Thursday, December 3, 2009

The I-don’t-know-where-it-goes drawer

This conversation took place minutes ago in my kitchen between my six year old and me…

Charlie: Have you seen the basement?

Me: Which basement?

Charlie: Our basement.

Me: Well, yes.

Charlie: Did you see what a good job I did cleaning it up?

Me: (clueing in) I did. Nice work on that.

Charlie: I didn’t clean up the Polly Pockets. We don’t have an I-don’t-know-where-it-goes drawer in the basement.

Me: I’m sorry, a what?

Charlie: An I-don’t-know-where-it-goes drawer, like the one I have in my room.

Me: You have an I-don’t-know-where-it-goes drawer in your room?

Charlie: Yeah, you know, the one with all the stuff spilling out of it.

As it happens, I do know this drawer. It’s actually a bin, and I must contend with this bin every time we can’t find Anakin’s tiny light sabre, or the Lego knight’s sword. It’s also home to the marbles from Hungry Hippos, the Playmobil horse hay bales, connect 4 pieces and small bits of string. I just didn’t know it had a name.

Besides the fact that we obviously need some better organizational systems in our house (I’ll get that done in my spare time), it occurs to me that the I-don’t-know-where-it-goes drawer just might be a metaphor for the differences in which the males and females in my house go through their days.

For you gals, can you imagine, metaphorically, an I-don’t-know-where-it-goes spot in your brain? It would go something like this, ‘That mom in the playground just made a very snide remark about what I put in my kid’s lunch. Why would she do that? Oh, well – I don’t know where to put that… moving on.’ Or, ‘I found my coworker measuring my office dimensions…I don’t know where to put that – must be no big deal.’ Of course not! No, we stress, we obsess, we call our best friends and discuss. The problem is that most of us are incapable of boxing up and shelving both the big and small stuff.

Men, I think, have a different deal – much like that of my little guy. For example, my husband has a job that involves taking big risks. Sometimes he wins and sometimes he loses. If he feels stress about this I’m pretty sure he puts it into his very own I-don’t-know-where-it-goes drawer. In fact, I’m pretty sure lots of stuff goes into that drawer for him. I have no judgment about this - we’re just different that way. Actually, if I’m being honest, I’d admit that I’m actually very jealous of the I-don’t-know-where-it-goes drawer. It sounds downright relaxing to store things away without delving into the deeper meaning. To put something away without thinking about where it really goes.

Maybe the guys are on to something here. In fact, I’m going to take a page out of their books and leave this stream of thought right here – exactly where I-don’t-know-where-it-goes.