Let me tell you my pregnancy/Sushi story. As I said yesterday, it's as scary as it sounds...
When I was pregnant with Leilani, our youngest, we tried a new Japanese restaurant. It turned out to be on the authentic side and they had this amazing master chef who prepared the most exquisite works of art - all out of food. The menu was not in English, the waiter barely spoke English, and so for the most part, we had no idea what we ordered. It was looking like a fun, adventurous evening. We were with new friends - a couple we hadn't known very long.
I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and I am one of those poor souls who gets dreadfully sick in those first three very long months...
And I also have a very visual and active imagination. I sometimes have a hard time eating food that actually looks like the animal it is. Sometimes, as much as I love them, I just can't bring myself to pull the meat from crab legs sitting there on my plate. Actually, even eating chicken off the bone - sometimes there's those little blood vessels in there - it just grosses me out. I'm always happy with chicken already in chunks -- stir-fry or whatever. It's a matter of MATTER OVER MIND! Keep to the matter at hand of eating FOOD and don't let the mind picture anything, like the animal walking around or something. I about passed out (not literally) the first time I took shrimp from a salad bar that hadn't been peeled yet-all those little legs-whew, makes me queasy even now.
Our plates arrived and each one was an underwater masterpiece! Truly amazing. Scenes of various coral reefs all made of various raw fish and vegetables. The garnishes were all edible. I did think one garnish in particular looked like it was made of plastic - turns out it was white radishes cut so thin that they MOVED very slightly with the air current! That was a fun discovery though it did cause a bit of a sensation in my tummy, watching movement there on my plate. Little, harmless moving radishes that looked like real coral something-or-others.
I'll have to confess here that I am NOT a hard-core Sushi person. (My friends today can attest to this.) I cannot handle the big chunks of raw fish. I don't mind the minced or small pieces wrapped in the midst of rice and veggies and I love the Wasabi! I'm also terrible with chopsticks. Why they let me in the door, I'll never know.
I just cannot get the hang of those chopsticks. Paul, my husband, was in Taiwan as a kid and he's a whiz of course. I, on the other hand, growing up in Montana and Nebraska, simply did NOT have the numerous chopstick usage opportunities required to turn one from a tyro to a proficient! (Ha Ha - homeschool mom hoping to impress her kids, using their vocab word there...)
OK, back to our underwater scenes. I went to eat one of the bigger "chunks" of fish from my plate and instead of managing a bite as intended-those darn chopsticks-the entire thing slid down my throat! This would have normally grossed me out, but pregnant --ewwwh! The slippery, sliding sensation about did me in. And it landed with a huge "thunk" in my stomach and sat there like a curdling brick. Remember, my stomach had already begun to sway back and forth a bit in tune with those moving radishes...
No one seemed to notice what I was going through so I tried to be Ms. Poise. (Remember these are new friends.)
I set my dysfunctional chopsticks down and slowly sipped my delicious hot tea, trying to get my loud spastic brain ("Whoa, that was the grossest thing that's ever happened to me!" "Was that a huge, RAW chunk of fish I just swallowed??!!!" "Should I throw up now?") to quiet down.
I gently cleared my throat and swallowed again, took another sip of tea, and looked up at the couple sitting across from us. I think I was preparing to smile or something.
I watched the man pick up what must be a LEG from an octopus and take a bite...BUT THOSE SUCTION CUP THINGS ON THE LEG WERE TOWARD ME...and the whole thing just suddenly seemed like a slow-motioned nightmare and my brain went, "AAHHH!!! GGRRROOSSSSSSSS!!!!!" as this red-bearded, grisly mountain man-looking guy seemingly devoured that octopus leg -- suction cups and all! It looked so barbaric...in an Oriental sort of way...
I very quickly excused myself mumbling something about using the bathroom and I did in fact make it there but I threw up immediately upon arrival. And I stayed in there a good while trying to figure out what I should do next.
I don't really remember much more from that night. I must have made it through somehow. I didn't tell them until much later...like after the baby was born...what had happened. I did tell Paul when we got home that night. And I never went back to that restaurant again. Ever.
BUT, the story doesn't end there. As I said yesterday, there's always a treasure to be mined from every situation in life. This one is no exception. Today I found myself at yet another new Sushi restaurant, this time with friends I'm well acquainted with. I'm happy to report that no one ordered anything resembling the animal it once was. Yet even if they had, I'll go so far as to confidently assert that things would have still ended differently. I've grown and matured, you see, and I've learned how to handle these situations much better. I now know you AVERT YOUR EYES when things of this nature are happening around you!!!
As for the chopsticks...well, let's just say Montana and Nebraska could take a lesson or two from those residents over in Bucksnort, Tennessee!! Get a look at these little gems I found at a gas station while passing through...
And it's really called Bucksnort, TN!!!!