Friday, March 14, 2008


I love my family. I am willing to do lots of things to make them comfortable and/or happy: clean poopy bottoms, wipe snotty noses, scrub icky toilets, cut up raw chicken....well, you get the picture.

The line is drawn at cutting the heads off of live animals, however.

You see, Sunday is my parents' 40th wedding anniversary and to celebrate, we (meaning my parents, my family and my sister's family) are having a huge picnic tomorrow. Their only request was that we have shrimp and my sister and I could plan the rest of the food and activities.

Since Ryan is the official crustacean cooker of the family, we agreed to supply the shrimp. I looked around for a good deal and found one at a local grocery store (hurray for Hispanic grocery stores with seafood departments during Lent!) that I just couldn't pass up. Unfortunately, to get the good price, I had to buy the shrimp with veins, shells and heads.

"No big deal," I thought. I can peel shrimp. I can de-vein shrimp. Certainly I can cut their heads off, right?

WRONG. Just as I got my work station set up and had my hand poised to pick up the first shrimp, it's little leg/tentacle (whatever you want to call it) moved. "It just shifted a bit," I thought. And then it moved again. And then another one moved.

After silently screaming, since Liam was down for his nap, I hurriedly called Ryan. He suggested that I take them back to the store. What would I say? "Ummm....I'd like to return this really fresh seafood because I'm a total wimp." Or "Can I exchange these really fresh shrimp for some really dead ones?" Certain I'd become the crazy Anglo lady whose squeamishness would be the fodder for much laughter among the store employees, I quickly vetoed that idea.

The shrimp are now wrapped back up and in the fridge awaiting certain death once Ryan gets home this evening. Luckily for my parents, he has no problem cutting the heads off of live animals (or boiling them alive in the case of crawfish).

And what did I learn from this? Despite being able to tolerate the likes of infant explosive diarrhea and yogurt based vomit, I cannot decapitate live creatures. I also learned to not be so cheap and to buy the beheaded, de-veined shrimp next time.


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