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Anita Salzberg

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Confessions of a Turtle Wife
by Anita Salzberg   

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Publisher:  Hats Off Books ISBN-10:  1587360705 Type: 


Copyright:  Nov 1 2001

Confessions of a Turtle Wife

Confessions of a Turtle Wife is the story of a turtle-challenged marriage. Over the course of the book and hilarious escapades--a snapping turtle in the bathtub, turtles sex on the living room floor and searching for turtles in pet stores across America--turtle wife becomes turtle lover.

A turtle wife is a woman (or a man—sometimes called a turtle husband) married to someone who is obsessed with nature’s shelled wonders. She/he has lots in common with football and golf widows, in fact, with anyone whose significant other is obsessed with a hobby. If he’s devoting way too much of his time and attention to car engines or bungee jumping…if she’s always knee deep in bonsai growing or basketball, you’ll relate to the poor wife whose husband eats, sleeps and breathes turtles.

My turtle wife tenure began sixteen years ago on a visit to the Bronx Zoo. That’s when my husband, Allen, rediscovered one of the deepest joys of his childhood: turtles. After that day, there was not turning back.
On our first date, my husband, Allen, mentioned in passing that at the age of twelve, he'd kept thirty pet turtles. "Turtles are wonderful animals," he said. "They're really underrated."
My first mistake was thinking that this interest was cute.
My second mistake was thinking that it was ancient history.
Today, fourteen turtles populate a three-foot-wide by nine-foot-long habitat that occupies one wall of the kitchen in our Queens, New York, apartment. A five-inch-long box turtle has the run of the house. And our bathtub functions as a motel for anywhere from one to fifty itinerant turtles. (Not to worry. We have two bathrooms.) There's even the occasional dead turtle in our refrigerator, wrapped in aluminum foil. It’s waiting to be taken to the vet for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. The day I found poor Sam I thought he was a leftover tuna fish sandwich.
Why do I put up with Allen’s turtle obsession? Because it’s his greatest passion…after me.

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