Monday, February 11, 2013


All Gone bowl 2-11-13
 This is the All Gone bowl, and it's all mine.

It wasn't always. Growing up, I had to share it with my sisters. It was the only dish of its kind in Grandma's cupboard, so we had to take turns using it whenever more than one of us stayed overnight at her little brick house on Shoemaker Drive. We all coveted the All Gone bowl for ice cream, for cereal, for potato chips, for Cheetos.

I am a middle child, second of four, and rarely Grandma's "chosen one." It was easy to feel chronically overlooked with cuter little sisters and a more beguiling older one always pulling focus. But getting the All Gone bowl made me feel a little bit special somehow, a little less invisible, even if I only got it because it was technically my turn.

When the bowl was full, I knew for certain that the smiling clown was down there, waiting underneath the whatever-it-was I had to eat all of in order to reveal his funny face. When I tipped the bowl to drain the last dregs of milk and sugar, by golly there he'd be. Every time. Looking back at me from close up. Face to face. Eye to eye. 

"I see you."
"I see you, too."

When Grandma sold her house and moved to an assisted living apartment, my sisters and I each got a box of  her stuff to either keep or relinquish to the garage sale. I kept the clay honey pot with the beehive-shaped dipper and sculpted bear on its lid. I kept the smiling wooden orange egg timer hourglass. And I kept the All Gone bowl.

I'm fairly certain the contents of the boxes were purely arbitrary.
My mother just divvied stuff up at random.
Getting the All Gone bowl was nothing but dumb luck.
And I'll take dumb luck over no luck every day of the week.