Being judged over goldfish

judgemental lookYou’ve heard of parents being shamed and judged – the term “mummy shaming” is thrown around in the media every other day. Parents are shamed for what they wear to drop their kids off at school, and what they pack in their child’s lunch box. Well, its just been taken to a whole new level.

I was recently shamed and judged over goldfish. Yes, goldfish.

Here’s how it played out.

Negotiate with seven year old and agree to allow him to have two pet goldfish if he can listen regularly and do the jobs he is supposed to do without me sounding like a broken record. I’m already happy to have pet fish in the house and figure if I can get some behaviour modification sorted in the process, well that’s just a bonus.

He’s super excited and motivated to get his fish. Names are already picked out – inspired by Star Wars, of course.

I have a beautiful, big glass bowl that we’ve previously used as a fish bowl. The bowl survived being packed and moved house nine times, majority of those moves being interstate. But then I manage to smash the bowl accidentally just by picking it up. Talented, I know.

We decide that the day hasn’t been crazy enough, so let’s bundle everyone up and drive to the local pet store to buy a new big bowl, all the stuff we need, and get the goldfish too. Of course as we walk out the front door, the toddler has a meltdown over nothing in particular so my husband and I are temporarily deafened. We should have abandoned the plan then and there and just gone back in the house. It was a sign that things were not going to go smoothly.

But we pushed on. We were on a mission for goldfish.

Arrive at pet store to discover they only sell fancy-pants tanks, with equally fancy-pants price tags. Staff are of no assistance, they don’t know if they normally stock fish bowls.

Find another pet store online and call them to see if they have fish bowls. There is no way I’m prepared to drive 40 minutes with a toddler who may decide to yell the entire journey. No luck, but even better – husband finds an aquarium store nearby, so off we go.

The kids are beside themselves with excitement when we walk in the store. There are tanks with fish everywhere. Tropical fish, goldfish, weird looking fish. Toddler is almost hypnotised by the tropical fish, but we know the spell could be broken at any time. We had to move fast. This manoeuvre had been planned with precision.

Staff member who approaches us appears friendly. Fantastic, we’d be walking out of here in no time with everything we need. Woohoo!

I enquire if they stock fish bowls. Bad move. You’d think from the look on his face, I’d asked him if this was the place to go for black market human organs or ritualised sacrifices…

He was not impressed. I foolishly told him how I had had a fish bowl, but managed to smash it, because I’m uncoordinated and my seven year old was super excited about pet goldfish, blah blah blah. No need for a full explanation, I know, but I felt compelled.

He then proceeded to tell me that he would not sell me goldfish now that he knew I was going to put them in a bowl. He even did this snarly face and raised one eyebrow at me in disgust.


From the expression on his face, you would think that I had confessed to clubbing baby seals or torturing small animals for enjoyment. Let me clarify – I don’t club baby seals or torture animals. That’s just wrong.

He then went on about how wrong it was to keep goldfish in bowls. The way he was going on about it, he was making out that I was some horrible, awful human being. Let’s not mention the irony of the goldfish bowl on the counter in the store right next to us. That would just be silly.

finding nemo

I get that he was obviously passionate about fish, but really? Was it necessary to be so rude about it? Thankfully I engaged my brain filter to stop myself from saying what I really wanted to say. I politely thanked him for his assistance, managed to successfully extract children from store without anything being broken or tears, and drive home. Without fish, and without swearing.

High fives to me. But I so wanted to disengage the brain filter, and let rip a tirade at this fish dude.

If he’d perhaps spoken to me nicely and given me some other options for small tanks that would be suitable and a pump and filter, he probably would have made a sale. Easy peasy. The kids would have been happy, parents would have been happy. Everyone would have been happy.


You get a goldfish, and you get a goldfish, you all get a goldfish!

Instead, the effing fish dude is now on my list. And I’m off to find a big arse goldfish bowl and pump and filter online. No commission for him.

Screw you, fish dude.

Have you been judged over something as ridiculous as a fish bowl and goldfish?

Make sure you’re following Life, kids and a glass of red on Facebook for extra giggles and snippets of silliness.


27 thoughts on “Being judged over goldfish

  1. What a dick.

    I didn’t realise that fish bowls were so frowned upon until I went to buy one at Christmas for my kids. I was all set to just buy a bowl and stick a couple of fish in it, but the very smooth fish guy I got chatting to convinced me to spend an additional $50 for small tank with a filter. It’s all in the delivery!


  2. Apparently gold fish owning is quite involved now. I read a post a while ago about someone who wanted some fish for her kids. She had to send in a sample of their water, learn how to get the water to an adequate ph and he wouldn’t sell any to her until she could prove the water was safe. The guy would have had a fit if he saw the gold fish we had at my primary school. They were in a dirty pond and were big enough to feed a small village.


  3. Oh dear. I would have been sent out of the shop too. I have only ever had a bowl. We also had a fish that died but actually it was probably over kindness. You can apparently be too kind to fish. What a time you had and it was not fun.


  4. Sounds like fish dude might need to get some human friends, far too much time with the fish who don’t remember him can’t be good for the mental state! We regularly look after a friends fish, Bob, he lives in a tiny vase facing a mirror, apparently he’s very happy. I hope you’ve had success now


  5. What? I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous! I hope he’s the owner of the store cause otherwise I’m sure his boss might not look so kindly on him losing a sale, he could of at least talked other options with you instead of flat out refusing to sell you one. From now on he shall be know as the “fish Nazi” – No FISH for you! 😉


  6. Sure, as someone who has kept fish for years, I completely understand where the guy is coming from but the attitude wasn’t necessary.
    All he needed to do was explain the better option politely. How are the general public suppose to know?


  7. So sorry about that rude salesclerk!
    As a single mom of 3 small kids awhile ago, I had plenty of judgment passed on to me. I also found nice people who were helpful and warm.
    Ignoring the bad stuff, overall i loved being a mom. Now, being a Nana is even better and no one to judge me. With age, comes wisdom. 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s