Recently, I stopped by a Thai restaurant for lunch with a friend and this conversation happened.
“What are you doing?”
“I am going to eat my noodles.”
“With a fork? And not chopsticks?”
“I don’t know how to use chopsticks so I am using a fork.”
“How do you not know how to use chopsticks?”
“How would I? What is wrong with a fork?”
“You need to eat noodles with chopsticks. Especially in a place like this.”
“I am quite sure they don’t care how I eat my food as long as I pay for it.”
“Seriously, use the chopsticks or at least learn how.”
“The good Lord gave us a fork and I plan on using a fork. Why is this an issue?”
“It is not as long as you at least attempt to use the chopsticks.”
“Did you ever see the movie Edward Scissorhands? Remember when he tried to eat and couldn’t? That is me with chopsticks.”
Fast forward to the end, I had a great meal using my fork. I refused to be bullied into using chopsticks.
I have told this story to a few friends and they said that this is not an isolated incident on the bullying of chopsticks. My question though is why? Why do some get so obsessed when the people they are with do not use chopsticks?
Chopsticks must seem as if they are the favored son of their parents, who got a 33 on the ACT, went to Yale, graduated at the top of the class, went to law school at Georgetown and is now a clerk for some federal judge in Philadelphia. The fork must be the younger brother, who barely got out of high school, went to trade school, skipped college, and learned how to be a welder and now makes $300 an hour and spends his weekends either at the beach or the lake.
The moral is that they are both successful and get the job done but success is whatever you think it might be.
For me, success on this particular day, it was holding that fork as if it were solid gold and eating my lunch. So for all the chopstick snobs out there, we will never conform, we will never give in, we will never bow to your code red and we will raise our forks in unity, forever.
Hey, at least I didn’t use my hands that day. Who says we have not evolved as a species?