Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Cure for the Awkward Arm

Today I am not writing about something I have seen.  Instead, I am writing about something I want to see.  I am writing about something that needs inventing.

The EZSpoon.

If you have spent much time sleeping with another person -- and I do mean sleeping -- then you know about "spooning."  That is, curled together like spoons in a drawer, one person's back to the other person's front.  The person behind (the big spoon) usually has one arm draped over the person in front (the little spoon).  And the other arm goes...


That is the dilemma.  There is a name for this problem.  It is called "the awkward arm," according to the Urban Dictionary.

Where?  Where?
It sounds like one of the lesser-known stories of Edgar Allan Poe: "The Curse of the Awkward Arm."

A young woman named Min has written about it on her blog, Married Minzilla.  When she first started sharing a bed with "The Hubby," she thought they had to be in constant contact, holding hands, spooning, etc.  She gave up on that.  "Man, was I naive!  At this point we sleep butt-to-butt."  

Another blogger, Joe Donatelli, has written about it.  He offers two solutions, one involves the variety of positions shown in this illustration and the other involves chloroform for the little spoon. 
"Spooning Couple"

Hyper-realist sculptor Ron Mueck has rendered the situation in one of his playful pieces, "Spooning Couple." 

My friend Dean Rader has a poem about it in his book Works & Days.  In “Waking Next to You on My 39th Birthday, or The Other Arm,” he writes: “I’d like to unhook it at the shoulder,/ and set it on the nightstand./ I could use it to scratch your back/or your feet,/ all those places your fingers can’t reach.”

I got lucky.  My beautiful wife is my ideal height for a woman: 5-1.  I am just about 6-0.  That difference means my “awkward arm” will fit above her head, if we arrange ourselves just right – unlike the dude in this photo from an article in Glamour.  He is stuck with his awkward arm curled around his own head, like some night-time nimbus.  But getting ourselves arranged just perfectly is not always easy.  I frequently suffer from Awkward Arm Syndrome, too.

I have a solution to offer all of the big spoons out there.  I call it the EZSpoon.

It would be a fitted sheet and a mattress pad with corresponding slits, creating a pocket beneath them where the big spoon’s arm could fit comfortably.  The slot would be toward the top of the bed, near the couple’s backs.  The slot would make it easy for the big spoon to slide the awkward arm beneath the little spoon.  The mattress pad would cushion the little spoon from the lumpiness of the big spoon’s arm, and it would take some pressure off of the big spoon’s arm, reducing the chances of the awkward arm becoming numb.

I expect to get wealthy from this idea, just as soon as someone will pay me a lot of money for it and then go off to manufacture and market it.

This leaves another great spooning problem yet to be solved: The little spoon’s hair in the big spoon’s face.  


  1. Her hair smells so awesome I just breathe through it. 21 years. Don't always spoon but her hair... it calls to me nightly. OH! solution for the dead-arm thing.... 6" neck roll placed along your bicep, under her neck. the neck roll supports her head, gives the illusion of her head on your arm but with all the yummy feelings and none of the yucky arm fallin' asleep nonsense. 21 years. I has skillz.

  2. Even better.... http://www.xkcd.com/335/

  3. I hate to tell you this, but it's actually been invented already!


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  5. Cool! Thanks, Kendal1 That is an interesting solution to the problem, though it leaves little room for movement up or down. So there might be a market for mine.

  6. for some reason i just put up with the pressure on my arm without complaining.