by Valerie Lopez
WHITMAN COLLEGE PIONEER
Aside from dispelling my irrational fears of having bronchitis or pneumonia (a big middle finger salute to whoever got me hacking phlegm for two weeks now), my friends provide a necessary anodyne relief to an irreverent strain of cold: spooning. Yes, hold the Nyquils, the Dayquils and the Robitussins. At this time of the year, cough syrup isn’t enough to get you well, when the culmination of school work and stupidlifeshitdrama consequently leads to psychosomatic detriments. Spooning is necessary.
(For those who are not entirely literate in “this generation’s” vernacular, spooning entails a horizontal hug where at least two individuals lie back to chest, and fit into each others’ nooks like little spoons in a drawer—source: urbandictionary.com.)
Because I unfortunately can’t pack my mommy into a suitcase and have her at my convenience, I unfortunately can’t receive mommy-love, therefore no mommy-spooning. Mommy-spooning is a category of spooning all on its own. Naturally, this doesn’t necessitate a biological mother but anyone you consider being mothered by. Being mommy-spooned entails a very childhood sense of comfort and safety, a physical reassurance that, despite all the mean kids in the play ground, the horrible math teachers, and the childhood fevers, everything in the world is going to be alright. The orientation of mommy-spooning resembles a fetal like position, physically depicting a deep sense of connection between a mother and a child. Man, I miss my mom.
Now, back to my college supplement to cough syrup. Friend-spooning is just as necessary to physical and emotional health as mommy-spooning because it provides an atmosphere conducive, but not limited, to the following: a. a comforting silence shared by all parties involved, b. DMCs (deep meaningful conversations), c. exchange of hilarious personal narratives, d. an opportunity to orchestrate bodily noises, e. tickling matches, f. much lovin’. You secretly know there’s nothing more delightful than playfully fighting your role in either being the Big Spoon or the Little Spoon, and in this realm of spooning a 200-pound guy is just as likely to be Little Spoon as is a 90-pound lad. The major advantage to this type of spooning is the unlimited number of individuals that can partake in the activity and—sometimes—the more the merrier. Friend-spooning is a platonic way of showing your friendly affections and care, which is most necessary when your friends are experiencing a virulent strain of life experience.
And then there’s the significant-other spooning. I am certain that most of you already know the merits of this category (although I really would like to say that spooning isn’t spooning if it leads to something else—that’s called foreplay). It provides a different sense of comfort; it physically reflects the romantic relationship shared by the two parties involved. And that’s fun too.
Obviously there’s no possible way I could trace the genealogy of spooning, but it’s not very difficult to understand its importance. Firstly, from the aforementioned categories of spooning, we can deduce that the delicate mechanics of spooning (as in platonic vs. romantic displays of physical affection) not only reflects the type of relationship you have with others, but, more importantly, the level of trust and affection you possess for the other individual(s).
The world is consistently in flux, unstable, and precarious as it bombards us with strains that permeate our emotional beings. Although we do need our allotted alone-time in order to recuperate, I believe that loneliness further aggravates us. Most of the time, a direct physical contact or a firm sense of physical presence of others is needed in order to remind us that we’re not alone and that we have other people who do care for us. Underpinning all spooning is warmth and security; when time becomes anachronistic and the harsh realities of the world dissolve.
Now that I think about it, it may be entirely possible that a poet was slightly misquoted: “Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast, / To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, / Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, / Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, / And so live ever—or else spoon to death.”