Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's Resolution

After giving the matter enough thought that I didn't make a decision until the second week of January, I've finally decided upon this year's resolution. Being a creative sort, I'm steering clear of my usual themes of losing a few pounds or saving money, in favor of something I stand a chance of actually keeping.

So I'm sitting in a  Chinese restaurant with my son and, for a country hick farmboy, he wields a pair of chopsticks like nobody's business. Then I chance a glance around me. As far as the eye can see, not a fork anywhere but in my hand. Even the wee ones are using the "starter set" (chopsticks connected at one end.) Somehow while I was on the roller coaster ride towards middle age did the school system start teaching this skill to kindergartners? Here I am, a woman who prides herself on being well traveled, and I can't even master eating with two skinny wooden sticks.

Then my son clicks his chopsticks at me and casually says, "I bought a hand carved pair of these when I was in Japan." Hand carved? Great googly-mooglies!

I attempted to emulate my son when he grabbed the chopsticks from my hand, turned them around and handed them back. "You were holding them wrong," he said.

No matter how hard I tried, it couldn't get the darn things to work! And my oh-so-patient son just had to rub my nose in my awkwardness. "Mom, it's easy. Here... you just go like this." He effortlessly picked up a single grain of rice from his plate. Sigh.

After the self-pitying stopped, determination set in. I will not be defeated. This year, I'm gonna do it, folks! In one year's time I may be able to show my face again at P.F. Chang's and not have to deal with a server's snickering when I actually unroll the napkin to get at a fork. Time to make my kid proud! (Or at least less embarrassed to be seen dining out with his mother.)


  1. I always go for the fork, too. I can't manage the chopsticks at all. Good luck with it! :D

  2. Thanks, Val! I brought home a set to practice with. I figured why make resolutions that I knew I couldn't keep? I also think this could be a good diet plan. If I had to use the sticks to feed myself, I just might starve.

  3. Once you become skilled with them, they don't work as a diet plan, but they do make you slow down your eating and focus on what you're doing :D

    Chopsticks are really all about practicing (and starting on big stuff, like broccoli pieces. Or gummy bears! Those are sticky, and what a nice reward for practicing!

    Good luck!

  4. I didn't know there were starter sets! I just kept flipping shrimp down my cleavage until I figured it out.

  5. Good luck!! I can use them awkwardly - it's totally the best way to eat sushi.

  6. Alex, thanks! I'll try the gummy bears. Or tater tots! I bet I can get a grip on them if I don't break them in half.

    Cyrselle... you inspired a coffee snort with the shrimp comment. And there are gadgets called "Chopstick Helpers" designed to help children (or adults) learn. I may invest in some!

  7. Chris, I've been practicing around the house, picking up non-food (read, non-messy) items for practice. It's actually kinda fun and a bit of a challenge, like the first time I got fake nails and couldn't pick up coins.

  8. Well, pick up some sushi rolls some time - it's pretty hard to fail on something that big. :D