Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Extra Spoon

We had the usual collection of matching everyday tableware, spoons, knives, and forks, in our family when the children were growing up in Lotus City. In addition, there was a spoon that was not of quite the same configuration as the other teaspoons. It was less oblong and a little more square! It lived in the same tray with the regular teaspoons. Trivial as it may seem, this extra spoon became 'a cause celebre' in our family that generated at times, heated discussions with respect to ownership. The children vied to do the table setting to acquire the experience of possession, albeit transient, of the extra spoon. That gave some accrued benefit to us but at the cost of further debate. It's hard to know where it all started, but clearly once one person wanted it, it became a source of minor veneration. Rational folks, even in the pediatric age group may have recognized the matter as one without merit. Not so our offspring. Matters of the heart and issues of entitlement can raise the stakes! Reason goes out the window. We want something that others do not, or can not have, even though we lust after the acceptance of the group. Something that sets us apart, but not too much! 30 or so years later, and living on Lotus Island I have discovered for some time that we have a different newer extra spoon in a different set of matched tableware. It is not exactly like the extra spoon of yesteryear but it is clearly an outlier. It is of no interest to my grandchildren , nor was it a few years back when they were younger. It has no intrinsic value! It is only of value as most material things are, if someone else wants it too. It sits in the tray with the other teaspoons and I occasionally speak to it, to remind it how indifferent we all are to it. Not, "Deja vu all over again!"

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