Accidental sushi is sitting in a nice restaurant with good friends. It’s ordering expensive dinners because hey, you’re earning points on your Amex card, your babysitter is booked for three more hours, and youth is fleeting. It’s indulging in the Diver Sea Scallops and having them (four to be precise) served on a square dish with ginger sauce and some kind of exotic-hippy-salad (that let’s be honest, you’d only eat if there was an actual zombie apocalypse and you were foraging for anything edible on a forest floor). And it’s that very salad that makes the scallops all the more delectable — until they pass your lips and then they’re… cold.
You look at the only other person at the table who ordered the same dish and whisper, “Are your scallops cold too?” You both rationalize that perhaps the chef had poor timing skills and in err cooked your entrees before the steak and the rib risotto that your spouses ordered.
Two bites more and you find yourself cursing the mood lighting you found so agreeable earlier for now it’s a hindrance to determining if your scallops are cooked at all. Did seared mean just the edges? You eat more, wondering if you should send it back, but only three remain. You chew less and swallow larger bites. Is it worth putting a damper on the enjoyment your all having? You eat another, even though by now you are certain that the pinkish-beige hue of these sea monsters are all the evidence you need as confirmation. And yet, you still eat them, because after all, you don’t go to places like this everyday and it took weeks of planning to get here in the first place.
This is the part whereas a writer, I’m supposed to tie the accidental sushi into a metaphor for life. I have several options here.
I could pull out the self-reflective feminist card and question, why as a paying customer, I chose to eat raw seafood (when it’s well known that I eat very little raw anything in my life), rather than politely speak up and tell my waitress that this isn’t what I expected, that I deserve — or even demand better? But I don’t always speak up for myself. Is it because I’m a woman — strong, confident,
assertive and yet— well –not really assertive because I often don’t really tell people what it is I want. I ate something that I didn’t like –could have potentially even made me sick just because I didn’t want to offend someone who obviously hadn’t done their job well.
I could go spiritual and tell you that there are no accidents. That things happen for a reason, right down to eating accidental sushi. Then I could go on to tell you that sometimes things don’t turn out as you anticipate, but it can still be okay. That life is full of disappointments, but these moments are usually temporary. I didn’t get sick from the scallops. I still laughed, had a night out with friends who I don’t see often and when something bothered me, I let go of it. I didn’t let it ruin my evening. I still enjoyed the brownie sundae I ordered afterwards in spite of the first disappointment.
Maybe it isn’t really about the raw scallops, but how we react to them when life serves us up a plate of under cooked mollusks. Sometimes we need to send them back, other times maybe eat them so we can learn what they feel like on our tongues and make better decisions in the future.
After all, isn’t life made up of raw seafood and brownies?
*Feel free to apply my mollusk-brownie-sundae metaphor to any area in your life — relationships, work, etc. This is my gift to you.