This will be our third Christmas together. We have ‘always’ been together on Christmas. We – however – have never been together on either of our birthdays. We have never managed to be together on our anniversary, nor were we ever together on President’s day or Thanksgiving.
So when A and I do get to be together, we always make a point out of going to the aquarium. That’s our way of showing each other that even though we’re not together on the big holidays, we’re together then and there. For us it’s like renewing of our vows for each other.
When we went to Brussels two weeks ago, I was a bit hesitant to go to the aquarium, not because of A… It’s just that I never heard anyone say, ‘oh, you HAVE to see the Brussels aquarium’ (but then again, no one said that about the Paris aquarium either…). So yes, we did end up going, after all, it is our tradition.
It took us quite a while to find the aquarium-entrance, but when we did, we both got super excited. That’s our thing, that’s what we do together, and when we’re in a aquarium, the rest of the world simply doesn’t matter anymore. I wish you could say that about the fish in this aquarium as well. It was a rather depressing scene. Low ceilings, 84 tanks, 900 fish, stuffed together fishing around together, I guess. See, here’s the problem: A and I were used to dolphins, manta rays, sharks, crocodiles, biiiig tanks, seaturtles, all the good stuff but what we got, was indeed an aquarium. Like you and I (although I don’t own one) would have at home. A tiny selection of (maybe) rare fish and shell fish, some exotic plants, some exotic creatures (frogs and snails…) and a gift shop full with every single gift you could possibly get, as long as there was something fishy (read: fish-related) on it.
It wasn’t a disappointment that hit me, nor was there a sadness over the not-so-exciting-afternoon-activity. It was a happiness, a relief, here is why: After wandering around for 30 minutes or so (I don’t think we spend much longer at the aquarium) I realized that I was holding A’s hand. That we were together and that HE was the one, that got to experience this aquarium with me, no one else (mainly because no one else was at the aquarium) and it made me happy. Because after countless aquariums we have been at (6 – to be exact) it’s still A, who’s with me and I don’t ever want to miss him, even if the next aquarium we get to go to is indeed at someone’s home. That’s just our thing.