his offspring, so I promptly emailed the man who posted the craigslist ad.

After a bit of haggling, we settled on a price and agreed to meet in the parking lot of a nearby fitness facility. I arrived first, and when I spotted the car he'd described on the phone, headed over to claim my new purchase.

"Are you the guy with the crabs?" I called as he opened his car door.

Two strangers entering the gym turned and stared. The seller frowned and glanced toward his trunk. "I have the terrarium," he announced loudly enough for the strangers to hear. "Also known as a crabitat."

"Right. A crabitat. I have the cash right here."

At this point, things started feeling a bit like a drug deal. Not that most drug deals involve shredded coconut husks and invertebrates with claws. As we retrieved the tank from the back of the man's car, he kindly shared tips on proper care and feeding of hermit crabs.

"It's important to keep things moist," he said. "Wetter is better."

"Absolutely," I agreed, trying not to snicker.

"Need help carrying it to your car?"

"Nah, I've got it."

I hoisted the large tank into my arms and got halfway back to my car before realizing the tie on the side of my wrap skirt had come undone. A smarter woman would have set the terrarium down on the pavement and retied the skirt.

I opted to bare half my backside to the patrons of Xcel Fitness. I finally got the crabitat loaded into my car, got my skirt retied, and headed home to request my gentleman friend's help in moving the terrarium.

"Did everything go OK?" he asked.

"Definitely," I said. "I showed everyone my underwear, but at least I got the crabs."

"Only you," he said, and carried the tank up the stairs.


Patty Blount said...


Lynnanne said...

It's only Monday, but so far this week, you're the only one I know who's proud of getting crabs. Just be sure to keep 'em away from the toilet seat -- could be trouble. :)

Linda G. said...

Ha! You have obviously found the right gentleman friend. ;)

Karen said...

Don't stop writing!! I count on your posts for my daily laugh. I never knew there were crabitats either - only you! and please rememeber that wetter is better when writing too!

~Sia McKye~ said...

LOL! That cracked me up. See, I would have had to set the thing down or they would have seen more than the wisp of underwear. sigh.

So, I bet you keep your sweetheart vastly entertained with all your exploits and let's not forget your two former roommates.
thanks for the laughter!

middle child said...

Well told and funny as hell!
I thank you for asking you gentleman friend if it would be ok to get those as a gift. My ex dropped off my kids with those things without asking. His only comment was that when they pinch you and hold on....just run your hand under cold water. What?????

Judy,Judy,Judy. said...

Your life is definitely fodder for snickering! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Aurelia Blue said...

See, I am just so glad to have found you, my dear. I would have been laughing my @$$ off by the time we got to wetter is better. People always told me I had a dirty mind, growing up... like it was a bad thing. You don't think so, right? ;) Did the young man enjoy his gift? (I almost just asked if he enjoyed his crabs...sorry, I'll just go now...)