My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas, my house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

Contact Me, Folks!

Got a question, comment, proposal of marriage? Great! Email me at theproductivecough@gmail.com

Show Your Love

March 21st, 2011

Recent Finding:


It is possible for a kid who hasn’t yet gone to college to be a douchebag!

Friday night, in an effort to spend fifty dollars, Paul and I went to our favorite sushi place. Next to us, an awkward high school date was occurring. Now, one of the reasons that we like this place is that it’s very small and quiet. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes you’re seated very close to another party, and you can hear everything they say.

And I’m not going to lie: I make virtually no effort to avoid overhearing conversations.

So, Friday, these kids who couldn’t have been more than 16, were sitting right next to us. Like 18 inches away. The male half of the couple was blathering on, trying impress his date with his maturity and knowledge of the finer things. “Ever had spicy tuna?” he asked her, gesturing with his chopsticks. “Um,” she replied. She picked a couple grains of rice off her California Roll. “I’ve never, like, had sushi?” she admitted.

This sent him into a frenzy. He told her about eating sea urchin with his dad in far-off Century City. He talked about all of the times he’d been served gross-looking things and had been successful at eating them. She seemed nonplussed. “It was totally no big deal,” he sniffed. “I was just like, whatever, about it.” This was his “A” material, the big guns. What girl could resist his self-centered monologue about his culinary adventures?

Apparently this one. She mainly concerned herself with the mysteries of the sesame seeds in her sunomono and said, “Cool.” to everything. There was no way this guy was getting a make out session in the back of the Corolla. (Note: I say “make out session” only because respectable people I know personally read this blog and I’d like to keep it that way. I think we all know what he was angling for.)

I have to say, I get it. If I’d been subjected to the pompous way this guy was courting her, I don’t think I’d have been able to get into the conversation either. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually been on a couple of dates with fellows who feel a little nonchalant bragging is the way to go. Some of them even think using actual lines from comedians and passing them off as their own is a good idea. In these situations, I either shut right down or go into High Snark Mode. (High Snark Mode consists mainly of me being on high alert for any missteps in logic, poor use of the English language, or just plain ridiculous ideas, and then pointing them out in a tone very much like Sir John Gielgud in Arthur. Sort of a “thanks for dinner, idiot,” vibe. It’s really, really unpleasant.) Some guys pick up on this, and start to change their game plan. But the real D-bags never do.

Which is how I know this guy was top-shelf D.

Once he’d exhausted all of his sushi triumph stories, he transitioned (I use that term loosely) right into Chinese fare. “Ever had Dim Sum?” She watched her miso soup settle. “You’d love it. It’s this thing where everyone gets a lot of small things. And you share, so if someone gets something bad, it sucks. Like you could end up eating chicken feet or something.” She giggled at that. He neglected to point out the true fun of dim sum: selecting what you want as it comes by on a cart pushed by a disinterested Chinese woman with a name tag that reads “Sheila” or “Debbie.” That would have beenĀ  my opener, but whatever.

He then went on to discuss customs in India. However, at that point, I lost the thread of the conversation for awhile, because my food arrived and I lost the ability to do anything but eat. Ask anyone: When food shows up, I can no longer hold a conversation, maintain awareness of my surroundings, or move my legs. If you were going to murder me or steal my wallet, setting out a plate of waffles right beforehand would be an excellent way of getting it done quickly and quietly.

When I regained awareness, Paul and I noticed he was still talking about cuisines of the world. “I dunno. I’m like really into other cultures and people and stuff,” he announced.

There was some silence. Then her response: “I made a square!”

Paul, who had a better view of her, said she’d pushed her plates and soy sauce dishes around to form a neat little square. “Oh! That’s a square made of squares,” he said.

More silence, and then the bill came. As they were getting up, he asked her why she’d only eaten a couple of pieces of California Roll. “I don’t know. I didn’t really want it.” She shrugged and he deflated. For all his grandstanding about his knowledge of other cuisines and how to eat them, the girl he wanted to purchase raw fish for wasn’t interested. The last 40 minutes were for nothing. Sure, that was probably just her telling the truth, but I know if I’d been on a date with a blow hard like that kid, I would probably have said that exact thing just to get a little dig in. Well, actually, if I were in High Snark Mode, I’d probably have said, “I dunno. I just don’t really see the appeal.”

But I’m sort of a jerk.

Regardless of whether or not she said it innocently, or with the intent to burst his self-loving bubble, I hope she paid attention to its effect, because I can 100% guarantee her it will come in handy again some day.

3 comments to Recent Finding:

  • JJ

    I can attest for the lack of conversation that Liz presents when eating.

    In the kids defense, what 16 year old really likes sushi anyways? Don’t they like cheese burgers and hanging out at the roller rink? Too 1950’s? Don’t they like making meth and burning forests down? Come on, you take her to get SUSHI!

  • Jeez Liz, give the kid a break. If he was only 16 years old he was probably nervous as hell. I understand you’re 10 years older than him and that’s a substantial amount more life and dating experience.

    Personally I think sushi is a waste of money. You are getting fleeced for what is a little fish of dubious freshness with the rest mostly rice wrapped in seaweed.

    Sashimi is the real deal, especially if you catch it yourself (Blue fin Tuna) or on the boat when one is landed.

    You cut it up right on the spot and eat it raw with a mixture of soy sauce and dry (hot) mustard.

    Maybe I’ve spent too much time at sea. I’ll send you and your mom another story about mid ocean fishing.

  • Gene Taylor

    16yo’s going out for sushi??!?

    This kid (and daddy’s wallet) woulda done better going to Fatburger and talking about french-fries of the world.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>