A Cat in the Canoe* story. One that doesn’t go anywhere much, but perhaps, by inference, will give you dear readers an insight into my life these days.
I stared at all the options. Phone in hand. List in hand. Basket on the floor.
From shelf to shelf to shelf and back to the original shelf went eyes and my chin.
Up, down, over, and back again.
I was aware of my eyebrows pinching and mouth growing increasingly expressive.
There were so many options. Where were they?
So many words. Labels. Languages.
Cellophane noodles. They’re like rice noodles, right?
I have no idea.
A guy my height with shaggy blond hair came, inspected the ramen, made his choice, and went. He looked very university-studentlike too.
I chose not to make eye contact, lest I lose progress in my puzzling somehow. Or worse, in case he offered to help me, as I was clearly not making any progress in life, standing stock-still in the middle of the aisle. I did not want to explain my procrastination methods of avoiding the homeworks, combined with the predicament of wanting new food, to try making new food, and to incorporate a different noodle-type into my life. I was feeling independent, yet helpless.
I did not feel like explaining this to ramen dude. Thankfully, he seemed hardly interested.
So I stubbornly re-read the noodle-types.
Udon. Vermicelli. Somen.
Rice noodles, all sizes.
After zero progress and perhaps 9 minutes, I made the call, shifting my phone to my ear and my mindset to resrouces.
“Marshall. On the table there’s a cookbook open to the Asian section. Could you send me a picture of the noodle glossary page?”
He did. I discovered the cellophane noodles can also be called bean thread, or glass noodles.
I never did find them, but learned where to find a lot of other noodle types! I substituted a rice noodle (thin) and went to get a jug of milk. At least I know where that is.
At home, I tried my new exciting recipe. “Thai Curry Cellophane Noodles.”
And they turned out! Motivated by laziness and the draw of the “dinner in a bowl” concept of this particular cookbook (1 bowl means 1 dish to wash! Or at least, you get the idea), I decided tonight was the night to branch out. It was worth it:
It wasn’t perfect – I was conservative on the spices since I didn’t know what I was doing, and I’d let the sauce thicken longer next time (I was hungry and impatient) – but it was good.
And on top of that – not only did I avoid cleaning my house with the project, or doing responsible things like homework – but I managed to just put all all those things off even MORE by writing up this post about it.
How delightful. Thanks, wordpress!
( And thank you, Better Homes and Gardens, for the Dinner in a Bowl Recipe Book. I never knew how to cook rice noodles before now.)
*A Cat in the Canoe:
A friend and I were once animatedly discussing frustrations that came along with our writing. After commenting that I like non-fiction the best, I spoke of the lack of direction and meaning. I struggle with finding the point, focus, or climax of so many experiences I could share, I admitted.
“Sure, they may have meaning, I suppose,” I quipped at him. “But they’re not exactly deep or life-altering! My stories are completely anti-climactic, every time! If you want a life lesson, I might have them, but they’re all like, I don’t know, ‘Don’t bring a cat in the canoe. Even if it’s your birthday!”
He laughed. Hard. The moment has been famously referred to between us ever since, and he gently reminds me every once in a while that I STILL haven’t actually told him that story. “You have the hook! Now I want to know more!”
He’ll just have to reminding me to tell it. Maybe one day, I will.