The other morning, while I was quaffing my first cup of joe, Rumpole was struggling to open the pantry door, and swearing profusely and rather colourfully.
“For God’s Sake, G,” he growled, “why are there so many x^7*3# rubber bands on this door-handle? What are you saving these bloody things for?” Exasperated, he gave up the struggle and sat down across from me. But he was not finished yet. The rant continued after he cast his eyes in the direction of a corner of the kitchen counter where, teetering, rows of my sour cream, yoghurt and cottage cream containers were stacked, seeming to multiply and take over the rest of the counter space. A crafty expression on his countenance, he commented. “I think you are beginning to lose it, go into a decline or are starting to show some unfortunate aspects of advancing age.”

“But, dear, all those items are useful and I know will come in handy…soon.” I retorted.
“For what?” he demanded to know.
“Well, just think. I have been collecting rubber bands for about ten years now. And was I ever glad to have a handy stash of them on hand then Game Boy visited and asked me to do a hairdo of mini pony-tails all over his head so he could look cool and punky. You just never know what purpose rubber bands may be put to.”
“Oh, crap! You have a rejoinder for everything I say to you. What about that mess of plastic containers? What do you intend to do with them?”
“well, …er…, oh yes! Lucky, Barb and I are doing a series of mixed media experiments, for which these containers will come in very handy – you know, … for mixing acrylic media, sand, glue, recycled house paint.”
“Yeah. So there will be a passel of these containers full of weird concoctions lying around your studio for…well, forever, or for whenever you go on one of your jags to throw stuff out. Usually when I force you to.”
Man, he was really on a roll this morning. How could I lob back some clever comment to shut down all this kvetching? Aha! My ultimate statement! “Dear, aren’t you the least bit happy that I am not one of those women who shop daily for useless things and pile them up, unwrapped, all over the house. All this little tiny bit of collecting seems rather harmless by comparison.”
That stopped him in his building diatribe. Ha!
“Grrrr,” he growled as he brought his coffee cup up to his clenched jaw. “Point taken. But please, get them out of my sight at least.” He took a swig of coffee. His face lit up as if he had just got a brilliant idea. “You know, Just before Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she had made some rather bizarre collections…need I point out, plastic containers, rubber bands… and it seems to me you have started a rubber band collection on the linen closet door handle, on your bedroom’s as well besides the back spindles of the kitchen chairs and the pantry door-knob. Do you think you may have a problem?”
I was aghast. Was he really suggesting I was losing it, ready to be prevented from living a relaitvely normal life and sequestered in the company of other forgetful and eccentric seniors?

“Oh yeah!” I countered, “before you start to diagnose me, diagnose yourself. I am not the one who loses her pants after taking them off and hanging them up. Nor am I one who cannot see her car keys right in front of her eyes. Frankly, my dear, some days you worry me.” I fixed him with my best snotty stare as I tapped my fingers impatiently on the tabletop.

“Point well taken,” he retorted, ” but I want all that stuff gone, hidden… and I don’t care where, when I return from work tonight.”
“Yes, Bwana,” I humbly assented, ” your wish is but a command. As a dutiful Stepford Wife, I shall, however begrudgingly, comply.”

So it’s off to remove said rubber bands and plastic collections from their offending places. Out of sight, maybe out of Rumpole’s mind, but ready to hand should their utility suddenly come into my conscious ken. I shall spend the morning brainstorming as to the various purposes to which rubber bands may be put.

12 Responses to “Collector…”

  1. tysdaddy Says:

    I can’t tell you HOW many times I’ve needed a rubber band and couldn’t find one! I’m coming over . . .

  2. lookingforbeauty Says:

    I collect rubber bands, too, but I keep them on an empty peanut butter jar, the plastic variety. Mother used to collect them on door handles but there is something in the latex (rubber bands) that eats away at metal. It ruined several of her door handles, but you couldn’t stop her from collecting them,

    I have used them for closing up those ill-fitting lids on Ziploc containers. I don’t know how many times I have bought a set of them and put them away until I need them, like in late summer when the produce seems to come rolling in the door all at once. I just put an elastic around the container and lid until the stuff is frozen and it’s not so important that the lid stay securely on.

    Happy painting with your yogurt containers!

  3. ybonesy Says:

    Ho ho, you and me both. I have an entire cabinet dedicated to my yogurt containers, along with the ones that you get the store with fresh-ground almond butter or grated cheeses. But what gets me is, where do all the lids go? They disappear.

    Rubber bands I don’t keep. I don’t like the smell on my hands. My daughters both build giant rubber band balls, so that’s where they go. And I never seem to need them. Weird.

    I thought you dealt quite nice with Rumpole. 8)

    • suburbanlife Says:

      Ybonesy – it really bugs me to have to go looking for lids when they are needed. If only there were a better way to keep the lids and bodies paired, i’d be in container heaven. For some strange reason all the pretty colours of rubber bands interest me – now to come up with the penultimate use for all of them. G

  4. The Querulous Squirrel Says:

    I put things into things into things. Rubber bands into a cute container on a desk or in a specially designated “junk drawer” if there’s room. Crappy containers in a big plastic container in the basement or garage for use as needed out of the way so I don’t have to look at it. I can’t stand having any of that stuff visible. It drives me crazy.

    • suburbanlife Says:

      The older I get the less I like having a lot of stuff around -with one major exception – things useful in my teaching and painting practice. practical things have a huge hold on me, far more so than sentimental things. many days I wish I had as little as during early university days. The possibility of being mobile was hugely attractive. Living in an organized midden seems somehow perverse and anti-experience. I stuggle with having too much stuff and too little experience. Those damn bits and pieces, they weigh one down…G

  5. onemoreoption Says:

    I’m guessing many people would not have removed the rubber bands. Sounds very considerate of you.

    • suburbanlife Says:

      Lord know how many of my irritating habits make Rumpole miserable. It is rather self-preservation rather than considerateness that moved me to get these offenders done. The Stepford Wife bit only goes so far. G

  6. Esio Trot Says:

    Rubber bands *are* useful. I enjoy firing them with the joy of pinging at stray cats determined to spray your garden with foul smelling scent and also those shrieking foxes at night in mating season, not for hitting them you understand just frightening them away, we all need our sleep especially those of us in our twilight years. ET

    • suburbanlife Says:

      Esio Trot – I agree. Rubber bands are useful. Your idea of using them as ballistic missiles to deter peeing cats is a good one. Rumpole uses them sometimes to “shoot” me down whenever I get too lippy. Can’t say i care for the experience, or the welts the little things leave behind on skin. G

  7. Quentin Magos Says:

    We may never know exactly why the streets of suburbia are covered with rubber bands…but it might be something to do with the postman…

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