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We waited four years for this

February 22nd, 2004 · 2 Comments


We left late. I forgot my purse. It was okay. I had what I needed in my coat pockets. Even left my keys at home on the countertop for the sitter. I felt free, light, frivolous walking onto the ferry. No canvas bag slung across my shoulder. No child on my chest. Nothing wrapped around my wrist.

It was a picturesque time to be traveling to Seattle: the sun setting on the east over the island, dusk settling over the city. Ted wanted to nap so I took photos.




The words “Trip to a New World” came into my mind, the title of one of the stories in the children’s Bible, we read each night to the girls. The story of Noah’s ark. But no bedtime Bible stories tonight: we were on our way to a sushi dinner and concert date downtown.

This story about a boat came to mind while taking the boat to the city. Trip to a New World. I feel I am entering a new world in many ways. The fact that we were able to go on this date was itself a marker of a new moment for our marriage. After years of breastfeeding and pregnancy when I carefully watched my diet, avoiding anything rare or raw, I now felt I could take the risk to eat sushi. No babies depending on my body. I also could travel to Seattle for an adult night. After waiting four years, at last we were able to go to the restaurant we’d been eyeing ever since moving to the area. The band we had tickets to see was one I’d been wanting to see for years but I hadn’t figured out how to get over to Seattle for a show. Now my youngest walks and eats by herself. A new world for her too. Sweet and sad at the same time. So many new worlds converging in me now I feel. And the world outside reflecting this, the waves breaking around the boat, the traveling from the island to the city, from the pink sunset sky on the mountains to the evening lights of skyscrapers.

The boat arrived in Seattle. Ted opened his eyes. We got off and walked to Saito’s.

I forgot to take pictures of the sushi. I had meant to capture the vivid creations: orange roe, abalone, geoduck, tuna, salmon, shrimp and egg pockets.

After years of waiting and anticipating, longing for the freedom, I found it wasn’t what I wanted. I cried in my sushi. I had a piece of salmon and that was all right. But it was the abalone that changed me. I bit down. It crunched like cartilage. White and stiff. It was as if I was eating an ear.
I can’t eat this, I said to Ted. What I meant was that it was nearly impossible to bite. The texture turned my stomach. I had a revelation: I was eating Raw Fish. After that I ate a few more pieces. A sweet shrimp. A tuna. The egg pocket. But it wasn’t the same. Microbiologist mommy me had so blocked out sushi for seven years, she couldn’t eat it again. Ted reminded me that I hadn’t been a big sushi fan in the first place. I had forgotten that I often had ordered teriyaki or something cooked from the kitchen. I was grateful for the plate of tempura.

By the time I remembered to take some photos, we had consumed too much sake. That too had used to be my favorite alcohol, but I discovered I didn’t enjoy it as much this time as I had in my memory. The sampler of three though had been fun to try.

There were many on the menu, so perhaps if we return we’ll try more, maybe warm sake.

Then it was time to go:

Tags: marriage

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Feb 22, 2004 at 1:18 pm

    I don’t like sushi either. But I do enjoy tempura and teriyaki and California rolls. So I eat those if David is having sushi…I don’t blame you one bit. But I do like rare steak.

  • 2 tania // Feb 22, 2004 at 7:46 pm

    you know the funniest thing happens when we want something so bad, it becomes larger than life and we latch onto the idea and reality is such a let down. i’ve done that so much especially during valentine’s day… that we’ve know better now to look for unexpected surpises, and everyday wonders … : ) everything else is a bonus!
    bravo for making it out though, we are still doing stuff around a 10 mile radius of home : )