Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Second Item on My Christmas List

So the first item on my Christmas list was, of course, hand-painted monkey art. Who wouldn't want that?

Really? I'm the only one?


Anyway, at $450 a pop, I'm not expecting a huge pile of singerie canvases under my tree. The second item on my list is much more modestly priced, although I don't expect to get it, either, for a different reason. More on that in a moment.

The second item is a pair of hermit crabs.
Like this, only, you know, two of them.
I love hermit crabs. They have hermit in their name, so I can relate to them. Although they're actually quite sociable and very good company, which makes them better people than some people I know. Like me.

I always identified with the Once-ler.
 I went through a real hermit crab phase for a while. I had a bunch of them in succession. Because, you know, they tend to die. Even though this website says that they can live up to 20 years, I don't think I ever had one that came within, say, 19 years of that mark. It could be I was a terrible hermit-crab mama. Hey, I gave them food and baths and played with them when I thought about it. PDaughter has received the same standard of care, and she's made it all the way to 12. So I'm calling bullshit on the website and/or claiming I had a defective batch of crabs.

Defective Batch of Crabs = great band name.

I remember all my crabs fondly. There was Carson, and Reno, and Truckee, and Barstow, and Bakersfield, and Sedona, and Sonoma, and Hawthorne. They were great guys. Maybe some of them were girls, but I never did learn what hermit crab genitalia looked like and I wasn't about to look too closely. Pincers, you know. A couple of my crabs were really pinchy types. Did you know that if a hermit crab pinches the soft skin on your palm, and you yell and drop it on the floor, it won't get hurt? But it will remember how you treated it the next time you expose the soft skin of your palm to it.

Um, yeah. Respect, dude.
 I personally find hermit crabs adorable. I love their eye stalks, their multiple segmented legs, the way they scuttle about. Seriously. And pinching aside, they have pretty lovable personalities. Hey, they give at least as much affection as some cats I've known, and they have a lot less attitude.

I don't know the story behind this picture,
but I'll bet it ended awesomely.
 Hermit crabs do better in pairs. I'm not sure why, because apparently it's nearly impossible to get them to mate in captivity. Maybe they don't know what crab genitalia look like, either. But mine always seemed happiest when they had a buddy in the crabitat with them. And yes, two crabs living together will have distinct personalities. One of my pairs used to enjoy swapping shells to see if I'd notice. As if I couldn't tell my babies apart. All you have to do is look deep into their eye stalks.

My last hermie went to crab heaven a few years ago, and I haven't had any since. That's because after it died, Beloved Spouse banned them from the house in perpetuity. He feels a certain animosity toward hermit crabs. Actually, he finds them horrifying and disgusting and can't stand being in the same room with them.

Everything I love about hermit crabs, BelSpouse hates. And so I've had to put my lovingly crafted crabitat (complete with heater and little plastic palm trees) in the garage and remain bereft of my hard-shelled friends. I submitted to spousal authority on this score because at the time I was mourning the loss of my latest crab and was admittedly a bit fatigued of loving and losing the little bastards over and over. Eventually you do start to wonder if you might be to blame when you find a exoskeletal corpse where there used to be a vibrant, playful crustacean. Fun fact: if you have more than one hermit crab and one of them dies, don't remove the body, because the others will eat it to strengthen their own chitinous skeleton!

It looks something like this, only less salty.
 Anyway, hermit crabs are a rare and precious commodity because they've been denied to me. Therefore, I want some. So they're on the list. I do hope to hear the scuttling of little feet under the tree this Christmas. But BelSpouse will probably just buy me jewelry or books or something. It's just not the same. I wonder if they make crab-shaped earrings. Yes, I would take that. Compromise is what marriage is all about. Compromise, and occasionally making a sincere effort not to creep out your husband.


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