My Shameful Secret: I Don’t Know How to Use Chopsticks

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A few days ago, a New York Times reporter admitted the shameful truth that he had never learned to swim. Today, a Times reporter admits the shameful truth that he never learned to ride a bike. But now he’s finally getting with the program:

The quest began on Saturday, with an adult education class offered by Bike New York, the city’s education partner for the bike-share program. My family was dubious. My parents’ efforts had failed after all, though they had done their part, buying me my own bike as a child and giving me lessons on the esplanade in Battery Park City. I never saw the point. I could already walk to the park from our apartment. As a last resort, teaching was later outsourced to a friend’s father, who failed at least as miserably.

“You know I love you and think you’re great,” my mother said in a recent interview. “You never really did well with the turning.”

I guess this could become a whole genre. In my case, difficulty with both swimming and bike riding seem pretty alien, since I learned both practically with no effort at a young age (“maybe a day or two” on the bicycle front, according to my mother) — and this despite my roughly 10th percentile aptitude at all things requiring physical coordination. Still, we all have our own demons. For example, I keep thinking that someday I should learn to use chopsticks. I’ve just never gotten the hang of it, and since restaurants will always bring me a fork if I ask, it’s never been a high priority. Still, maybe someday I’ll tackle it and write a five-part blog post about the experience. I’ll bet you can’t wait, can you?


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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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