What're the odds?
I didn't win the lottery -- probably because I didn't buy a ticket. I don't need however many million dollars are up for grabs. I do, however, need a grapefruit spoon. That's what I've been telling myself -- that life would be better if, instead of peeling a grapefruit, I could simply cut it in half and use a grapefruit spoon to dig out the sections and enjoy them one by one.
The house of my childhood had grapefruit spoons in the silverware drawer -- two or three, with bamboo handles and little jagged teeth at their business end. Where did my mother get them? They aren't included in sets of flatware.
When was the last time I'd even seen a grapefruit spoon? I couldn't remember. My husband recalled having used a white plastic spork, back in the '80s, at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
I poked around online and, sure enough, grapefruit spoons were for sale on ebay, but the shipping and handling cost more than the spoons did. That always bugs me. So I thought, why don't I check out the local thrift store? On the shelves of its housewares department, there are two plastic dishpans full of cast-off silverware. Maybe I'd find a grapefruit spoon there.
But as soon as I had this thought, another one came whooshing in: Really, Maria, you think you're going to find a grapefruit spoon in that mess of metal and plastic utensils? Why not look for shrimp forks while you're at it?
This back and forthing occupied my brain for some days (hey, beats writing, right?) until I finally decided, what the heck, it's worth a try. So I drove to Goodwill, rooted around in the bins and -- you know what I'm going to say, don't you?
I found not one, but two, beautiful grapefruit spoons! I was so excited, I yelped with joy -- which led to a friendly exchange about thrift-store luck with the shopper next to me, and then with a bride-to-be in the next aisle who wheeled her shopping cart over to show us her own finds -- enough mason jars to decorate all the tables at her wedding reception.
We were a regular Joy Luck Club!
Rummaging in the other bin, like a gambler with an addiction, I found no more grapefruit spoons, but I did score a nutcracker and an irresistibly weird little teaspoon. Total cost: $2.
Man, did this morning's grapefruit taste good!
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