I'm sitting in an airport terminal at 5 AM relaying the story of a dinner I attended the night before to Doty. It was a gathering at a sushi restaurant in Salt Lake City where guests sit on the floor and shoes must be removed before entering the dining area. I had somehow found myself in the company of nine outstandingly successful people -- graphic designers, major event planners, the leaders of up-and-coming businesses, incredibly accomplished writers and photographers. Meanwhile, my greatest achievement occurred moments before when I managed to remove my knee high boots in a shift dress with a hem 3 inches above my comfort zone without exposing myself -- an achievement quickly overshadowed by my foot odor that I was certain would put everyone off their vegetable tempura.
The real trouble, however, was the chopsticks. I can complete high-level calculus equations. I can manufacture my own liposomes for use in transfection studies with short interfering RNA. Hell, I can seamlessly transfer a sleeping toddler from their car seat to their bed without waking them up and if you don't understand why that's an applaudable skill I assume you have not yet made complete use of your reproductive organs.
I can do all those things, but here's what I can't do: I cannot use two thin, wooden sticks to pick up food and raise it 8 inches to my mouth. I cannot do this. I know you think I can and you have this great trick. It's simple. You promise. I know and I deeply appreciate your belief that I can master this seemingly simple task. But listen, I cannot do this thing. I think the part of me that loves food and wants to put it into my face as quickly as possible rejects the idea of using something with minimal surface area and that also requires an excessive amount of finger agility.
Also, we have forks now and spoons. If you're into hybrids, we even have sporks and, if you're having a really horrible 'I WANT TO EAT MY FEELINGS' kind of day, we've got shovels.
So, what did you do then since you couldn't use the chopsticks?
I pretended I wasn't hungry. Obviously.
You pretended you weren't hungry because you didn't want the others to know you couldn't use chopsticks?
Because you thought it would make you seem more normal to agree to go out to dinner and then say you weren't hungry than to admit you needed a fork?
Well, eventually another person at the table caught on and discretely asked the server to bring me a fork. A FORK OF SHAME.
It was just a fork, Amber.
No. It was not just a fork. It was a fork of shame.
There is no such thing as a fork of shame. People do not make place settings with a salad fork, a dinner fork, and a fork of shame. That's not a thing.
There is a such thing, last night I used it to eat raw fish, and right now it feels like a metaphor for my entire existence. So just let me have my utensils with issues, okay?