The first time I tried edamame was pretty mortifying. I was a young magazine editor asked to lunch with a high-end cologne company’s marketing manager to discuss their new products. The location: a midtown sushi restaurant. As soon as we sat down, the marketer asked if I wanted edamame. I didn’t know what it was, but so I wouldn’t appear too “green,” I said, “Sure, I love those.”
When the bowl came to the table, I reached in, grabbed a bean and, not knowing what to do with it…popped the whole pod in my mouth and started to chew. And chew. And chew.
“Oh!” the marketer said, “Geez, uh, you’re not supposed to eat the whole thing.” Then he took his edamame and popped the beans out of the rough pod shell to show me.
Not wanting to look even more silly, I pushed my charade even further. “Oh, I know that’s how most people do it,” I said (having no clue that’s how most people did it). “I just like to eat the whole thing.”
The marketer adjusted his tie, nodded slowly and said, “Oh, wow, okay.” And then, to prove the point I’d made, I had to reach in and eat a few more edamame pods. I gnawed and chewed the pods, trying to break the stringy bits that were turning into a cud in my mouth. After getting about six more pods down, I tried to doggie paddle my way out of it and said, “You know, let me try it your way.” I popped the beans out and fell in love with edamame for the first time.
Why am I telling you this? Because a friend of mine and I were sharing lots of stories like this—most of which were about dates we’d had. And we realized that it takes growing older and wiser to teach us that pretending to know it all is a waste of time and a waste of life. Life is all about learning new things about what’s around us and who’s in front of us, and we should never, ever feel silly figuring it all out. Remember my story the next time you’re stuck in an awkward moment on your next date. Ask more questions than you answer. And, please, continue to take the beans out of the edamame pods—they’re far more edible that way.
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Embrace Your Embarrassments!