2006.05.03 Can't contain her love of magnets

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

The unexamined life is not worth living, says Socrates, and who am I to argue with a dead philosopher?

Whenever I think I’m going overboard overanalyzing my actions, or being too self-aware, I remind myself that Socrates would approve. He’d understand the mental wrangling that led to this conclusion: it’s probably time for me to admit that the funky ceramic bread box, festively painted with bold red cherries, was not a wise purchase. The first few times I put something in it—half a loaf of bread, a few cookies, a couple of rolls—I forgot the items existed and you know what befalls the combination of forgetfulness, a warm dark environment and wheat products. Mold—big time.

I know the bread box purchase was the result of a long-standing pervasive desire to contain and conceal my clutter, but I’m not making many dents in that department. If anything, it’s clutter control chaos at my house.

Yet, I keep buying containers—big baskets, little baskets, plastic baskets, cloth bins, pottery crocks—and funky ceramic bread boxes. It’s a trend in my buying habits lately. But I’ve got bad trends busting out all over.

As I was wrapping presents for Kym Ries’ birthday last weekend, I realized that I have a serious problem with another category of merchandise—magnets. I just keep buying them—in lots of different forms and for lots of different people. I’m beginning to think I’m downright ill with this tendency. And I don’t even realize I’m doing it when I’m doing it. It’s only when I get home and examine my purchases that I start to wonder what my problem is.

It occurred to me as I was wrapping Kym’s presents that both of them were purchased at the gift shop of the Museum of Modern Art. MOMA’s store is as big an attraction as the museum itself. Loads of wonderful items at MOMA and what do I buy as a birthday present for Kym? Magnets. Cool little magnet hooks and a sheet of vibrantly colored little square magnets featuring shapes in contrasting colors, such as a pink circle on a green square.

Kym, gracious as she is, seemed delighted with the presents, even as I bemoaned my sickness for magnet purchasing.

“All the magnets on my fridge are from you,” she said.

Oh, no! For shame! I’m giving her the same old present over and over, just a variation on a theme!

My overloaded refrigerator door is testament to the fact that I love magnets in all their incarnations. In addition to the usual business card magnets and powerful magnets whose sole purpose is the serviceable act of attaching recipes, photos, aprons, postcards, etc. to the fridge, we have a large magnet of Michelangelo’s Statue of David, complete with clothing and accessories to dress his naked body, and in a similar motif, a framed Mona Lisa with accessory magnets to give her a head of curlers, for example.

And then there are the magnetic photo frames in a variety of styles, magnets of eyes, noses and mouths to alter the facial features of people in photographs, and Fractured Phrases magnets that allow you to mix up popular sayings into new ones: “Dead men make good neighbors.” “Good fences tell no tales.”

I’m also a big supporter of Magnetic Poetry Kits (word magnets that come in a variety of themes) but we have so much other stuff on the fridge we don’t use them very often. I like to give them as presents—just ask Kym.

One of my favorites is Magnetic Poetry Mixed Up Country Songs. This kit provides words and phrases from real country songs which are mixed to create new ones.

“If the phone don’t ring you’ll know it’s me” can be used to make “If you’re my wife I’m kissing the phone,” and “If the phone don’t ring here’s a quarter. Call someone.”

“I keep forgetting about you until I get your biscuits.”

“I’m so miserable I don’t know whether to kill myself or go bowling.”

Yes, a life without magnets is a life not worth living.

Who could argue with that?

– May 3, 2006
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016