Ask Norman

Dear Norman – Junk Drawers & Time Gone Past

0 Comments 13 June 2013

Dear Norman,

I recently discovered that I had a junk drawer. I recall trying to find the glue sticks for a crafting project I had found on Pinterest. The project required adhesive of any kind and I had recently purchased a 3-pack of sticks for some holiday glitter fun. I checked in all of the usual places: the basket on the coffee table, the fabric bin where the scissors usually end up, and then it hit me. Check the drawer by the cat food! I scurried over and rifled through. The rifling went on for longer than it should take to rifle and that’s when I knew. I had a junk drawer! Forgotten screws, rubber bands, do-dads and what-cha-ma-callits galore. All of life’s sticky situation fixer-uppers were left here in this drawer in the breezeway for myself to breeze on past without a thought. Those glue sticks got me thinking. How do junk drawers come to be so full of stuff? Does this mean I am a small-scale hoarder or just a clever crafter who knows she’ll need a stick of glue someday? Help!

Sticky from Mississippi

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Dear Sticky,

You touch on 2 subjects near and dear to yours truly:

1. Daily manifestations of tedium in the realm of senses
2. Cats

I’ll take the latter first.

Cats have a wistful elegance about them that can placate the hottest temper. My first year in Manhattan, 1947, my 70 sq. ft apartment on West 80th was stifling and devoid of inspiration in that July of record heat. That is, until I found Bubbles at the ASCPA in Tribeca. Bubbles was a short hair Chartreux with zest of which Helen of Troy would kill for. Her strut and manner of planned ignoring tickled me like the plume of Zoroaster’s peacock.

In a way we’re all junk draws slowly accumulating ghosts & tedium. That rubber ball you found under the stove. Or the long, thin screw you found when you moved the armoire. Surely you have acquaintances that could be described similarly?

The thought of one day needing these things and not having them would drive us mad. To throw them away would be sacrilege. So we keep them, store them and press on hoping for that one day where justification manifests itself.

How do junk drawers come to be so full of stuff? you ask. Because we live Sticky and are terrified to go without that which we once had in our grasp. Much of the same can be said of our social circles. And as we navigate unfocused groupings we pick up these ‘do-dads and what-cha-ma-callits’ as reminders of what once was, could have been or might be.

Sweating,

Norm.

- who has written 511 posts on The Shade.


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