I'm a movie producer and festival director, so I only know people and talk to people about movies, festivals, actors, and the like. I love it, but I have very few freshwater fish friends, and the guys at the pet store don't know what they're talking about. One of my friends just got a job at the Camden ("Adventure") Aquarium, which is exciting, so she's getting crash course in fish!
I got into freshwater fish when I was a kid - I was begging my mom for a sheep (no kidding. I saw one at the 4-H fair and I wanted one). My mom compromised and bought me 10 feeder fish for $1, which she placed into one of those giant 1 gallon glass pickle jars. Needless to say, they died in a week. Sure, I cried like [moderator edit]wento the book mobile and checked out every fish book they had so I could figure out what was wrong.
My family was poor growing up, so my mom couldn't buy me a "proper" fishtank. I decided to save up nickles and dimes on the street so I could afford one someday, and in the meantime, I drew fish and took out more and more fish books from the library. Eventually, I was able to buy a 1 gallon tank with a "bubbler" and a betta (named Wanda. Of course). I had that thing until it died of old age in college.
I ended up studying marine biology, but had a complete panic attack while trying to tread water in the pool. My mom brought me up to be afraid of a LOT of stuff - water, dogs, people, etc. Took YEARS to get over the social anxiety and dogs, but the water still stands.
Throughout college, I was the person people called when they had a fish problem. Everyone's joke was that they should shine a picture of a fish out the window ala "Batsignal" and I would come runnin'. Once, a classmate called and cried, "Help, my fancy goldfish is swimming upside down and backwards!" There I was, 2 a.m. in the middle of center city Philadelphia, begging the security guard at my school to let me into the dorm so I could feed a fish some frozen peas (PS: It really works with swim bladder problems!)
These days, almost everyone I know is *really, really* into dogs and cats. They're cute and all, but I just like fish better, and most animals, including dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, and guinea pigs, cause me major eye allergies. Even some reptiles cause me to break out in a weird rash. This has become a major social issue since I'm always the one who's invited to parties with the disclaimed, "Oh, well...just so you know, we have a dog...is that gonna be a PROBLEM?" I would like to meet other fish people like myself who just don't connect with dogs and cats so I don't feel so freakin' guilty all the time talking about how excited I am that I had my first batch of platy fry this week.