We went to a local aquarium on our day off together. It's only open two days out of the week, admission is free, and there's a whale skeleton hanging in the foyer of the building. I went straight for the octopus. "Please direct me to your nearest octopus," I asked a volunteer, and she showed me a sleeping baby octopus named "Quatro."
"She only has four legs. They didn't think they'd grow back, but they are. And they're so small. Little nubs."
"Awwwwwwww," I squealed.
I looked at her. She was sleeping soundly in her tank. Eyes shut peacefully. Her visible gill, opening and shutting in a steady rhythm.
My husband had been steered off to another tank by another volunteer-- an older gentleman who was eager to impart many nautical wisdoms to one who'd listen. I saw them both enthusiastically nodding their heads as they studied a particular fish over yonder. So much wisdoms being passed.
I wished my octopus would wake up. I looked over at her neighbor tank and saw a small, orange fish moving erratically through its seaweed garden. Unusual, I mused. I've never seen such a derpy lil fish before.
"Pardon me, could you tell me what this fish is called?"
By now, my husband and his new teacher had moved to my vicinity.
"Why, this guy. This guy right here is a SPINY LUMPSUCKER," he told me. "I've been looking for that guy."
"Wow. That's quite rude. Not sure why you're calling him such nasty names, but what is his species name?"
"That's what he is. A spiny. Lump. Sucker."
"Okay, I see I'm not going to get much assistance from you. You clearly have a personal quarrel with this fish, so I guess I'll seek knowledge elsewhere."
"That's his actual name."
"Sure. Sure, it is, Frank."
And then a lady behind us asked the entire room, "THIS GREY THING, IS IT AN ANEMONE?!"
To which my husband's life mentor responded, "Why yes. That is an anemone. They come in an array of colors. Not just pinks and reds."
Yo, the ocean is a magical place. We need to honor it and stop dumping so much waste into it. The whales, and octopuses, and spiny lumpsuckers are depending on us. And you didn't hear it from me, but mermaids may or may not be plotting to overthrow humankind's dominion over the planet in the near future. Just some krill for thought.