Queen of Cans & Jars

Hi Darling Ones,

I’ve decided that I really like the letter writing conceit. It reminds me of this episode of Dawson’s Creek where a bunch of intrepid English majors have to figure out who Rose Lazar, “a famous writer from the twenties like Dorothy Parker, but not” is writing her most personal and intimate letters to.

Surprise, it’s herself!

So the conceit continues until I am bored with it.

One more bit of business before I get to my point. Despite the title of this post and the header image. I’m not the biggest Guided By Voices fan. I mean, I love “Gold Star for Robot Boy” obviously and a few others. But their catalog is daunting and I’m prone to believe anyone who puts out that much material isn’t doing a whole lot of editing or revising.* And, frankly, I got enough dude singers crammed into my brain and DNA and soul. I don’t need to add another one in there.

Now, on to the point. The other day I got a really good box in the mail. It was a sturdy cube filled with the Birthday Plants I ordered last week. I held it in my hands for a long time, pondering it’s goodness and what kind of future gifts I might use it for. Then, despite all my instincts to the contrary, I broken down the box and put it in the recycling.

What is that weird impulse to keep good boxes? I have so many good boxes. I keep good empty boxes with my Christmas decorations. There is one good box I’ve had for six or seven years. I frequently put Sister #2’s birthday gift in it and then take it right back so I can use it again. It is the very best of all the boxes.

Because I like to share my personal growth on the Internet I bragged about recycling that box ASAP even though it was good. Everyone I know related to the urge to keep good boxes and the reason I was bragging.

Unfortunately, it’s not just boxes. I like to keep good jars and bottles and sometimes cans. I realized this about an hour ago when I was pouring some cold brew coffee into various bottles. One of the bottles was from actual cold brew that I bought before I learned to make it. I have three Chameleon Cold Brew bottles that are at least three years old. The other bottle I used came with arrabiata sauce in it.

I have jars every where. I am prone to buying things simply because they come in a cute jar (looking at you delicious and adorably-jarred Inglehoffer mustard). If you look at the image at the top of this post you’ll see a Oui yogurt jar that I used for some M&Ms and has now been turned into a garbage jar where I put all my Hi-Chew wrappers.** And also Tootsie Pop sticks. And also the annoy wrapper around the yarn I’m using. And also Atomic Fireball wrappers. Oh my, I eat a lot of candy for someone who purports to be a grownup.

There are many more jars. Empty candle jars and spaghetti sauce jars and funky salsa jars and colorful mason jars. I feel bad whenever I recycle a jar like I’m throwing away something fancy. I’m not sure why glass = fancy in my head, but it does.

Somebody who is not me should write an article on our compulsion to save good boxes (and maybe jars? Maybe we all save good jars?) and what is behind that. So many people save them. I know I’m not alone.

Jarringly yours,

*The irony being that I too put out a while lot of material without editing or revising. Sorry, not sorry. This is entertainment is free. You get what you pay for, right?

**I’m flirting with a serious Hi-Chew addiction and the only thing keeping me from drowning myself in them is they’re kind of expensive and I am cheap. So I try to limit myself to two or three a day, and let me tell you it is not easy. I think the first day I got them (a week ago) I ate so many I gave myself a stomachache because I am eight.

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