Friday, September 10, 2010

Junk Drawer Tape

A couple weeks ago, I baked some cute dog cookies for the nieces of my coworker and shipped them to Michigan. All of my cookie packing stuff was in the car, so I pretty much packaged them at my desk when I got to work. Of course, when I got there, I couldn't find my nice roll of clear packaging tape. So I asked our wonderful admin assistant if she had some tape to borrow. What she brought me reminded me instantly of something from my childhood: junk drawer tape.

When I was younger and asked my mom or dad for tape, I was directed to the junk drawer in the kitchen. In the drawer lived a roll of 3" wide packaging tape that should have been thrown out looooong ago. It was yellowed, brittle, and the cardboard core was warped, rippling the tape. The handy-dandy dispenser and razor cutter had long since disappeared. Every time you used it, you had to find the end (because none of us were smart enough to fold it under making a tab) and hope that you could peel off the length you needed without it somehow shredding. Then, since it was packaging tape and therefore tough, you had to make sure you had scissors handy to cut it. If you were wrapping a gift and wanted neat little strips, you had to make your own by cutting the strip lengthwise. God forbid we just buy some scotch tape on a nice neat little roll with a dispenser. If my parents had any of that glorious stuff, they kept it hidden.

Now that I'm on my own and can buy my own tape, I'm kind of nutso about it. I keep multiple rolls in various places - the junk drawer, my craft drawer, hidden in my desk at work. I spend good money on 3M brand Scotch tape (no generics!!), and if one should lose it's dispenser and razor, it finds a new home in the trash. My packaging tape is the same. My days of fighting with packaging tape and struggling to get a 3" strip without tears are over. I even buy those cute little pop-up, pre-cut dispensers for Christmas wrapping. Tape is now one of my "things," along with good ol' name brand 27-ply toilet paper, which is also a result of being deprived of the quality stuff at my parents' house. My mom is so cringing right now.

So when Shannon sweetly handed me her tape at the office and I burst into laughter and called it junk drawer tape, she just looked at me completely baffled. I'm pretty sure if I ever ask to use it again, she'll ask if her tape meets my standards. As long as she tries to give me junk drawer tape, that answer is 'no.'

Do you have something silly that you're now obsessive about because you were deprived when you were younger?


BrownEyedGirlsMom said...

I have tape in several different places and refuse to use the generic crap too. I love the "satin" one in the purple packaging for presents. I think I am going to buy you the Costco pack (that's where I get mine) for Christmas! What am I not nutso about .... that's the question. Luckily I wasn't too deprived - my mom isn't a fan of generics. Mr. ESPN is expecially particular about his toilet paper - only Charmin for him.

Karen said...

Well I might be cringing, a little, you're right. What can I say? By the way, the toilet paper thing was all your dad since he was brought up with septic tanks and only scott brand was allowed. I just thought I'd throw that to keep the record straight. (ha ha)

Amanda said...

YES! WE have the same junk drawer! At Christmastime I was wrapping and realized we had forgotten the tape, so I had to use tiny pieces of packing tape. I can't think of anything that I do or don't do now that I'm on my own...although my Mom loves to keep the coffee pot plugged in when she visits and I like to keep it off when there's not coffee brewing or being kept hot.