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Friday, September 7, 2012

Do Green Goldfish Think Different?

Most of you are familiar with the Dr. Seuss story, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish where the fish are unlike any fish you'll find in the ocean or your local lake. They have cars and stars. They are fish extraordinaire!
Photo courtesy of Pink Fluffy World

As a child one of my favorite colors was green. Not ho hum dark green (like my school uniform). No I liked bright kelly green. Almost glow in the dark green--but not quite.  One day my teacher told us to write about our favorite animal. (OK, I was in 2nd I really didn't know anyone would think I was being a smart ass when I wrote a composition in my black and white marble covered notebook about the glories of green goldfish.)

The teacher, Miss O'Neill was not amused. The nuns were less amused. I got the unusual and unwanted opportunity (because I was basically a goody two shoes) to speak to the School Principal. My knees knocked. I was terrified. I knew it was not a good thing to have to go down the hall, past the sour faced secretary to see The Big Nun! Frankly I don't remember her name today, hence her unusual name. She may not have actually been BIG but she sure was scary to a little 2nd grader!

But the principal was actually very nice as I look back on it now (once I could hear what she was saying over my knocking knees!)

She read my composition aloud and then asked in a deep voice DO YOU HAVE A GREEN GOLDFISH? In my tiny little voice I squeaked out 'no Sister.' (Not wanting to get caught lying and breaking one of the Ten Commandments!)

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A GREEN GOLDFISH? 'No sister.' My stomach was lurching and my face was probably turning as green as the goldfish I wrote about as I stood there.

THEN WHY DID YOU WRITE THEY ARE YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL? Keeping my attention on the big silver cross around her neck and the rosary beads hanging from her waist I stuttered and stammered and said 'becasue I want one more than anything and if I could I'd love to be one.'

The next words out of her mouth stunned me. Wasn't her job to make me be just like everyone else? All of us acting alike, believing the same thing, repeating rules like robots? I guess I was wrong because she said, DON'T BE AFRAID TO USE YOUR IMAGINATION AND TO BE DIFFERENT.

Wow! Totally not what I expected her to say. She wanted me to use my imagination AND be different if that's how I felt, such a totally non nun thing to say. I mean there she was, dressed the same as every other nun in the building, the picture of conformity suggesting I break the 'rules' and think outside the box! It occurred to me that maybe underneath all that black and brown and white Sister wore kelly green underwear. (I was fortunately smart enough not to express that sentiment or ask what color she wore! I was young but not DUMB!)

To a 2nd grader who loved the gaudy and different, I just knew green goldfish wouldn't have to be like the other fish. They would glory in their green-ness! They could be the superheros of the goldfish bowl. Or the artists or musicians. They could wear gaudy jewelry (usually reserved for playing dress up) to school and get away with it. Yes, I thought the only thing better than having a green goldfish would be being one! A green goldfish would have to power to be a trendsetter (something there aren't too many of in Catholic grades schools.) In pre-Madonna days a green goldfish would be the fish who got away with breaking all the rules.
So it leads me to my question "do green goldfish think different?" OK, I know, there's no such thing as green goldfish. At least not in my local pet store. But if I took a bottle of green food coloring... no not a good idea...

Hmm... what do you think? Do green goldfish bond with regular goldfish? Or are they the loners in the fishbowl? Or are goldfish color blind? Do all fish look alike? Act alike? Would a green goldfish have that little something extra and unexpected in their personality that made them a star?

As a child this idea fascinated me. What did green goldfish think about? Did they think the same as the garden variety goldfish I could find in my pet store? Did they like the same food as regular goldfish? Did they like different color rocks in the bottom of their bowl? Did they like having a fake castle or did they prefer the pirate's chest filled with gold? Did they hide their different-ness in the fake greenery in the goldfish bowl or did they get out their and flaunt it? Did green goldfish like knock knock jokes? Would it be fun to be a green goldfish?

I've moved on from wanting to dye the goldfish green. But I never forgot sister's advice. And it's something that I think as bloggers we need to remember as we craft our blogs. Yes, it's good to read OPBs(Other People's Blogs) to see how other people are succeeding but we need to make our blog our own not a reflection of all the rest of the blogs out there. We need to, in effect, be a green goldfish blogger. We need to stand out on our own not as a copy of someone else's blog.

How about you? Are you a green goldfish blogger? As a blogger do you show your uniqueness? Do you want your blog to be 'different?' Or do you look at everyone else's blogs and want to copy theirs?

If you've read this far you've already figured out I'm a 'green goldfish' blogger. I like looking at things and putting my own spin on them. Having a blog that can break the rules and still be a blog. Yes, I'm still finding my way, but it is MY WAY. Whether it's green or gold or pink or purple--my blog is my choice of things to share and how to do it. It's my green goldfish.

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