all in 1


When I was about nine years old, my family and I went out to eat and I ordered fried shrimp for the first time. After the first one, I was in love. I happily gobbled them all down until I got to the very last one and began choking. Choking badly enough that the restaurant kind of quieted and I was the center of attention.

“Where are the tails?” my mother asked me looking in the empty basket.

I could breathe again, but it seemed everyone was still staring at me. I began to sob, and told her I had eaten them. No one had told me not to.

I was fine. Apparently there are actually people out there who choose to eat the tails. I am not one of them. I have continued my love of shrimp but have always erred on the side of leaving a little extra shrimp at the tail end rather than risk eating any more shrimp tails.

All this to say, the story of me eating the shrimp tails has been shared miiilllliiooonnns of times. It’s one of those stories that just keeps getting told. My kids have heard it at least 20 times.

Imagine my surprise last night when Maggie and I were at a Christmas party and she mentioned that she had eaten two shrimp.

“Where are the tails?” I asked her looking at her empty plate.

To her credit, she didn’t cry. I told her she’d be fine and she laughed at herself. She’s taking this following in her mother’s footsteps a little seriously. I ate six; she ate two. Maybe with the downward trend the next generation will be happy hearing the story instead of being part of it.


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