I have a weird habit of purloining spoons. Not just any spoon, mind you; I prefer the type of spoon that might accompany a demitasse of espresso (perhaps at the Café de Flore). Spoons that do dainty work: gentle stirring, maybe some light sugar transport–nothing too strenuous. These spoons are meant for the finer things.
Finer things like yogurt. (Yes, my spoon thievery is related to my yogurt obsession.)
I began taking spoons when I first got deep into yogurt, around the time I went to Florence. My first spoon was Italian, then French (stolen from a university cafeteria–a nice shallow spoon that my mouth misses to this day), then Colombian (abducted from a cafe that I frequented: I built up trust then made my move–I have no regrets). The Colombian spoon is still in active duty and has just been joined an American comrade, an acquisition from a recent brunch.
I normally carry a small spoon with me everywhere. I need to be ready for yogurt at all times. The plastic spoons that they give you at the delis here are crude instruments, too large and cheap to serve as appropriate yogurt-conveyors. I like soft, spoonable foods and want to be able to enjoy them on my terms at any time, wherever I may be.
I know that this probably makes me sound mildly crazy, but I think that we all have our survival kits. (Even Batman has his utility belt.) In addition to my yogurt spoons, I always have an emergency book with me. My mother carries Blistex and pens with her and my dad cannot be without a piece of rope. Even on my sister’s wedding day he had a small cord of rope tucked into his tux pocket.
I’m not sure which I love more: the fact that my dad carries a piece of rope with him everywhere or the expression of utter satisfaction that he gets when he finds an application for his rope. “I sure am glad I had this handy piece of rope with me,” he’ll say, fully aware of how adorable my sisters and I find this quirk.
I talked to my dad last Friday, just before he left for Kazakhstan. As we spoke, he was loading Almaty’s coordinates into his GPS, another one of his survival tools. What’s funny to me is that I am comforted by the fact that wherever Mike Doll goes, he’ll have his rope and his GPS.