Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's in That?

People were asked to check the contents of their pockets, wallet, pocketbook, purse, knapsack, backpack, nightstand, coffee table, pants cuffs, coat closet, etc.

Here are some of the things they discovered . . . 

an acorn, small sable hair paintbrush, library cards for three cities I am not currently living in, postage stamps, the key to my best friend's front door, protein bar, string cheese, six inch wooden ruler, map of Lake Ontario, $12.47, eye patch, ticket stub from a Sutton Foster concert

a beat-up folded yellow post-it note on which I wrote a quote that makes me smile:  "Be yourself. Everyone else it taken."

book titled You Are Here: Personal Geographies

the key to St. James's palace, London

folding scissors, lip balm, a rubber band, paper clips, a large safety pin, miniature Hershey bars

list of books I mean to read, dried out pen, chamomile tea bag, photographs of grandchildren, vertigo medication

movie stub for The Lego Movie, cucumber-scented hand sanitizer,
pen light, coupon to that restaurant I really love but no one else likes

a poem, written on the back of a parking payment stub a month ago

wads and wads of tissues, sorted used/unused

Nintendo 3DS in case a stranger wants to play Pokemon

gym pants, rolled tight and rubber-banded, for sporadic I-must-run-now moments

a tiny ice cream taster spoon

contact information for a local potter

leather driving gloves (cost 10 cents at a church sale)

receipts from buying coal and propane

new Kinney Drugs value card, single tablet of Sudafed PE for sinus headaches, Ricola Throat Drops and Ricola Throat Drop wrappers

small plastic cat found on the street — a good luck charm

assorted and mysterious crumbs

lint & hope

photo of my wife; photo of my grandson

black pen, red pen, mechanical pencil

special cloth for cleaning eyeglasses, packet of gum, plastic toothpicks with brush on one end

a Zoltar Speaks fortune teller card -— my lucky numbers are 36, 27, 14, 07, 19, 29

admission receipt to The Mob Museum

receipt for 3 glass skulls filled with vodka  — souvenirs for the kids

four bookmarks, three of them from Iceland

calculator, a bottle of whiteout, earphones for my Nook 

half of a nail file — the dog ate the other half

a button that says "Vegan for the People/ for the Planet/ for the Animals"

black bandana with white paisley design, to use as emergency handkerchief

lint removal roller, for cat hair

receipt from Hickey's Music Center for a cable

spare elastic shockmount bands for Rode NT1-A microphone

1/8" to 1/4" adapter for stereo audio jack

small rose quartz to keep the heart balanced

water jar

feminine  hygiene products because I just never know anymore about the timing of things

emergency inhaler, not needed for 18 years

a drawing on a post-it note of a horse, made for me by my husband 6 years ago

amber and sandalwood oil

drawing pens and small sketchbook

free passes to the indoor trampoline place

Fisherman's Friend cough lozenges

Pez dispenser in the shape of Superman

a pin that says "Imagine Peace"

a list of my allergies and emergency numbers 

a few pages pulled out of an Ellen DeGeneres paperback that are so funny that I just re-read them every few years

no less than 25 pens and pencils

my huge schedule book that I hand make because who pays $24 for a blank book with dates in it — that I can make myself

a peanut butter sandwich

a smiley face sticker

a "fortune" from lunch at a Chinese restaurant

car wash tickets

Bahamas ASPCA membership card

ticket stub for the movie American Hustle

bank deposit slip, health insurance card and prescription card, discount cards, reward cards, business cards, appointment cards, car license and registration cards

the earrings I meant to put on when I was walking out the door

old food stamp, from when they were still made from paper

coral colored lipstick that isn't mine

an egg-shaped piece of Tiger's eye, a large piece of hematite, two pieces of fluorite

tarot cards

a small clutch-sized purse that holds earplugs, a phone charger, two kinds of Tic Tacs, Handiwipes, two packets of raspberry flavored EmergenC, and assorted bits of paper

old, very old, could-hurt-you-if-I-hit-you-with-them energy bars: two of them, both half eaten

just the envelopes of letters I've read

sunglasses, two plastic spoons, napkins, Advil large size full bottle

a totally empty purse

cell phone

two Costa Rica tour books —  600 pages,and 336 pages

one unneeded rain jacket, two unneeded long sleeve shirts that don't fit in my suitcase, one sun protection shirt that I need everyday

one tiny tube of toothpaste, one tube of arnica cream

one old bus ticket to San Jose from Turrialba, one bus schedule brochure, an extra pair of glasses, camera, baseball cap, one granola bar

street maps of San Jose and Cartago, five tourist maps, two Spanish dictionaries

"worry stone" from Arizona

folding money (about $25)

receipts from the Post Office, Staples, Wegmans, and Home Depot

a half dollar money clip holding two tens, three fives, and six ones

my favorite Fisher Space Pen that can write upside down or when you're in outer space and there's no gravity

my father's well-used, mother-of-pearl, two blade, small pocket knife

a toothpick holder I've carried around for thirty years

one New York Times crossword puzzle, always carefully folded up next to a neatly folded bandana in my back pocket

chunks of rock salt in my pants cuffs from the giant dump truck that sped by me as it spewed salt onto the icy Home Depot parking lot

a book of essays by Anne Fadiman, titled Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

chocolate chip Clif Bar

a button that fell off something but I can't figure out what it was

neon yellow highlighter, pencil shavings, some half-finished jewelry, a gross & lonely throat lozenge

three peanuts, a red kidney bean, a half-eaten caramel, four squash seeds, popcorn, four dried leaves, six very small pebbles, three twigs, a feather

a cheddar cheese penguin cracker

lots of what looked at first like chocolate sprinkles but on closer observation was clearly mouse poop 

a buckeye, because I'm from the Buckeye State

a neatly pressed white handkerchief, seven cents, one green comb, three bobby pins,

a set of not-often-used keys with church key, because I just never know when I’ll need one, or for what

metallic gold eyeglass case holding two ballpoint pens, my “25 years at Cornell” gold-tone pen, and a neatly pressed blue handkerchief

a pathetically insubstantial amount of folding cash

multiple business cards for my multiple business lives: real estate agent; obituarist; writer on food, wine, farms, people; auctioneer

rumpled red linen handkerchief with hand-embroidered red edging, which really should go into the laundry

bank passbook, Swiss Army knife, pistol permit

visitor's sticker to the National Gallery in Ottawa, the paper from a tea bag, foreign candy, two blank notecards

linoleum block from art class, music pass for lessons, shrinky dink paper from art class, headband for gym class, rubber bracelet from health class, audition paper for the play from last fall 

notebooks for Spanish class, science class, English class; orange binder for math class; big binder with folders for all classes, in order of those classes; The Great Gatsby in the main pocket of my schoolbag

3 triple A batteries 

bag of dried up mangoes  

eye drops

rolls of Mentos candies

credit cards that I never activated, business cards from people I don’t remember, check books from banks I no longer have accounts with, keys that don’t fit any locks that I can find

guitar picks

a pot holder made by Alison Lurie

to-do list from January 

empty bread bag, empty Dunkin' Donuts bag, paper towel, plastic knife, orange peel to compost

poetry book by Melissa Tuckey and a book by Pema Chodron

2 pairs of white socks

"10 Things" list from Zee

results of blood work test

4 receipts from the public library

partial list of song titles for future radio show

traveler's amulet

small, smooth amethyst

silver dollar

contact lens case, nail clippers, coconut banana granola bar

rolling papers (because you never know)

one tiny notebook with a single haiku written in it

four hair bands for keeping hair out of my face

three empty gum wrappers because I chewed some gum and didn't know where else to put the wrappers

a pair of soft forceps for picking up insects at work

one  Sacagawea dollar coin I got in December in Ecuador, where they are pleasingly common

an article titled "Slightly Depressed Women Live Longer"

a little owl

a sea shell

swatches of fabric and a piece of yarn

band aids, Chapstick, dental floss, denture cream, cortisone cream

my very favorite small, bright yellow Moleskine notebook with its elastic strap to keep the ideas from spilling out — annotated with lists, drawings, phone numbers and indecipherable scrawls — there is a small back pocket that holds "mad money"
lip gloss, rose pink, pearly
a small, flat, red metal credit card case, embossed with "The Metropolitan Museum of Art" — a repurposed address book, fastened with a wooden hors d'oeuvre pick ever since I lost the tiny silver pen
one rust and brown batik mini purse, holding my precious library card, the not-so-precious but useful AAA membership card, Ithaca Bakery's bread card, and quarters for parking meters
one indigo blue gel pen, one baby blue stylus, one Caribbean blue metal tube-case for reading glasses, all in a row
one check book, bedraggled, it's never had a cover
just in case: Lactaid, gas-relief tablets, Pepto Bismol tablets

3 pencils and an eraser, tape measure, hearing aid batteries

butane lighter, for un-freezing locks

some old phone numbers written on paper

3 different types of teacher/tutor I.D., each with its own strap

too much plastic 

reminder about things I remember, not those I forget

coffee shop card: buy 9, get 1 free

crochet hook, 2 lightweight tote bags that folds into themselves, a 2013 calendar I can't throw out yet

a small round mirror so I can check to see if I have food stuck between my teeth

one black beret and one purple beret, because as my mood changes my color choices also change

good luck charm given to me by a good friend — special beads knotted onto a piece of thread

a ring that's too loose for my finger now but I want to have it with me in case it suddenly fits

latest issue of Shambala Sun magazine

just air

Thank you to all the wonderful people who contributed to this list:

Alan Heath
Alice Damp
Amy E. Bartell
Antonia Matthew
Barbara Force
Cady Fontana
Carol K. Kammen
Chaya Spector
Chris Fontana
Diana Kreutzer
Dianne Elaine Ferriss
Edna S. Brown
Gabrielle Vehar
Jackie Andrews
Janet Klock
Joyce Frank
Judy Cogan
June Wolfman
Kathleen Morrow
Kay Bradford
Laura LaRosa
Linda Keeler
Lynn Johnson
Martha Blue Waters
Melissa Hamilton
Mira Vanek-Johnson
Nancy Lee Koschmann
Patty Little
Peggy Adams
Peggy Haine
Phoebe Shalloway
Prachi Ruina
Randy Ehrenberg
Ray Edwin
Richie Holtz
Rob Sullivan
Roxanne VanWormer
Sara Robbins
Saskya van Nouhuys
Sharon K. Yntema
Shirley Elliott
Sue Norvell
Sue Perlgut
Valorie Rockney
Xin Li
Zee Zahava