I like my spoons. They are small and large. They are all useful and no one ever thinks how important they are until there are no spoons. They are also shiny and smooth. There are so many types of spoon, how could anyone get bored? From teaspoons to punch ladles, they all feed us, and comfort us. They hold soup on a cold day and stir our iced tea on a hot day.
A root beer float isn’t just drunk from a glass like water; there is a fun spoon that goes with it. Has anyone thrown a spoon in the freezer for a moment and then put back of the slightly chilled spoon gently upon an itchy tired eye? It’s so soothing. They make music and they can repot a small delicate flower and they can feed a child. There are so many uses for a simple spoon.
When: Gee, when did this start? I think I was 7 when I began pinching spoons. I didn’t start numbering or dating them until I was 14. Some spoons are from fancy restaurants and cafés of long gone; some are from coffee and tea shops that are still with us.
How: Yes, how do you pinch a spoon? Well, it’s very easy. I would wait until the family was in deep conversation and slip the spoon into my pocket. Then I would say, “I dropped my spoon, may I have another?” As I got older I would merely clean it off with a napkin and slip it in my purse. Waitresses never get on their hands and knees to get the spoon. It’s for the bus boys after we’ve left.
Where: I’m a state wide spoon thief. Sorry, I’ve taken spoons in Canada too; so I guess I’m an international spoon thief. My life of spoon pinching began at an odd little diner that is now out of business. It was called May’s Café and she had a thing about cows. The entire décor was cow. Black and white cow-print plastic table cloths, cow painted walls, cow dishes, cow toys on all the odd little shelves, cows on the celling like the Cysteine Chapel. Painted cows were floating on clouds reaching across the heavens. I would look up and watch the cows. Many of my early spoons are cow spoons. I heard she got tired after her husband died and retired. She didn’t go out of business because of her spoon budget.
It’s the why that is the key to being a spoon thief.
My brother J suffered a lot of anxiety, paranoia, and reclusiveness just after his onset. Crowds were too much, noise was too loud, light was always too bright. He spent so much of his time locked in the big silver airstream trailer in the back yard. Getting him to go out with us was no easy task. When he went with us, it took a lot of effort and it deserved a spoon.
When he was in hospital or group home and was finally allowed to come out to lunch with us it was a very happy day for me. I would look forward to those days so much. Mom would shout up, “Get ready early, we got a pass and your brother gets to come to lunch with us today.”
I loved those days. I would dress up in the green dress or the ocean blue one and pick a book I was hoping my brother would like and I’d get the letter I had spent the previous two weeks writing and I would pack it all in my little backpack with my crayons and my coloring books. If all went well and the stars aligned, I got to have lunch with my big brother J.
Those days deserved a spoon. It doesn’t take much to make a 6 to 9 year old happy.
Sometimes my brother was numb and despondent and barely ate. My parents prodded and my brother clamed up more and withdrew deeper and further away from us. I didn’t take a spoon then. I was too sad to steal a spoon. I would take a knife instead. Very bad days got a knife. Because a knife can hurt and seeing him so ill hurt. It made sense to me. I am glad that I have less knives then spoons. By the way, forks are for anger. I am not an angry person. I have no interest in forks. Your forks are safe.
Sometimes my brother was happy and interactive and even a bit hyper active. He told slightly dirty jokes that he learned in hospital or from a roommate. He ate well and didn’t think anything was wrong with the food. He stayed present with us as long as he could and he worked so hard to communicate. Those were great days. I definitely took a spoon then, if it was a supper day, I took two spoons; a teaspoon and a desert spoon.
Sometimes he wasn’t feeling well, he was tired and sick to his stomach and had no energy and said very little, but he still wanted to come to lunch with us. He didn’t talk, but he wrote a bit. He sighed when he tried to eat and the spoon seemed so heavy for him. But he’d do it. He’d eat with us. His head was chattering up but he fought hard to concentrate, and finished the meal with us. I knew he was sick, but he worked so hard just to eat, that day deserved a spoon. Usually I took a soup spoon.
After a winding road and a life of chaos, a stint of homelessness and another hospitalization, we started again. It was so painful for him to be out in a crowd. He was sure people were judging, staring and reading his thoughts. He hated it and would rock and try to keep his breathing even. He wanted to jump out of his skin. But he gripped the edge of the table, closed his eyes for a moment and fought through. Those days really deserved a spoon, if not two.
When I moved in with him and he went through his deep period of negative symptoms, getting him to the coffee shop at the end of the block was an achievement. I didn’t care that he was still in his pajamas. He was out with me. He was in a coffee shop. He wasn’t sitting in bed listening to his voices. That deserved a spoon.
His meds got changed and he started getting better. He started getting more active. The day he woke me up at 7:00 a.m. wearing jeans and a tee-shirt, hair washed and a good shave, and said, “Do you remember Luna Park Café? That was fun huh? I want to go there. I’ll take you” That day deserved a teaspoon, an oatmeal spoon and a syrup spoon. I went a little over board and took both root beer shake spoons.
Every day we ate out and all went well, those days deserved a spoon. Sometimes we went out for lunch and coffee. Those days deserved spoons. On days he’d talk to the waitress and order his own meal, deserved a spoon. The days he picked the place and met me there, deserved a spoon. He always says he wants today to better then yesterday. When it is, that day deserves a spoon.
There have been so many more good days then bad and I have the spoons to prove it.
Thank you for letting me post.