punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,
punkwalrus
punkwalrus

Chopsticks

I used to be soooo fussy about what I ate. I mean, it would not surprise me if there were only a dozen or so things I considered "tolerable" on my plate until age 15. Pizza? Looked like an infected sore. Watermelon? Too messy. My poor mother, and she catered to it all. She'd be shocked, the kid who could only stomach "plain corn tortillas" (nothing in them, just the tortilla), now at a Mexican restaurant eating nachos with black olives, sour cream, and guacamole these days. As a kid, I would have thrown up where I stood had someone put that in front of me.

The worst was Chinese food. Now, I liked fried rice, and never complained at a Chinese restaurant, but that's all I ate, fried rice. And my parents tried very hard, almost to the point of disciplinary action, to use chopsticks. I couldn't use chopsticks any more than I could do their taxes. My mother fretted in anguished embarrassment at this awkward kid who demanded a fork all the time. "Like two very long fingers," she said. "Here, dummy!" my father would say, and grab my fingers and contort them into some shape, only to have the chopsticks fall from my hands in confusion. Even those helpful waiters who gave me a set with rubber bands must have wondered if I took the short bus to school as the rubber bands flew off the ends of the chopsticks and into my eye. "Waaaagghhh!" I would say, because as my father so often helpfully pointed out, I was a crybaby.

When I was 15, my best friend Kate saw me look at chopsticks the way a puppy dog looks at a hunk of cheese under glass, and said, "Here... you do this." In 30 seconds, I could use chopsticks. She grew up partially in Japan and Thailand, so she knew the best way. In less than an hour, I could pick up a grain of rice. Now I can pick up wet ice cubes with them.

Thank you, Kate.

"two very long fingers"... my ass!

When do you all learn to use chopsticks? Was it hard?
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