So I have this thing where I like to stash stuff away to find at later times. I couldn’t tell you when I started doing this but I know it’s been at least since my high school career because one time, I found an entire box of spoons – individually labeled with restaurant of origin and location – and one of those restaurants, was the place I ate at on prom night, so I guess it was a thing.
Like a butterfly collection, but for stolen flatware.
Now that I think about it, I have no idea where that box went so if you ever come across a bunch of labeled spoons at a Goodwill you’ll at least know what the hell that was about.
Anyway, I also do this with ideas.
Ideas are a bit harder to corral but I have a few traps that seem to work. I have a little notey-book upstairs which works very nicely. In the kitchen, I have my recipe box.
A while back, my mom was getting rid of her old recipe box – the one that I grew up with. The one that always says to me “Here is where important things are.” I have clear memories of it being a useful thing in my life so you can understand why, when she asked if I wanted it, I said “HELL YES.”
Did I have a use for it? No. To be honest, it sat around for about a year and a half, looking all empty and judgmental.
And then, one day, we had to have a note card for something school related. I don’t know what it was, maybe the science fair? Whatever, we only needed one card.
But you can’t just buy one note card, can you?
No, you cannot.
They make you buy that shit in packs of five million even though we only needed one. We had note cards all over the damn kitchen.
They drove me to distraction. I had no idea what to do with them. I didn’t have any recipes to write down because they’re all on-line now. And who the hell uses note cards anyway?
I moved them from the window sill to the basket above the microwave, back to the windowsill. They were in the way. I didn’t want to get rid of them, because you never know, but I hated them for even existing in my house because what the hell do you do with a note card?
And then one day, I had this perfect sentence in my head. It was hilarious. I didn’t want to lose it. I loved that sentence and somehow, that evening, I was smart enough to know that I’m dumb enough to forget shit. So I grabbed a friggen’ note card and friggen’ wrote it down.
And for one shining second, the depthless world of note taking opened up to me. I saw the universal truth of the three by five and its glorious role in fragmented thoughts that you don’t want to forget but don’t want to hold on to any more. There may have been tiny cherubs and angles and shit. It was an epiphany that glorious.
And twenty seconds after that, I had a note-card crisis. Because WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WITH A NOTE CARD? They aren’t useful – they’re too tiny. They always get stuffed in that damn basket above the microwave and then I gotta fish them out one by one. I hate that basket.
[Right up until I need stamps. And then I love that basket because I know exactly where the stamps are.]
As I searched the room, the OCD part of my brain noticed that my mom’s old recipe box was perfectly note card shaped.
And then it realized that the lid didn’t shut all the way so if one were to have, say, just one little note, one could slide it into the box without even opening it up.
Thus, my idea cache was born!
The difference between this cache and all my other ones is that, I know where this one is I just don’t know what’s in it.
I am eagerly awaiting my new career in the Magic 8-Ball and Fortune Cookie Fields.