Sunday, June 25, 2006


Today, I started to sort through some of my junk drawers. I like to save cards—from acquaintances, restaurants, and shops. I also save matchbooks, ticket stubs, discount cards and multiple copies of credit cards. I have old IDs (anything with a picture) and transit cards from other US cities (San Francisco, Chicago, New York) with money on them. I save fortune cookie fortunes, international bills and change and sugar packets (why, lord, why?). I have a lot of coupons I never use.

Most of these things I will keep, but I tried to at least get like with like. I put all of the ticket stubs and discount cards in the same place, the electronic auxiliary stuff in the same area. I put all the matchbooks in the same holder. And I threw away duplicates.

I found some extra copies of credit cards. Gone. Little bits of paper with numbers and names of people and businesses that I don't recall. I threw those away. I found numbers for my old cell phone carrier were hiding in the kitchen drawer. Trash.

Amusingly, I found four Safeway club cards with four different numbers, none of which matched the number for my current account.

I found several ticket stubs for baseball games:
  1. April 18, 2001: Orioles vs. Indians at Baltimore
  2. August 26, 2001: Mariners vs. Cleveland at Seattle
  3. September 2, 2001: Orioles vs. Mariners at Baltimore
  4. June 10, 2005: Nationals vs. Mariners at Washington.
  5. June 11, 2005: Nationals vs. Mariners at Washington
  6. September 6, 2005: Nationals vs. Marlins at Washington
  7. September 20, 2005: Nationals vs. Giants at Washington
  8. April 29, 2006: Orioles vs. Mariners at Baltimore
  9. May 27, 2006: Nationals vs. Dodgers at Washington
You'd think I took a three-year break from baseball, which is not the case. Why do I have these and not others? Who knows? Why do I keep them? You got me there too.

Once I got started on this cleaning kick, it was hard to stop. I went through the drawer in the kitchen and then storage bin in the back room and then the drawer in my bedside table. I had many, many bus schedules—some from over six years ago. I had maps in the back, maps in the kitchen, maps in the bedroom. I had many New York subway maps, Amtrak timetables, NJ transit schedules. I had US maps (NC, Chapel Hill, Ann Arbor, SE US) and several menus. I took everything into the dining room and started sorting.

I dumped the out of date bus schedules. Crazier than that—I stopped checking to see if the bus schedules were current or not. All of the ones in the back have sat there for at least three years (when I moved in) without ever being consulted. I put the current bus schedules, menus and local maps in the kitchen drawer. I put all the NY/NJ info in the back room. I found a spot for the random US maps (there is another box of those in the back too—which I didn't bother to sort).

Why did I do this to myself? Maybe it was a reaction to helping my mom move and unearthing all of her dribs and drabs—all the CRAP. I still have a lot of crap and I wasn't even trying to get rid of things—I just thought it would be nice to get to the bottom of the drawers and see what was in there. Now, I have ONE spot for most things and I know where to find them.

I also have a dining room table covered in crap.

Grateful for: sorting.

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