Thursday, October 14, 2010


I am thinking about spoons.

I love spoons. I love scooping, scraping, slurping. I never get poked by the tines of a spoon. A tiny cup with a handle. A measured mouthful that won't overwhelm my mouth. I love a good one won't smush my nose when I squeegee the last bit of soup from the bowl part of spoon with my lips.

Hang them off your nose, watch colorful berry coulis dribble from one side, taste the hot soup you're seasoning, anticipate the graceful curl off the bottom of the spoon when scooping ice cream. Wooden spoons have the soft give, the xylophone-y tomp when banged against the side of a pot. Metal spoons have the shiny curves, ornate shoulders, fairy-like tink against a teacup.

Photo by: Nicky Ryan / source

Here is its anatomy:

The bowl tip - Here is your introduction. Here is the beginning, here is where you start slupping, touching your tongue to see if it's hot. This is tasting before tasting. Talking about the weather before talking about how she feels about her cancer. Eye contact before a smile.

The bowl - Home is where the heart is, and the heart of this bite is in the bowl of the spoon. This is where the single cherry comes to rest after rolling around your plate. A tiny island of ice cream melts into its cradle. Spices swirl, chunks of ingredients are hefted, and liquids are tenuously cupped. Sugar cubes are dunked into coffee. Colors collide, then mix.

The drop - That little bump between the bowl and the rest of the handle. This is the tease, where the tip of your tongue goes when you put the spoon in your mouth. Here is where moderation is; this is no infinite vehicle for consumption. This is Sunday, it is the end and the beginning. The rest before the rest.

The shoulders - Before the handle starts, a little shrug, a wink. Your lips might touch the shoulders when eating soup, trying to savor every drop: a goodbye kiss. An until-we-meet-again kiss.

The stem - This is the long and slender waist, the part you love to grab. If your spoon is an experienced lady, she will not twist and giggle, she will feel smooth and steady. You can steer her, dip her, savor what she has to offer.

The handle - The beginning of the end. It rests gently in the crook between your thumb and pointer finger. Flat and stable, this is how you control the angle. This is where you can be the surgeon, you are precise, you are calculating. When all is lost - as sometimes happens scraping out a can that's too tall - this is the saving grace. You see the handle, you grasp it, you make the rescue. You are the hero. Lick your fingers. Drop it into the sink after an ephemeral save.

The terminal - Floral and ornate, or simple and modest. The parting glance, the wave from the train, the dual-hand handshake, the ribbon that fell from her hair. It's a favor. Jordan almonds, chocolate mints, photobooth Polaroid, a little bit of port; one for the road. There is no doubt about it, this is the end.

Photo by: Flickr user justmakeit / source

Rule: Appreciate utensils. Except sporks, which are just spoons with a douchey haircut from the 90's. (Are - are those frosted tips?)

Bonus rule: If anyone makes a "there is no spoon" joke, I will be sad.

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