Spoons are very special to me. I don’t know how it happened. It’s possibly because of the fact that it’s the only utensil I regularly use, and I typically have one special spoon that lasts for years and then breaks or gets lost (since graduate school I’ve gone through a hello kitty, a beauty and the beast, a scooby doo, and now a flowers spoon.) The hello kitty spoon broke in half. The beauty and the beast spoon I accidentally threw out, and realized this a day too late. I wish I could have rescued my spoon, but the trash truck had come. The scooby doo spoon was lost when I brought it to Asilomar this year (this is the price I pay for bringing my own, delicious peas!). For the ones that broke and I could say a proper goodbye to, I have documented their last days:
Tonight, my flowers spoon met the same fate.
I don’t think that this one was very old – I remember buying it at the Mollie Stones market, having it in my backpack, and showing to my friend Linda on campus. That was probably around my Quals time, which would be late 2013. The typical life-span of these plastic, dishwasher not-safe spoons is usually just a year. Think about the design. It’s plastic only barely fastened to a thin piece of metal, and the attachment is right at the point of force from the human hand. What typically happens is that a small piece of the plastic chips off first, allowing the metal to work as a lever just a little bit more with the force of the hand against the plastic, and then in one swift snap the entire thing cracks.
Why just one spoon? I don’t like to own a lot of things. I like the things that I do have to be carefully determined, and special (unless it is a gift, in which case I don’t have to do any thinking and it becomes by default a special item). If I am to use a spoon, it should be one spoon. It should be my absolute favorite. Sometimes that means biking all over the closest 3 towns, but when I find my new spoon, I just know! :)
More noticeable than the absence of the spoons, however, are the forks they leave behind:
It’s kind of like a sorry little box filled with lonely forks, just hoping that one day their special counterparts will come home safely. I feel so terrible. They have no idea! So the best I can do is just take care of them, safe and sound in their little magnetic box.
In honor of all my spoons, and for the many times I have used them as metaphors for different aspects of life, I want to share this poem I wrote in late 2012 about a particular, very tiny, very special spoon :O)