Home Dice Commentary: Robin written by Robin Garrison Leach – It’s the junk drawer that makes it ‘home’

Commentary: Robin written by Robin Garrison Leach – It’s the junk drawer that makes it ‘home’


A house is not a house without a garbage drawer. It’s the one place everyone in your house will sooner or later find themselves rummaging around, muttering frantic words, like, “I to know I saw it here yesterday! and “Surely we didn’t throw that away.

Our trash drawer is in the kitchen. It is the largest and most accessible drawer in the room. When we moved into our house, I emptied the things I had kept in the garbage drawer of our old house into the new one.

Now we had all our old bric-a-brac, and with this new larger drawer we would have plenty of room for new bric-a-brac.

There’s nothing like the sight of all those loose buttons and weird keys to make a person feel at home.

Think about it. As long as you have your junk, you probably have what you need to fix or start or almost finish the job. Of course, you don’t want to do these things now, but – boy – when you’re ready… what you need is right there in that junk drawer.

For some reason, wives are usually held responsible for knowing exactly what’s in the junk drawer. We should know if it’s in there, How? ‘Or’ What he entered there and even Why it’s still in there.

Questions and accusations tug at me as John struggles like a dog digging under a fence for a small screwdriver I haven’t seen since Bush was president.

“Who got it last?” I could find it if all this junk wasn’t here!

Sure. There are things that may not be needed right away. I have a gravity-defying “space pen” that will write from any angle (once I buy a new ink refill). Dollar Tree headphones in case we can’t find our “good ones”. The instructions for the countertop appliances I relegated to the upper cabinets. I might use them sometimes. I will need to know how.

There’s a big ‘8’ shaped birthday candle that will no doubt come in handy again when John and I hit the big 80. I’ll just have to buy the ‘0’.

Stacks roll like balls in a bingo cage. No idea if they are good or not. But we keep them and buy a fresh eight-pack of AA batteries whenever we need them. Those who are there are extras.

If I need a ruler, there’s a broken one in there. It goes to 7 inches. I can add.

I may never need to buy scotch again; there are at least three in the junk drawer. However, every Christmas we seem to forget we have them. We buy a three pack and use the new tape while the old ones were yellowed and brittle. But throw them away? Then we wouldn’t have any more.

The junk drawer is a time capsule of leftover screws from semi-successful furniture assemblies, dice cubes from childhood games, and pens with vanished trade names and questionable writing quality. If I wanted to know what color the walls were painted the last time, I’m sure there’s a matching chip of paint somewhere among the trash my fingers brush at the bottom of the drawer.

When I don’t know where something small goes, I know it can go in the trash drawer. A thumbtack might not seem worth keeping, but what if I only need one thumbtack? If I can find that bug, I’ll have saved myself from spending a dollar on an entire map.

I think of my junk drawer as a sort of savings account of items that may lose interest for a year or two, but become valuable when the time comes.

And so, we keep everything… every unnecessary bit.

In case.

Robin Garrison Leach can be contacted at [email protected]