D. John Bray: Drawer holds life’s ordinary treasures - The Buffalo News

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D. John Bray: Drawer holds life’s ordinary treasures

For some reason, everyone has The Drawer in their home, usually in the kitchen, that for some arcane reason contains the most diverse collection of stuff collected by every member of the family. Stuff is casually thrown in there because there is no “proper” place for it.

Now these are small items; many date back decades, some from long-forgotten sources, and others from various experiences or events that happened last week or years ago. Others have magically appeared, probably from another dimension.

It’s stuff that we, at one time or another, decided we could not throw away because we might need it someday.

Most of the stuff is considered practical, as determined by an unofficial survey of my co-workers. For example: small salt and pepper packets you take home from the restaurant, birthday candles, plastic spoons, small screwdrivers (standard and Phillips), a pair of needle-nose pliers, rubber bands, twist ties from the supermarket, small nuts and bolts from some device, erasers (remember those?), small flashlights, a stamp from a foreign country complimented by a few Canadian coins, tape, some Christmas ornament hooks, cartoon character stickers the grandchildren threw in, old Genesee beer can openers from the day when beer cans didn’t have pull tabs, co-pay receipts, small note pads from every town politician who ran for office in the past 10 years, a 6-inch ruler, a small tape measure, a lone golf ball rolling around with a lone earring, cooking twine, pipe cleaners, plastic numbers for birthday cakes (usually missing one number), a partial deck of cards, children’s paintbrushes, plastic lids for dog food cans (the dog is deceased), extra blades for a food processor, a small jack knife, a bobby pin, a pack of matches, and, well, look in your own Drawer.

And of course, once you throw out something from The Drawer, you will need it the very next day. It is a well-known curse.

For some strange reason, key chains accumulate in their own separate place, like in a bowl or on hooks somewhere, but keys to unknown doors and locks are in The Drawer.

Most pencils and pens avoid The Drawer and are stuck in an extra large cup purchased on vacation in 1985, which is sometimes located next to the infamous Drawer.

The Drawer is not a sign of hoarding. I think it falls under, “I have no place to put this stuff and I don’t want to throw it out” syndrome. We all suffer from this in some form or another.

However, if you have more than one Drawer, there might be a problem.

The Drawer has a relation to the box of chocolates made famous in the movie “Forrest Gump.” Instead of “… you never know what you’re gonna get,” The Drawer shows you, on a small scale, what you have and what you used and may use again to get you through the little things that pop up in your unique, everyday life.

Like life, it’s the little things that count. They may be minor, but they are valuable enough not to forget or throw away. Some you put in the corner of your mind, while others go into The Drawer.

The Drawer of Last Resort – it’s there when you need just the right stuff.

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