My Favorite Personal Achievement

I have accomplished several things in my life, but the accomplishment I am most proud if is considered strange by most people’s standards. Still, it remains my proudest achievement. For, you see, I can eat with chopsticks. You may be thinking that it is easy, and that anyone could do it. Or, you may be wondering at my genius, amazed that any mere mortal born and bred in Wisconsin is able to accomplish this feat. No matter what you are thinking, the truth remains; I can eat with chopsticks.

I have struggled long and hard to achieve this accomplishment. I remember first trying when I was still the tender age of seven. My family and I had stopped at our favorite Chinese Buffet, and I noticed for the first time the pile of chopsticks, cunningly wrapped up in beguiling red paper, that were placed tauntingly next to the stack of plates. I read the instructions; (oh, how simple they made it sound!) and I decided to dive in. I tried and tried, but I could not even manage to hold both chopsticks simultaneously, let alone use them to place sustenance in my beckoning mouth. I was disappointed, but it must be recorded that the amount of effort a seven year old puts forth, is nothing compared to the effort of a twelve year old.

Yes, it did take me five years to regain enough self-confidence to attempt the task again. Twelve years old, at another Buffet, and with no one but my grandmother to watch me; I sallied forth again. Oh, I was prepared this time! There was no flightiness in my manner, I went forth with the determination of a world-record breaking chess player, determined to win against my thin and sculpted bamboo temptress. Alas, the only thing I took away from this experience was the disappointment of defeat, coupled with the annoyance of having stained my favorite shirt with some extremely spicy General Tao’s Chicken.

Yet another five years passed, during which time I could not pass the cursed red-wrapped unreachable item without a cringe of disgust at my incompetent self. Then came last summer, when I was seventeen. I went to yet another buffet with two friends of mine. The chopsticks were there, openly taunting me, humiliating the very core of my being! “Enough!” I said to myself “Enough of this confidence-wrecking madness!” I stormed up to the counter, grabbed the vile implements and went home. There I cooked myself a batch of ramen noodles. (Oh, how I have come to love those noodles!) I sat down at the table, determined to this time triumphantly master my foe. Oh, the agony! Oh, the sorrow! Oh, the tears! I failed, failed, and then failed again, till after twenty long, searing minutes, I accomplished my goal! At last, at long last I had done it! I ate the noodles triumphantly, and then ate more, and then, still more. I had done it! Ten long years of trying, but the feat was accomplished: I can now eat with chopsticks at any moment I desire! And let me tell you: that moment of desire comes often. :)





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