Olive The Octopus

Sofia has her “Girls on the Run” 5k on Sunday. These young girls, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders have been training for three months.

Each girl will have a “running buddy” to run with them the entire three miles. This is done for both safety and to build confidence. “C’mon Sofia, you can do it. We are almost there!” You know the drill.

These girls were encouraged to ask a teacher at their school to be their running buddy. Sofia wanted to ask her teacher, however, her teacher would be running with two classmates of Sofia, and Sofia being Sofia, does not exactly like her fellow classmates.

On to Plan B! Plan B was to ask another 5th-grade teacher. Miss Scott.

Miss Scott is young, pretty, in shape, and will have no problem running with Sofia. Miss Scott is also BFF’s with Sofia’s teacher Mr. Miles. It was the perfect plan, if I do say so myself.

Miss Scott was very gracious and jumped on being Sofia’s running buddy. I am humbled. These teachers are taking time out of their weekend to spend with these girls, to run with these girls, to encourage these girls.

I decided that when Miss Scott and Sofia cross the finish line, I would like to have a small gift for both of them. The only problem, I have no idea what Miss Scott likes. So, I went to Mr. Miles and told him my plan.

“So basically, I need you to tell me what she likes!”

“Oh, she is a nerd! She likes comic books, fantasy romance, and octopus’.”


“Yes, you know, the animal.” (cue the hand gestures that I guess was suppose to resemble an octopus.)

Screw that. I will have better luck finding a damn comic book then I would an octopus. And, I am not even sure I know what “fantasy romance” is.

During a quick break at the school, I ran to the store “just to see” what I could find. I also needed a new purse because the strap on mine broke.

I started out in the toy section trying to find any sort of octopus thing. I found nothing. Well, I did find a purse, so there is that.

Time was slowly getting away from me. I wanted to check one last place before I made my way to the cashier. I scanned the aisles of the Home Goods section “just to see” if there was maybe an octopus nicknack or even a picture. There was nothing.

I was ready to throw in the towel when I spotted the clearance section. The heavens opened, the angels were singing. Right before my eyes, was the ugliest, tackiest, yet kinda cute, glass octopus I had ever seen, and it was like 75% off. SCORE!!!!

I grabbed the oddly shaped octopus, whom I quickly named Olive, and threw her in my cart. Now, trying to find a gift bag for Olive, well that was another story.

Back at the school.

I was quite proud of myself for finding an octopus in the middle of May. Excitedly, I told Mr. Connor, the teacher who graciously allows me in his classroom, about my find. I told him the story of Miss Scott, Mr. Miles since they are both co-workers of his, I figured he would have some insight on whether I did well or not.

As soon as I mentioned the word “octopus” he starts to laugh.

“An octopus?”

“Yes, an octopus!”

More laughter.

“Wouldn’t it be funny if you were being set up?”

It took me a moment for this to sink in. I mean Sofia’s teacher and I have a good relationship. Nothing special, yet more than the typical parent/teacher relationship. Mr. Miles thinks I am young, hip, and knows who Kendrick Lamar is. Two outta three ain’t bad!

We have talked about “Netflix and Chill” without me realizing what “Netflix and Chill” really means. Also, Mr. Miles and I share a love for whiskey. So, I mean he could potentially try to pull one over on me, but I was not convinced. What mattered most was if Miss Scott really does indeed like octopus’.

I asked Mr. Connor: “So, you need to do me a favor, can you find out if Miss Scott really likes octopus’?”

“Yeah, that’s not going to happen.”

School eventually lets out. Sofia and I are driving home. I fill Sofia in on Olive and Miss Scott. The first thing she does when I tell her that her teacher told me Miss Scott likes octopus’ is burst out laughing. “Oh Mom, I think my teacher is playing a joke on you!”


I come home, show Joe Olive the Octopus. He tells me it is ugly. I explain it is not for me, and for the fourth time today, repeat the same story. Now, for those of you who do not know Joe, he is a pretty serious guy who always tries to find the positive in things. Joe starts laughing. “Umm, Jen, do you think Sofia’s teacher was being serious?”

Double Crap!

My next step is to stalk Miss Scott’s Facebook. She has it pretty locked down. I have no idea if I can find out anything.

Ah, wait. There is a picture of Miss Scott doing “fish lips.” Let’s read the comments!

Someone made the comment: “You are a fish without fins!”

Wait for it……

Miss Scott replied back: “I could be a jellyfish or an octopus!”

BOOM! There it is. She mentioned an octopus.

Okay, so it is not much to go on, but it is all I have right now. I mean, if she does love octopus’ then she will love Olive. If she does not care for octopus’, well, Sofia is signing the card so I can blame her.

At the writing of this post, I have no idea the fate of Olive the Octopus. I try to think of it this way. I love cats. If someone were to gift me a tacky large glass cat, I would love it and treasure it and name him Tristian (Legends of the Fall.)

However, if someone gifted me, oh, I do not know, an octopus maybe, I would put on my fake smile. “Oh how cute, thank you so much.” and then most likely regift it in one of my Buy Nothing Facebook groups.

Stay tuned for Sunday, when we will know the fate of Olive.





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