Food for thought

Carl Thompson
I want to be more independent. This includes feeding myself. But I have difficulty using a knife and fork. There is special cutlery I can use. But it can still take me a long time to feed myself. It can be easier to ask someone to help. But what if I want to live alone? What about when I am on a date? I need to practice. I need to strengthen my arms. I also need to be resourceful. And I should not be ashamed to ask for help when I need it.
Posted by: 
Carl Thompson on 28/10/2011
A knife and fork placed in a napkin on a table
A knife and fork placed in a napkin on a table

The best plan of action is a combination of resourcefulness and practice

I have set myself a goal to try and be more independent. I have recently attempted to feed myself more often. But knives and forks are my mortal enemies. I have a lot of difficulty using them.

There are also other problems. Issues relating to social etiquette and practicality are often in conflict. Sometimes I think the benefits of attempting to be independent do not outweigh the troubles they can cause me.

Adaptable tools

I've been recommended special cutlery in order to feed myself independently. Rocker knives, forks with velcro straps, and even special plates with 90-degree edges have been suggested. Some of these inventions have helped my quest to fill my face. But what if I go out to a restaurant? Is it strange to bring my own plate? Will the waiter be frightened if I pull out my own special knife?

My arm strength is quite poor. I could always ask the chef to cut up my meal. But it can be embarrassing.

My favourite invention

Sometimes I wish all food was liquid. I believe that straws are the best invention in the world. For me, they are better than penicillin, the alphabet and the wheel combined.

But I can't have a liquid breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. It is just not feasible. Proper food is needed. Eating is also a social activity, especially during special events.

Potential problems

Unfortunately, it can take me a long time to feed myself. And I don't want my food to go cold while I fumble about. There are many worst-case scenarios. What if my steak isn't tender enough and I can't cut it? What if I am served spaghetti? Even thinking about eating spaghetti independently brings back horrible memories. Sometimes it is simply easier and more convenient to ask someone else to feed me.

Asking someone to help is often a good alternative to feeding myself. Family and close friends don't mind helping me eat. And that way I do not spill food all over myself. But obviously I am not practising my independence skills when they shovel food in my mouth. I do need to break this habit of having other people feed me. After all, I don't want to starve to death if I am living alone.

I also often wonder how I should approach my eating during a romantic dinner. Ordering something easy to eat is often my best bet. A risotto is always a good choice. But I still worry that my date may be frightened of my special fork. Perhaps I could ask them to feed me instead. This could even be quite seductive depending on the person and the circumstances.

Persistence will pay off

I have finally realised that the best plan of action is a combination of resourcefulness and practice. I need to strengthen my arms. I need to avoid spaghetti. I need to ask for appropriate cutlery. And most importantly, I must not be ashamed to speak up when I need assistance. After all, I would rather the food to land in my mouth than on my lap.

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