What? A blog post on a Sunday? Did I enter into an alternate dimension?!
In fact, you did not! Every Wednesday, blogging buddy Aaron over at The Confusing Middle posts a “Sunday Scribblings” prompt for other bloggers to ponder and respond to on the following Sunday. If you’re a blogger looking for more inspiration, I highly recommend jumping in and joining in on the fun! While Aaron has been doing this series of posts for a while, this is my first time jumping in to respond to the prompt, and I’m excited to flex my creative muscle in ways that I don’t normally!
This week’s prompt is: Chopsticks!
What do you think of when you see that word? What emotion does it invoke? What memory does it call back? What creativity does it inspire?
I find it very amusing how words can trigger long-lost memories in us. When I first read this prompt, my immediate instinct was to think of the tune “Chopsticks” you play on the piano. I actually did play piano as a child, although I don’t remember ever playing “Chopsticks.” Even more interesting, however, were the memories that I unlocked when I dove a bit deeper…
I went to a very small private elementary and middle school. Everyone knew each other, and my friend group was inseparably tight. Beyond the schoolwork we had to do together, we also participated in every after school sport and club as well as did things like bowling league on the weekends. When we graduated middle school, we all attended different high schools in the area. I really struggled going from being a big fish in a little elementary/middle school pond to a little fish in a big high school pond!
Even after we started in high school, my friend group would see each other regularly. My friend Catherine and I worked in the after school program at our old elementary/middle school. My friend Becky and I got together several times to help each other with school projects. But most importantly, most Friday nights, we would all meet up at our favorite Chinese restaurant.
Sometime in high school, Becky switched from using a fork to eat Chinese food to using chopsticks. The rest of us watched in awe as she masterfully used chopsticks to actually eat food instead of spilling it all over herself like we would have at the time. We commented on how impressed we were, and one of the other friends in our group, Jacob, made a hyperbolic comment that had all of us in stitches:
“Becky, I have no idea how you use chopsticks. I barely know how to use a fork!”
Of course, after that, we had to take a picture of Jacob holding a fork and looking at it with a confused expression. Because that’s just what we did.
Later in life, during my freshman year of college, I remember going to the local Asian restaurant with the rest of the orientation staff. As we reached for the silverware that they leave on the table for patrons, everyone reached for a pair of chopsticks…except for me. Since I still didn’t know how to use chopsticks, I reached for a fork. One of the seniors gave me a smirk and of course called me out to the rest of the table. As someone who struggled making friends in college, I was embarrassed and worried about being judged by my peers. I decided that moment that I had to learn how to use chopsticks, and since then, I have with varying degrees of success (I once had a sushi roll with pico de gallo on top and joked that “pico de gallo” must mean “impossible to eat with chopsticks”). I even bought a few pairs of bamboo chopsticks so that I could use my own chopsticks instead of disposable ones when eating takeout!
Now that I know how to handle them, I do use chopsticks for things like ramen and sushi. Although I am always careful to wear something that isn’t light colored when I eat sushi for fear of dropping a piece of it into my soy sauce and having it splatter everywhere. Just because I can use chopsticks doesn’t mean I’m too cocky or proud to admit that I could still end up wearing my food!
Thanks so much Aaron for the super fun prompt and for helping to fuel my creativity! Excited to see what the next one is!