Good morning, friendlies.
It’s Monday morning, and I have a thousand things to do today (mostly laundry-cleaning-grocery shopping related. Basically, the scourge of motherhood). But thanks to an insanely busy week last week (including a garage sale to raise funds for Annabell), very little attention was given to this blog. So I’m putting off the dull duties of hausfrau for just a little longer, to ask a question of you, my dear readers:
What’s in your underwear drawer?
A while back, I read somewhere (it was ages ago, and I don’t remember whose blog it was, so I’m afraid I can’t give credit where credit is due. If it was you, feel free to comment and leave a link!) about an author who, in order to get to know her characters better, went through their imaginary underwear drawers to see what they kept hidden/stashed there. I loved this idea! Even though I had all but finished the first three books of my series, I decided to do it, because it sounded like fun – I am a born snooper, and the chance to snoop through anybody’s drawers unhindered is super-appealing.
It took awhile, and was harder than I thought it would be, but it was oh-so-good. But then, in the moments after I was done, grinning at the secrets I’d unearthed about my characters, I found myself wondering: What do I have stashed in my own underwear drawer?
My grin turned to a frown as I thought about it. Nothing. I don’t have anything hidden in my underwear drawer.
Really? I asked myself. Nothing? Surely there’s something.
I immediately marched into my bedroom and dug. Nothing but undies and other unmentionables. My frown deepened as insecurity turned me to my hubby’s drawer. Surely he didn’t have anything stashed there, either. Surely I wasn’t alone in the nothing-but-underwear underwear drawer.
Wrong. Tucked in the back, in a little cedar box were some momentos of his grandfather and great-grandfather, along with a card I’d given him on our wedding anniversary a few years back.
I turned and marched into my kids’ room (I’m not proud of it). Tooth fairy keepsakes, special toys, birthday cards, all sweetly tucked into their underwear drawers. Even my three year old has treasures stashed there.
I sat myself on the floor and thought: How is it all of my family kept treasures in their underwear drawer, while my own was lacking? I mean, come on. I’m a stasher, folks. Of gargantuan proportions. We’ve nicknamed the space between the wall and our bedframe ‘China’ (aka, the other side of the world) because of my fondness of stashing things there (don’t judge). And don’t even bother trying to open my desk drawers. They are crammed-full of heaven-knows-what to the point that opening them is difficult at best, deadly at worst.
So why does my underwear drawer lack little secret treasures? Am I that uninteresting, that non-sentimental that I own nothing secret and precious enough to hide in a place few would think (or be brave enough) to look?
I chewed on this for days. It made me cranky. There was a three-day span of time where I became snarky and cantankerous as I wondered: Am I a boring, heartless person?
Then I came out of the fog. It started with a little clay heart that hangs from the lamp on my desk. My son made it for me in kindergarten, for Valentine’s day. He’s nine now, but every time I look at it, I remember that little six year old boy bringing it home with the proudest smile on his face. Next to the lamp on my desk is a pinecone. My seven year old brought it to me about a year ago. I don’t know why I’ve held on to it. He just loves nature so much, and I think that’s sweet. Downstairs in a cedar chest I keep photos from college, along with a note from a guy I had a crush on. In the linen drawer in the hallway I have a photograph of my mother, gaily laughing in an eternally happy moment. As I thought about it, I realized I have thing after thing stashed somewhere in my home. I’ve simply never thought to stash them in my underwear drawer, because my underwear drawer just isn’t big enough.
That’s been the funny thing, for me, with writing. It causes all kinds of self-inspection. Before beginning this process of putting pen to paper, of bringing a new world and all its inhabitants to life, I would have never given a rat’s tail about my underwear drawer, and what it could reveal about the kind of person I am. An unexpected fruit from the labor.
And it makes me wonder…do you stash things – precious treasures or ugly secrets – in your underwear drawer? Or do you keep your cherished things tucked in various places around your home where you bump into them now and again?