Darkroom timer with peanut butter; a domestic still life

Darkroom timer with peanut butter; a domestic still life

This post is all about the image. What do you think might have contributed to forming this particular arrangement? Consulting with husband, it was not intentional, three items on their way from one location to another, temporarily congregating together like boarders on different flights might mingle briefly at a magazine stand.

We were doing a bit of winter decluttering. This location had formerly been taken up with a wooden shelf warehousing dried legumes, still uneaten since early pandemic hoarding. Next to it was another filled with empty boxes, across from one holding all our CDS. Is it relevant to point out we don’t have a CD player? There is also a room divider hiding things I don’t even want to know about. The entire hallway had been reduced from a two-person thoroughfare to a one way only path. What is the point of that? Would you take the narrowest part of your home, the one most traveled, and constrict the flow? We’re constantly colliding into and inching around each other. A great way to increase irritation in case you’re needing more of that.

So, fixing this stupidity was the first thing that happened. Suddenly there was space again. The food shelf moved to the kitchen and kicked this cool 60’s relic out into the hallway, probably on its way to the garage. The darkroom timer was playing the role of ready-made sculpture on top of another cramped shelf in the dining room/office and it and everything else got cleared off in a minimalism frenzy. It’s also on its way to the garage.

The peanut butter is the real problem. Can it go to the garage? I can’t throw it away; I don’t want to eat it. It’s basically here in case of the apocalypse. It got placed on the lower tier while we decide where it’s going to live. Please don’t let it get behind the hallway room divider and start having promiscuous, unprotected sex with the harem of unused frames hiding there. Thank goodness inanimate objects can’t breed or we would be overrun with sticky rectangles.

Hammers and Light Bulbs

Hammers and Light Bulbs

My husband had the tool kit out because he was installing a shelf for our son. I noticed (because oh boy, I am forever noticing things) that it was stuffed to the gills. Just overflowing with..with…with what?

I start pulling everything out. Do we need five hammers? Twelve pliers? We have fourteen tiny eye glass screw drivers. How am I under the impression we had none? More importantly, why are there lightbulbs here? With the hammers? Why are the lightbulbs and hammers being stored together? That’s like storing the raw hamburger meat inside the milk cartoon with the milk. Or housing the puppies with the tigers.

This is what happens when you aren’t vigilante. You make money, nurture a child, show up for a friend and boom! The hammers and lightbulbs are cohabitating. Where are my priorities?

So I said to husband, let’s spend an hour tomorrow morning fixing this. Oh, my bad, I meant all day. Just the length of time it takes to sort 400 screws in 25 varieties abiding in 20 different locations. Did you have other plans?

In a world where this was my only domain, I’d ace it. I’d be a sexy comforting one-woman home depot. Imagine I live in the closet. Husband opens the door. Hey hon, can you hand me a 9 x 2 in. Star Drive Round Head? Here ya go big boy! Thanks so much for fixing the garage door! I love you!

I can do anything if only I can just stay focused on it. But nobody has time to babysit screws and so they propagate wildly and invade the storage area like kudzu. There is no where they don’t go.

A few other observations. The toolbox, which is used every single week, was relegated to the worst possible closet real estate, literally behind a big plastic drawer that holds batteries, tape and crepe streamers. What do you think is used more often, screwdrivers or birthday streamers? You said streamers, us too, let’s give those the CEO parking space. The tools can hoof it to the bottom of the ten-level parking garage.

The final WTF was a box of DVD backups from 2005 that were easier to access than the tools. Who negotiated their primo lease? What even is a DVD backup? Oh yes, it’s coming to me. You burn files onto them like a mini hard drive so that if your computer dies you still have this valuable information. What is the valuable information that is easier to access than the vacuum cleaner attachments? Deliverables from a job I did 14 years ago? Yeah, that makes sense.

I shared these thoughts with husband and he reminded me how we came to have so many hammers. On a dog walk he came across a bag of hammers. You know the proverbial “dumb as a bag of hammers”. That kind of bag of hammers. Seven identical hammers in a thin plastic shopping bag. What’s the story there? I can’t even begin. You know what’s dumb as a bag of hammers, picking it up, bringing it home and putting it in the toolbox.

To fix something this fakakta you have to start completely over. Everything has to come out, be handled and considered. It’s a royal pain in the ass. Makes you doubt everything you believe in. But when it’s done! Ahh, you can hear the angels sing and the glory lasts. For at least a month or two. Until someone doesn’t put a screw away.