Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Now that we are hip deep in the electronic age pretty much every house has "That drawer". You know the one. The one where old (and current) chargers go to die. If you have a few cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras in your house you have a bunch of these cords in a tangle somewhere. Add to the mess that the teens in your house upgrade their phones every few years so you have the old ones in there too. Add a husband who has just moved from a Blackberry to an iPhone and now you have even more.

This drawer makes you crazy. Every time you go to look for your own phone charger (for the oldest phone in the house--somehow you always have the oldest phone in the house) you paw through the mess and think, "Can't someone come up with a better way to store these?"

You might even try a charging station but this will not work at all. Why? Because even if you make a nice little spot to charge things your children will still insist on charging their phones all over the house. So you will give up and go back to the drawer.

One day, you will have had enough and in a rare moment when all the kids are home at once, you pull out the mess of cords and hold each one up saying, "How about this? Does this belong to any of you?" and they will clutch their own chargers to their breasts and say , "No. It's not mine," and you, who have just set aside your own phone and camera chargers and your husband's new phone charger, will with great confidence and a feeling of accomplishment, toss the old stuff in the garbage. You have a tiny twinge of guilt because you are pretty sure you are supposed to recycle old chargers but really, sometimes you just say "screw it" and throw things away willy-nilly and irresponsibly (the latest earth infraction you have been committing without even knowing it is batteries--who knew you were supposed to 'dispose of them responsibly'? and how would one do that?) But I digress...

Now you have a clean and orderly drawer and you actually know what device belongs to each and every cord in the house and you are proud and feel clean and good and righteous.


Until that morning when you are all rushing around to get out the door and your husband who is not usually part of this mix but is today because he has to fly to Nashville to make a presentation, says to the room at large, "Has anyone seen my laptop charger?"

You look up from putting your flip-flops on in preparation of driving the second shift of kids to school and gauge the crowd. Should you confess at once or play dumb and pray the teens who are stuffing their backpacks and slipping into their hoodies do not give you up. After a moment you see they are not taking the bait. They are good children and would not shout out "Mom threw a bunch of those away." No. They know this will result in a scene and a scene could make them late for school. So they stay loyally mum for mum, so to speak.

Out of sheer desperation you go upstairs and rummage through some silly bag of parts you once bought called an "iGo" and you try to plug nibs into your husband's laptop and though you find one that fits you cannot find the other end that should plug into the wall. Still, you try to sell this device to your husband. "Here is something that fits! Perhaps you could get the rest of this at the airport!" But by now he is in no mood and as he approaches a melt-down you make your escape shouting, "Gotta take the kids to school!"

As you drive the kids to school, leaving him to search through the house for his charger that you are fairly certain you threw away, you come up with a dozen reasons why this is not your fault. It's not like you went into his laptop bag and took the charger and threw it away. No. He must have left it out for weeks for it to have ended up in "the drawer." This is what he gets for being so careless. As you drive back from school you hope desperately that the cab will have come and taken this problem, I mean , your husband to the airport.

But alas, the cab is just arriving when you pull in the driveway and you steel yourself to go in and confess and try to help the man you love, the man who supports you all, find his stupid laptop charger because really, without it he cannot make a presentation to new clients in Nashville, and he will not get paid, and you will all starve and it will be your fault because you just had to clean "the drawer."

However, much to your surprise, when you go in the house your husband is smiling. He found his charger and in fact is rather sheepish about it because he found it under a pile of crap on his own dresser and you are too relieved to give him a hard time about it. And you don't have to because he laughs and says, "My god, I'm as bad as the kids when they wait until about 10 minutes before the band concert to realize they don't have black pants that fit and their band polo is in the laundry," and you resist the temptation to say, "Yes, exactly," because you know this could have turned out very badly for you like the unfortunate knife-drawer purge of 2008 which still comes up from time to time.

And as you kiss him goodbye and send him on his way, you wonder what the moral of this story is--is it that you should not throw away old electronic stuff? is it that no matter what happens at home it is mom's fault? or could it just be that the other people in your house need to keep track of their shit a little better?

Nah, now that's just crazy talk.


  1. It's ver simply the fault of manufacturers who insist on coming up with a bazillion different voltages and plugs for these adapters instead of standardizing things.

  2. Hilarious Judy. Can so relate.
    I agree with Laurent, let the hubby off the hook, give the kids a break, never blame mom... stick it to manufacturers.