Vermin Of The Sea

Well, I must confess that I am becoming an increasingly fussy eater. I find myself being very picky at potlucks, and I never eat fast food. I wasn’t always like this, but time, experience, and my non-existent gallbladder have changed my preferences. I will no longer eat for the sake of conviviality.

I have to go to New Orleans in April for a regulatory board conference, and I am dreading all the shrimp I imagine that will be available. I despise shrimp. I heartily dislike its texture and flavor, and I equally despise the environmental impact of shrimp harvesting. I imagine there will be other things to eat there, but I am anxious. I may have to survive on beignets. My absent gallbladder may protest, but I can live with that. At least beignets are sweet.

I have tried to be an open, accepting person in my life, but there are times you just have to put your foot down and say “Enough “!

When have you uttered the ultimate “No!How hard is it for you to put your foot down? Any suggestions for dining in New Orleans ?

50 thoughts on “Vermin Of The Sea”

  1. Have not been to New Orleans in decades, but years of experience has taught me that asking for something to be vegetarian (or looking for those items on the menu) as the possibility of getting you something without crustaceans and not deep fat fried.

    The natives may scoff at jambalya without meat, but is also a touristy place that will offer “non-traditional” options.

    A friend of mine taught me “no is a complete sentence”. Life changing.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I’m a peacemaker by nature, so I rarely put my foot down. I will put my foot down at oysters and snails. Tried oysters twice–couldn’t get past the texture, and swallowing them whole when baked on the half-shell and loaded up with breadcrumbs and garlic and parmesan is cheating. Chew the damn things, people. THEN tell me how much you like them. 🙂

    I don’t recall when or if I’ve ever uttered the ultimate “No.” With no kids and a wife who’s a scaredy-cat, I don’t get a lot of requests to do something that’s ridiculously dangerous or foolish.

    Then again, the “ultimate no” might actually be when someone’s holding a gun to your head and tells you to jump off a cliff at the Grand Canyon. Now THERE’s a tough choice. I’d probably take my chances with the gunman and try to take the gun away from him (I presume it’s a him)

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I like (cooked) shrimp fine, but if they always looked like the picture up top, I’d probably never eat them.

    When Husband’s employer (whichever entity Minnegasco was by then, having been through a couple of buyouts) told him that his job would be available if he moved to Houston, TX, he came home with that proposal – would we want to move to Houston. I asked him how often he’d come back to visit.

    I have yet to learn to really say No – I will often do it with a caveat, or backtrack later. I love mig’s “No is a complete sentence.” I’m going to remember that.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Another one that has been useful to me is “never complain, never explain”

    Because explaining why you can’t or won’t do something is just inviting someone to talk you out of your decision.

    I’m not great at saying no to a lot of things, but I’m working on it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You are right about “no” being a complete sentence. Sometimes We find ourselves Trying to justify the ‘No’, and it helps to stop and realize You don’t have to.You can just say no.

      Liked by 6 people

  5. I wouldn’t worry too much, Renee. Lots of people are allergic to shrimp and other seafoods, so any decent restaurant will have other things on the menu. In fact, you could always claim to be mildly allergic to shrimp!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I suppose you could think of it as one of those little white lies that doesn’t do any harm, but in this case, it’s lying because you don’t have the fortitude to stand up for yourself. You don’t need an excuse for not liking something. I’m with mig, no need to explain.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    So, Renee, how do you feel about okra? If you like it there is always non-shrimp gumbo. I have no difficulty putting my foot down with food—liver and oysters I will not entertain, nor Indian food because of the curry mix. Liver=bad texture and taste; oysters=texture (shudder); Curry=metallic taste.

    In 2004 Lou and I had been camping our way down the Mississippi, from Minneapolis to Memphis. The next summer we planned to go from Memphis to New Orleans, but along came Hurricane Katrina and the resulting mold in New Orleans. I am very allergic to mold so we did not finish the “travel project.” Then I never got back to a New Orleans mindset. The next summer we camped in the UP of Michigan instead.

    So I have no advice about dining in New Orleans. However, there is a terrific series called “Treme” about New Orleans post Katrina that is worth watching. It features fun, quirky characters and the New Orleans area as a backdrop.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. The hottest dish I’ve ever eaten was an okra dish in Singapore. I knew I was in trouble when my driver sat down and pulled out a large handkerchief from his pocket and put it on the table next to his plate. And you know, they don’t serve milk as a rule in Singapore so… WOW!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I have trouble saying no too. I’ve been told that it is a complete sentence too but I can’t help but feel bad about letting someone else down. I’m an adult child of an alcoholic. This is a quandary for people like me.

    I’m trying to learn. I’m trying to recognize my own needs as being just a important as anyone else’s. One area in which this problems occurs is my current work situation. I could literally work two shifts per day, every day sometimes. I AM partially retired, don’t really need the work that much, and find myself getting frustrated over some of the things that happen. I would prefer not to work as much as my coworkers want me to. I was told to look in the mirror and practice saying “No.” I’m working on it.

    Another area in which this happens is with a dear, close friend of mine who wants to give me the shirt off her back on a daily basis. She’s not happy unless she’s providing for everyone she cares for, all the time, often in ways that are really too much. She is simply devastated when I say “No thank you!” She can’t understand why I don’t want a whole 9×13 carrot cake, or a shirt she bought because when she saw it in the store it reminded her of me. She has internalized some ideas that she must save everyone and help everyone else. I love her but I feel that some of this is a lack of boundaries, even social skills, at times. It’s really next to impossible to tell her no. It’s devastating for her which feels manipulative to me. I’ve struggled with this problem in our friendship for years but she just doesn’t get it.

    I love shrimp. I love smoked oysters, not raw ones on the half shell, but smoked ones. I like them on pizza with anchovies. I’m not a pork or red meat eater, but seafood? Love it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Insights come to us in drips and drabs, sometimes it takes a long time to learn a lesson. Keep in mind that you don’t teach someone a lesson by walking away from them. You walk away from them when you have finally learned yours.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. I played mig’s game this morning and guessed that today’s blog was from Renee based solely on the header photo. What surprised me, though, is that she doesn’t like shrimp. Oh my god! I’ll have all of yours. I love them, every which way I can get them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve never been confronted with shrimp with the head still on, though I know they are sometimes eaten that way. Do you know how it’s usually done?


      1. I was with a client once (Nevis) and he was served shrimp that appeared to still have its big main vein down the back. Client was appalled (“I’ve never been served shrimp that hasn’t been de-veined”); turned out that it was a line of basil pesto piped along the back. He still wouldn’t eat it.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m terrible at putting my foot down. Which is why I’m still in a day job that isn’t enjoyable, satisfying, or fulfilling. My brothers and sister used to live in Houma, LA, 35 miles south of New Orleans. When we went down to visit them, my mom insisted on having ‘genuine Cajun gumbo.’ It came with a large crawfish (i.e. crawdad, mudbug, etc.) on top of it. Besides that fact that it had actual spicy flavor, mom wasn’t too keen on this large dead cephalopod staring at her from her bowl.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. A while before I met Husband, I told another feIlow I would not marry him because I had an absolute belief that it would be a disaster. That was the best “no” I ever said.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. i put my foot down with killing animals for me

    new orleans is one of my favorite places and i have never had a shrimp there

    best cooks in the world

    eat at the name brand famous restaurants and drink lots and enjoy jazz

    people watching is best on the planet

    i love new orleans

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Next spring I will have had 50 years of “no” – the anniversary of my deciding to go vegetarian. I have to say it’s gotten a lot easier in the last 20 years.

    The biggest emotional “no” was when I decided about 30 years ago that I would no longer be part of the “she said, she said” quadrangle between my two sisters and my mom and me. I told all three that I would no longer take part in talking about them to the others. I did have to end a few phone conversations and hang up; my middle sister didn’t talk to me for almost a year. The good news is that when I exited the drama, it disrupted the dynamic so much that they all eventually quit as well. My baby sister did actually thank me about 10 years later.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. From the perspective of Murray Bowen, a family therapist I much admire, you did absolutely the best thing you could have for you and your family with that very strategic move.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It involves differentiating yourself as separate but connected to your family, and not participating in triangulation with yourself and two other family members. Oh! How exciting!!

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Ha! I just about forgot my shrimp memory. When I was about eight, when we were living in Jefferson City, my grandmother (my dad’s mom) came from St. Louis to visit. My mother, who is NOT an adventuresome cook, decided to make shrimp something for Sunday dinner. She’d never made shrimp before and the smell of the shrimp completely bombed the house. It was awful. I spent HOURS outside and basically had to be dragged back into the house at mealtime. I’m sure you can all guess that I refused to eat it. She never cooked shrimp again to my knowledge.

    Liked by 2 people

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