In my pantry rests a barely used container of furikake.
The uninitiated among you might like to know what the heck furikake is. Lots of varieties exist, but it’s basically Japanese rice seasoning. It can include a wide array of dehydrated ingredients, including (but not limited to) fish flakes, seaweed, sesame seeds, egg yolk, mustard powder, celery, and carrot. This may sound less than exotic to many of you, but then again Ragu is beyond some people’s sense of adventure.
What? You mean you’ve never heard of people eating ketchup on spaghetti? I’m jealous. The thought makes me vomit in a projectile manner.
Anyway, an old friend recently accompanied me to one of my favorite international markets where they sell a broad assortment of furikake. We reached the display and I mentioned that I really like the stuff, quickly grabbing a couple of packages. And then the discussion began…
What kind should I get?
What looks good to you? This one has fish and this one has no seaweed and that one has a lot of vegetables in it.
Which one do you like?
I like them all.
So what should I get?
What will your family eat?
What’s your favorite?
(The conversation was a lot longer.)
And so that’s what he grabbed. He wouldn’t let me remind him that I had already seen him, his wife, and his kids spit out food that contained seaweed. I tried to warn him but he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise.
Obviously, he was trying to impress me and he did succeed in making an impression of sorts…
And that’s how the shopping trip went, except he gradually got angrier and angrier when I wouldn’t just up and tell him which variety of something he should buy. I mean, furikake is one thing because it’s so unfamiliar but it shouldn’t be too difficult to decide between a turkey- or beef-filled pasta.
And even if the choice challenges you too much, there’s no need to yell about it in public. Instead, look up a good psychiatrist.
I also noticed that he only bought one small bag of the pasta to feed his family of four. So… if you’re going to try and ingratiate yourself, at least be convincing about it. I’m not asking you to waste your money on stuff you won’t eat and it makes no difference to me whether you buy the same groceries I do.
Nevertheless, I did not start this post to write about a shopping trip. Last week, I visited his place and, after reaching into his pantry, he handed me the mostly unused package of furikake. He mumbled something to the effect of “I guess it only tastes good if you’re used to stuff like this.”
Uh… yeah. You wouldn’t let me warn you before you bought it.
And so it goes. One cannot keep old friendships going (or new ones for that matter) by pretending to love what the other person loves. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and you can’t keep up the charade forever.
Then you look like an idiot when the veneer falls… especially because the veneer was already transparent to begin with. While I also suspect that the idiot might have been symbolically getting rid of the friendship by handing over the furikake, at least I got some free food out of it. It tastes pretty sweet.
Seriously. The fish has a sweet flavor. Add some buttercream and you could slather it on a cake.
Okay, maybe not that sweet…