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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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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