Work is Struggle

the blog of a catering waitress

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I save an innocent life from a wedding reception

Over the weekend, I waitressed a large wedding reception. I endured hours of bad wedding music, chocolate cake stains, and endless running between tables. But overall, the reception was relatively uneventful. (Okay, I did drop about five beer bottles -- the glass shattered, and beer splashed my clothes and my face. Later, I overheard a guest tell her small child not to distract me, because I might drop something else.)

For decoration, the couple had arranged for a small fish bowl to be placed in the center of the tables, each containing a live betta fish. They invited their guests to take the fish home, but at the end of the evening, about seven fish had been abandoned. Out of 300 guests, nobody wanted to take care of them. They were stuck in tiny bowls with no space to swim, and no food.

By this point, I really identified with the fish: We were both trapped at this wedding, both contributing to the glitz of the affair at the expense of our health and sanity. I rounded up the remaining fish and took them to the kitchen. I offered them to the other servers, and every fish found a home. I named my fish Mablean, after the judge on Divorce Court. The next day, I bought her a bigger bowl, fish food, and water conditioner. Hopefully, she will survive the trauma of being a wedding decoration.

Here is a picture of my new pet:
Isn't she precious? So far, this is the best "perk" of my job.


At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Laughing Cat said...

Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I am very impressed at how you went out of your way to save the lives of those seven fish. ^_^ The world needs more good people like you.

A small note about your betta: Mablean is 100% male. Female bettas have short fins (even 'longfinned' females have fins that are nearly half as short as a male bettas). The only exception to this are bettas known as plakats, where the male's fins are as short as the females. You will soon find, if you haven't already, that bettas have HUGE personalities! ^_^ To entertain Mablean, you can perch a mirror near his tank once a day and watch him flare at his reflection, or you can get a silk plant or tiny pot for him to use as a cave. If he is still bored, you can leave things near his tank every once in a while; my bettas love staring at random colored bottles and folders. If you want to find out more about your new friend, there are many good websites out there that offer information on bettas. The one which linked to your blog is and a forum I recommend is

Best of luck to you and Mablean, and I hope that you enjoy your years together and have good luck with your catering! ^_^

At 9:03 AM, Blogger oppressed waitress said...

Thanks! I learned that Mablean was technically male after I named her. (She has been building bubble which is apparently a sign of maleness) but I didn't want to re-name her. I decided she won't mind if I call her a girl, as long as I take proper care of her.

I tried putting a rock in her bowl to serve as a cave, but it was releasing hundreds of tiny bubbles into the water, so I freaked out and removed it. Sometimes I do worry that she is bored, so I may try something else in the future. Right now she is working on her bubble nest, which seems to occupy her much of the time. I feel bad when I change the water and destroy it, but she just builds another one almost every day.

Thanks for the links -- without the internet, I wouldn't know how to take care of Mablean. The couple at the wedding didn't provide any instructions, so the websites are really helpful.


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