What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

– little red bowl

on July 6, 2015

I bought this little red bowl for a quarter at a yard sale in Chicago during my first year in grad school there. It appears to have been hand-thrown and somewhat crudely finished. A name is scratched in stilted letters on the bottom, but I can’t make it out. I guessed then, and now, that it was someone’s school art project.


It’s no bigger than a small grapefruit.

I recall I hoped to use it as a planter in my windowsill … I longed for something green to cheer my dorm room. But that wasn’t practical, since the bowl had no drain holes. It found another purpose, though. I’d been emptying my pockets into the top drawer of my dresser, and coins slid around and got lost under my neckties. The bowl received and held them handily.

I’m not sure when I stopped using it for that … after one or another change of address, I guess. For the last few years it’s been in our home office. When we’ve found ourselves holding an odd bit that we wanted to put down, often we’ve dropped it into the bowl. So it’s collected rubber bands, binder and paper clips, pennies, small parts that fall off of things, and astounding amounts of cat hair and dust. But none of that really belongs there. Office supplies are supposed to be in the office supply box. Pennies, in the coin collector. Parts, back on what they fell off of. And so on.

We’ve realized that any container that doesn’t have a decided-upon and declared purpose (best reinforced with a label) will collect junk. We’re shedding our collection of such attractive nuisances. Since the bowl doesn’t particularly please us as domestic art, we’ll pass it on, in hope that someone else will see it and say, “That little red bowl is just the thing!”

shedding style: give away
destination: thrift store

Comments welcome … do you have containers that collect chaos?


6 responses to “– little red bowl

  1. Oh yes, I have one of those containers … Started out holding keys, how does dust get in there? There are keys in there which I have no clue what they belong to. Love that you were able to eliminate this receptacle for things that belong elsewhere

    • revdarkwater says:

      I had to screw up all my courage to prune the clutter of keys … a voice in my head kept wailing, “So what if it doesn’t seem to fit anything … it did once, and maybe that thing will re-appear!” But I sternly told it to pipe down, and felt a strange sense of integrity when the mystery keys hit the bottom of the wastebasket. I shed some denial, I suppose (smile).

  2. You are quite right about undesignated containers… they collect all the stuff you have described, except in our house it’s dog rather than cat hair!

  3. Anne Lene says:

    Yes, I have a container to hold the junk! Normally this “container” is called my kitchen/dining table :-)

    Hmmmm, I think I need a bit of a tidy up…! ;-)

  4. […] in the wash. I’m afraid they’ll have to go to the landfill; we don’t need knick-knack collectors. If a bowl can’t hold hot soup, it’s got to go. But we’re grateful for their […]

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