I check my cell phone and urgently signal a code red -- I'm down to the last bar on my power reading and I haven't even had my second cup of coffee yet. Too early to run out of battery. I've got to find my charger and get this baby revved up for the day. But to do this I need the power cord -- and I can't for the life of me figure out where it is.
If your household is anything like ours, you have a drawer in your kitchen affectionately referred to as "the junk drawer." This fixture is as common as other home spaces, say the hope chest, spare room, or coat closet. In other words, it's the place where you can haphazardly throw anything that really doesn't have a place anywhere else in your house. But you have this need to keep whatever it is on hand, within easy access, just in case.
Our junk drawer is actually not one, but three; however, each has a distinct organizational purpose for our random storage needs. One collects pencils, notepads, rulers, and other assorted writing tools. Another contains an eclectic array of useful gadgets -- a key chain stringing together a bunch of keys whose purpose is no longer known, an empty tape dispenser, stapler, paper clips, a calculator that doesn't work, a copy of the wedding audiocassette we gave to guests at our reception 17 years ago, Sharpie pens, a white board eraser, assorted business cards, pliers, and prize coupons for the local video arcade. I dare not clean out these drawers for fear I will someday need to find "Anne and Keith: A Remembrance" to play on our old-fashioned cassette player.
But then there's the technology/electronics junk drawer. This is a relatively new space, introduced to our home in the last ten years. This is where we keep the inventory of power cords for cell phones, iPods, mp3 players, Bluetooths, and other technonecessities of our 21st century lives. There are also cords for the camcorders and digital cameras as well as a rechargeable battery pack that takes up a lot of space (what this is for, I do not know.)
The problem is that as these cords get tossed in the junk drawer, they mysteriously twist, turn, and maneuver themselves into a serpentine mess of wire. They are all black. They all have a rectangular box at the end that plugs into the wall, and a smaller, flatter rectangle prong at the other end with a faint arrow on top directing as to which side stays up. But when I go to find my one power cord that revs up my cell phone, I get trapped in a web of chaos. All wires look alike, and as I attempt to untangle the frightening mass, they all lead to another, like an endless string of Christmas lights.
It's important to note, however, that this trauma seems chronic to me alone. For some reason, my husband can go into the drawer, pull out the correct cord (disconnected by some miracle from all others around it) and hand it to me with a smirk on his face. I can be searching for 30 minutes and handled every cord in the drawer, but -- just like the Red Sea parted for Moses -- the wires in the drawer miraculously untangle for the alpha male of the house. It's not fair, I know, but long ago I learned this is how the world works. Wires and everything.
I've decided to create another junk drawer, this one identified for me alone. This is where I'll keep all cords related to my technoneeds. It's going to be pretty empty -- but at least I'll know where things are.