Sibling Rivalry by Deb Lisa Daily

When we were kids, my brother and I fought over who got to eat their morning cereal with the sugar spoon.

It made more sense at the time.

The sugar spoon stood out among the other, more ordinary spoons in the utensil drawer. It was shorter, and had a rounder, um, spoon part. It was clearly special.

I liked it because it was different, and I have always liked to be different.

My little brother liked it because I liked it. And there’s nothing that makes a person who needs to be different crazier than having someone duplicate their every move.

I’m fairly certain that for my brother, making me crazy was a big part of the appeal.

So we fought every morning. We bargained, we bribed, we whined, we cajoled, we pinched each other and raced up the stairs to the kitchen as if the house was on fire, we got up early and snuck to the kitchen in hopes of outsmarting the other, frequently resorted to melodrama, and occasionally we came to blows. The privilege of eating with the sugar spoon was just that important. Obviously.

A variety of family sugar spoon bylaws and amendments were enacted regarding the fair use and turn-taking protocol of said spoon.

And still we fought.

Years later, I went off to college and the sugar spoon, like so many pieces of childhood, remained at home with my mother.

Or so I thought.

My brother died in a car accident about ten years ago. When my mom and I went through his belongings after the funeral, I found the ardored sugar spoon nestled among his most prized possessions.

Of course, I brought it home with me. I think of him every single morning when I open my utensil drawer.

If I could have just one more day with my brother, I’d let him have the damned spoon.


Fifteen Minutes of Shame by Lisa Daily

Author: Lisa Daily

Lisa Daily is a real-life TV dating expert on Daytime. She's a syndicated relationships columnist, a popular media guest seen everywhere from MTV to the New York Times, and the author of the bestselling dating advice book, Stop Getting Dumped! : All you need to know to make men fall madly in love with you and marry "The One" in 3 years or less. Visit lisa online at

26 Replies to “Sibling Rivalry by Deb Lisa Daily”

  1. Lisa, what a lovely memory of childhood. And I bet your brother is looking down on you thinking, “I should have given her the spoon.”

    I’m off to go e-mail my three brothers, each of which had their own special way to torture me.

  2. Thanks Joanne,

    I smile every time I open the utensil drawer. Little brothers are truly gifted in the ways of torturing their sisters.

    I’m sure I had a hand in torturing him as well, although, for the life of me, I can’t remember what I might have done…. πŸ™‚



  3. Can I just say big brothers are also well-versed in torturing little sisters? And little sisters adore them anyway? So much so that I named my older son after him.

    A lovely, sweet post, Lisa. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Judy,

    Thanks so much — great comments! So true. My son and daughter are four years apart (he’s older) and she WORSHIPS him. For the most part, they get along really well — I always get a bit teary/goofy when I come out to the living room on a Saturday morning and the two of them are already up together, snuggling on the couch.

    So sweet!



  5. That was sweet and brought a tear to my eye. I’m not, however, going to bother emailing my 3 brothers. I’m still waiting on their apologies for hogging all the Count Chocula πŸ˜‰

  6. Lisa, a beautiful and funny post! And now I’m all choked up and thinking about my brother, who is getting married this weekend. I’m luck to have him! (And my most excellent stepsister and stepbrothers too of course, but we were not together at a young enough age to fight over spoons.)

    I had a “danielle” spoon and the curved part was sideways and my name was engraved on it. I think, even with my name on it, my bro may have tried to get that spoon a few times!

  7. Jenny–
    HA! Don’t even get me started on THAT!!!! πŸ™‚

    Danielle –

    Thanks, that’s so sweet about your brother. My brother and I had a little moment at his wedding — one of my favorite memories of him πŸ™‚ Congrats to your brother!!

    Thanks for the great comments!!


  8. Beautiful post. I lost my brother too- and if yours was like mine- I suspect instead of saying “no you can have the spoon” he would say “see now you want to give it to me- I told you it was mine.”
    : ) Then he would dance about singing something goofy like “spoon beautiful spoon…..”

    My brother and I were both very young when he passed- but the best part is the memories are always there.

  9. Eileen —

    Thanks so much, so odd we have that strange thing in common. My brother would have done the same — including the song. He played drums and was always rat-tat-tat-ing some made-up tune or another.


    Thanks so much! I had a bit of deja vu the first time my kids ever fought over the same very sugar spoon. (I told them the story, and of course, they both wanted to use it!!)

    Great comments!



  10. What an amazing post. For my sister and I (my sister and me?) it was control of the TV. Dad had to mark the calendar with our different nights, or we’d both end up bloody from the fight.

  11. Oh. Wow. I’m sorry about your brother. Your story stopped me in my tracks. A simple spoon.


    We used to fight for a small, child size sterling fork at my grandmother’s house. Apartment. My grandma didn’t have a pot to piss in – but she had this pretty little fork. When she died I found it in her kitchen drawer. Now it’s in my kitchen drawer. And a reminder of her love.

    I hope the spoon brings you fond memories of your brother.


  12. Lisa,

    I loved your story. It was so perfectly put together, but that’s what writers do isn’t it. Anyone who’s lost a family member remembers these little, yet major memories that stop them throughout the day and make them smile. Thank you for sharing yours. This is my first visit to the site, but I will certainly return for more insights from you and the other Debs.

    Best wishes,

  13. Trish —

    Absolutely!! And now you can hardly believe you once got a black eye over the privilege of watching the Love Boat. Oh wait, that was me.

    Kim —

    Thank you so much — it does. I tend to be sentimental over goofy things — my most prized possessions include the spoon, a medicine bottle of dimes (Great Aunt Ila Mae’s yahtzee money!) and the five dollar bill my husband folded into a bow-tie on the night we met.

    Thanks for your wonderful comments πŸ™‚


  14. Tamara,

    Thank you, thank you. Your post made me a little mushy…it feels like you’ve been there πŸ™‚ I’m honored you decided to stop by The Deb Ball, and we’re all so glad you’ll be back. We all look forward to hearing more from you.



  15. Like Kim, this post also stopped me in my tracks. It really does come down to those proverbial ‘little things,’ doesn’t it? What a moving reminder to hug or call our loved ones tonight!

    My siblings are much younger than me, so we didn’t fight over too many things, though I do remember my younger sister writing in her diary: “Jess thinks she knows everything!” (I was like, Well, duh! How do you think I do?) πŸ™‚

  16. Jess,

    Thanks. I’m sure you do know everything πŸ™‚


    Thanks — I know what you mean. I’m so sorry about your brother — what a strange coincidence that 3 of the 6 of us have lost a sibling.

    I was moving, packing boxes on the day before he died (thanksgiving). My mom was with him and she called to see how I was doing — I wanted to hurry up and get off the phone because I was feeling rushed for time, but my mom put my brother on the phone, and we had one of the best conversations we’ve ever had. I’m so thankful she just handed the phone over, because the next day he was gone. The last contact I had with him was really wonderful. And you know, if he’d died five years earlier, our last talk probably would have been something else entirely.

    Okay, Gail, it’s bad enough that YOUR posts always make me cry…now your responses to MY posts are making me cry… πŸ™‚

    Thanks all,


  17. Oh, that’s a beautiful post. I was getting ready to post something glib and then I get to the end.

    Reminds me. I’ll have to let my sister have the spoon next time I see her.

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