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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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