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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The organization saga continues.

You know how you have a thing that you want to get rid of but immediately decide that you will need it one day so you can’t get rid of it?

This thing sometimes goes into the garbage only to be retrieved an hour later. Or it goes into the Donate box and sits in there for a month until you finally put the box in your car to bring it somewhere to donate it, but you sneak the thing in question out of the box because clearly you should never have tried to get rid of it in the first place.

I know I will never need these things until the precise moment at which I decide I don’t need these things.

I have a box of tongue depressors.

Five hundred of them. Or 497 because I used three to make stems for paper cutout flowers to decorate the guest bathroom when Kevin came to visit and the bathroom was bare and I couldn’t turn up so much as a hand soap in my apartment.

I never wanted tongue depressors. I never asked for tongue depressors. I never BOUGHT tongue depressors.

I have them because somehow they were sent to me accidentally via Amazon.

They showed up at my door one day and I looked in the box and thought…. huh.

Then I contacted Amazon and said… huh?

And they said what they always say, which is both to their credit and our demise: No problem! Just dispose of them!

I wasn’t charged, and I don’t know how they ended up here in the first place or who opened a box to find pot holders instead of tongue depressors. But for three years they have been sitting on a shelf because I can’t throw them out.

I COULD take them down to Goodwill or something, because somewhere someone is doing a craft and wishing they had tongue depressors. I know this, because as a teacher in a previous life I used my share of tongue depressors and their thinner cousins, popsicle sticks.

What if someone wants to make three paper cutout flowers for a bathroom display and all that stands between them and great success is my box of tongue depressors?

The worst thing that could have happened is that I found a use for those things, because now I’m convinced I will need them for something equally necessary in the future.

Think of how useful they could be. If you have a wobbly table leg, for instance, you could use one to wedge under the short one. If you need to map out a space on your living room floor to see the area that the couch will take up, you can lay them end to end to create a workable facsimile.

You can glue them together and make a little picture frame, or lay them in a trapezoidal shape like a flat house of cards or a poor man’s Lincoln Logs and see how many you can stack before they topple over.

You can draw happy faces on them and stick them in your shirt pocket so they walk around with you all day and remind you to smile. I mean, it’s hard to have a bad day if you have a happy tongue depressor, don’t you think?

If you were going on a picnic and forgot the knives, you could use one in a pinch to spread the peanut butter or the mayo.

They make excellent bookmarks.

If you glued them into a starburst shape you could add little white pompoms on and dab them in silver glitter to make some very cool snowflakes for your winter décor.

So they take up space.

In my closet, and in my brain when I look in the closet and can’t find the phone charger because there is a box of tongue depressors, along with ten thousand other things in the way.

Because I just know that one day I am going to have the brilliant idea to turn them into tiny wreaths and be exceptionally mad at myself for getting rid of them.

And now that I’ve had all these genius ideas, I am going to have to go to Amazon and buy more stuff. Anyone want to accidentally send me little white pompoms?

Photo: the paper cutout flowers that are the main object of décor in the guest bathroom. Since then I have bought a hand soap AND a dispenser.