Happy Shucking OctoberOctober 2, 2012
I’m a girl who likes to celebrate. I like to celebrate on a weekly basis and often for small reasons. When something positive happens, I like saying, “We should celebrate!” Then I like to cook something fantastic that takes three hours and open something sparkly that overflows in a flute. I did something along these lines when I figured out how to fix my vacuum cleaner all by myself (I replaced the belt). The next week, I probably celebrated again to toast my clean floors.
You get the idea.
I used to be embarrassed about my celebrations. Now, however, I think celebration is a positive indicator of mental health. I don’t make a deal out of my birthday, but I want to celebrate things like “removing the dead mouse from my balcony.” It looks wacky when I type it, but I think this approach to life is pretty much awesome, to find a reason to be stoked on a weekly basis, and to celebrate your blessings (or your rodent bravery) instead of being bummed and/or greedy for more of them (blessings, not rodents).
I rigorously tested my will to celebrate in September. September 2012 was like running a marathon while taking the GRE while making a souffle. I took each day and worked it full time and overtime, and in the end, I won September. And on the other side of September, I’m rather proud of what I made of it.
With 5 hours to spare at the end of the month, I submitted my book to my editor, and it’s a piece of work I’m excited about. How did I celebrate? I made a 3-hour bolognese, overpoured the champagne, listened to Bob Marley, and watched a kind and wonderful man carefully shuck 16 oysters for me.
September might have been a 30-day warrior dash, leaving me muddy and bruised, but its conclusion was perfect. September’s end gave me new appreciation for the zen of shucking. Shucking: I think it’s how you get through what seems like an impossible challenge and celebrate, rather than collapse, on the other side. You shuck the impossible.
For those who haven’t seen or done it, here’s how to shuck an oyster:
1. Make sure oysters are still alive by checking that their shells are tightly closed.
2. Hold oyster in the palm of a thickly gloved hand so that you don’t accidentally cut yourself.
3. Insert a knife between the shells, near the hinge.
4. Carefully twist the knife so that the oyster’s muscles are detached.
5. Remove the top shell.
6. Use the knife to separate the oyster from the bottom shell.
7. Serve live on the half shell and consume immediately.
Bottoms up. Happy October, everyone! Let’s have oysters.