Friday, July 24, 2009


Years ago, I was standing in my kitchen one night, looking down into the silverware drawer. I noticed that there were more than a few spoons whose origins I couldn't quite pin down. Such as that really nice heavy one with the longish handle. Or that Mickey Mouse spoon from Disney World. Or that little ornate tea spoon. Or that strange-ish, wooden spoon with a Russian peasant-looking paint job. Or that funky modern one. And others.

And then it dawned on me that these disparate spoons all had something in common: I had stolen them, subconsciously, from ex-girlfriends over the years.

It's true. I was standing there in my kitchen, face to face with a new reality: I was a spoon thief. And it also dawned on me that it was a little creepy, frankly. Like some sleepwalking, totemistic, voodoo, final rites ritual. But each spoon reminded me of "her" and our happier times. I thought to myself "Weird, man." And... "I'm a weird man".

But then I thought about it a little more and I started getting a little misty-eyed. I mean, there's something endearing about this mild obsession, if you think about it. I was "just a boy, standing in front of a girl's silverware drawer, stealing a spoon to remember her by..." Kind of like this movie scene. Only odder and slightly less sacharin. And without Hugh Grant or Julia Roberts.

So I did what any self-respecting songwriter would do. I wrote a song about it:

(imagine the music being played by a full on, guitar-driven, rock band drunk on well tequila at Lions Lair)

i collect the spoons of my ex-girlfriends
they're all right here in my kitchen drawer
it's kind of a weird thing I admit
but it's the one thing that I still have

whenever I saw that the end was near
I'd steal to her kitchen and pocket a spoon
just a little something to remember her by
'cause the end was coming soon

have a good life
with your fork and knife
I got your spoon, got your spoon
makes me think of you
I gotcha spoon, gotcha spoon
gotcha spoon, gotcha

I've never been good at remembering when
like the time by the river or when I met her dad
but when it's 3 in the morning and it's cold outside
it's all right here in my hand


I suppose one day I might find someone
who'll put up with all the crazy shit I do
we'll decide on a pattern and get our silverware
and I'll give back those spoons

I'll record this song on an old tape deck
box it up with her beat up spoon
brown paper wrapping with no return address
just a note that reads..

"I enjoyed your spoon"
"I surely enjoyed your spoon"
"I sure will miss your spoon"

[REPEAT CHORUS... maybe twice even]

I got your spoon...
it makes me think of you

What made me remember all of this was a recent Facebook IM conversation with my friend, A.

A while back, I told A. about my strange spoon stealing fetish. A. was going through a break up of his own, alas. So I recommended the spoon stealing move as a way to deal with his angst and grief. A. thought it was "funny". But today, A. popped in on me and we had this conversation:

2:45pm A.
I got a spoon!

its a great silicon spoonish spatula

she's pissed that i wont give it back

2:46pm John
i'm proud of you, A.

good job.

i would have liked to see you nab a metal one.

2:46pm A.


2:46pm John
a big soup spoon has been my specialty.

2:46pm A.
this one is amazing

2:46pm John
but hey, we're different people.

we like different things.

and i embrace diversity.

2:46pm A.
its true :):)

2:47pm John
it feels good... when you look down in the drawer, doesn't it?


2:47pm A.
so great

i dont even use it

i just like to look at it and gloat

2:47pm John
oh... you're "using it"... you're just not using it.

2:47pm A.

So Dear Reader, I will leave you with this final bit of advice: The next time you go through a breakup, go ahead and nab a spoon. Do it. It's oddly therapeutic. And if you ever look down into your kitchen drawer and wonder, "Where the hell is that spoon?", don't get angry. Don't judge. Just smile.


Rob Roper said...

This is a good concept. I like it. You should follow up on this song.

On a similar note, I remember talking to a friend and telling him that, for certain psycho girlfriends, I would hide the steak knives before going to bed. He said, "I've done that too!" Is that sick or what? That's on my list of songs to write.

One teensy-weensy suggestion: "I've never been good at remembering when"-- currently in the 3rd verse-- might be a powerful opening line for the song. You'd have to rewrite some to move it to the first verse, but... just a thought.


socks said...

Are you aware of Sloane Crosley's Pony Problem?

John Common said...

No... But I am now!