Just Another Tirade | Blogs

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Just Another Tirade
Just Another Tirade

 I dined with a friend at Miyake on Fore Street last weekend and was fortunate to enjoy the best sushi in town. Okay, it was sort of like a date, but regardless it was lovely. I wore my darkest pair of designer jeans and a navy blue leotard decorated with shiny confetti sewn to the ruffles of the neckline (leotards are back! Did you know?). Accompanied by a pair of what I like to call “Target Special” close-toed wedges (because if you know me I need the extra height), and a khaki colored sweater that draped off my shoulders. Sometimes I worry about my attire when I leave my apartment in Portland. Am I alone in this concern? Less and less has seemingly become more, and I feverishly try to cover up. Nevertheless, I fit in with the rest of Miyake’s clientele that night, and did not feel in the least bit self-conscious. What you might consider to be your evening attire is suitable for Miyake, but follow your instincts and no matter where you go, stick with what is comfortable for you.

My date made the reservation and before I knew it I was running down Fore Street, flailing. When I arrived 15 minutes late my eyes were watering. I removed my jacket and sat down in a chair that was altogether too large and rather uncomfortable. Unsure of where to hang my belongings, I settled with on the back of my chair, substantial enough to have slung every jacket in the restaurant on. Once settled, I had a difficult time focusing on my date (perhaps because my eyes wouldn’t stop watering), but really because the bright white background he was sitting against created the illusion that I was talking to a silhouette. I have experienced this before in a posh San Francisco restaurant, and I did not love it.  Although aside from this minor atmospheric limitation, dinner was decadent. We each ate several plates and shared a bottle of Sake. The first was the “hamayake” which literally melts in your mouth. It consists of local crab, lobster and scallops on a bed of rice covered in spicy mayonnaise presented on a halved scallop shell. Had I not read the menu, I would not have suspected a key ingredient was mayonnaise (something I am not particularly fond of), but it was heavenly. If you are not a mayonnaise lover like me, give this dish a try anyway because you might really enjoy it. We completed the meal with the “ceviche” roll, very refreshing and a perfect palate cleanser. There was a touch of truffle oil, overused sometimes, although not on this particular dish. My advice, if you do go to Miyake, always make a reservation in advance, try something you wouldn’t normally eat because everything is delicious, and sit against the wall on the bench, or forever in Miyake time, squint your eyes.

I’m realizing, every time I go on a date it is the same conversation, but with a new person and a different outcome. Topics are typically are of work, interests, hobbies, etc. Forgive me if I am beating a dead horse. We all know this, right? (Maybe not, I still feel like I am just learning). On this particular dine-out, we got stranded on the island of work. I had to delve into the depths of my brain and laboriously drag out some interesting facts regarding what I like to do for “work”. (Note: This was after already having had the conversation as to what my date does for work.) Picture this, I was stranded on an island and there was an Oasis and it was full of rich, interesting, and juicy wet details of what I like to do, and every time I tried to drink from this Oasis and regurgitate all of the details, I found myself still standing on the island with no water at all, feeling completely delusional. Aka, I failed to impress. I tried to explain that all the things I like to do are of a more creative nature, but it was hard for me to do this after hearing about his line of work, and how concretely successful he has become. To further my situation he said, “Well, why don’t you just get a job?” Don’t be fooled, I have a job, although based on this insensitive comment I do not think he would categorize it as a “real” job, per se. I was a bit offended.  Just because he had taken the road more travelled, it seemed like he stored all the answers for the poor souls like myself searching for what it is they want to do with the rest of their lives. “Not all those who wander are lost,” I felt like saying in my defense. For some reason J.R. Tolkien had just become my best friend. How do I bring up Gandalf on this date to make my point? I don’t. As we finished dinner I began to ask my date more questions as if conducting a silhouette interview. I could no longer make out his face, perhaps because I regressed into the safety of my brain that had gone to mush with feelings of embarrassment and inadequacy.

I learned a lot about myself at Miyake that night. Mainly, I learned we create our own limitations, but otherwise they do not exist. Why limit myself in the clothes I wear, or the food I eat because of the mayonnaise I thought I’d never like? Why succumb to failure because of the work I have yet to find? There is a difference between defection and honest growth. It was the light in the background that gave me minimal ability to see the person sitting across the table, but as it turned out this was no bone of contention at all. Rather, I turned it into inspiration to be playful, ask questions, and to enjoy some more (although shadowed) conversation, full in the belly and satisfied to go home and slip into bed.

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