The junk drawer is alive
By: By Lisa Smartt
I have a problem. My family has a problem. It’s the junk drawer. I’ve always loved the junk drawer. Cherished the junk drawer. But the junk drawer has turned into something worse than a “bread starter.” It’s growing. Growing at rapid rates. Growing at rates that no one in my family can seem to control. First, I let the drawer “spill over” onto the kitchen counter by the phone. Then, it crept into the pots-and-pans area. Then, we piled some of it next to the coffee maker. But the junk wasn’t satisfied. Power hungry, it continued to multiply at alarming rates. We had company a few days ago, and I had to put all of the “junk drawer spillage” into the large green laundry basket and put it on the couch in our bedroom. That’s when I knew I had a problem. Not only did I have too much junk ... but now I would never be able to do laundry again. We would all have to go shopping for socks and underwear. And what would we do with all that dirty laundry? Well, if the junk drawer stuff is being stored in the laundry basket, the dirty laundry would need to be put in a big black garbage bag and stored in the guest bathtub. Everyone knows that.
I know what all of you highly organized people are thinking. You’re thinking, “Good night, Lisa, just throw some of that stuff away. And what IS all that junk any way? And why is it so important? And why didn’t you realize you had a problem when you found a school fund raiser catalog stuck between the crock pot and the waffle maker?” Go ahead. Kick me when I’m down.
It’s not that I owe any of you an explanation about the junk drawer. But I’ve always prided myself on honesty. So, for the enjoyment of the nosy and the critical, I’d be more than glad to give a detailed account of the problem items: A camera that doesn’t work (It will be fixed “someday” soon); two staplers (one working, one non-working); a DVD a friend let us borrow in 2007; a half-used votive candle; clothes left at our house after a kid sleepover in 2007 (Clearly, we have forgotten where this family lives); random CDs; notes from school; papers from school; reminder notes from school about remembering to return the notes sent from school last week; bright green eye shadow (Our boys may need to dress up like frogs someday.); a recipe for pumpkin bread (No, this doesn’t belong in the recipe drawer because I’m going to actually make pumpkin bread “someday” soon.); a pack of Juicy Fruit™ gum; a tire gauge; bread ties; and 17 batteries (No, I don’t know whether the batteries are still good or whether they were removed in haste from dim flashlights or an “Operation” game that stopped buzzing.).
I know. I need to stop writing this column and go test those batteries. While I’m in there, I guess I should go ahead and fix the camera, watch the movie, dress our boys up like frogs, make pumpkin bread, return the field trip permission slip to school, test the car’s tire pressure, return the sleepover clothes, chew some gum, light the half-used votive candle and remove the dirty laundry from the bath tub. And that’s just exactly what I’m gonna do ... “someday” soon.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.2.08
Lisa Smartt, Smartt View