Thursday, November 12, 2015


Spoons are used as a metaphor for the resources and energy available to you when you're not feeling well -- see "But you Don't Look Sick" by Christine Miserandino. 

But today I am writing about real spoons.

When the kid was here all the teaspoons kept disappearing. I knew where they were going -- to school for lunch, only occasionally returning home. Not a big deal.

A friend with four teen-aged (!) sons mentioned that all her spoons disappeared too -- it was a sort of joke in the family -- until Thanksgiving ten years ago. She pulled the heavy wooden box with her grandmother's good silver out of the buffet and lo and behold, all the teaspoons were gone. Sixteen silver Oneida teaspoons costing eighty dollars each. She mentioned this to her sons, who shuffled their feet about and apologized, whereupon seven of the silver spoons were found.

My friend, a woman of enormous patience, decided to buy all of her sons spoons for Christmas. They got sixteen teaspoons each, and they had to make them last until the next Christmas, or use plastic spoons, no exceptions. Her sons did their darnedest to hang on their spoons, but they were usually all gone by summer. My friend delighted in buying her sons pink plastic spoons. Their aunt bought them Hello Kitty spoons one year, and to the boys' credit, they took the ribbing they took over the Hello Kitty spoons in stride. The Hello Kitty spoon might have even allowed one of the boys to win over his now-wife (another story for another post).

The boys are grown, all have graduated college, two are doing exceptionally well in tech jobs. Last week, on the occasion of my friend's sixtieth birthday, her sons presented her with a box containing one hundred and ninety-two teaspoons.

The math: 4 boys x 16 spoons each x 3 years of buying spoons = 192 spoons

And attached to each spoon was a slip of paper that said "twenty dollars" or $3840 -- which was the amount the kids had donated to a local youth program that supplies meals to homeless teens in their city.

And with that, the boys promised to keep donating to that program or any other of my friend's choice. My friend, having read Christine Miserandino's article, has set her children to creating a non-profit that helps those who need "spoons" to have extra ones if they need them.

Read the article, if you haven't already and that last paragraph will make more sense.

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