JUST FEED 'EM WITH A LONG HANDLED SPOON
I found myself telling my niece something this week that went way, way back to my days growing up on a graveled paved road lined with dirt ditches now called Spencer Street (it was unnamed when I lived there). It was one of those throw back phrases that I often heard the old women say. "Girl, just feed 'em with a long handled spoon." Of course as a young girl, I had no idea what that meant!
This saying - "simply means to respect people, but not to get too close to them especially if they have hurt you in some way in the past. While you treat them how you would like to be treated, you still cast an eye behind your back and make sure they don't hurt you again."
Back then, my friends and I constantly laughed at their talking about the incidents of their life. We thought that none of that stuff would ever happen to us. We were too smart or so we thought. We always said, ”Those old folks are just trying to get into our business. They don’t know what they are talking about.”
Age brings about a change. We grew to “eat our words.” Those women were wise beyond years. They had ”walked their talk!”
They also told us, “Jes keep on a living and when life smacks ya in the face, y‘all will understand what we are trying to tell ya!”
Were they ever right!
I can see them now sitting on their porches (some drinking lemonade and others in all honesty drinking a shot of strong Old Forester whiskey straight without a chaser). I can hear them talking stuff as we youngsters walked by without a care in the world.
”Read my lips. I'm gonna keep this short and sweet. Follow this here advice that I’m giving ya and it'll sho keep ya outta trouble."
To my elders, I now say this. “ It took some years for your words to sink in and penetrate my soul. Do know that I heard you then and I still remember your words of old. Strangely, they took root. Nowadays, your words are not funny any more. I listened. I took heed. You would be proud of me because I just used that long handled spoon!”
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