Afraid of the sushi man.

For a while, I passed the sushi aisle, feeling put out that I couldn’t eat my favorite, quick meal because I’d “given it up due to the packaging, blah, blah, blah.” Sure, I could still eat it fresh at a restaurant any day, but I just wasn’t so sure the handsome, smiling, Japanese man behind the counter at the commissary would be willing to place the homemade sushi rolls in the empty container I held out. Besides the fact, I’d have to arrive at just the right moment—first thing in the morning when they opened–while he created them, but before he packaged the lovely rolls. I had to time it just right…it seemed like such a pain.

The number on there? Is it number 6? They make it awfully difficult to read, don’t they? And who recycles number 6? No one around here, that’s for sure.

I LOVE sushi. Just looking at the bright, pink strips of salmon limp atop the rice rolls make me jump with happiness. (Sometimes, right there in the store.) It’s a perfect, quick meal for me, especially when my man is out at sea and I dine alone. But that darn packaging!  (And no, for all you mamas out there, at this moment in time, I am only eating the CA rolls or the cream cheese ones. )

Did I mention I’m a chicken? What if he laughed and rolled his eyes and said, “NO, you pregnant moron woman.” What if he threw sushi rolls at my face?

But he wants to sell his product, right? Why would he care what it’s packaged in? Worse case scenario, I told myself, I could always learn to make it myself. It can’t be that difficult. I mean, he’s back there rolling them, and he’s smiling. He always looks delighted.

I don’t mind the weird looks, it’s the adamant “no” I’m afraid of.
No, you can’t have it.
No, I won’t sell it to you.
No, I won’t place it in your container you bring with you. Who do you think you are? Do you think you’re special? What are you, from California or something? (Because everyone knows Cali folks are always one step ahead of the game when it comes to the environment.)

Then I would read Stephanie’s posts from Stephanie Gets Rid Of Her Crap Blog (which I just love.) She’s this fearless Canadian who outright asks for what she wants—and usually gets it.  She carries her own containers everywhere and asks restaurants to fill er’ up. Not just grocery stores, but restaurants. And I’m not talking left overs after a meal, but “I’m in here to eat lunch today but I don’t have time to eat IN HERE. So, can you put my Chinese food in this container, right now?” Each time she posted about how it worked for her, I gained courage.

Until I checked my courage meter today and the red mark ticked at “full.” Today was the day. I placed my empty containers in my cloth bag and walked right up to the counter playing this over and over in my head, “Step up to the plate, Jenn. Quit being a chicken. Smile. Be kind. And stop being afraid of the resounding “no”, will ya? Stephanie does it. Bea Johnson does it. All you have to do is ask.”

After he inquired what was wrong with his containers, I explained that the town we lived in would not recycle his containers. He smirked and gave me the eye. You know the one. The “Are you kidding me, lady?” eye or the “Seriously?” eye or the “What are you trying to pull?” eye. And then he said, “Well, YEAH, SURE.” !! I had to hold myself back from throwing my arms around him. I couldn’t believe it worked. All I had to do was ASK. Stephanie was right.

Of course, they had to put the stickers on there.

So they could scan the price….but it’s progress.

Tonight for dinner: dumplings!

Sushi with cream cheese, avocado, cucumber and cooked crab.

Spicy tuna for the man.

Who knew it could be so darn easy? And all this time, I was doing without. No more! Next time, I just have to remember to tell him no fake grass!

What have you attempted that was SUPER SCARY and then you discovered it wasn’t quite as bad as you thought?

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16 responses to “Afraid of the sushi man.

  1. Let me know if you will be interested in submitting an article or any existing post of yours to the BBOOK weekly theme “Continental Food”
    Here are the guidelines http://bbookmagazine.wordpress.com/submit/

  2. littlegreenblog

    Oh that was one of my favourite posts by far. I remember this totally! I was terrified of asking my butcher to use our own containers; I was second guessing him all the way – he’d think I was mad, weird, would ridicule me. Well of course, he couldn’t have been nicer or more co-operative and I don’t even get any stickers – yipee! Hope you’re enjoying your dinner!

  3. littlegreenblog

    I just found the post in my archives: http://myzerowaste.com/2008/06/theres-a-naked-chicken-in-my-kitchen/

    and here’s one that might make you chuckle: http://myzerowaste.com/2008/06/its-been-a-funny-kind-of-day/

  4. Jody Thompson

    Nice! My theory on asking for stuff– the worst thing anyone can say is no, and I can live with that— ha. Bravo!

  5. Bravo, woman!! I’m so glad you did this. And, ugh. All I need is another blog to follow, but here I go, off to see Stephanie…intrigue is getting the better of me. 🙂

    Keep it up, Jennifer. What you’re doing inspires.

    PS – #6 plastic cannot be heated, is cheap, and plentiful. It is NOT easily recyclable, so best to steer away from. A/k/a/ take-out containers predominately (soda fountain cup lids, styrofoam take-out containers, meat-packing styrofoam, egg-carton styrofoam, etc.). Solution? Bring your own containers!

  6. Fantastic post. Am so proud of you!!! A little ff topic but sushi is super easy to make (I actually cant buy it anymore as the stuff we make at home is so amazing!). Here’s my sushi recipe: http://www.nzecochick.com/2011/10/home-made-sushi.html
    I feel very inspired to bring my own containers to be filled. Thanks for this post M xx

  7. Sometimes it takes a little while to summon up the courage to try something new – but it paid off. Good for you! And now I want sushi..

  8. Sometimes all you have to do is ask – which on the surface seems like such an easy thing. (I’ve started following Stephanie to learn her ways.) Congratulations on getting that sushi, and on a success that can’t help but make asking a bit easier next time.

  9. And here you thought he was going to be like the soup Nazi…

  10. Jen, I impressed. I’m happy when I remember to bring cloth grocery bags and take home no plastic. I’ve referrenced you & your posts on my recent “Phone Trash”. …just saying

  11. It like I was reading myself… I am such a coward. I always send Jay to ask people about things 😉

  12. Awww….your comments made me smile. Will be heading over to your blogs just as soon as I can!! I love reading all of you. You inspire me every day. 🙂

  13. Make your own Jennifer! It’s easier than you think. I’ll post a HOW TO soon, meanwhile there’s a japanese recipe I’m sure you can do juts posted on me blog. BTW – how are you and baby?

  14. Alison, my next project. I read another blog post about how easy it was. I couldn’t believe it! Great idea and advice!! Did you post yours yet?

  15. Pingback: Stealing Trash – A New High « Dirt N Kids

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