Stephanie Klein, overall role model and author extraordinaire, started #WritingWednesday where you can join in on the completion of a weekly writing prompt. My attempt is below.
#WritingWednesday Writing Prompt: Describe yourself or someone you know (memoir) or a character (fiction) only by describing their ________ (fill in the blank). Only by describing: the contents of their pockets/handbag; their bedside table, their car, their foyer, etc. Go ahead, play set director of your own life.
Sitting in her car doesn’t give you a clean feeling, but not necessarily a dirty one either, although there are definitely empty applesauce pouches and Nutrigrain wrappers scattered throughout. At any given point there are jackets in varying degrees of warmth between the two car seats in the middle row. There are small toys and hair bows littering the floor of the car, and you can bet your life there are at least a few Goldfish and Cheerios pushed into the folds of the kids’ seats.
This same detritus of cracker dust can be found at the bottom of her purse as well. She knows because she tried to clean it out last weekend, but without a vacuum hose it was impossible. Her bag itself is much bigger than need be, although each item seems vital when cleaning the purse out, yet once back in its pocket, it won’t be seem for months until the next cleaning. She comes prepared with stain sticks, bobby pins, various shades of lipstick and gloss. She ALWAYS has a snack or 7 lest her kids get hungry 2o minutes after lunch, and she probably has at least a toy or two shoved in there as well. Her wallet and coupon holder make it seem like she puts an effort into being organized, but all the coupons between the two have been expired for a month (at least).
Her bedside table houses a few sentimental object: a baby picture of her and her mother in the seashell frame that was a gift from the mother-of-the-bride at her engagement party, the champagne bottle from the night she got engaged to her husband, and a Brian O’Connor Funko Pop gifted from her husband one semi-drunken evening. It also contains a couple of logical items as well: phone charger, tissue box, leopard print lamp (doesn’t everyone have one?). It usually holds a couple of general “to-do’s” or “to save’s” that will either make its way to the proper place (unlikely) or shifted to the cabinet drawers of the nightstand until the yearly clean-out (AKA replacement) of unnecessary things.
The overwhelming feeling here is effort: she tries to organize, she tries to fix, she tries to find hobbies she enjoys (please see the bag of knitting materials, rolling bag full of scrapbook STUFF, partially embroidered quilt from her daughter’s newborn days). It’s hard to see success here in the mundane, in the minutia of everyday cracker dust. On good days she knows it’s there; on less good days, reminders come from her loved ones, from baby hugs and proclamations of love. The orderliness she craves might be missing, the incomplete projects forgotten, the crackers filling every nook and cranny, but these overflowing areas show a life of love, of happiness, of EFFORT, and you can’t blame a girl for trying.