I have something new to cross off my bucket list. Before I do, I want to tell you how I learned to eat with chopsticks.
A few summers ago, I was invited to an uptown sushi bar with some of my friends who lived in the inner city. We all met on a cool night, stored away our jackets and sat at a long table. Shortly after, when our food arrived, everyone seemed relatively calm while making their move to dive into the freshly prepared food – except me. I needed a fork, a spoon, something and I need it fast! Each of them grabbed their chopsticks, situated them in their hand relatively quickly and I sat there laughing. “I need a fork!” They all laughed and eagerly made attempts to show me how to use the chopsticks while insisting it was easy. I started smacking the sticks together with no coordination and gave up. The waiter joined in on the laughter and brought me a different utensil. While that dinner is a great memory, it was also the point when I decided that I needed to know how to use chopsticks. I put it on my bucket list.
I often see people with bucket lists full of things that costs thousands of dollars to achieve (and there is nothing wrong with that) but I use my bucket list to enrich my life in any way. Chopsticks cost less than ten dollars and just took practice. I went to the grocery store and bought a pack but you can get these cool stainless steel ones for less than 5 bucks. It’s a much better option. I admit, I actually picked up the kebab skewers before I realized that they weren’t chopsticks. Can you imagine trying to put that pointed edge in your mouth in the most clumsy manner for a first timer? Thank God for my husband. He saved the day and my mouth.
I forced myself to eat simple foods with the chopsticks and not to give up in the middle of the meal. The result? Hand cramps. It’s easy to become so focused and stiff on controlling the chopsticks that your hand cramps up and then you end up looking like a newb all over again when you’re rubbing your hand to relieve the tension. After a week or two, I found what worked for me. I don’t have to think about how I hold the sticks, my hand no longer cramps up and I can get through an entire meal of ramen with extra noodle with no problem. I would call that success.
Note: a kind Instagram follower added that to be a real pro, I need to be able to pick up a peanut with chopsticks. If you’re a real go getter, try that challenge.