Sunday, April 22, 2012

Confession time II: I was emotionally attached to a cardboard box

Is this a dream or a nightmare?

For a while in my life it was a dream, believe it or not.

This is a picture of the inside of the Davis Cookware store in Nashville, Tennessee. Between 2008 and 2009 I spent a year in Nashville doing my fellowship in clinical medical librarianship at the local hospital. I was only there for a year and didn't have much to do when I wasn't at the hospital. So of course I passed the time enjoying the local shops.

Davis Cookware was and still is my absolute favorite. It's owned by two brothers. When they're not nagging each other they're selling cookware, sharpening knives, peddling gourmet teas and coffees, sharing the local gossip, or trying to find someplace -- any place -- to stuff the next shipment of eclectic cookware into their store. They were hilarious and the store had a lot of, er, character. Take a look for yourself:

Pictures were taken by Jett Loe,
Shopping there was always a treasure hunt. It was like a visit to my mother's basement, but fun! Look, that tower of boxes might fall on you, but inside those boxes are the prettiest stainless steel measuring cups you've ever seen! Don't stub your toe on that pile of imported tea strainers! If you dig deep enough on the table you'll find a hand-polished alabaster mortar and pestle! Don't knock those mix-and-match rolling pins on the floor or you'll get your foot smashed, but it's okay because you work at the hospital and can probably fix it yourself!

It was a treasure hunt for kitchen porn (because you only wish your kitchen looked this good). And even better -- my mother wasn't there spying on me to keep me from throwing anything out. The anti-hoarder in me winced. But at the same time it was oddly comforting because it reminded me of home. Plus -- 100 kinds of tea!!

Point being, I didn't get a lot of souveniers from my stay in Nashville (besides the emotional scars of standing in the trauma bay and being told, "No, we don't have any questions for the librarians because two patients died last night and two are probably going to die today, and there's really no one else left who isn't fine.") The only fun physical reminders of my stay were my Davis Cookware purchases.

There were actually only five of these. One was a teapot that came in a box that one of the Davis brothers's granddaughters had drawn on. I thought that was awesome and made me nostalgic for a time when everyone in town knew who owned the shops in town. The box was a reminder of the store and of a bygone era where everyone knew everyone in town.  For the longest time I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. I was emotionally attached to a cardboard box.

But you know what? When we throw out things, we're not throwing out memories. We're not throwing out feelings. I do miss seeing those two hilarious old guys whenever I need more tea or have to get my knives sharpened. But I don't need a box taking up space to remind me of that experience. You can write down your memories instead of having to keep the object to keep the memory. 

If  you are determined to keep something because it reminds you of a good experience, check to see if you already own something that you use that fits the bill. My measuring spoons were from Davis Cookware and I use them regularly. So I don't need a box to remind me of the store.

Now what to do with the box? I knew who could enjoy the box more than me. Our gerbils! It was perfect for them to chew on.

the box complete with artwork

Rye gerbil investigates

hmmm, this might work

he likes it!

The Reckoning

Item 77 - My Davis Cookware teapot box. Gotten for free, now it's now gerbil furniture. I do actually use the teapot that came inside the box.

Total money wasted so far: $947.

(Ironically, when my mom did hop down to Nashville, we visited Davis's Cookware and she had a blast. I'm not even going to begin to psychoanalyze that experience.)


  1. I think if I went into a store like that, I'd keel over right there in the doorway haha! I seriously face product at stores. Yeah, THAT OCD!

    Anyhow, you're SO right. I get attached to weird objects like boxes. Glad you were able to find a way to get rid of it...and even better it went to the gerbils. BTW, ADORABLE GERBILS! Love 'em!

    1. I think our furballs would like you too! LOL, I'm actually surprised I didn't see more people keeling over in the store. I guess if you weren't going to love it, you didn't walk in!

      ps. I saw the kitty food in your video but no kitten! Do we get to see the kitty anytime soon?

  2. I cringed looking at those pictures, the volume of stuff was so overwhelming. It sort of looks like my garage. (Much work to do in there.) This is a good post for me to read today. I discovered a box last night that has all sorts of "when I was a kid" junk in it. I'm gonna have to go through it. I think I need to warm up my scanner...

    1. That's one thing I haven't done yet, scanning papers that I can then toss. If you have any suggestions on how to make scanning go faster, I'd love to hear them! I'm so intimidated by the idea of having to wait for my flatbed scanner to process each and every single piece of paper, ugh! Good luck with the garage!

    2. I did a lot of scanning over several months. I found that for some things taking a picture worked just fine and was much quicker.

    3. That's a really good idea, so much faster than dealing with our five year old flatbed scanner -- thanks!

  3. Oh man, I might take a trip to Nashville just to go to the shop! It reminds me of my Nana and Poppa's basement! And I LOVE the rotary phone! I have sat here enjoying memories without having any belongings from my Nana and Poppa's at all! Proof that a photo is all it takes - you DON'T NEED THE STUFF!

    1. Absolutely. Not to mention that pictures are a lot safer! I definitely stubbed my toe more than once in that store.

  4. That store would make me twitch. :) We have a local book store in town that looks like that. Sometimes it can be fun to visit, like a treasure hunt. But it can also be hard to move around and certainly hard to browse items.

    I have to say that I still have some boxes in my attic for some of the collectibles I own. In case I'd ever decide to see them.

    1. Argh, I meant sell, in case I ever decide to sell them.

    2. we keep some boxes too for stuff that's easily breakable in case we move. Though with just having bought our place and with no plans to move for years, I wonder if it's worth it.

  5. I am emotionally attached to an old cardboard box that once held tuna at a supermarket. I've had it for pretty much as long as I can remember, and it has my parents names written on the side. I use it to hold paper recycling until I take it to the bin outside. So it is useful, but I can't imagine throwing it away! Sigh...


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