Friday, July 31, 2009

I got pinned!

Nipper Knapp likes to joke that my desk is eligible for Superfund status. I admit that my idea of a filing system, is a series of piles, that only I can decipher. However, I have always been (in my mind) the neat one in my family. Nipper Knapp is of course, the king of neat island.

Another trait the old man likes to mock, is my resistance to throwing things away. I don't think he'd go so far as to say I'm a hoarder, or a pack rat, at least not to my face. One of our first disputes was over my storing cardboard moving boxes in the garage. My argument was that they were expensive and you never knew when you were going to pack up and go. His argument was that we could get them from the back of the grocery store, and really did I need a garage FILLED with them? I conceded this point when he discovered you could get nice clean ones off craigslist, for free. Did I mention I'm a germaphobe?

Ok, so I like to think that I have a keen sense of reuse, and sustainability, as opposed to a pathological disorder. I'm always seeing some little scrap of fabric or blurry photo and thinking, "I could use that in a project". I have boxes filled with feathers, glitter, fabric remnants, and magazine tear sheets. Oh, and fake guns. I've gotten better about sorting through this stuff, and keeping it organized, since NK and I got hitched. Otherwise, I'd have to live with my husband rocking himself in the fetal position, repeating the phrase "so many half filled boxes", and crying softly in his sleep. I haven't gotten a label maker yet. But I might.

Sometimes this behavior really pays off. When we were in Michigan over Christmas, my dad mentioned he had some pins from the 1960's in the basement, and said I could have them if I wanted. I forgot to get them before I left, so I sent myself a reminder email this time, and here is what we found:

My parents were members of the Students for a Democratic Society at Michigan State University, and very active in the anti-war movement. I think these two are pretty timely considering the current events in the news.

These were my grandfather's union pins. He was a stevedore in Detroit before he got married. He then worked for Continental Motors, for the rest of his work life. My parents, and grandparents, taught me a lot growing up about what it means to work for your family, and what it means to be paid your worth in this world. Just about every member of my family is a member of some union (UAW, teachers union, SAG). Lately I've been wondering about my job security and my union's choices, but that's a story for another post.

This is my Brownie pin. It must have been either my mother's, or one of my aunt's from the 1950's. It brought back all kinds of memories of homemade candles, tie-dye, and nature walks. I'm kind of obsessed with it, and I plan to wear it every day. It's going to be my thing. When people are trying to remember my name, they'll say "You know her, that lady who wears the vintage Brownie pin". I looked it up on ebay, and there are quite a few really cute ones from the 1940's and 50's. Awesome. When you call me and I don't pick up, know that I am trolling the web for mid-century Brownie pins.


  1. hoarding every tidbit of glorious paper that passes through ones life does not qualify for packrat status. it is pure brilliance.

  2. I agree! I'm waiting to reveal my notes from elementary school to the world! Receipts and ticket stubs from my first trip to Europe, love notes from terrible boyfriends, photos of dogs I no longer own. These are treasures!