Square Spoons & Italian Ice


It’s been hot. Very hot. Well… I’ll correct that to “humid”. We’ve had storms almost every other day. Which, if I’m being honest, is a-okay with me, but the storms just leave more heat and discomfort behind.

I honestly hate the summer. I despise heat and I despise humidity even more. I read a Twitter post a while ago that I’ve struggled to relocate, but it pretty much summed up the reality of summer’s presumed euphoria. I won’t attempt to quote it, but the gist was that we are all programmed from a young age to savor and enjoy summer because it’s our time off from school. Our hour of freedom from a schedule. We associate fun and joy with summer when, actually, not as many people enjoy it as you would think.

In my increasing age, I’ve increasingly run into people who despise the sunniest of seasons. Heat weighs heavily on old bones and even worse on weary minds. I honestly thought I was unique in anticipating autumn’s cool embrace. Wearing a sweatshirt and long pants comfortable. Feeling a chill in the morning and a brisk breeze in the night. The smell of petrichor and rotting leaves. Crisp, clear days that are short yet savory.

If we’re lucky, we get a few weeks of that brilliant cool air, but usually, it goes from summer right on down to the deep dark depths of winter. I hate winter almost as much as I hate summer. Why the difference? Well, with winter, you can bundle up. Wear layers. Sweaters. In summer? You can only get so undressed and still be sweating your ass off. I’d take having to shovel snow over a year of blisteringly ridiculous heat.

And I know, I know, I’m from the northeast of the USA and I should hardly be allowed to complain overheat. There are places in this country alone that are hotter and less forgiving in their searing blaze. But I know I could never live in these places. Just as many people from these places would never want to live somewhere that’s primarily cold. Its a preference.

That’s not to say that all of summer is terrible. I’m less productive and feel generally like crap, but Italian ice is prone to go on sale. A lot.

When I was a kid, my grandmother used to order from Swanson. For those unfamiliar, it was a frozen food delivery service. I think it might still be, but its not around where I currently live. Anyway, she used to order some TV dinner type things, but mostly ice cream. Lots of nutty buddies and the like. Cones, tubs, ices, everything. She always had the best stuff. Then she moved closer to where I lived and Swanson wasn’t a thing. Instead, we had ice cream trucks! She’d almost always give us a few bucks to go get some of that cool sweet gold.

But now I’m an older millennial with no Swansons or ice cream trucks (first world problems I know) and spending money on ice cream is never my top priority. I personally prefer savory in my waning years. That aside, when Italian ice goes on sale, I’m all over that shit. One of my local grocery stores is having a sale of like $1.50 for a pack of 8 cups and there’s lots of flavors. Honestly, I’d buy Italian ice all year round, but A.) It’s on sale and B.) I can easily rationalize buying six boxes of it because it’s so damn hot out!

The household is eating so much ice that we keep running out of spoons before any other utensil and it seems kinda silly to run the dishwasher with nothing but spoons in it, but I wanted my lemon ice cup dammit. So I went digging and I found the one spoon no one wanted. I found the square spoon.

I remember this thing from when we used to go camping every summer. It was once part of the kitchen set my parents used. It apparently lives in my drawers now and for the life of me, I’ve never seen anyone use it. I’m learning why. It just doesn’t scoop right. The rounded tip of a regular spoon allows for easy digging like a shovel, but this square thing… It struggles to shave my ice. What good is such a thing if it cannot do its job? Such a simple job it is. Scrape up some ice for my enjoyment but no. No. It cannot do that. It makes sad digs and drags and barely works up enough ice for a mouthful. Silly square spoon. Who brought you into this world? They should be ashamed. You could have been so much more, but alas, you are a spoon unfit to scoop. I am sorry, little one.

But you know what? I’d rather have this weird little square spoon than no spoon at all. It’s doing its best and while it’s not as efficient as the others’, its doing what it can and I can sympathize with that. We’re all just trying our best and we may all be square spoons in this world of rounded prodigies, but as long as we keep digging and scooping, we’ll make our way.

The spoon may be square, but it didn’t choose to be. It was made that way so who am I to really judge it for something it had no control over? It does its best and that’s all we can ask of anyone or anything.

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