What Is In Your Drawers?

Burlap Flower

 

It’s been over ten years now, but I distinctly recall having made an interesting discovery when my daughter and I were house shopping with a realtor who still sends me cards and calendars.  I liked her very much.  What I discovered was that I could discern nothing about the people who owned these houses except perhaps how many children there must be and how financially secure their parents were.  The houses were all very large and very nice in very nice neighborhoods.  There were often nice cars in the driveways or no cars at all because both parents were bound to work to pay for the house and the cars.  The beautiful houses were poorly furnished.  All of them.  There was no art on the walls.  No bookshelves bursting with books.  Nothing to indicate who these people were or what their interests might be.  What were their passions? I wondered.  Did they feel passionate about anything at all?  No way to tell.

Silk Flower Pin

Silk Flower Pin

I began to think about the possibility of moving each family one door up or one door down the street (assuming, of course, that the family had equal numbers of children.)  I would simply assign the Smiths to live at 310 and the Jones to live at 312 for alternate weeks.   I believed that would probably work out.  There would be some minimal stimulation in living in a different barren environment.  I could provide some joy in a change of wallpaper at least.  They would be forced to talk to each other to explain why the  Smiths’ two-year-old drew a dragon on the Jones’ living room wall.  That would be an excuse for an introduction.  It might be the catalyst for starting a real community.  But, I don’t entertain fantasies for long enough to develop them into working plans.  I tossed the idea.  I remembered the houses.   I wonder about the people who lived there.

Scrunchie Flower Pin

Scrunchie Flower Pin

I thought about this experience the other night when I was looking for something.  I looked in the top drawer of a lingerie chest.  There were these fabric flowers.  Fake flowers.  Cheap flowers.  Disposable ornaments.  Pretty little pins to decorate a dress or two that I have forgotten or no longer own.   I will dump the entire contents of most of those drawers into a trash bag.  I will give the bag to Irma.  Irma can dispose of anything without making me feel as if I’ve sent it to the dump.  I reassured myself firmly that my life is not disposable.  No, it isn’t, is it?

28 Comments on “What Is In Your Drawers?

  1. You could pin them on hats. Or on belts or handbags. It depends how quirky you are with clothes.

    I have a lot of books on the floor all around the living-room. There are a few cheap book-shelves and the book-case that my grandfather made but I still haven’t managed to house all of the books. I’ve tried to put the leather-bound ones out of the dust and I dream of whole walls of bookshelves. It might never happen.

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    • I kept so many books in boxes and stacks on tables, chairs, the floor, for years. I had open shelves that provided no protection for my books. I bought an antique bookcase with glass doors years ago. It provided some protection. Finally, when I moved into my present house, I bought bookcases to line one wall of my bedroom, but I still could not house all of my books. I went through them and gave a good half of them to our public library. I have over-collected since then so I am back in the same predicament. Why do we keep books? I have no idea, but I know that I would feel deprived and naked without my books. I wish for you an entire library of bookshelves! I can visualize you scurrying up and down the ladder to fetch a book! What a wonderful image that is of you!

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  2. Ah, the forgotten memories we have tucked away in our drawers. Pieces of dreams from childhood, or a moment of romantic impulse, that having bloomed, now lies faded and half-forgotten like fabric flowers, discarded on our way to tomorrow. George, you are a Muse; thanks for once again stirring my mind. 🙂

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    • I repeat, what’s in your drawers? 😉 No eyeballs, please…. Your post today is fantabuoous, by the way.

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      • Thanks ! As to your question, I will keep the answer brief. Reminds me, for some reason, of a Leonard Cohen line, ” I ache in the places where I used to play.” . 😀

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        • Ha Ha….I knew you could not resist. I was waiting for such a response! Now, I’m laughing.

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  3. The comments from your friends continue to add so much to the post, George…they are so complementary and result in causing you to fill-in the tiny holes of the writing, bringing out more and more from in-between the lines…such a pleasure to read. The photos and writing remind me of a post that I had about a year ago called “The Everything Drawer.” It seems that we often have a drawer that catches and collects the tiny things that get placed there absently or intentionally, sometimes tucked-away for a definite future purpose…and then never make it out of the drawer again. Looking at the contents years later, we find so many memories or potential uses laying there, re-remembered…. Anyway, very nice reading this morning. Thank you…again. 🙂

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  4. but that’s not the fault of the homeowner. most realtors tell homeowners that when you have your house for sale, you must “de”personalize it. take away anything of interest that might turn off a prospective buyer. what if you’re into knitting, and you have a basket of yarn and needles on display, but what if the buyer had a mother who died recently who was also into knitting, and that makes them sad, and they won’t want your house. that’s what realtors tell people.

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  5. I am in shock, after reading Lemony’s comment. I could never throw something out, without studying it. Your post reminded me of a time when I was trying to make more room in my house, and started cleaning out drawers. Some of them had my old writings in them. In one, I found a $100 bill. It was delightful to remember that at one time, I thought that in some circumstance, $100 might save me. By the time I found that bill, it wouldn’t have made any sort of difference. I thought, I’ll write a story about it… but I still haven’t.

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    • I know precisely what you mean. I can recall when $100 sounded like an amount of money one could actually buy something with! 🙂 Now, I’m afraid it’s pocket change. Ah, how times change and money devalues itself.

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  6. The image that disturbs me the most is a room without books. Years ago, I had a child come into my livingroom and I can still hear the wonder in his voice when he said “You have books at home… I thought there was only books at the library.”

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    • I know. Isn’t that the saddest thing? No books. I just cannot imagine a life with no books to pick up. I read on a Kindle mostly now, but I still buy the books. I know. I’m nutty! 🙂

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  7. You have disposed of things much more “desirable” than those pins, etc. I’ve been the fortunate recipient of lots of them! I absolutely hate houses like those you describe. It’s amazing how barren of anything interesting you find even in very expensive houses. A vicarious excursion through realtor.com is so informative about the lack of what I think of as treasured things in “upscale” abodes!!

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    • I don’t understand how people don’t collect anything either. Even “decorator” houses look fake to me. I may be a junk collector, but it’s interesting junk with some significance to me. I believe we are being mighty judgmental here…. 🙂

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  8. I was amused by the idea of moving families to stimulate their imaginations. The fabric pins might be “cheap,” but the resulting photos are GORGEOUS!

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    • Thank you. I was reminded of our throw-away, disposable, transient lives when I looked in the drawer and saw them. My grandparents and my parents did not live on whims. I’m afraid we do.

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  9. The texture and the purple tones that you got in the second photo are so amazing George!!
    And, what’s in my drawers? Everything, I organized them a week ago but I’ve been putting inside them everything I find, no matter if it’s useful or not 🙂

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    • Thanks, Pablo. I laughed when I opened the drawer and saw those old pins. Apparently, I don’t need one thing in there since I haven’t opened the drawer in a year or two! I hide things in drawers. Things I don’t know where to put. I just shove them in a drawer and forget where I put them! I have have found socks that did not match. I must have kept them forever. We are all little mice I think.

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      • Hahahaha!
        I also use drawers to hide things; when my room is messy and there is someone coming to visit or see the house, I put all the mess in the drawers and the I forget about it 🙂

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  10. Your fantasy about community and your observations about the existences of those you encountered in your search for a home those years ago calls to mind the pretend lives people…. hmmm, what’s the verb I’m looking for here (“lead” just doesn’t seem right)… fake their way through all around us. I’ve been in houses like what you’ve described: no books, no art… no life. It’s disconcerting to say the least.

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    • I know. I was absolutely floored at what we saw. No wonder we suffer spiritually in this country. And, it has nothing to do with religion. Sad.

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  11. No, it isn’t.

    By the way, if I don’t know what’s in a drawer–that is, if I haven’t looked in it in so long as to not recall its contents–I have no qualms about taking a large garbage bag and emptying the drawer straight into it without looking. I’ve done that several times and never missed a single thing.

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    • Ah, Nia. I was just thinking about how disposable everything is these days. What does one do with flower pins that are no longer the fashion? People who no longer look fashionable? I wonder.

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