It came home to me today that I have a Job Title that I didn’t even realize. I am the Keeper of the Stuff.
My oldest son: Mom, I have to take a present to the party tonight…where can I find a gift bag?
Me: Either top shelf of the hall closet or the bottom corner of the hall closet.
My husband: Where did I put my wedding ring? (Construction and wedding rings don’t always go well together.)
Me: Check my dresser.
Younger daughter: Mom, I want to give my teacher a Christmas Card.
Me: Check the top white drawer, there’s a stack of cards you can pick from.
Son: WE’RE OUT OF MILK!!
Me: No, bottom shelf, behind the eggs, there’s another gallon.
Extra Toothbrush? Check the pantry, above the washing machine. Plastic silverware? Look under the brown buffet, in the basket. Butter dish? I think I saw it in the bottom of the Catch All Drawer. Lost paper? Check my stack of papers in my room. Hair clips? Sorry, you’re out of luck.
I think every family probably has one person who is the Keeper of the Stuff. It doesn’t have to be the mom. But, I think it is usually the person who has taken on the role of Primary Housekeeper and Primary Caregiver. It’s one of the requirements of the job: knowing where everything is.
Of course, I’m just human. I can’t keep up with everything. My oldest daughter used to help me with this. ANNA! HAVE YOU SEEN THE HANDMIXER??? And then she’d tell me where it was. Of course, she loved to cook and had her own organisation system so asking her where stuff was also had something to do with that old phrase, “Too many cooks in the kitchen.” But, Anna also tended to notice things around the house, so she was always my go-to person to help find something. Now that she lives in another state, I sometimes find myself looking for something and think, “I should call Anna, maybe she knows where it is!?” Instead, I text my husband who is baffled as to why I am asking him. It just makes me feel better to pull one other person into my fruitless search for that one little attachment to the mixer that I haven’t used in two years.
Hand-in-hand with KEEPER OF THE STUFF comes the job title FINDER OF THE STUFF. Now, this one, from my limited experience, does tend to be filled by the women of the house.
Husband: I have looked everywhere, I can’t find that check I put on this shelf..
Me: (Walks over to the shelf, picks up check sitting on the shelf..) You mean this one?
10 year old boy: I can’t find my shoes. I can’t go to school today because all of my shoes are gone.
Me: (Walks over to the shoe box, removes three pairs of shoes that belong to this child…) Put your shoes on, you’re going to school.
Daughter, opens fridge: Mom! We’re out of salsa!!
Me: (Walks over to daughter, looks in the fridge, looks at the daughter…) The salsa is literally in front of your nose. If you walk forward about 6 inches, your nose will touch the salsa jar.
Being the FINDER OF THE STUFF can be annoying. In fact, I have taken to warning my children, when they complain to me that they can’t find something.
Me: If I come up there and find your shoes in less than One Minute….THERE IS GOING TO BE CONSEQUENCES! I don’t know what…But something.
Anyway, I’ve held these job titles for years, I just hadn’t really thought of it till today. They are highly prestigious positions. I am sure they look good on my resume.