Thanks for the replies, everyone. Loving all your stories.
Especially like how those who got them younger had to beg their parents, and those getting their tortoises as adults have negotiated with their partners. Then, there are those few who have their partners on board - I'm one of those, fortunately. My fiance wants a dog eventually, but he's happy to accept my tortoise - thinks it will be a 'cool' pet.
Well I was 38 when we got our OP. My kids are in 4-H and we started with poultry. 1 Christmas we got a Leopard gecko for my son and that is when the reptiles started. Started showing the reptiles in 4-H shows and saw another member had a Sulcata tortoise. Hubby loved his neat looking shell. ( Have since learned pyramiding is not a good thing and the 4-Her aquired his sully like that from someone else). We went to a reptile show in PA and they were selling baby sulcatas and leopards. We ended up bringing home a sully. Have since found out it is illegal to buy or sell turtles or tortoise in NJ but we do have a permit for OP. Hubby found this site when we got home and signed up. I immediately took over. He mistakenly thought a tortoise would be a pet that wouldn't take much work