Have I told y’all about my husband’s Fork Theory?
If I did already, pretend I didn’t, I’m an old.
So the Spoon Theory is a fundamental metaphor used often in the chronic pain/chronic illness communities to explain to non-spoonies why life is harder for them. It’s super useful and we use that all the time.
But it has a corollary.
You know the phrase, “Stick a fork in me, I’m done,” right?
Well, Fork Theory is that one has a Fork Limit, that is, you can probably cope okay with one fork stuck in you, maybe two or three, but at some point you will lose your shit if one more fork happens.
A fork could range from being hungry or having to pee to getting a new bill or a new diagnosis of illness. There are lots of different sizes of forks, and volume vs. quantity means that the fork limit is not absolute. I might be able to deal with 20 tiny little escargot fork annoyances, such as a hangnail or slightly suboptimal pants, but not even one “you poked my trigger on purpose because you think it’s fun to see me melt down” pitchfork.
This is super relevant for neurodivergent folk. Like, you might be able to deal with your feet being cold or a tag, but not both. Hubby describes the situation as “It may seem weird that I just get up and leave the conversation to go to the bathroom, but you just dumped a new financial burden on me and I already had to pee, and going to the bathroom is the fork I can get rid of the fastest.”