Top Drawer

By: pbcmedia

Jul 13 2008

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: baseball, Blogs, Boston Red Sox, Creativity, Life, Personal, Photography, Random, The Single Life, Women


Focal Length:16mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 10D

DRAWER PEOPLE — “The best (most capable) people available; of high social standing. The top drawer of a dresser usually contains one’s jewelry and other valuable things, and herein probably lies the origin of this 20th-century phrase. Rose Macaulay wrote, in ‘Potterism’ (1920): ‘The Potter Family, however respectable now, wasn’t really top-drawer.'” From “Dictionary of Cliches” by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).

Yes, you guessed it. Another series, called “Top Drawer”. Pick any top drawer, or any drawer or box or container/receptacle that you feel tells a story of the valuable things in your life. Valuable in terms of memory, utility in your life today, or just plain I ain’t ever throwing it out and I don’t know why!  Valuable, but of uncertain worth.

My first choice for this series was the utility drawer in the kitchen except I couldn’t get it open because there are so many odd shaped things in there and one big garden shears is open and in the vertical position limiting any opening of the drawer to two inches. I bent over with a flashlight (thankfully not able to fit in the utility drawer) and spied the offending shears. It would have taken too long to free it.

So, I settled on my top drawer of a bedroom dresser. It certainly does not qualify me as being in a top tier of capability or social class or anything else, except maybe the capability to be disorganized class. I am top tier in that group, believe me.

This drawer holds flotsam and jetsam from my life and things that are of long ago and right up to now. My rescue box, I call it. All exist amidst sewing kits, scarves, remote controls to things I’ve long forgotten, leather satchel for stray bills and coins.

In this drawer are little notes written to me over the years I’ve wanted to keep. Mementos of a life. My passports from an era when I had long auburn hair and was adventuresome. Something happened to that girl, I’m not sure what. I don’t really enjoy traveling anymore. There’s a portable watercolor kit (the blue round thing) that I occasionally use with the kids. Near it is a red bottle cap opener from the Red Sox World Series win in 2004. If you press a button, you used to be able to hear the play by play of the last out. But, now, you have to content yourself with it opening up a beer on a summer’s day. The battery is dead.

So, there it is. My “Top Drawer”. A little sad, isn’t it, this drawer? I should have tried harder to break into the utility drawer. That would have been more fun, I think.

Anyway, let me know if you decide to do your own “Top Drawer”. Cheer me up cuz this series has just bummed me the hell out on a beautiful Summer’s day.

©2008 Pat Coakley


16 comments on “Top Drawer”

  1. “My passports from an era when I had long auburn hair and was adventuresome”

    Now of course you are required to post a picture of you circa “long auburn hair” days. We’re waiting . . .

  2. Don’t wait in vain, tysdaddy. I’m in the drawer already sort of out of focus and that’s how that era is gonna stay!

  3. I think it’s a pretty pic of you.

  4. Thanks, Sweetiegirlz. I also resembled one of the Baeder Meinoff terrorist members. This was a group in Germany in the early seventies who were setting off bombs when I lived there and this passport got me hauled off the Tourist bus at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin for a 45 minute interrogation. As I was taken off the bus, all the tourists (we were going into then East Germany) thought I was a spy. When I came back on the bus, they had to wait for me!, no one talked to me. Due to the wait, lunch was cancelled! Yes, so much for pretty.

  5. Ahh, it’s always risky to get into drawers or other places that were out of sight for a while. I spent today organizing my closet and (finally!!) getting rid of some things that made me feel I am throwing away big chunks of my past.
    Doesn’t qualify for a top drawer though, does it?

  6. “So, there it is. My “Top Drawer”. A little sad, isn’t it, this drawer?”

    You know what, Pat? The past is always a little sad. I think it’s unavoidable. Melancholy, is the better word, I think.


    What is that? That silver thing on the top of the dresser? A MacBook Air, you say? Well, isn’t that just cutting edge of you! Here’s the way I look at the picture. Drawers are for things you put away. Things you put behind you. We fill them up and close them away from out every day lives, only to be pulled out in dribs and drabs when we find our selves with time to paw through memories.

    Sitting on top of your past is your new, shiny, state of the art, drool worthy computer. Forget “Top Drawer”. You can sift through memories later. Right now, it’s time to do stuff.

    To bring up another old reference and tie in some travel. I’d prefer to be POSH rather than Top Drawer.

    -Turkish Prawn

  7. Did that auburn haired, adventuress ever think she’d be blogging?
    Melancholy is perhaps more apt than sad, because the contents now represent the eloquent and frisky person you’ve become.
    Ahhh, I’m such a big nostalgic wanderer myself.

    For those days when we wake up with the cartoon bubble of question marks over our heads and wonder what the sum total of a life is or should be, opening that top drawer, or an old journal is a good way to remind ourselves that we’ve done some pretty marvelous things.

    Turkish Prawn has said it so elegantly. ( Oh, now I’ve looked again and he used melancholy- I didn’t copy, really…)

  8. Another series!!! another challenge!!! I just did the fridge thing :)
    All my drawers are plastic, but I’ll have a look …

    Sonny and Cher 45’s, Atari joysticks, sports trophies, …. sadly they are all in boxes at my brother’s house in Canada :)

  9. “So, there it is. My “Top Drawer”. A little sad, isn’t it, this drawer?”

    No I don’t agree. I don’t have any time for nostalgia and I have a hard time understanding people who do. I have boxes of things from my past in the roof that I never look at.

    The past is gone, daddy, gone!

    From what I’ve seen on this blog I’d say that you’ve got me and a few others fooled into thinking that you’re managing to wholeheartedly wring some fun out of the here and now.

    Be here now…………….grasshopper

    As for losing interest in travel, I can understand that. What is travel but sitting for long periods on lots of public transport. My wife and I go away for a 4 or 5 weeks every year and by the end of our trips we can’t wait to get back home.

    Now you may ask why I travel so much. I like being in new places and seeing new things, I just don’t like the process of getting there. So I’m with you, to a certain degree with the travel thing.

    I don’t have any top drawers like what your looking for but I will take a picture of what’s in my kitchen gadgets drawer later.

  10. Pat,

    what can I say? I’ve been looking at my drawers in a whole new way since this post. But like the others, I’m concerned that your drawer has made you sad. One word: SPUD. Spud is one of your creations. He makes us laugh. How about re-shooting any drawer with SPUD in it? You might just find yourself giggling. No more sad, Honeychile. Enough already! (in a nice way. We know you’ve had a rough few weeks. We just want to see you smile again xx)

  11. Ulrike Meinhof! I’ll be damned! You could have not have found a worst terrorist to resemble nor a more beautiful…

    I’d wallow in spleenic nostalgia all day long if I could while listening to sad music (preferably “Avec le Temps” from Leo Ferre) and that day, I hope it rains.

  12. I am going to write more about this. (O, Jesus) Not with a pity pot, or nostalgia, nor, you’ll be happy to know, not even with sadness. But, wanted to thank all of you sweet souls for my pep talk!! Attention, Campers! “Crafts” at 11 AM by the boat house. I have two days of straight out and then we grasshoppers rumble.

  13. I’ll forgive Planetross for staging his fridge. I’ll in fact, beg him to now stage his top drawer!!!!

    What have you started here, Pat?

  14. “Right now I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before,”-Steven Wright

  15. Okay Pat, my “non-staged” top drawer is posted. Now I have to go clean it out.

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