Love in the Time of Columnaris


Though I am on a summer blog hiatus I have something I needed to share that I could not put to the side until August.

I’ve been “hit on” twice this week. This is noteworthy for two main reasons. The first being I never really leave my house and the second is that I tend to regard myself as some sort of asexual amphibian and am not really known to be “putting out the vibe”.

Nonetheless, on two separate occasions in the last week, I, the sexless frog, have been hit on.

Two days ago, I was gardening (picking up the trash that blows into the weeds in my front lawn), when a strapping young suitor wearing JNCO shorts and carrying a disc man stopped and said “Hey” to me. Obviously an up-and-coming dealer in antiquities, I returned his impassioned greeting with resounding and completely appropriate, “Hi, there”.

My new beau then asked if he could borrow my phone to call on the house for rent at the end of my street. I declined, as I am a lady who doesn’t give out her number (or her phone) to strangers, and because I was holding an empty Smirnoff bottle and the remnants of what at one time was either a failed kite or a the hat of a morally-bankrupt clown.

My almost-lover shrugged and continued down the sidewalk only pausing to look over his shoulder and spit on the grass of my neighbors.

Oh, what might have been.

I told my husband about the encounter and overcome with jealousy, he asked if I made sure to pick up the rest of the glass from the liquor bottle before he mowed.

My second fairytale romance began tonight at 9:55pm when I noticed one of the fish in our aquarium had managed to grow a frothy Santa beard on its tail. Some quick internet research disproved my Christmas in July theory and told me I had likely only a few hours to quarantine my fish and treat the entire aquarium before, as the internet put it: “massive fish death”.

Because two of my daughter’s fish have already gone to live to live with Jesus and our African aquatic frog, Toomsy (I don’t know, my 3YO named it. For reference: her imaginary brother and sister are called Plim and Plop.), swam back to Africa to find his mother, I decided to venture to our local 24hr WalMart.

I hate WalMart.

I hate Walmart even more after 10 pm.

I hate WalMart the most after 10 pm on a Saturday night.

All of the doors of our friendly neighborhood store were locked and had shopping carts placed in front of them, except for the doors the furthest distance from where I parked.

I cursed myself for having abandoned my Fitbit after my run and made the trek through the parking lot.

Upon reaching the door, an older gentleman, short on teeth but long on charm said: “Where you going, honey?”

I smiled and continued on to my mysterious destination by WALKING IN THE DOORS TO WALMART.

There are two clarifications I would like to make at this point in my story. 1. But for events to come, I wouldn’t have necessarily counted this interaction as flirting since I call everyone under thirty “honey” because it makes me feel like a grandma which is closest to my true self, and 2. I was outfitted in a giant, ratty T-shirt my husband is constantly threatening to throw away because it was unintentionally tie dyed, old running shoes, my most unflattering tights, and my hair was pulled back into a sweaty bun made popular by angry ballerinas and sumo wrestlers. So, I wasn’t necessarily bringing my “A” game.

Still, I rebuffed the amorous advances of my silver fox and went to the pet aisle to find anti-fungals and fish potions.

After selecting two boxes (one for microbial treatments and one to balance pH), I headed back to the opposite end of the store to self-check. The self-check at WalMart is designed to be user-friendly and convenient but in actuality would blend seamlessly into Dante’s 9 Circles of Hell.

When it was my turn to assert my consumer independence, I swiped the boxes across the scanner only to be instructed to “call for assistance”.

The tenth circle shall be called irony.

When the clerk arrived he typed in his secret code and scanned my boxes for me.

I thanked him and passed on the plastic bag because “It’s better for the environment” (said the lady with a mutant fish growing a second head from its tail–beard first).

As I exited the self-check area, I opened the first of the two boxes to pull out a square sheet of pills. I pushed them back into the box as I reached the door, where once again I ran into my beloved as he sat perched on a bench near the exit.

“So you need two boxes of those for tonight, huh, baby?”


I glanced down at my “lifeguard” boxes and it was only then that I noted the passing resemblance my fishy bath bombs had to a box of condoms.

Appalled I squeaked out: “These are for fish!” before fleeing the store and missing out on what would have likely been a rewarding and fulfilling companionship.

Again, I relayed my stirring story of love to my husband who I can only believe failed to respond appropriately because of his deep-seated insecurities brought on by my newly acquired sexual magnetism.

Now, as I teeter on the edge of sleep, I can’t help but think back to my superstore admirer. Our love was doomed from the start, and like so many relationships that come to an abrupt end– communication was to blame.

He’ll never know I was on a mission of life and death. Instead, he is destined to a future of confusion at his one true love’s need of not just one, but two, boxes of prophylactics intended for use with aquatic vertebrates.

So, for those of you out there still dating, take heart, for there are many fish in the sea.

And if you need to borrow some condoms for those fish, I have two boxes.

Liza Dora is an author, illustrator, teacher, mother, wife, blogger, and the owner of the eponymous Liza Dora Books. Her writing has been in publications around the world and her books have been featured in both media and print. She’s sold books in over ten different countries and her titles have been both Amazon Hot New Releases and Amazon Bestsellers in their respective categories. You can Shop Liza's Books on Amazon (affiliate) or at Find designs, curriculum, and more from Liza at Or get Liza's help in building your own online blog or business at ADORAHOUSE MEDIA.